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Nutrition and Dietetics

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Dietetic students cutting vegetables

Dietetics is the high-tech science of applying food and nutrition to health. It is a vital, growing field open to creativity and opportunity. A Bachelor of Science in dietetics, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), is designed to prepare students to apply for a supervised practice experience (dietetic internship) and ultimately sit for the national registration exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Courses in the basic and behavioral sciences prepare students to apply the science of nutrition for the promotion of health and prevention of disease. Throughout the program, students get hands-on experience in community nutrition and foodservice production and learn the science behind medical nutrition therapy.

B.S. in Nutrition & Dietetics

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a nutrition counselor who can provide medical nutrition therapy and nutrition education as well as foodservice operations. The possible employment settings for an RDN are numerous and include hospitals, health promotion programs, nursing homes, public health agencies, industries, schools, universities, the armed services and state, national and international organizations. RDNs may also be involved in sports nutrition and corporate wellness or research. The opportunities for entrepreneurship as an RDN are extensive as well. A Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) has completed dietetics coursework and must pass a national registration exam. These individuals generally work in foodservice operations, healthcare and emerging wellness education areas. (reference

Accreditation Details & Goals

South Dakota State University's Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600 ext 5400.

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is to provide graduates with a rigorous, science-based, student-centered learning experience that provides the foundational knowledge and skills for eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become registered dietitian nutritionist. The program cultivates graduates who are lifelong learners in professions that enhance human potential and well-being.

For current program goals and objectives, please view the Didactic Program in Dietetics Policy and Procedures Handbook for Students, Faculty and Staff.

Outcome data measuring achievement of program objectives will be provided for ACEND reviews and is available to students, prospective students, and the public upon request via email from the DPD Director, Lacey McCormack, Ph.D., MPH, RD, LN, EP-C.

Student Requirements

Retention and Student Satisfaction

Program cohorts range from 25-35 students.


Minor in Nutrition

A minor in Nutrition can be beneficial to individuals who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in many health related fields and pre-professional programs. It may also assist students who are interested in attending graduate or medical school by providing a strong science knowledge base. The minor would benefit students in the hospitality and/or food service industries. The Nutrition minor provides students a strong fundamental knowledge of metabolism and the complex interaction between foods and our bodies. The minor does not allow students to become a registered dietitian.

Not sure if this major is for you?

Check out the Degree Explorer in Nutrition and Dietetics, to learn more.