Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition

Schools: College of Agricultural & Life Sciences (CALS)
Designation:Nutritional Sciences
Web site:
Contact: Lynette M. Karls, M.S., R.D., C.D.;

Certificate Description: This new 12-credit online certificate program builds on knowledge and skills obtained in your undergraduate studies and professional experiences. It is designed to expand your knowledge and give you new insight and experiences in: critical care, nutrition support, complex nutritional assessment, nutrition counseling, advanced pediatrics, and clinical nutrition research -- areas essential for success in today’s complex clinical environment.

Benefits of the program for you include:

  • Obtain 12 graduate-level credits that may be used toward a graduate degree (beginning in 2024, a graduate degree will be required to obtain the R.D. credential).
  • Develop advanced level “cutting-edge” clinical nutrition skills needed in today’s competitive job market.
  • The courses focus on areas where employers are seeking advanced skills and reflect the most reliable, research-based knowledge in the field.
  • Improve your chances of obtaining a competitive Dietetic Internship. Currently, only 50% of internship applicants receive appointments.
  • Flexibility of an online program allows you to complete the program while employed or during your Dietetic Internship.
  • Highly experienced and engaged instructors (all instructors have more than 15 years of clinical nutrition teaching experience at UW-Madison).
  • Receive continuing education credits to maintain the Registered Dietitian credential and other professional certifications


Apply for this Capstone Certificate as a University Special student through the Division of Continuing Studies using the online application.

The application will automatically be sent to the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

  • Earned Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA ≥ 2.8 (on 4.0 scale)
  • Completed Didactic Program in Dietetics OR the following prerequisite courses:
  • 2 courses in General Chemistry
  • 2 courses in Biological Sciences
  • 1 course in each of the following— Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physiology, Statistics
  • 2 courses in Nutrition (Human Nutrition, Clinical Nutrition)

*NOTE: If you do not have the prerequisites, you may apply to UW-Madison as a University Special Student to complete them.

You can begin the program in any semester—fall, spring or summer—as courses may be taken in any order. Applications are accepted any time of year.

Steps to apply:

  1. Apply online as a University Special Student.
        -Go to:
  2. Submit the following materials to the Program Director (see contact information below):
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/ universities attended
  • Brief essay describing your reasons for applying and your career goals
  • Resume or curriculum vitae


Lynette M. Karls, MS, RD, CD,
Director- Capstone Certificate in Clinical Nutrition
Dept. of Nutritional Sciences, UW-Madison
1415 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706
Phone: 608-262-5847