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Coordinated Program in Dietetics

UTSA Dietetics is Currently Accepting Applications for the Fall 2018 Cohort



Mission, Goals, and Program Objectives

Program Outcomes

Prospective Students

Admission Criteria & Process

Selection Process

Schedule of Supervised Practice

Graduate School Eligibility Requirements

Costs of Attendance and Program Related Expenses

Graduation and Verification Statement

Ready to Apply? Application and Reference

Nutrition Graduate Electives


Dietetics and Nutrition Student Association (DANSA)

Program Faculty and Contact

Program Accreditation

UTSA Coordinated Program in Dietetics Facebook 


Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics! Our unique program offers a joint degree, both a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Dietetics and Nutrition and a Master of Dietetic Studies (MDS). The combined degrees offer over 1200 clock hours of supervised experiences equivalent to an internship.


Our Mission

To prepare entry-level dietitians with leadership skills who positively impact the nutritional status and health of individuals and the community, particularly those living in South Texas, through a solid academic education, service, and scholarship.

Program Goals & Objectives

Goal #1: Prepare students as competent entry-level practitioners with a concentration in Health Promotion/Disease Prevention and Treatment.

1.1  Students will maintain a grade of C or better in all dietetics and support courses and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.

1.2  Over a five-year period, 80% of the students admitted to the three year option will complete the program within 4.5 years, those admitted exclusively to the Master of Dietetics Studies option will complete within 3 years (150% of the time planned).

1.3  Over a five-year period, 80% of the graduates will pass the RD exam as first-time takers.

Goal #2: Prepare graduates who demonstrate leadership skills and become employed in a variety of practice settings.

2.1  Over a five-year period, 70% of the graduates seeking employment in dietetics will be hired within six months of program completion.

2.2  When surveyed at least 30% of the program graduates participate in leadership activities.

Goal #3: Enroll and graduate diverse students to meet the needs of the South Texas communities.

3.1  At least 50% of the students enrolled in the program are from the South Texas region.

3.2  At least 30% of the graduates will secure employment in South Texas Communities

Program Outcome Measures

The Goals and Objectives are designed to achieve the program mission. The success in meeting the objectives and achieving the goals is continuously monitored. The outcomes data for the program shows that the 5-year pass rate criteria for the Registration Examination for Dietitians/Nutritionist is being met. Program outcomes are available on request from the Dietetic Director. 


Admission Criteria & Process

Admission to the program is competitive due to the limited number of students we are able to accept per accreditation standards.

The program requires the following for admission:

  • Admission to UTSA as an undergraduate, degree-seeking student through ApplyTexas. The major code Pre-Nutrition & Dietetics (PND) can be selected.  
  • Students concurrently apply to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics via the online application (posted on the program website) by February 28th. All required documents must be on file by midnight to be considered.
  • International students must follow the admission process through the UTSA International Office
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Complete the program pre-requisites. See the PND checklist.
  • Submit two reference forms from faculty members or advisors
  • Statement of purpose with your program application
  • Current resume and
  • Transcripts (unofficial)

Degree Information Sheet:

Transfer Degree Plans:

For additional program related questions email or UTSA Academic Advising Life & Health Sciences Advising

Selection Process

The Dietetic Admissions Committee will review completed applications, using a rubric to score the candidates. Applicants are also ranked according to their grade point average (minimum 3.0), work/volunteer experience, and references. Students are admitted to the program for the fall semester.

The Admissions Committee will then invite qualified candidates to interview for admissions in March. For students who live outside Texas and are unable to travel for an interview will be scheduled for a video or telephone conference. The formal interviews will be rated using a point system and scores will be added to the rubric used for the application packet. Acceptance into the program is based on meeting the admissions criteria, the student’s readiness for the program judged by the interview committee, and the availability of placements due to accreditation. Candidate decision letters will be sent in April.

Student Schedules & Schedule of Supervised Practice

The program is demanding and will require students to manage their time effectively. Undergraduate students in their junior and senior year will attend daily classes and will begin to obtain practicum hours off-site.  Graduate students in their final year will take graduate level courses on Monday and will work in off-site facilities Tuesday through Friday (32 hours per week).  The length of the internship (graduate year) is two academic semesters: Fall (August through mid-December) and Spring (mid-January through end of May).

