The University of North Florida is an accredited public university in Florida that offers degrees at the bachelor's and master's level as well as the doctoral level. Commonly called UNF, it has a main campus in Jacksonville that has more than 1,300 acres of space. Founded in 1969, the University of North Florida opened three years later and welcomed more than 2,000 upperclassmen. It started as a senior college that only offered higher level classes for juniors and seniors. Students attended other colleges before transferring to UNF. Its graduate school opened in 1973 with just 35 enrolled students, but its graduate school later expanded and now enrolls hundreds of students.

The Princeton Review named the University of North Florida a Best Value College four different times because the university offers more affordable options and gives students more opportunities for the money they spend than other schools do. It also named the University of North Florida one of the best schools in the American Southeast for several years. The university is now part of the State University System of Florida, which helps it keeps costs down. It allows students to enroll as freshmen and offers programs for graduate and doctoral students. Enrollment at the University of North Florida includes more than 15,000 students today.

University of North Florida Accreditation Details

University of North Florida offers one of the only dietetics internship programs in Florida that has accreditation from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The ACND also accredits its general program in nutrition and dietetics. While the program offers courses on working with patients, professional ethics and other topics, the internship program lets you actually work in a clinic and get experience working with patients. The university also has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is a type of regional accreditation. Other program accreditation comes from more than 10 professional organizations and apply to its programs in nursing, business, engineering, education, music and other subjects.

University of North Florida Application Requirements

University of North Florida is unique in the way it accepts applications because it allows students to apply for any upcoming semester. When you submit your application, you tell the university when you want to start classes. Your application is only good for that semester. If you do not get an acceptance letter, you can apply for the following term.

To apply for a spot in one of its dietetics programs, you must submit the University of North Florida application and submit an application on the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) website. The university will only accept students who already received acceptance to the internship program. You will also need to supply three letters of recommendation that come from your former professors or anyone else who has knowledge of your past work. The university asks for a personal statement that lets you explain why you want to attend the University of North Florida and what you want to do with the degree that you earn.

You will also need to provide the letter that you got from the DICAS that shows it accepted you into the program and your official GRE score. It's helpful to take this exam at the beginning of your junior year. This gives you time to take it again if you are not happy with your final score. The university will ask that you submit to a fingerprint and criminal background check before letting you work with patients or do an internship. You'll need to visit a local police station in Florida for this check. Those with certain criminal activities on their records cannot work with patients or do any fieldwork.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of North Florida charges the same rate for all graduate programs, but these costs will differ based on whether you are a nonresident or a resident of Florida. Tuition starts at around $494 per credit hour for residents and rises to $1,044 per credit hour for nonresidents. This cost includes the fees that you would otherwise pay as well as your tuition. Students taking online classes may pay less because they do not pay the same fees for using the student activity center and other resources on the campus. You also need to pay a small fee for your student ID.

The federal government gives all current and prospective college students the right to apply for financial aid before beginning classes. As a new graduate student, you need to create an account on the FAFSA website and fill out that form with the University of North Florida selected as the university you will attend. Unless you meet certain restrictions such as being married, you'll use your parents' income and tax documents when you apply. The most common type of aid you'll get as a graduate student is a loan. Unsubsidized loans allow students to borrow more than $20,000 each year that they enroll as a full-time student. You may qualify for grants from the Florida government or the university itself too.

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

The University of North Florida offers a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics that is only available online, but this program is available as a thesis or non-thesis program. It includes two core courses on epidemiology and diet resolutions as well as 25 credits of major courses. Some of those major courses include methods of nutritional assessment, clinical nutrition, public health biostatistics, nutritional education and counseling and nutrition and metabolism. All students must take a nutrition and dietetics seminar too.

The program includes one final option. Online students can take the non-thesis option, which requires that they do 12 credits of independent work. You can do a shorter internship, write a short paper on a special topic or do some minor fieldwork. The thesis option requires that you take an extra elective and then do research before working on your thesis. A practicum option allows students to take fewer classes and take a practicum before doing an internship. You also have the chance to take 12 credits of optional classes to earn a certificate in either global health care or health care information.

Related Resource: Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Dietetics

The University of North Florida has a dietetics internship program that requires you work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week in an internship. You'll rotate through working in food service, clinical care, advanced clinical care and community care. The 43 credits of classes that you need to take are available online and at night. University of North Florida graduate dietetics students take classes like health biostatistics, clinical nutrition and advanced concepts of health and nutrition.