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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

South Dakota State University has applied to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to open a new and innovative program in Fall 2022 to prepare Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

  • ACEND released the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for programs in nutrition and dietetics. These accreditation standards integrate didactic coursework with supervised experiential learning in a competency-based curriculum designed to prepare nutrition and dietetics practitioners for future practice.
  • The ACEND Board has approved our phase 1 application and will make a final accreditation decision on the program in 2021 after review of our phase 2 report.
  • If successful, following the phase 2 report review by the ACEND Board, we will begin recruiting students for our Fall 2022 class.

Contact Lacey A. McCormack, PhD, MPH, RD for more information.

    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.

    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

    Notice of Requirement Changes

    Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics program at South Dakota State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

    In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements, visit the CDR State Licensure webpage.

    For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN, visit the ACEND Student Information webpage.

    Retention and Student Satisfaction

    Program cohorts range from 25-35 students.


    Meet the Faculty & Staff

    Not sure if this major is for you?

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