FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
f you have completed any of the science prerequisites or any nutrition courses, it would be best to begin the evaluation process immediately. Collect a syllabus for each course that needs evaluation and submit to the transfer credit and articulation department here.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement verifies completion of educational requirements and is required for application to accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) programs. All students who graduate from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences and also meet the DPD requirements receive a Verification Statement.
The University of Arizona’s DPD has established the following criteria to obtain a Verification Statement:
- Complete all University of Arizona DPD courses or equivalent courses from accredited universities. Only courses with a grade of C or better will be accepted for transfer.
- Receive an overall grade point average of 2.75 or better, including UAZ and any transfer courses, or at the discretion of the DPD director.
- Non-degree seeking students: A minimum of 23 units of coursework must be completed at the University of Arizona in order to receive a Verification Statement.
- NSC 325: Foundations in Medical Nutrition Therapy
- NSC 325L: Foundations in Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab
- NSC 308: Nutrition & Metabolism or
NSC 408: Nutritional Biology
- NSC 425: Medical Nutrition Therapy I
- NSC 435: Medical Nutrition Therapy II
- NSC 444: Community Nutrition
- NSC 458: Food Service Organization & Management
- NSC 495A: Dietetic Internship Prep Workshop
Course work completed prior to the time limits as outlined below will need to be repeated:
- Stats, English, General Education Courses, NSC elective(s), and Science Elective: No time limit
- Math, Sciences: 8 years
- Chemistry Courses: 8 years
- If the student has completed the first course of the chemistry sequence one semester prior to the 8-year recency policy, we will allow for the course to count toward DPD requirements.
- All NSC Courses: 6 years
A popular slogan among dietitians is "All dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians." Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, regardless of their training. Some who refer to themselves as 'nutritionists' truly are experts in the field, while others may have very limited - if any - formal education and training; the term "nutritionist" does not differentiate between the two. To earn the title of RDN, there is a strong baseline level of education and training that dietitians must receive. A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist is a nutrition professional who has a nationally recognized credential that is only attained after:
- Earning a bachelor's degree and completing an accredited academic program with food, nutrition, and science coursework;
- Completing 1200+ hours of supervised practice in a number of food, nutrition, and health-related work settings;
- Passing a national exam to earn the RDN credential.
Dietitians develop a lot of different categories of skills: communication, counseling, medical nutrition therapy and nutrition-focused physical exams, leadership, food management and safety, and others. Within each category, dietitians get introduced to numerous skills during their academic programs, and they get further developed while practicing in different work settings.
Dietitians work in a LOT of industries, so it seems like there is something for everyone. With that said, many of our students are interested in becoming an RDN because:
- They want to help people achieve a higher quality of life through food and nutrition;
- They are passionate about their personal health and wellness and want to pursue a career that integrates their personal passion for nutrition and fitness with a career;
- They are drawn to working with food and want to use food to promote healthy lifestyles;
- They have personal experience (themselves or with friends/relatives) with chronic diseases or nutrition-related conditions. They want to pursue a career in dietetics to help themselves or their loved ones, or to help keep other people from experiencing their same challenges.
Dietitians work in so many different jobs, in so many different industries.
- Food Service Management - Hospitality, cafeterias, dining halls
- Culinary - Chef, meal delivery service, recipe development
- Healthcare Practitioner - Direct inpatient or outpatient care in a clinical environment
- Healthcare Administrator - Administration or management of clinics, hospitals, services
- Sports / Athletics - Work one-on-one or in groups with athletes to enhance performance in sport
- Counseling - Individual or group behavior and lifestyle coaching
- Community - Food and nutrition education in schools, senior programs, and other community-serving organizations
- Public Policy - Write grants and reports, attend legislative sessions, organize advocates around a cause
- Research Coordinator - Carry out daily research activities for a research study that is being overseen by a Principal Investigator (head researcher on a project)
- Researcher (Principal Investigator) - Lead scientist, identifies research questions and designs research projects. Requires writing grants, delivering presentations, and writing reports and other types of publications
- Educator - Teacher / instructor in the area of nutrition, food, science, or closely related subject, most likely in a high school or university setting
- Sales - Representative for pharmaceuticals, food companies, supplements, medical devices, or other specialized equipment
- Communications - May include marketing or public relations activities such as social media, photography, articles, blog posts, or other methods of engaging consumers with a brand, company, or product that relates to food or nutrition
Registered Dietitians (RDs) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria and earned the RD or RDN credential:
- Completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college or foreign equivalent, and coursework through an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP).
- Complete 1200 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship, Coordinated Program in Dietetics or an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) offered through an ACEND accredited program.
- Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website at www.cdrnet.org. In order to maintain the credential, an RD or RDN must complete continuing professional educational requirements.
Here are some helpful links with more information about becoming an RDN: