Doctor of Clinical Nutrition Students complete a 350-hour advanced clinical nutrition practice residency individualized to meet their professional goals and geographic resources. The residency is preceded by seminars and discussion topics in an online learning environment supplemented by virtual face-to-face meetings. The residency is an approved advanced-practice residency by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Our clinical nutrition doctoral program instills an appreciation for advanced clinical practice and research. Students complete both a pilot study and a practice-based research project.
- Provides an in-depth study of clinical nutrition and evidence-based practice through coursework and an advanced clinical nutrition practice residency that prepares graduates to become advanced-level dietetics practitioners.
- Prepares graduates to design, conduct, and analyze practice-based research in diverse settings.
- Develops experts in evidence-based nutrition practice using clinical reasoning and scientific inquiry.
- Fosters professional leadership, service, and scholarly efforts.
Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to:
- Practice as an advanced dietetics practitioner for individuals, communities, and/or clinical populations with expert-level competency in assessment, diagnosis, implementation, and evaluation of clinical nutrition care plans using the Nutrition Care Process model, standardized language, and evidence-based practice guidelines.
- Conduct a comprehensive nutrition-focused physical examination and interpret results relative to nutritional well-being using nutritional diagnostic reasoning and standardized language.
- Incorporate knowledge of body composition and nutritional physiology to guide clinical decision-making in the assessment of healthy and medically complex patients with acute, chronic, and terminal illnesses.
- Assimilate knowledge of drug-nutrient, and drug-dietary supplement interactions and associated pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in patient care.
- Apply a global perspective to professional practice by incorporating scientific, clinical, and cultural implications of food and nutrition into clinical practice.
- Apply critical thinking skills in communication, information management, problem-solving, and resource utilization to foster professional autonomy in clinical practice.
- Collaborate with other members of the healthcare team, industry, and academia as the nutrition expert.
- Mentor and teach clinical nutrition practice to students and colleagues across diverse health care arenas.
- Analyze current nutritional interventions using an evidence-based approach.
- Become lifelong learners, using self-assessment and continuing education to continuously advance individual knowledge and skills.
- Comply with the Code of Ethics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and display ethical behavior in practice, education, and scholarly activities.
- Demonstrate competence in the interpretation and critique of scientific healthcare literature using an evidence analysis approach; apply and integrate findings into practice settings.
- Design, conduct, analyze, and author papers on clinical nutrition outcomes research.
- Present and defend research findings to professional audiences and develop a manuscript worthy of publication to a peer-reviewed journal.
Graduates of the DCN program have many exciting career options and opportunities available. They are prepared to assume leadership roles in practice and research. Many receive recognition for their excellence in practice, research, leadership, and education. Alumni publish in peer-reviewed journals, present in international and national forums, write grants, conduct research, and hold leadership positions in professional organizations.
The DCN prepares graduates for expert-level, advanced positions in clinical practice, education and research. Graduates have become tenure-track faculty members, advanced clinical practitioners, research dietitians, and senior management industry professionals. Based on our 2014 alumni survey:
- More than 80% of alumni are involved in research activities
- More than 60% have presented at national/international conferences
- More than 50% of have published in peer-reviewed journals and books
For Student and Alumni Abstracts, click here.
For Student and Alumni Poster Presentations, click here.
To learn more about our program please contact Dr. Jane Ziegler at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-972- 8525
The deadline for admission to the clinical nutrition doctoral program is Feb. 15 for Fall admission.
- Prospective students must be Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).
- International applicants must hold an equivalent credential that meets US standards by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (www.cdrnet.org).
- A master’s degree, preferably in nutrition or a health-related field (with a minimum GPA of 3.4).
- Must have at least three years of professional experience as a clinical RDN.
- Clinical nutrition doctorate applicants required materials:
- SHP application, which is available at http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/apply/overview
- An official copy of the transcripts from the highest degree earned
- If the highest degree is not in nutrition, the transcripts from the nutrition degree must also be included
- RDN Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Number
- Resume or CV
- A letter of intent describing reasons for pursuing the DCN program, research interests, and short- and long-term goals for completing the DCN program
- Two letters of recommendation, one from an individual with a doctoral degree who is familiar with your professional and/or academic achievements.
