Tag Archives: Graduate school

Should I take the GRE?

I hear this question frequently so thought you might want some information to help you make an informed decision.  If you are a Junior, this summer might be an excellent time to take the Graduate Record Exam.

Many Professional Master’s programs (i.e., MEd, MPH) and Physician Assistant programs require the GRE.  Almost all PhD programs in Nutrition and related sciences require the GRE or MCAT. Applications for these programs are typically due mid fall.

There are many options for students in the Dietetics Option to consider.  I reviewed the Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice for 2015 to determine which programs require the GRE.  You might be surprised to find that 17% of the programs offering no graduate level credit require the GRE.  Of programs offering graduate degrees or at least some graduate credits as part of their dietetic internship program, 69% require the GRE.  There has been an increase in the number of programs requiring the GRE in the past few years. As many of you know the dietetics profession will require a Master’s degree in 2024 to be eligible to take the Registration exam.  Those currently enrolled, will be eligible without the master’s degree, but the profession is clearly heading toward a higher education level for entry level practice.  Your GRE results are valid for 5 years.  The table below breaks down the types of programs currently requiring the GRE.

Type of program GRE required GRE not required
DI only (no MS option or graduate credits) 36 175
Masters level Internship 30 4
Coordinated Masters/DI 10 4
MS option with DI 20 14
Total = 288 96 = 33% 197 = 67%


You could of course limit yourself to applying only to those programs that don’t require the GRE, but that cuts out 1/3 of your possibilities.  If you are contemplating applying to one of the programs that leads to a MS degree or includes some graduate credits, I encourage you to take the GRE now.  In addition, even if it was not originally your intent, occasionally, a great post-match opportunity comes along that requires the GRE.  It is too late then to wish you had taken it.

The GRE is not offered at University Park, but many sites are available.  The closest site to University Park is Harrisburg. The GRE exam is typically offered one to three times per month. You can take the exam a maximum of five times in any 12 month period. But, hopefully once will be enough. This web link will provide all the information you need to see which dates and sites are available if you decide to take the GRE.  http://www.ets.org/gre

Adequate preparation is suggested before taking the exam.  Many resources are available to help you achieve your best score on the first attempt.


“How to Apply to Medical Schools” – Tonight 7:30 PM

AED Speaker 9/16, 7:30pm, 273 Willard, Dr. Ron Markle speaking on applying to Medical School. Alpha Epsilon Delta is the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in preprofessional health scholarship, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary, and others. The society welcomes ALL students engaged in the pursuit of a professional healthcare career. Dr. Ron Markle will be speaking about medical school, including how to apply, how to be a competitive applicant, timeline to application, and other FAQs. All are welcome. For more information on how to join AED or get added to their listserv, go to:http://sites.psu.edu/alphaepsilondelta/welcome-to-alpha-epsilon-delta/
AED welcomes students from a wide variety of majors interested in all types of health care professions – allopathic and osteopathic medicine, dentistry, podiatry, physical therapy, and various allied health services.


Two Fellowship Opportunities for Graduating Seniors: HS Science Teaching and Research

Seniors, There are two fellowship opportunities you might be interested in applying for.  The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, and the Dannon Probiotics Fellowship.

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships, a pioneering program that prepares outstanding teachers for the schools that need them most.
The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, now offered in Georgia, Indiana and New Jersey, recruits current seniors, recent grads, and alumni with backgrounds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to teach in high-need secondary schools. Fellows receive a $30,000 stipend to complete a master’s degree program that includes a full school year of experience in local high-need classrooms. In turn, they commit to teach for three years in high-need secondary urban or rural schools. They also get mentoring and support from both their universities and their schools throughout their three-year commitment.  This is a highly competitive program, but Penn State Students are very competitive! The 2015 Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program offers three application deadlines: October 13, 2014 (Round 1); November 14, 2014 (Round 2); and January 31, 2015 (Round 3). You can learn more at woodrow.org/STEM.


The Dannon Company just announced its third Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Program. As part of their commitment to helping students excel in science, The Dannon Company is offering a scholarship of $25,000 to a current or incoming graduate student who shows a strong interest in the research of nutritional and functional benefits of yogurt and probiotics. To qualify for the Dannon Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Program, individuals must be currently enrolled in or applying to a full-time graduate program. More information can be found here:http://bit.ly/1tcs8Aw

Scholarship applications are now being accepted, and must be submitted by November 15, 2014 to qualify. The winning applicant will be determined by a panel of expert judges and announced in December 2014. For additional information, qualification requirements, and to download a copy of the application, please click here:http://www.dannon.com/fellowship/

Attention Seniors: New Online Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition – University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new on-line graduate level program begins in January 2014 and the admissions process has begun!  The “Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition” is designed for new graduates and experienced professionals seeking advanced training in Clinical Nutrition and considering future graduate/professional education.   Capstone courses earn full graduate credit which students may subsequently utilize in relevant degree programs at UW–Madison and other institutions.

Registration is open for spring 2014 and we will be teaching the following on-line course:  Nutritional Sciences 653 – Clinical Nutrition Research – 3 cr.

You can begin the program in any semester – spring, summer, or fall – as courses may be taken in any order.  Due to the convenient online format, it may be completed while employed or enrolled in a Dietetic Internship.  Enrolled students are eligible for financial aid.

For more information you may contact the director or visit their website, as follows:  Lynette M. Karls, MS, RD, CD, Director  Email:  karls@nutrisci.wisc.edu Website:  www.nutrisci.wisc.edu/GradProgram/grad_capstone.html

Fall Career and Internship Fairs

This month seniors have been attending a variety of career, dietetic internship, graduate and health care professional school fairs.  I’m sharing some of their comments with you.  The resources available to you through the Nutritional Sciences Department, College of HHD, and Career Services will be a huge help as you plan for your future beyond Penn State.  Take advantage of all of the opportunities available this fall and throughout the year.

 2013 intern fair

Seniors’ comments from Dietetic Internship Fair on October 8, 2013

“Being well rounded is more important than any one aspect of yourself when it comes to applying”

“Come prepared with questions, it makes it easier for conversation”

“All internships are extremely different. It is very important to find one that fits you.”

“Work experience is crucial”

Seniors’ comments from Graduate Health Care and Professional School fair on October 17, 2013

“The first thing I realized is that I seemed to be a bit under dressed even though I was dressed business casual. Almost everyone there was dressed in suits and ties.”

“The experience overall was really helpful, and I’m now considering attending more Open Houses in the future.”

“My favorite part of attending the Open House was how the representatives were willing to help me with the application process.”

“I was very pleased with the outcome of the graduate school fair.  I got to know some very kind people and I got information that I didn’t have before.  What I learned was that grades are important but desire and passion are more important.

“I would recommend an experience like our graduate fair to a sophomore or junior as compared to a senior, unless that senior knew that the specific program they were interested in was going to be there.”