Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD Program)
Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement for eligibility to take the registration examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree. To meet the new eligibility requirements, UDC has applied to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for an accredited future graduate program (GP) to offer a graduate degree with supervised experiential learning (SEL) activities. The SEL is frequently referred to as an internship or dietetic internship. Therefore, at UDC students will be able to complete graduate courses and SEL in a seamless one-step to be eligible to sit the RDN credentialing exam. During the transition to the accredited graduate program, the current didactic program in dietetics (DPD) remains accredited. The undergraduate program in Nutrition and Dietetics continues to admit students. The undergraduate program may be used as a prerequisite for the graduate program. Students who complete the Nutrition and Dietetics undergraduate degree or satisfy the graduate eligibility requirements at UDC will be preselected for the GP. This will eliminate applying through Dietetics Inclusive Centralized Application Services (DICAS) and matching.
Mission & Overview
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, food service management, and nutrition. The Nutrition and Dietetics program is designed to provide students with a culturally versatile education that prepares them to promote the nutrition and well-being of individuals and groups in a variety of settings. Students may pursue a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, also known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program. Collectively, the knowledge and experiences obtained from the programs will equip graduates with the tools and skills required to confidently fulfill jobs in food service, community nutrition, and dietetics
The mission of the University of District of Columbia Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Program and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to ensure graduates will have the skills and knowledge to serve as professionals who deliver nutrition and dietetic services in the community, food service, management, and clinical settings and are prepared for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
Goals and Objectives
The BS in Nutrition and Dietetics/DPD program has developed the following two goals through discussions with faculty, the Nutrition Advisory Board, students, alumni, and administrators of UDC. Progress on achieving these objectives may be obtained from the program director.
DPD Goal #1: The DPD will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians that apply knowledge and skills gained during the DPD.
ACEND Required Objectives:
- 1.1 At least 80 percent of program students will complete the program/degree requirements within six years for full-time students and eight years for part-time students.
- 1.2 65 percent of DPD graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
- 1.3 40 percent of DPD graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
- 1.4 The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
DPD Goal #2 The DPD will prepare graduates with strong communication, management, research, and critical thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, employment, and/or graduate study.
- 2.1. 80 percent of surveyed supervised practice program directors will rate program graduates as good in their communication, management, research, and critical thinking skills using an electronic survey to program directors.
- 2.2. 20 percent of DPD graduates not entering supervised practice programs over a three-year period will gain acceptance into graduate school within the 12 months of graduation.
- 2.3. 20% of DPD graduates will secure employment over a three-year period in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
Highlights of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program
- UDC has the only accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics program in Washington, D.C., which is the stepping stone to a Dietetic Internship.
- Because UDC is a land-grant university, students have direct opportunities for nutrition education activities, research in food production, and community nutrition in connection with the Beltsville farm and district-wide urban food hubs.
- Located in the nation’s capital students have unique opportunities for internships, part-time jobs, policy experiences, and research in a variety of agencies.
- UDC accommodates part-time students, diverse students, and students with second degrees seeking to become registered dietitians.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics consists of 120 credit hours, which include 27 credit hours of general education courses, 54 credit hours of nutrition core courses and, 39 credit hours of science supportive courses. The course sequence emphasizes study in chemistry, biology, human anatomy, nutrition, food science and technology, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition education, nutrition through the life stages, food service management, and general education courses. The program curriculum fulfills the knowledge requirements of the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Didactic Program in Dietetics, approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
In the next 5-10 years, dietitians and nutritionists in the DC Metropolitan Area are more likely than before to be working in
- Public health community settings and non-profits through independent contractors or their own businesses.
- Independent contracting companies serve hospitals and clinics to provide nutrition services.
- Local and federal government to provide nutrition services through full-time employment or through grants and contracts.
- Restaurants, food retailers, and food banks/pantries hire nutritionists and dietitians.
- Patient-centered medical homes will need dietitians on-site or online.
Technology-savvy dietitians will create new applications, games, and education modules for worksites, health clubs, yoga studios, and doctors’ offices.
Cost & Financial Aid
In addition to UDC’s tuition, students in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program are expected to cover costs as follows:
- Lab courses require a $50 lab fee.
- The purchase of program textbooks (available in the UDC Bookstore).
- Travel-related costs associated with practicum community and clinical site visits.
Nutrition and Dietetics Open House
Contact Information for undergraduate program:
Dr. B. Michelle Harris
Contact Information for graduate program:
Dr. Judith Anglin
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) fulfills the academic requirements to enter a Dietetic Internship and sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam. Upon passage of the exam, graduates will become Registered Dietitians (RD). This UDC 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