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Nutrition & Application FAQs

As you prepare your application for the ACU Master of Science in Nutrition program or your Dietetic
Internship, you may have questions very similar to those of other applicants. Below are the answers to a list of commonly asked questions.
 

FOR STUDENTS SEEKING THE COMBINED MS IN NUTRITION/DIETETIC INTERNSHIP:
 

Admissions:

When is the application deadline for the upcoming cohort?
Students can apply through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS). The deadline is February 15.

I did not major in Nutrition as an undergraduate student. Can I apply?
No, only students who completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) as an undergraduate student can apply (click here to learn more about the ACU DPD program). 

Do I need to submit documents to ACU in addition to DICAS? 
No, all application materials will be reviewed through the DICAS portal.

Is there an ACU application fee?

Yes, the $65 ACU application fee (outside of DICAS) can be paid by clicking here.

How many students are accepted each year?

Historically, between 9-12 students are accepted each year. In addition to the Dallas rotations, ACU has requested permission to add rotations in Abilene, TX. If approved, the program will accept up to 17 students.

What is the minimum GPA required to apply?
Students must have a 3.0 overall GPA to apply.

Is the GRE required for admission?
The GRE is not required for admission.

Can I transfer to ACU’s MS in Nutrition from another program? 
Yes, students may transfer credits pending faculty approval.

Program:

What is the program’s accreditation status?
The Dietetic Internship is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Is the program online or residential?
The MS in Nutrition coursework is fully online.  The Dietetic Internship is residential and is based at CitySquare, located in Dallas, TX.

When will the MS in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship become a combined program?   
In 2019, the MS in Nutrition and the Dietetic Internship became a combined MS in Nutrition/Dietetic Internship program.

Can I complete the Dietetic Internship as a stand-alone program?
No, all admitted students complete the MS in Nutrition.

Can I complete the MS in Nutrition without the Dietetic Internship?
Yes, students can complete the 36-hour MS in Nutrition online without the Dietetic Internship. Students would select 15 hours of electives within the 36 hour program. However, students must complete a Dietetic Internship in order to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. 

Do I begin the internship or online master’s courses first?
Admitted students work closely with the Program Director to determine their degree plan timeline. However, most students will complete online courses during their first year before beginning the residential Dietetic Internship courses in Dallas, TX.

When does each new cohort begin?
Each cohort begins in June. During the first year, online courses are taken continuously and begin every 8 weeks. The Dietetic Internship portion begins in August of the second year.

What types of rotation experiences are offered?
Students focus on the issues of hunger, health, housing and hope:

Hunger - work in the Opportunity Center Food Bank and the Summer Feeding Programs through CitySquare.

Health - Along with the clinical experiences, an outpatient counseling rotation will address the health of the clientele using knowledge gained in the clinical rotations such as bariatric, cardiac, endocrinology, intensive care, oncology, pediatric, renal, surgical and general medical.

Hope - Gaining an education and skills can give people hope. You will be instrumental in helping teach basic culinary and food service skills in the café at the Opportunity Center at CitySquare.

Housing - Indirectly, housing will be addressed through your involvement in teaching basic selection, procurement and preparation of healthy meals for home use. 

Other rotations in clinical, foodservice, and community areas are also completed during the dietetic internship.

Can I work while enrolled in the Dietetic Internship?
It is possible to work during the first year of the program while completing the first 27 credit hours online. 

However, working is not recommended during the second year of the program while completing the Dietetic Internship courses, as the internship rotations are like a full-time job.

Also, interns will have homework as well as internship activities at night and during some weekends.

Are scholarships or graduate assistantships offered?
Yes, admitted students can apply for a departmental scholarship.

Can I meet with the Program Director or attend an Open House?
Yes! Please contact the Office of Graduate Programs at 325-674-6911 or gradinfo@acu.edu to connect with the Program Director.
 

FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED A DIETETIC INTERNSHIP AND ARE PURSUING THE MS IN NUTRITION:

Admissions:

How do I apply for the MS in Nutrition if I’ve already completed an internship?
Students who have already completed a Dietetic Internship will apply directly through the Office of Graduation Programs (not through DICAS).  Please click here to begin your application.

When is the deadline to apply?
The admissions committee offers rolling admission year round, so there is no specific deadline. However, the earlier applications are submitted, the sooner admitted students can secure their spot and begin the next available term.

How many entry terms are offered per year?
Students can apply to begin the MS in Nutrition during one of 3 entry terms per year. These terms begin in May, August, and January.

Program:

Will I receive credit for my completed Dietetic Internship?
If the Dietetic Internship was completed within the last 5 years, 6 hours of internship credit will be applied toward the MS in Nutrition. The student will then complete 30 hours of graduate coursework online (for a total of 36 credit hours).

 If the student completed a Dietetic Internship more than 5 years prior to applying, they will complete 36 hours of online graduate coursework.

How long is the program?
For students receiving credit for a completed Dietetic Internship, it is possible to complete the master’s program in 1 year, however, the majority of students complete the program in 1.5 - 2 years.

Is the program online or residential?
The MS in Nutrition is offered fully online for students who do not need to complete the ACU Dietetic Internship.

Will I be required to travel to Abilene or Dallas at any time?
No, students are not required to travel while completing online courses. 

How long is each course? How many courses do I complete at one time?
Each course is 7 weeks long with a one week break between courses (courses begin every 8 weeks). Students can complete either 1 or 2 courses at a time during each 7-week term.

Is it possible to work while I complete the MS in Nutrition online?
Yes. In fact, some students have worked full-time while completing 2 courses at a time.

Can I schedule a phone appointment with the Program Director?
Yes! Please contact the Office of Graduate Programs at 325-674-6911 or gradinfo@acu.edu to connect with the Program Director.

For students seeking an MS in Nutrition without a Dietetic Internship:

If I’m not interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian, can I earn an MS in Nutrition without completing a Dietetic Internship?
Yes, students can complete the 36-hour MS in Nutrition fully online, without completing the Dietetic Internship. Students would select 15 hours of electives within the 36 hour program.

In this case, students will apply directly through the Office of Graduation Programs (not through DICAS).  Please click here to begin your application.