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 www.eatright.org).
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.
- Successful completion of the accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics and receipt of the verification statement is the first step in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
- For more detailed information about the academic requirements of the DPD program, and the pathway to becoming an RDN, please see the Didactic Program in Dietetics Policy and Procedures Handbook for Students, Faculty and Staff.
- General academic information to include the academic calendar for students can be found on SDSU’s Student Life webpage.
- Specific information on the program curriculum and graduation requirements is available in the Undergraduate Online Catalog and through the Academic Advising Guide Sheets.
Retention and Student Satisfaction
Program cohorts range from 25-35 students.
- The DPD program at SDSU produces graduates who are competitive in the internship application process and that successfully pass the national registration exam. Information about the computer matching process, current internship acceptance rates and credentialing exam pass rates can be found in the Didactic Program in Dietetics Policy and Procedures Handbook for Students, Faculty and Staff.
- Dietetics offers a wide variety of jobs in hospitals, health promotion programs, nursing homes, public health agencies, industries, schools, universities, the armed services and state, national and international organizations.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Salary Calculator
- Academy Member Compensation Report
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?
Five research projects at SDSU were awarded funds through the SDSU Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Challenge fund for the next fiscal year. The challenge is to support the growth of sponsored research, scholarship and creative activity with a goal of enhanced competitiveness among SDSU faculty for future external funding to complete the research.
Cydne Perry is an assistant professor in the Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences. She was awarded funding for her research project: Assessing ceramide and mapping the metabolome in older adults consuming the dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet. Her research will help identify molecular causes of metabolic disease in older adults to aid in the development of effective and feasible therapeutic methods to address metabolic health. The population of older adults is expected to increase to 98 million by 2060 and the work in this area is to enhance longevity, reduce chronic disease risk and economic burden associated with health-care costs.
Student, Anna Barr, Attends The Youth Assembly at the United Nations
"I was able to spend three days learning about the sustainable development goals and the role youth have in achieving them with six other SDSU students and 1,000 determined youth from over 100 countries. This was truly an opportunity I will continue growing upon for a long time and will never forget.
Aside from many practical tools gained were these two insights: "find your purpose and follow it," and "be thankful for education." I am very thankful for being a student of SDSU and all the opportunities it has brought me. I believe I am truly following my purpose by receiving a degree in dietetics with a minor in horticulture. Thank you for providing such a quality education program." - Anna Barr