- Applicants who meet the admission criteria will be scheduled for an interview with select faculty in the Rutgers SHP Department of Clinical and Preventative Nutrition Sciences.
Clinical nutrition doctoral program online courses are supplemented with face-to-face virtual meetings and a minimum of three on-campus visits. We focus on advanced clinical nutrition practice, assuring that RDNs are integral members of the health care team in any practice setting. Students complete didactic courses, an advanced clinical nutrition practice residency, and both a pilot- and practice-based research project.
Our 50-credit clinical nutrition doctoral program, which can be taken on a part-time basis (9 to 15 credits/year), generally takes approximately four to five years to complete, depending on semester credit loads.
Course descriptions and program requirements
Our DCN program is the first advanced practice clinical doctorate program in the U.S. and globally exclusively for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN). Our program is a 50-credit program that when taken on a part-time basis (9 to 15 credits/year) generally takes approximately four to five years to complete, depending on semester credit loads. Our program emphasizes interprofessional collaboration and evidence-based practice through classes, an advanced clinical practice residency, and practice-based research project.
In addition to coursework, our DCN program includes a 350-hour advanced clinical nutrition practice residency approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This residency is designed to meet the student’s professional goals and geographic resources. The residency includes advanced dietetics practice experiences supplemented with seminars and discussion topics in an online learning environment.
The DCN prepares our graduates with expert-level knowledge and skills, critical thinking proficiency, and aptitude in scientific inquiry to foster the development of innovative and autonomous advanced dietetics practitioners and researchers.
The curriculum integrates evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics, which provides the foundation for our students to complete both a pilot- study and practice-based research project.
- Prospective students must be Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).
- International applicants must hold an equivalent credential that meets U.S. standards by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
- A master’s degree, preferably in nutrition or a health-related field (with a minimum GPA of 3.4)
- At least three years of professional experience as a clinical RDN
- Admission is offered once per year for the DCN program. The application deadline is Feb 15 for the following fall admission.
Through the SHP application http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/apply/overview
An application must include:
- An official copy of the transcripts from the highest degree earned. If the highest degree is not in nutrition, the transcripts from the nutrition degree must also be included
- Copy of RDN card
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- A letter of intent describing reasons for pursuing the DCN program, research interests and short and long term goals for completing the DCN program
- One letter of recommendation from an individual with a doctoral degree who is familiar with your professional work
Applicants who meet the admission criteria will be scheduled for an interview with select faculty from the Rutgers-SHP Department of Clinical and Preventative Nutrition Sciences.
Yes. Most elective courses are available for non-matriculated students.
Register for courses as a non-matriculated student here.
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition (MSCN) to Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) Dual Enrollment Program
The MSCN-DCN Dual Enrollment program provides an opportunity for prospective students to obtain the M.S. in Clinical Nutrition and Doctor of Clinical Nutrition degrees. These advanced practice degree programs emphasize interprofessional collaboration and evidence-based practice through online and hybrid courses, a master’s research project, a mentored advanced practice clinical residency, and a practice-based research study.
Both the MSCN and DCN programs are advanced-level, clinically focused, graduate degree programs designed exclusively for Registered Dietitians (RD). The ideal candidates for this track are self-motivated RD practitioners who are committed to advancing their knowledge, skills, research and practice and would like to do so in an expedited time frame. Our graduates are innovative, autonomous, advanced dietetics practitioners and researchers with expert-level knowledge and skills, critical thinking proficiency, and aptitude in scientific inquiry.
Our dual degree program instills an appreciation for advanced clinical practice and research. Students complete a 350-hour mentored clinical nutrition advanced practice residency individualized to meet their professional goals and geographic resources. The residency is preceded by academic courses in an online learning environment supplemented by virtual face-to-face meetings. Some courses utilize a hybrid format that includes a campus visit. The residency is an approved advanced-practice residency by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
This dual enrollment program is a hybrid program. Courses are completed online and supplemented with virtual face-to-face meetings; there are a limited number of campus visits for hybrid courses. The expedited course sequence is designed to accelerate the completion of courses and both degrees within 5.5 years.
Admission is offered once a year for the MSCN-DCN Dual Enrollment program. The application deadline is February 15 for the following Fall admission. Applications can be accessed at: http://gradstudy.rutgers.edu/apply/apply-now.