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Contact Nutrition  


Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center

855 S. New Street
West Chester, PA  19383

Dr. Christine Karpinski
Chair of Nutrition
Phone:  610-430-4406

Dr. Mary Beth Gilboy
Graduate Coordinator
Phone: 610-738-0559

Dr. Joanne Christaldi
Director, DPD Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone: 610-436-1038

Dr. Kimberly Johnson
Director, Sustainable Food Systems
Management Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone:  610-436-2215

Dr. Alessandra Sarcona
Director, Lifestyle Nutrition Concentration (Undergraduate)
Phone:  610-436-2483

Graduate Program

MS in Community Nutrition

The Department of Nutrition is accepting applications for the Master of Science (MS) degree in Community Nutrition. The MS in Community Nutrition is a research-focused program for those seeking an advanced degree in community nutrition. The MS promotes nutritional health and disease prevention in communities with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. The curriculum (33 credits) is offered in an online format and includes courses representing nutrition science, applied nutrition, and research techniques. The program culminates with a capstone paper.


Curriculum (33 credits)

Nutrition Science-9 Credits
Applied Nutrition-18 Credits
Elective-3 Credits

Elective courses can be chosen from the following:

or approval by graduate coordinator

Capstone-3 Credits
  • NTD630-Nutrition Capstone (3 credits)

Application Requirements

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for the fall and spring semesters. The following materials are required from all applicants for the MS in Community Nutrition:

  • Completed online graduate application
  • One official copy of transcripts from every college or university previously attended
  • A professional goal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation, one from an academic reference and one from a professional reference are encouraged
Additional prerequisites include:
  • Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in nutrition will need to have the following prerequisites completed before applying to the MS program: introduction to nutrition, anatomy & physiology I and II, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and a statistics course
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater is recommended for admission

For more information, please contact Graduate Coordinator Dr. Mary Beth Gilboy.

Dietetic Internship

The Department of Nutrition in the College of Health Sciences of West Chester University offers one Dietetic Internship (DI) program with two tracks:

1) MSCN DI Track

2) Post-Masters DI Certificate

This is a full-time distance program that requires the interns to find and secure their own preceptors/sites. Interns complete over 1200 hours of supervised practice divided into four rotations: Community Nutrition, Food Systems Management, Clinical I and Clinical II. Upon successful completion of the DI program, students are eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Application Policy for M.S. in Community Nutrition DI Track

MSCN students intending to pursue the Dietetic Internship Track have two application options:

Option 1: Students must have Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification and acceptance into the WCU MS in Community Nutrition (MSCN) program using the graduate admission requirements. For Dietetic Internship track admissions, applicants must participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) and D & D Digital processes, which includes meeting all DICAS and D & D Digital deadlines.

Option 2: WCU students enrolled in the Accelerated Community Nutrition BS nutrition and dietetics to MS Community Nutrition program can apply through a pre-select process occurring in January using the Dietetic internship application process through DICAS early admission system. Students must be accepted into the Accelerated MSCN program prior to DICAS application. If not accepted into the Dietetic Internship during the pre-select process, students are eligible to participate in the match process through DICAS and D & D Digital.

Admission to the MS in Community Nutrition does not guarantee admission to the Dietetic Internship Track.

Application Policy for the Post-Master's Dietetic Internship Certificate

Applicants must apply to certificate program and meet all WCU Graduate Program admission requirements. In addition, applicants must have earned a master's degree in nutrition with a minimum 3.25 grade point average and a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification to apply for the Dietetic Internship certificate program. For Dietetic Internship certificate admissions, applicants must participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) and D & D Digital processes, including meeting all DICAS and D & D Digital deadlines.

In preparation for the DI, both tracks will be required to take NTD 616 - Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy - in the summer prior to beginning the supervised rotation experiences.


The Dietetic Internship will comprise two components including the didactic portion, consisting of attending weekly virtual classes, and the supervised practice portion, which includes all supervised practice hours in each the Clinical I (inpatient) and Clinical II (outpatient), Community, and Food Service Management rotations. The required number of practice hours, 1200 minimum (divided amont the supervised practice rotations) are required to be completed in order to successfully finish the DI. Please see the course and rotation sequence and integration described below.

Clinical I and II

The clinical rotations will be at a facility that exposes the intern to a variety of experiences with different disease states. Recommended facilities include: large hospitals, small community hospitals, or long-term care facilities. The clinical facility or facilities must be able to provide the intern with access to all of the activities for outpatients and/or inpatients, to meet the clinical competencies. It is anticipated that, at the end of the rotation, the intern will be able to function as staff relief with minimal supervision. The intern will be able to complete all of this rotation at one site or utilize two sites if all the competencies or experiences are not available (or not able to be met) at the primary clinical site. The intern will be required to spend a minimum of two weeks at any clinical site.

Community Rotation

Community concentration rotation should be completed at a facility with a primary focus on nutrition and community/public health. The intern may have multiple sites with a variety of preceptors during the community rotation. Recommended community sites include, but are not limited to: SNAP, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program (food bank), WIC, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, Congregate and Home-Delivered Meal Programs.

Food Service (Management) Rotation

The food service management (FSM) rotation will be at a facility that will provide the intern with exposure to multiple aspects of food service management. The FSM rotation may be completed at a hosptial, long-term care facility, school nutrition services program, univeristy dining service, commercial food service operation, or corporate food service operation.

Curriculum Sheet & Schedule for MSCN + DI

Estimated Costs for MSCN + DI

Nutrition FAQs


Each student is assigned an academic advisor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. Advisors play an integral role in assisting students through their college years; they aid students in:

  • Planning a schedule of required courses
  • Providing information about scholarships, professional organizations, and job openings
  • Making plans for future career endeavors
  • Identifying and marketing their strengths
  • Communicating pre-professional and professional expectations
  • Nurturing professional growth and development

Students have the option to request a specific adviser and/or change advisers at any time. In order to request the change, talk to the Department of Health Chair, Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, Room 207. Students should plan to meet with their advisor at least once each semester before the self scheduling period begins.

Undergraduate degree students are able to self-schedule on the web using the My WCU Web Portal. Students MUST see their advisor in order to gain access to schedule on the web portal.

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