Bachelor's Degree (BS) in Nutrition

Nutrition and Dietetics: The UDC Edge

The Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at UDC is the first step in becoming a registered dietitian. As the only accredited nutrition program in Washington, D.C., with a curriculum rich in urban experiential learning opportunities, UDC offers you a unique path to begin your career.

As part of our landgrant mission of service to the community, the University of the District of Columbia has long been at the forefront of educating the next generation of nutrition specialists to combat nutrition-related diseases (e.g. obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart and kidney disease) and reduce health disparities among an urban and often underserved population.

Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition is not an issue we can avoid. It is a community issue that impacts our lives everyday. And for those who have lost a loved one to diseases caused by obesity, hypertension or other conditions influenced by nutrition, we understand how deep that impact can be.

Whether your motivation for studying nutrition comes from personal experience or simply a desire to change your community for the better, the University of the District of Columbia has a place for you.

Our bachelor's degree program in nutrition—housed in the University's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES)—prepares you to take on the challenge of improving nutrition awareness and quality throughout our community. Bring a love of science, a sense of purpose and a good work ethic, and we will empower you to tackle the health care disparities that affect our community.

The program 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,
800.877.1600

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Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Nutrition and Dietetics Program

The bachelor's degree program in nutrition and dietetics fulfills the requirements of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

You will develop an understanding and competency in the following areas:

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition
  • Dietetics
  • Management
  • Clinical Nutritional Care
  • Nutrition Education
  • Community Nutrition

You will also take supportive courses in the physical and biological sciences.

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Mathematics

There are three required components in the education and training of dietetics professionals.

  1. Complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Once the program is completed, students will receive a Verification Statement signed by the DPD Program Director. 
  2. Complete a Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) approved dietetic internship or CADE-approved program with a supervised practice component. 
  3. Pass the National Registration Examination for dietitians in order to become a registered dietitian (RD).

UDC students boasted a 100 percent passing rate on the national examination for six consecutive years prior to 2011, far above the national average.

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Nutrition Program

The nutrition and dietetics program has active chapters of the Student Dietetic Association and Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS), which participate in outreach activities such as local community health fairs and provide mentorship opportunities for students. In 2008 and 2010, UDC hosted the regional meetings for MANNRS.

Students also sponsor conferences through the local District of Columbia Metropolitan Area Dietetic Association and regional and national offices of MANNRS. 

Volunteering and hands on experiential learning opportunities are available at local community agencies, health care facilities like the Specialty Hospital of Washington-Hadley Campus and D.C. public schools. While the national acceptance rate for acceptance into the dietetics internship program is 53 percent, UDC nutrition students have more than an 75 percent chance of acceptance.

Faculty Spotlight: Nutrition Program

Dr. Prema Ganganna, PhD., RD., LD., is chair of the Department of Nutrition, with more than thirty years experience in nutrition from the clinical, management, research and academic perspectives at UDC. In 2006, Ganganna visited China as a delegate dietitian and nutritionist. She was also a member of the technical advisory panel on dietary modifications charged with recommending strategies for dietary modifications published by the Department of Health and Human Services, Commission of Public Health, Bureau of Cancer Control. Dr. Ganganna was also a mayoral appointee to the DC Board of Dietetics and Nutrition.

Career Pathways and Prospects

The bachelor's degree in nutrition is excellent preparation for the master's degree program in nutrition at UDC. We strive to create a seamless transition from one program to the next.

With your professional licensure, you may enter directly into the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 60,300 employed as dietitians and nutritionists in 2008. Most worked in these settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Offices of physician or other health practitioners

Others worked for:

  • Federal, state or local government agencies (such as the USDA, FDA, school lunch programs, Headstart)
  • Nonprofit organizations (such as the American Heart Association or the National Cancer Society)
  • Food services industry
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Some are self-employed as consultants to hospitals, nursing care facilities or individuals.

Contact info:

E: pganganna@udc.edu | T: 202 274.5516 | F: 202 274.5577