Practicum/Internship components mainly consist of community dietetics, clinical dietetics, and food service management; however, interns will also gain experience in child nutrition, diabetes, obesity, pediatric nutrition, cancer therapy, bariatrics and culinary medicine.

The program follows the academic calendar; the University-designated holidays and semester breaks, when scheduling classes and practicums (see Program-specific course schedule and practicums will be made available through the UTSA Website. The schedule for the advanced practicum is planned by the Dietetic Director following as close as possible, the academic calendar to fulfill the required contact hours of supervised experiences. Occasionally, a student may be expected at a supervised practice during a weekend, and given time off during the week. At times, it may be necessary to adjust a rotation schedule to accommodate the calendar and operations of the facilities (i.e., school district, WIC or Head Start calendar needs).

Note: A criminal background check is a requirement during the semesters in which a student enrolls in field-based practicums. Students will be required to submit a Criminal Record Check for practicums associated with schools, health care facilities, hospitals, and clinics. It is the responsibility of the student to determine if his or her criminal history background will present a problem before applying for admission to the program. Students with problematic criminal history will not be able to complete most of the field-experiences that are required by the program.

Graduate School Eligibility Requirements

Current/active dietetic students (enrolled in the program) will apply to the Graduate School in January of senior year, upon recommendation of Dietetics Director.

Eligible students must meet the following requirements: maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0, complete 90 hours of undergraduate coursework and receive favorable evaluations from faculty and preceptors. Eligible students will complete an online application through the graduate school (non-refundable application graduate fee will apply). 

Costs of Attendance & Program Related Fees

2017-2018 Estimated Cost of Attendance Undergraduate Students

Full Time Fall/Spring Undergraduate Resident Student

Living at Home w/Parents

Living Off Campus

Living On Campus

Tuition & Fees (based on 15 hours per term)




Books (based on 15 hours – 5 classes)




Housing & Meals (average)




Transportation (average)








Loan Fees




Total Estimated Cost of Attendance




Full Time Undergraduate non-resident student tuition & fees = $23,771. All other charges remain the same.

2017-2018 Estimated Cost of Attendance Graduate Students

Full Time Fall/Spring Graduate Resident Student

Living at Home w/Parents

Living Off Campus

Living On Campus

Tuition & Fees (based on 9 hours per term)




Books (based on 9 hours – 3 classes)




Housing & Meals (average)




Transportation (average)








Loan Fees




Total Estimated Cost of Attendance




Full Time Graduate non-resident student tuition & fees = $24,527. All other charges remain the same.

*Based on 2017-18 AY estimates ( and Net Price Calculator, accessible at

Additional Program Related Expenses

  • Professional Liability Insurance – $38
  • CPR Certification- $25-$30
  • Hepatitis B Immunization - $145
  • TB Testing - $35
  • Flu Shot (annual)- up to $45 off-campus (lower fee through Student Health Services)
  • Criminal Background Check - $45
  • Student Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - $58
  • Student Membership in the Dietetic Student Association – $20
  • Lab Coat for Clinical Rotations – $12/varies*  
  • Practicum Uniform: Polo (program logo) ~$15; Black Slacks ~$20; Black Non-Slip Shoes ~$25 (varies)
  • Drug Screening-  $30-$40 varies*
  • Transportation to supervised practice sites (gas) varies*
  • Transportation to professional meetings and/or volunteer opportunities (gas) varies*

**Price may vary. Estimated cost for criminal background check, CPR, liability insurance, and possibly drug testing.

Transportation expenses vary depending on assigned practice locations, cost of gas and parking passes. Some rotations will require students to travel longer distances to rural and surrounding counties. Each student should have his or her own car or, at least, access to one. Liability for safety in travel to and from assigned rotation sites will rest on the individual dietetic intern. *Multiple drug screenings may be required depending on placement sites. 

Dietetic Internship students may choose to live in University housing or in a variety of off-campus sites. Please contact UTSA Student Housing for more information. 

