University of Rhode Island

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of Rhode Island is the largest university in this small state, but despite its size, the university offers a number of degree programs and other opportunities. Charted in 1888 as an agricultural college, it served as an agricultural experiment station that allowed students and their teachers to work together and find out more about what crops grew best in the state. Its first class consisted of just 17 students who enrolled in a school called the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts. After becoming Rhode Island College in 1908, its curriculum shifted to focus more on programs outside of agricultural studies. The General Assembly voted to rename the college the University of Rhode Island in 1950s and allowed the university to offer its first doctoral programs.

Each of the eight colleges operating within the university offer degree programs, which gives incoming students the chance to major in one of 80 different subjects. Its robotics program ranks within the top in the country and ranks within the top five schools in the country in terms of competitions alone. Some of the organizations that rank the University of Rhode Island on a national level include Forbes, Washington Monthly and U.S. News & World Report. The university ranks on a global scale too, according to both U.S. News & World Report and ARWU. The public university has an enrollment of more than 16,000 students.

University of Rhode Island Accreditation Details

The University of Rhode Island has both regional accreditation that applies to the entire university as well as specialty accreditation that applies to the degree program you want to study. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) granted regional accreditation to the University of Rhode Island after looking at its history of providing for its students and finding that it deserved accreditation. Both the dietetics program that it offers and the internship that goes along with that program have accreditation too, which comes from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Other specialty accreditation that the University of Rhode Island has comes from:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education

University of Rhode Island Application Requirements

Before you can begin one of the University of Rhode Island graduate programs, you must apply to both the specific program you want to study and to the university itself. The dietetics program that the University of Rhode Island offers begins each fall. You must apply before the deadline passes and ensure that the university receives all your information. This program also requires that you apply for a Sodexo Dietetics internship before you can begin your studies. You'll need to show proof of your acceptance too. This internship program allows students to take classes on one of five campuses along the East Coast or take distance education courses and do an internship in a specialized field like weight management, diabetes or wellness. Completing your internship is just one step towards becoming a licensed dietitian.

Once you receive an acceptance letter to the internship program, you can go online and complete the URI graduate school application. The university does not require that you take the GRE or any other graduate exam, but you will need to show that you have a degree from an accredited college. While the online application asks about your background, current location and experience, you'll need to submit your college transcript. You may want to submit one or more letters of recommendation from professionals you studied under or worked with in the past too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time University of Rhode Island graduate students can take nine to 15 credits each semester and pay just over $14,000, which includes all university fees. Nonresidents pay a higher tuition rate of around $26,800. University of Rhode Island offers a regional tuition discount that reduces the cost students from neighboring states pay. This program allows those students to enroll full-time for around $20,600. URI also has on-site housing available for graduate students. Grad students must pay for both a spot in the residence hall as well as a meal plan.

If you aren't sure you can afford the cost of attending the University of Rhode Island, you should fill out the FAFSA online as soon as possible, pick the University of Rhode Island as the school you will attend and file this form during the spring semester before classes start. You can file the FAFSA in the late fall of the year before classes start too. Any government grants or loans that you qualify for will appear on your award letter. Those financial aid options can bring down your total costs. Whether you are a part-time or full-time student, you can also apply for private student loans that are available from other financial lenders.

Master's in Dietetics

The Masters's in Dietetics that the University of Rhode Island offers is an entirely online program that consists of just 11 classes. Each class is worth between three and four credits, and you'll take 34 credits by the time that you finish the program. Most students start with a course called Introduction to Clinical Practice, which goes over the terminology that professionals use in the field and some of the things they do in their practices. Other courses go over nutrition therapy and focus on how to help patients struggling with weight issues. You'll also take courses on working in food service and research in dietetics. Those research courses require that you do some research and write a paper at the end of the semester.

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

Its dietetics internship program lets you gain some practical experience in your own city while studying at the University of Rhode Island. You can also enroll in a version of this program that takes place on the university's main campus, which will require that you work on the campus. It includes rotations that last for one week or more, and you'll do more than 100 weeks of fieldwork in this program. You'll work in food service management, dialysis care and medical therapy care. The two years that you spend in the program will give you time to do research that you'll use to work on and write your thesis too. Those living in other cities and states can still enroll in this University of Rhode Island dietetics program but will need to complete rotations through other facilities.

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