Information for Prospective and Transfer Dietetics Students

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Below you will find information on meeting the requirements to become a RDN at the University of Minnesota

Prospective Students
Transfer Students
Foreign RDN Seeking US Registration
Non-Degree Students

Requirements and Guidelines
Transcript Evaluation Process
DPD Coursework and Recency Policy
General Course Information
Applying for Admission
Future Dietetics Education Changes
More Information

Prospective Students

Academic (DPD)

If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree, you should complete the Nutrition B.S. degree through our Department.  Please visit CFANS Admissions for application and admission information.

If you do have a degree, there are three options at the University of Minnesota for completing the coursework necessary in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist: 

  • You can complete a second bachelor’s degree with a major in Nutrition. Most general education requirements would not need to be repeated.
  • You can complete just the DPD coursework through the College of Continuing Education as a non-degree seeking student. However, this option is not the easiest to manage. Non-degree seeking students are the last group to register for classes which can make it difficult to get the classes when you need them. Also, non-degree seeking students are typically not eligible for financial aid. A transcript evaluation is required for this option (see below for more details).
  • You can complete the graduate program in nutrition (MS or Ph.D.). Any missing DPD coursework needs to be completed, and the verification statement obtained before entering the internship at the end of the program.  A transcript evaluation is required for this option (see below for more details).
    • Students pursuing a graduate degree at the University of Minnesota must complete the dietetics coursework in addition to the graduate program requirements. The dietetics coursework can be completed during or prior to beginning the graduate program. The Nutrition MS degree is offered through the Department of Food Science and Nutrition is research-intensive and entrance to the program is very competitive.

NOTE: The Nutrition MS program and the DPD are two separate programs. In order to enter into a Dietetic Internship (whether the one offered in our department or any other accredited DI) you need a verification statement from an accredited DPD, which indicates that you have completed the coursework required by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The DPD at the University of MN is an undergraduate program which most students complete through a BS in Nutrition. We do have graduate students fulfill the DPD requirements while completing their graduate degree. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students (who also want to complete the DPD) to get into the graduate program without a nutrition undergrad, or at least with several nutrition courses completed, because graduate students need to complete many extra classes in addition to their required graduate courses in order to fulfill DPD requirements. Often faculty do not have the resources to support students who need extra time to complete all of the DPD classes, so they are less likely to take on these students. (A person may be admissible to the grad program but are not accepted unless they have a faculty member willing to be their advisor). See below for the process to have your transcripts evaluated according to the DPD requirements.

Supervised Practice (post-baccalaureate)

Following the completion of the DPD requirements you will need to complete an accredited Supervised Practice Experience. There are two options for Supervised Practice:

  1. A one-year post baccalaureate dietetic internship which you apply for upon completion of DPD coursework requirements. Dietetic Internships are sponsored by healthcare facilities, colleges or universities, federal/state agencies or businesses and are located in most geographic areas within the United States. Most programs charge tuition/fees; some may provide a stipend. Acceptance to dietetic internship programs is extremely competitive; nationwide, there are only enough internship spots for about 50% of the DPD graduates who apply.
  2. A graduate school program or a coordinated dietetic program integrating the academic and supervised practice components. 

See the list of accredited programs on the Academy website.

NOTE: Although the minimum GPA required for most internships is 3.0, the Dietetic Internship application process is highly competitive and recent experience suggests that you should maintain a GPA of at least 3.3 or higher to be most competitive for placement.  Internship programs have more applicants than internship spots nationwide and currently, approximately 50% of applicants are accepted into a Dietetic Internship.

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Undergraduate Students Transferring from a Different Institution

If you do not have a bachelor's degree, you can complete the DPD through our undergraduate Nutrition BS program. If you are interested in transferring to the Dietetics program, please visit the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences for information for transfer students.

Following the completion of the DPD requirements, you will need to complete an accredited supervised practice experience in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

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For RDNs or Graduates from a Different Country Seeking Registration in the US

If you are already a dietitian in a different country, please read the “International Student Information” from the Academy regarding completion of education, training, and credentials outside the US.

If coursework was completed outside of the USA and you want to become a RDN in the US, transcripts must be evaluated for foreign degree equivalency and a transcript evaluation will need to be completed.  See below for that process.

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Students Who Already have a Bachelor’s Degree

If you are a non-degree seeking student wishing to take only the necessary coursework needed to obtain a verification statement (the document verifying all course requirements have been met), you will need a departmental transcript evaluation to determine which courses are needed to complete the DPD requirements.

Graduate degree-seeking students visit the graduate program in Nutrition (MS) and will be required to have a transcript evaluation.

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Transcript Evaluation Process

Do I need a transcript evaluation?

If you already have an undergraduate degree in another field, your transcript may need to be evaluated to determine which courses you will need to complete in order to meet the DPD program requirements.  This is a separate process from the University of Minnesota admissions process.

If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree and are enrolling for an undergraduate degree, any coursework you have taken elsewhere will be evaluated via the CFANS Admissions office when you apply.  You do not need a separate transcript evaluation for the DPD coursework.

If you already have an undergraduate or graduate degree in another field, and you are:

  • Enrolling for an additional undergraduate degree, any coursework you have taken elsewhere will be evaluated via the CFANS Admissions office when you apply.  You do not need a separate transcript evaluation for the DPD coursework; however you could still have a transcript evaluation completed to determine how long another degree would take.
  • Enrolling as a non-degree student, you will need a transcript evaluation.

If you already have an undergraduate degree in nutrition without a Verification Statement or another field and are accepted as a Nutrition graduate student, you will need a transcript evaluation to identify which undergraduate courses you need to take to complete the DPD requirements to obtain a Verification Statement.