Financial Aid

Financial Aid information is available through the UTSA Office of Student Financial Aid and Enrollment Services office at (210)458-8000 and 1.800.669.0919. Additional information on types of financial assistance and scholarships can be obtained by accessing (

Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships available from UTSA, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (TAND). UTSA’s federal school code is 010115.

For information on Financial Aid Eligibility and Scholarships access the Student Online Handbook

Academic Calendar and Scheduling

For information on the UTSA Academic Calendar refer to:

The website offers information on Final Exam Schedules, Academic Calendar, Registration Schedules and other important resources.

Other related links include:


The bachelors’ and master’s degrees are awarded by the Board of Regents following the student’s completion of the prescribed course of study, the recommendation of the faculty, and the certification by the Dean of the College of Education and Human Development and the President of The University of Texas at San Antonio that the candidate has fulfilled all requirements for the degree and certificate.

A student is bound by the requirements of the University Catalog ( ) in force at the time of her/his admission; however, a student must complete all requirements within seven (7) years or be subject to degree requirements of subsequent Catalogs. General and specific requirements for degrees may be altered in successive Catalogs. The student who is required to or chooses to fulfill the requirements of a subsequent Catalog must have her/his amended degree plan approved by the appropriate dean.

NOTE: The admission date to UTSA may be different to the admission to the CPD. Students in the program under the BS/MDS option are expected to complete the requirements within 4.5 years, from the time of admission to the program. Those in the MDS option are expected to complete within 3 years).

Degrees are conferred only on official dates publicly announced. The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (BS) will be conferred upon those students who have successfully completed all core curriculum and the two years of program requirements. Students who fail to progress to or complete the Masters level phase of the Program, but have a GPA of 2.0/4.0 scale may be eligible to receive the BS degree independent of the MDS degree. No verification statement of completion for the CPD will be given to students who do not complete the MDS requirements. Students must successfully complete the third year didactic and supervised practice component of the program to earn the MDS degree. Students seeking the dual BS/MDS degrees will be awarded both degrees together upon completion of the MDS requirements.

Verification Statement

Requirements for students to receive the verification statement. The dietetic student will be expected to demonstrate core knowledge and entry-level competency (see definition below) in nutrition and dietetics by successfully fulfilling the course and experiential requirements defined by the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, in accordance to UTSA, CDR and ACEND policies.

“Entry-level competence is defined as: a set of specific knowledge, ability, skills, and values; behaviors expected of a practitioner (during the first 3 years of practice); and the minimum level of performance requiring speed and accuracy consistent with providing optima service or care to patients or clients. (Ref. 2012 ACEND DE Standards, pgs. 75, 78)”

Eligibility for the Registration Examination, the student must have:

  • met the learning outcomes for the courses (or equivalents) in the curriculum, by earning  a grade of “C” or above
  • attained the competencies outlined for the supervised practice with average scores of 2 or above
  • graduated with a 3.0 GPA
  • earned a Master of Dietetics Studies

When Do Eligible Student Receive the Verification Statement?

Upon successful fulfillment of all program requirements described above, the student will receive a verification statement upon completion of the MDS degree. Students will be recommended to CDR to write the registration examination in dietetics. The verification statement will be presented to the student immediately after graduation. Students may request mailing of the statement if not present at graduation. Copies of verification records will be kept on file in the Dietetics Director’s office indefinitely and will be available to former students upon request.


Program Application and Reference

The completed program application must be submitted online by February 28th before midnight for consideration.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered for admission.

Complete the online application today! UTSA Dietetic Application

Send the following link to each of your references:  UTSA Dietetic Reference Form

*Note: There is no save option to the online application. Print a hardcopy of the application to review all the questions and needed documents, prior to starting the application online.  



Words cannot express our deep appreciation to the many Registered Dietitians/Nutritionist and Health Professionals in the San Antonio and surrounding areas for their continuous support and commitment to mentoring our dietetic students.

Thank you for your willingness to be a preceptor for UTSA Dietetic Interns!

What are interns say about their preceptors:

“I greatly enjoyed this rotation.  Ms. Cervantes changed my view of long term care.  She was an excellent preceptor”, intern at Morningside Ministries.

