Our curriculum for the Nutritional Sciences – Dietetics Option integrates the foundational knowledge for the RDN that meets the 2022 ACEND Standards. The foundational knowledge and support knowledge are the performance levels expected for Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) students upon completion of an accredited program.
The Dietetics option can be declared once a student has completed and achieved a minimum GPA in these courses of 2.5 (C+ or above):
- 01:119:103 Principles of Biology
- 01:119:127, 128 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (formerly General Biology I & II with Lab)
- 01:160:161, 162, 171 General Chemistry I and II with Lab
- 11:709:255 Nutrition & Health
For most students, declaration of the Dietetics option will occur after completing four semesters of coursework. Before declaring the Dietetics option, students may declare Pre-Nutrition as their major, but will not be considered Dietetics majors until successfully completing the courses above and applying for the option. This applies to transfer students as well, the courses listed above must have been completed before declaring the Dietetics option.
As Dietetics option students, advanced courses focus on human nutrition and its application to diet and health. Students will have to take organic chemistry, biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy related courses, economics, and statistics. Please visit the Course List for Dietetics Option (PDF) to see all of the relevant courses that need to be completed in order to receive a DPD Verification Statement.
Application to Supervised Practice Programs
All students who plan to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists must complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program. For students who have completed the DPD, the options for supervised practice are: a dietetic internship, a dietetic internship with advanced degree, a dietetic internship with advanced degree optional, a distance internship, or a coordinated program at the graduate level. A requirement to enter any of these programs is possession of a DPD Verification Statement.
The increased interest in dietetics by students nationwide, leading to more students applying for supervised practice has led to a national match rate of 71%.
The supervised practice application process involves using computer matching of applicants with positions. In this way, an applicant is accepted (matched) with only 1 position, the position that s/he has indicated that they would most like to attend, within a priority ranking of the applicant's choices.
The DPD Director provides information and guidance for students applying to supervised practice programs. Students are encouraged to research supervised practice programs early in their academic careers, exploring their locations, admissions criteria, and professional experiences.
All Dietetics majors are required to take Careers in Nutrition (11:709:102) and Dietetics in Professional Practice (11:709:410). These courses will guide students in the details of the supervised practice program application process and prepare them for entry into internships, graduate school, and careers in the nutrition profession.
Upon completing the Dietetics option, students normally apply for supervised practice programs as part of the next step to prepare for the CDR credential exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Please be aware that come January 1, 2024 students will need to have a Masters degree before sitting down to take the CDR exam to become a RDN. There are a number of supervised practice programs available where you can complete your dietetic internship and masters degree simultaneously (16 to 24 months). Students are highly encouraged to take the GREs at the end of their junior year in case GRE scores are an application requirement.
Dietetics option (DPD) students observe the Rutgers academic calendar for term start/end dates and holidays. The academic calendar is updated yearly and is available at the Rutgers Academic Calendar. The DPD Director reserve the right to alter the calendar in response to unforeseen circumstances, including weather emergencies and unique learning experiences (e.g., events or speakers pertinent to the DPD).
All students are covered by general liability while they are off campus for all academic reasons by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The coverage includes field trips, off-campus observations, and SPIN.