Will my classes transfer?

Please see http://www.cfans.umn.edu/admissions/transfer-students/guides for resources to determine if previous coursework will transfer to the University of Minnesota.  This site also includes specific transfer guides for Minnesota Community Colleges.

Our recency of education policies are in effect for all transferred coursework.  Dietetic internship directors look at recency of coursework when evaluating prospective interns.  The DPD Program guidelines may be more strict than the admission standards of the university, college or department.

How do I obtain a transcript evaluation?

Notify the program via email at dpd@umn.edu that you plan to start this process.  Please note that this is a time-consuming procedure and cannot be done during a brief office visit.

For persons who are not graduates of the University of Minnesota or who are not currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota, there is a nonrefundable $150 fee for the transcript evaluation.  Please make checks payable to the University of Minnesota, and submit your payment with your transcripts and other required paperwork as described below. 

  • Please provide complete official transcripts from institutions other than the University of Minnesota, which will be kept on file in the department.  
  • Foreign degrees and coursework:  If coursework was completed outside of the USA, the transcripts must first be evaluated for foreign degree equivalency, on a course-by-course basis, and a letter certifying foreign degree equivalency must be obtained. There are several companies that provide such a service which are listed on the Academy web site at:    http://www.eatrightacend.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=6442485499 This process is not part of the admission process to the University of Minnesota. 
  • You may be asked to submit additional information about course description and/or syllabi if adequate detail is not available via online sources. 
  • Only when all transcripts, foreign degree equivalency certification letter by a foreign degree equivalency agency (if needed), course syllabi/descriptions, and the transcript evaluation fee has been received, will the evaluation be done.  
  • After completion of the transcript evaluation, a list of the required courses will be mailed to you.  This list will show which courses you have received credit for and which courses you still need to complete to obtain a Verification Statement according to the University of Minnesota DPD Policies listed on page 2.

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DPD Coursework and Recency Policy

To receive a verification statement from the University of Minnesota Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), the following guidelines must be met:

  1. All courses need to be completed but at least 18 credits from the list of requirements must be taken at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus and must include FScN 4665 and FScN 4666 Medical Nutrition Therapy I/II, a food service management course, and a nutrition or community nutrition course.
  2. All requirements must be taken on an A-F basis and satisfactory completion will be a grade of C- or higher.  An overall GPA of 3.0 must be maintained to be accepted into the DPD.
  3. To assure a strong academic foundation in the areas pertinent to the program, past coursework must meet our recency of coursework policy (see below). The Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics reserves the right to make final decisions regarding recency of coursework.

Coursework completed within the past 3 years 

  • FScN 4665, 4666 Medical Nutrition Therapy I & II

Coursework completed in the past 5 years

  • FScN 1102 Food: Safety, Risks and Tech.
  • FScN 1112 Principles of Nutrition
  • FScN 3102 Intro to Food Science
  • FScN 3612 Life Cycle Nutrition
  • FScN 3614 Nutrition Education & Counseling
  • FScN 3615 Sociocultural Aspects of Food, Nutrition, and Health
  • FScN 3731 Food Operations Management Lab
  • FScN 3732 Food Operations Management
  • FScN 4612 Advanced Human Nutrition
  • FScN 4613 Experimental Nutrition
  • FScN 4614 Community Nutrition
  • FScN 4621W Nutrition and Metabolism
  • FScN 4667 Senior Seminar for the DPD
  • FScN 4732 Food Nutrition Management
  • FScN or NUTR Elective: Additional 3 credits (4000 level or higher)

Coursework completed in the past 10 years

  • Math 1031 College Algebra
  • Chem 1061/1065 Chemical Principles I and Lab
  • Chem 1062/1066 Chemical Principles II and Lab
  • Chem 2301 Organic Chemistry I Lec
  • BioC 3021 Biochemistry Lec
  • Biol 1009 General Biology with lab
  • AnSc 3301 Human and Animal Physiology
  • FScN 2021 Introductory Microbiology
  • Stat 3011 Statistical Analysis

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General Course Information

Sample Program for Nutrition BS Degree-Seeking Students

University of Minnesota Courses
University of Minnesota Class Schedule

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Applying for admission

If you are an undergraduate degree-seeking transfer student, please contact the Office of Admissions for more information about applying to the University of Minnesota. Also, visit the College of Food, Agricultural and Resource Sciences for additional information for transfer students.

Application for admission varies according to whether you are seeking a degree and which degree.

Students seeking an undergraduate degree:
Applications can be obtained from the Office of Admissions.  You will be seeking admission to the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.

Students seeking a graduate degree:
Please see the information listed HERE.

Course registration is done at the college level after you have been admitted and attended orientation if you are a degree-seeking student.  You will have an academic advisor at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Students taking DPD coursework as a non-degree seeking student:
There is no application process for this option.  You will register for classes through the College of Continuing Education.

Non-degree seeking students can use the transcript evaluation form as a guide for which classes to sign up for through the College of Continuing Education.

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Future Dietetics Education Changes

The Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR), which maintains and administers the RDN exam, has passed legislation requiring that, as of January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to take the RDN exam. Individuals who have earned the RD/RDN credential prior to 2024 will be grandfathered in and will not have the same requirement.  Changes to dietetics education (DPD or dietetic internship) at the University of Minnesota have not been planned at this time.  However, most likely there will be modifications to the dietetics programs in the future and adequate notice will be given when those changes are to be implemented.

For More Information

Contact: dpd@umn.edu

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