“AMAZING preceptors that give me their time to help me learn and succeed”, intern at Methodist Transplant and Specialty Hospital.

“She encouraged independent work, but was always available for any questions, concerns or issues”, intern at Methodist Hospital. 

“Ms. Paras and Ms. Palma are wonderful educators.  They provided a rich learning environment and encouraged me to seek out knowledge.  The rest of the CHEF team is wonderful as well”.Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF), The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“This was a great environment for learning foodservice management. I feel more confident in knowing all that kitchen management involves after this experience,” Intern at Methodist Stone Oak Hospital.

“She was a great mentor and always offered a lot of insightful and useful advice,” intern at Texas ArgLife Extension Services.

“It was such a good opportunity to have a NICU and Pedi rotation. All the RD’s were invested in my learning progress”, intern at University Hospital.

Training and Professional Development

The Commission on Dietetic Registration offers a free Online Dietetic Preceptor Training Module worth 8 CPEUs @

CDR’s Online Campus offers continuing professional education activities for Registered Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians Registered @

Join the Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) practice group @

If you are interested in becoming a preceptor, please email Dr. Liset Vasquez @


DANSA is designed for students in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics and it aims to develop leadership skills through promoting student involvement in pre-professional and leadership activities pertaining to nutrition and dietetics. Check out student activities @


What are the career opportunities for dietitians?

Dietitians are employed by healthcare facilities such as hospitals, long-­­term care facilities, and clinics; sports, wellness and fitness centers; foodservice operations, industry, pharmaceutical and food companies; community programs; government agencies, private practice, and professional health organizations. Their jobs may include offering one-­­on-­­one counseling, group education, and assessment of the nutritional needs in an effort to promote health, prevent diseases and treat diseases using medical nutrition therapy. Some dietitians focus on the business aspects of the profession working in food service operations and management at schools, colleges, hospitals, or day-­­care facilities. Others become entrepreneurs redefining their roles in the media, marketing, consumer affairs, and product development. You will also see nutrition and dietetics professionals teaching in culinary schools, community colleges, universities, and conducting research with food and pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.

What is the Job Outlook and Salary range for dietitians?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (, job opportunities for dietitians are expected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is related to the concern and emphasis on disease prevention, the aging of the population, and consumer interest in nutrition. The fastest growth for employment opportunities are anticipated in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and physician clinics, with smaller growth in hospitals due to cost containment and shorter hospital stay.

Salary Range

In a survey conducted by the Academy in 2009, it was reported that half of all RDNs in the US who have been working in the field for five years or less earn $51,100 to $62,200 per year. Salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility and supply of RDNs. RDNs in management and business, can earn incomes of $85,000 to $88,000.

Based on the 2015 Compensation & Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, among all RDNs in all positions, the median hourly wage as of April 1, 2015, was $30.62 per hour. If annualized (× 40 hours/week × 52 weeks/year), this equates to a full-time salary of $63,700 per year. Median total cash compensation for RDNs employed in the position full time for at least one year was $65,000.

For more information on a career in Dietetics, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics@


Looking for a Few Graduate Electives?

The Coordinated Program in Dietetics is offering Master Level courses in Advanced Nutrition and Public Health Nutrition & Policy.  See Flyer for Course Offerings. 


Dr. Liset Leal Vasquez, RDN, LD, CHES

Dietetic Program Director & Senior Lecturer
Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, Texas 78249  or 
Phone: 210-458-8199

Dr. Sarah Ullevig, RDN, LD

Assistant Professor

Adjunct Faculty

Ms. Vanessa Estrada, MS RDN, LD

Ms. Traci Keck, MS, RDN, LD

Ms. Clarice Madrid, MS RD LD CDE

Ms. Kay Vavrina, MS, RDN, LD

Ms. Rebecca Morales, MS, RDN, LD

Ms. Celina Paras, MSc, RDN, LD

Ms. Megan Pearson, MS, RD, LD

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UTSA Coordinated Program in Dietetics


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

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000

Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995

312/899-0040, ext. 5400

Fax: 312/899-4817

Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition

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