COVID-19 Update: Information and resources can be found here.

Master of Clinical Nutrition - Coordinated Program

About the Program

UT Southwestern’s Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program gives students world-class training in a profession that helps people improve their health and enhance their lives. Our program has been a leader in clinical nutrition education for nearly 30 years.

The Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program is a full-time, post-baccalaureate program that begins once a year in August and ends 24 months later in August. It’s designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in any field who want to embark on a career as a registered dietitian.

 

Patricia Clesca

Master of Clinical Nutrition

 

Mariana Pardo Carrillo

Master of Clinical Nutrition

 
 

UT Southwestern Difference

UT Southwestern offers significant advantages for advanced training in clinical nutrition, including:

  • Convenient location on a large medical center campus, providing an ideal environment for the in-depth study of clinical dietetics and medical nutrition therapy
  • Opportunities for students to explore research questions with leading clinical investigators
  • Interaction with expert faculty members who are actively involved in research, patient care, community outreach, and consultation in a range of areas (including nutrition and chronic conditions, heart and lipid disorders, obesity prevention, and menu and food product analysis)
  • A 98.51 percent first-time pass rate on the National Certifying Examination over the last five years

Plus, there’s no need for our students to complete a separate internship after graduation. Our program combines the course work and the supervised clinical practice hours you need to be eligible for registration as a dietitian.

Focus of Curriculum

The curriculum is a carefully structured sequence of six semesters, designed to develop your knowledge and skills in clinical nutrition. You’ll study with expert faculty who are internationally recognized as clinicians, educators, researchers, and consultants.

You’ll attend rotations in a variety of settings, including:

  • Teaching hospitals associated with UT Southwestern
  • Community-based clinics
  • Wellness centers

For important program dates view the official academic calendar.

Curriculum Details

What You Will Learn

The Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program offers a solid knowledge base in evidence-based nutrition therapy and related sciences. We teach our students to become team-oriented clinicians with the skills to excel in acute and chronic care, as well as in community-based intervention programs.

Specifically, successful graduates of our program will have the necessary skills to:

  • Assess the nutritional needs of individuals, based on lifestyle and health status
  • Provide medical nutrition therapy for patients of all ages across a spectrum of settings, from intensive care to home care
  • Integrate interpretation of biochemical parameters and medications in the nutrition care process
  • Adapt nutrition counseling strategies to overcome barriers to lifestyle change
  • Function within interdisciplinary teams to provide nutritional support for patients with complex medical problems
  • Provide culturally competent nutrition education to populations with diverse nutritional needs
  • Incorporate knowledge of functional foods, phytochemicals, and food processing, as well as knowledge of nutrient gene interactions
  • Serve as food and nutrition authorities for the public through mass media and other nutrition information channels
  • Interpret evidence-based research and formulate research hypotheses to advance evidence-based dietetics
  • Manage human, material, and financial resources in food and nutrition-related businesses

Three Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian

  1. Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
    • Note, effective Jan. 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam.
  2. Complete 1,200 hours of supervised practice in an ACEND-accredited program. UT Southwestern’s Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program includes both the ACEND required coursework and supervised practice hours. No additional internship is required upon graduation.
  3. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam upon graduation.

National Exam and Licensure in Texas

When you earn your degree at UT Southwestern, you’ll immediately be eligible to take the national registration examination and apply for licensure in Texas or the state of your choice. You’ll also be eligible for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Upon completion of program requirements and successful passing scores on the national registration exam, graduates may apply for licensure in the state of Texas through the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration.

Employment in Six Months

The majority of our graduates find employment in North Texas within six months of graduation. They work in variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals, long-term care, and other clinical care facilities
  • Community clinics and primary care offices
  • Pharmaceutical and nutritional product-development companies
  • Sports and wellness facilities

Our Mission

The Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program utilizes the unique resources of UT Southwestern Medical Center to prepare graduates to become entry-level registered dietitian/nutritionists capable of meeting the demands of the changing health care system.

Having developed a strong knowledge base in clinical nutrition, graduates use food and nutrition information effectively in the prevention and treatment of disease. Individualized experiences facilitate students’ pursuit of their own career goals, be they in health care, in research, and/or as a nutrition authority for the public.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • Goal 1: Prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians.

    Objectives

    1a. At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within three years (150% of the program length).

    ‚Äč1b. The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.

    1c. Eighty percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

    1d. Employers who respond to a survey will indicate a mean rating of 3 or better on a 5-point scale for applicable characteristics of our alumni related to program goals.

    1e. At least 75% of graduates will indicate plans to use evidence-based research in practice as a dietitian.

  • Goal 2: Prepare graduates to meet the demands of the health care community in Texas, including the needs of pediatric and geriatric populations and diverse cultural groups.

    Objectives

    2a. Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

    2b. Within 12 months of completing the program, at least 60% of graduates will be licensed in the state.

    2c. Employers who respond to a survey will indicate a mean rating of 3 or better on a 5-point scale for applicable items related to provision of nutrition therapy in acute care, ambulatory care, or wellness.

    2d. As evidenced by self-efficacy survey items, 75% of graduates will indicate confidence in the ability to provide nutrition therapy to pediatric patients.

    2e. As evidenced by self-efficacy survey items, 75% of graduates will indicate confidence in the ability to provide nutrition therapy to geriatric patients (65+).

    2f. As evidenced by self-efficacy survey items, 75% of graduates will indicate confidence in the ability to provide nutrition therapy to clients representing diverse ethnicity.

    2g. Employers who respond to a survey will indicate a mean rating of 3 or better on a 5-point scale for items related to provision of nutrition therapy for clients representative of different ethnic/cultural groups.

Additional program outcomes data are available on request.

Accreditation

The Master of Clinical Nutrition – Coordinated Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 800-877-1600, ext. 5400

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Master of Clinical Nutrition Coordinated Program at UT Southwestern are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

Meet the Department Chair

Meet the Program Director