Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD Program)
The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) degree program requires completion of the following eight-semester curriculum, including 125 total credits.
The DPD fulfills the academic requirements for a student to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). The DPD at the University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND):
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995,
The mission of the DPD is to provide program graduates with the skills and knowledge to be confident and competent in their dietetic internship and serve as professionals capable of providing excellent entry-level dietetic services in community, food service, management, and clinical settings. The program offers an evidence-based curriculum that is comprehensive and provides for a variety of practical experiences in the local community, and governmental organizations, which promotes life-long learning, problem solving, and effectiveness and teamwork. Faculty members serve as mentors in both the academic and professional settings.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is composed of a minimum of 125 credit hours that includes 31 credit hours of General Education, 57 credits of core courses and, 37 credits of supportive courses. The DPD program at UDC is built upon strong science and liberal arts components, which encourage critical and creative thinking and expression. The organization of courses emphasizes study in chemistry and biology, nutrition, food science and technology, medical nutrition therapy, human organizational behavior, management, and other general education courses. The student desiring to enter the program should have a strong background in the physical and biological sciences as the scientific disciplines are emphasized.
The curriculum is developed within the conceptual framework of the accreditation standards and knowledge competencies for the dietetic profession set and published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. There are three steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian.
- The first step in becoming a Registered Dietitian is to successfully complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at UDC. Once students complete the DPD, they will receive a Verification Statement signed by the Program Director.
- The second step is to successfully complete an approved dietetic internship (supervised practice experience). The Verification Statement issued at completion of the DPD is required for application to the Dietetic Internship. Upon completion of the Dietetic Internship or other ACEND accredited program that provides supervised practice experience, the student will receive another Verification Statement signed by the Program Director. This will allow the student to sit for the National Registration Examination for Dietitian.
- The third and the final step to becoming a Registered Dietitian is to pass the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.
Mission Statement for the University of the District of Columbia
The University of the District of Columbia is a pacesetter in urban education that offers affordable and effective undergraduate, graduate, professional, and workplace learning opportunities. The institution is the premier gateway to postsecondary education and research for all residents of the District of Columbia. As a public, historically black, and landgrant institution, the university's responsibility is to build a diverse generation of competitive, civically engaged scholars and leaders.
Vision Statement of UDC
To be a University System that is student centered and demand driven that empowers its graduates to be critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, and engaged, service-driven leaders in the workforce and beyond.
Mission Statement for the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences
The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC offers research-based academic and community outreach programs that improve the quality of life and economic opportunity of people and communities in the District of Columbia, the nation, and the world.
Vision Statement of CAUSES
The College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) will be a world leader in designing and implementing top-quality, research-based academic and community outreach programs that measurably improve the quality of life and economic prosperity of people and communities in the District of Columbia, the nation, and the world.
Mission Statement for the UDC – Nutrition and Dietetics Program (DPD)
The mission of the DPD at UDC, Washington D.C., is to prepare competent students for acceptance into accredited internship programs and for entry-level careers in the areas of nutrition and dietetics through quality undergraduate academic experiences that utilize and develop foundation knowledge and learning outcome requirements defined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Vision of the DPD Program
The faculty of the UDC Nutrition and Dietetics Program and the DPD believe that as the scope of dietetics broadens, teaching activities and learning activities should provide students with a strong foundation in liberal arts and sciences, technology and information systems, food science, foodservice management and scientific knowledge of nutrition. In addition, the UDC DPD is committed to providing students of this program with a broad-based culturally sensitive education to prepare them to promote nutrition and the well-being of individuals and groups in a variety of settings and backgrounds. Finally, the DPD is committed to providing the educational foundation for a diverse student population, including international students. Collectively, the knowledge and experiences obtained from the UDC DPD equip graduates of the program with the tools and skills required for success in entry-level positions in the field.
Analysis of the congruency of the DPD's mission statement with the institution and college and/or department missions
An analysis of the DPD's mission statement compared to that of UDC reveals that they are comparable. As a landgrant university, UDC focuses on preparing students for "immediate entry into the workforce, the next level of education, for specialized employment opportunities, and for life-long learning." Congruent with the University's mission, the DPD, likewise, focuses on preparing graduates for immediate entry into the field of dietetics, dietetic internship programs, graduate programs, research, and for continuing education in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
An analysis of the congruency of the DPD's mission with the academic preparation for supervised practice and registered dietitian
The mission of the UDC - DPD is congruent with the Standards of Professional Performance. Students are introduced to ethics, knowledge, and hands-on experiences related to the practice of dietetics in terms of clinical, community and public health, food service, management, and scientific research. This prepares them to excel as interns in a supervised practice and as entry-level registered dietitians and nutritionists.
DPD Goals and Objectives
The DPD program has developed the following two major goals. Faculty, the Nutrition Advisory Board, students, alumni, and administrators of UDC contributed to the development and assessment of program goals.
DPD Goal #1: The DPD will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians that apply knowledge and skills gained during the DPD.
- 80% of the program graduates who take the CDR registration examination will pass on the first try.
- 80%percent of the program graduates who take the CDR registration examination will pass in one year.
- At least 80% of graduates will be enrolled in a dietetic internship and/or graduate program or will be employed within two years of graduation from the DPD.
- At least 80% of graduates will rate overall knowledge gained during the DPD as at least satisfactory (2) on scale of 1-3.
- At least 80% of surveyed employers and DI directors will rate all assessed entry-level knowledge and skills of DPD graduates as "satisfactory" on average on scale of 1-5.
DPD Goal #2: To produce graduates with critical thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, for leadership development and for graduate study.
- 80% of the DPD students will complete or participate in one service-learning activity prior to completing the program, and will rate their experience on average 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).
- Over a 5-year period, 65% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs within 12 months of program completion.
- Over a 5-year period, 60% of DPD students who apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete DPD requirements will be accepted.
- Over a 5-year period, 40% of students not going onto supervised practice programs the year they complete the program will gain acceptance into graduate school.
- Over a 5-year period, 40% of students not going onto supervised practice programs or graduate school the year they complete the program will secure employment in nutrition.
- Over a 5-year period, at least 10% of graduates will identify professional leadership roles they are engaged in.
Costs and Insurance
Tuition rates for the University of the District of Columbia can be found here. Tuition to UDC also includes the cost of student health insurance; premiums will be waived with proof of insurance. UDC purchases a professional liability policy to cover UDC students during their participation in any supervised practicum or internship required by their degree program. A certificate of insurance showing proof of coverage will be sent directly to participating sites prior to the student's arrival. Any questions regarding coverage should be directed to the University's Risk Manager, Barbara Williams.
In addition to UDC's tuition, students in the Nutrition and Dietetics program are expected to cover costs as follows:
- The purchase of a lab coat (available in the UDC Bookstore).
- The purchase of program textbooks (available in the UDC Bookstore).
- Travel-related costs associated with practicum community site visits. (Please note that effective Spring 2015, the labs have been changed to practicums to exclude the payment of lab fees from the core DPD curriculum. Students can use these funds towards their allowance for travel costs.)
Program outcomes data, including student's pass rate, success of admission to the Dietetic internship program is available upon request.