Currently, in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), students will need to complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) which most students at the University of Minnesota do while completing a BS degree in Nutrition. A DPD is the academic component and one of the required steps toward becoming a RDN. See "Requirements for Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist" below for additional details of the steps to become a RDN.
FYI: The Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credentials are interchangeable with practitioners having the option to choose one or the other. See this page for additional information about the RDN credential.
The DPD is housed within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FScN) on the St. Paul campus. Students who are also obtaining a Nutrition undergraduate degree are admitted into the program through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Students who already have a bachelor’s degree or who are graduate students are still able to complete the DPD. See "Info for Prospective and Transfer Dietetics Students" below for more information.
This option offers preparation in the basic sciences and liberal education, a background in food science, and a focus on human needs related to nutrition. The curriculum meets accreditation standards and core knowledge for a DPD by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics for entry into supervised practice. Therefore, students who plan to become RDNs will be eligible to apply for a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship or graduate program upon graduation. Graduates of the program who choose not to become RDNs will be qualified for positions in various food-related fields, including nutrition, industry, and community programs. Please see the University Catalog for degree requirements and the DPD track requirements.
The Future in Dietetics
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree (in any field) to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR still requires that individuals complete coursework (DPD) and supervised practice (Dietetic Internship) in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). For now, the DPD at the U of MN will remain an accredited undergraduate program; therefore by Jan. 1, 2024, U of MN DPD graduates will need to not only complete the dietetic internship but also obtain a Master’s degree before taking the RDN exam. Read more information about the graduate degree requirement and/or the educational pathways to become an RDN.
The Nutrition Graduate program is creating a dietetics-based MPS degree which will build upon DPD
knowledge to provide advanced coursework for graduate-prepared practitioners. The goal is that this
dietetics professional master’s degree will be available beginning Fall 2023. Please reach out to Corrie Marion for more information.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is currently granted Accreditation by the Accreditation for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 312-899-5400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend
Additional DPD Information
Requirements for Becoming a RDN
Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following educational and professional criteria to earn and maintain the RDN credential.
- Completion of a master's degree* (at minimum) from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college
- The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) has changed the eligibility requirement from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree, beginning January 1, 2024. Even though there is still time until this date, it would be highly unlikely that a person could obtain all of the required coursework and complete a full supervised practice program (dietetic internship) before December 31, 2023. Therefore, dietetics students should now plan on obtaining a graduate degree in order to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a RDN. For more information about this requirement, visit CDR's website.
- Completion of accredited DPD coursework as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Students are awarded a Verification Statement after they have completed the DPD coursework (and have completed a bachelor’s degree). Students will typically need a DPD Verification Statement in order to enter a supervised practice program.
- Students with bachelor’s degrees who need to complete a DPD, in order to eligible for a dietetics graduate and/or supervised practice program, can complete courses throught the College of Continuing and Professional Studies as a non-degree seeking student.
- Completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains a list of accredited dietetics supervise practice programs. There are 3 types of accredited supervised practice programs that students can choose to apply to: 1) Dietetic Internships, 2) Future Education Model Graduate Programs, and 3) Coordinated Masters programs.
- University of Minnesota DPD students are fortunate to have a unique course that will guide them through the application process for supervise practice programs. FSCN 4667 Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education has been in existence since 2009 and, according to feedback, has been extremely beneficial in helping students navigate this complicated process.
- Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). The supervised practice program director will provide details regarding the exam administration process.
- Follow appropriate state laws that regulate the practice of dietetics depending on the state you will be working in.
- Obtain 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every 5 years to maintain registration status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Continuing professional education is essential for lifelong development to maintain and improve knowledge and skills for competent dietetics practice.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.
Pathways to Becoming a RDN at UMN
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 DPD 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 and Professional Studies as a non-degree seeking student. However, this option is not usually popular with students. Non-degree seeking students are typically not eligible for financial aid and are the last group to register for classes which can occasionally make it difficult to get the classes when you need them.
- 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 going on to a supervised practice program at the end of the program.
- 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 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 supervised practice program (whether the U of M Dietetic Internship or any other accredited program) 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 can be 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).
Supervised Practice (post-baccalaureate)
Following the completion of the DPD, you will need to apply to and complete an accredited Supervised Practice Experience.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains a list of accredited dietetics supervise practice programs. There are 3 types of accredited supervised practice programs that students can choose to apply to: 1) Dietetic Internships, 2) Future Education Model Graduate Programs, and 3) Coordinated Masters programs.
In supervised practice programs, students will gain experience in the three major areas of dietetics: clinical dietetics, community and nutrition education, and food-systems management. Many programs offer additional experiences in research, sports nutrition, pediatrics, culinary nutrition, retail nutrition, informatics, food sustainability, and other related areas. These additional experiences vary by program. Students should check each individual website to learn about the additional experiences offered. In addition, each program varies in length typically depending on whether or not they offer graduate credits or a Master’s degree upon program completion. Programs that do not require a Master’s degree at the time of the supervised practice experiences are typically 9 months to 11 months in length. Those that require completion of the master’s degree with the supervised practice hours range from 16 months to 24 months in length.
Starting January 1, 2024, students will be required to complete a master’s degree and supervised practice hours to be eligible to sit for the RDN exam. Please see the ACEND Student Information Page with more details about the options after January 1, 2024. In general, the options will include:
- Attend an accredited program that combines the supervised practice hours with the Master’s degree, or
- Complete a Master’s degree first, then apply to a "Dietetic Internship" program that either does not include a graduate degree as part of the program or offers partial graduate credits.
University of Minnesota DPD students are fortunate to have a unique course that will guide them through the application process for supervise practice programs. FSCN 4667 Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education has been in existence since 2009 and, according to feedback, has been extremely beneficial in helping students navigate this complicated process.
DPD Mission, Goals and Objectives
The DPD provides a rigorous University-based liberal education and an equally rigorous dietetics curriculum. The DPD faculty believe that the University’s status as a major, land-grant university effectively packages the resources and strengths of its arts and sciences. This, combined with the strengths and expertise within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, provides excellent undergraduate preparation to meet the core knowledge delineated by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for entry-level dietitians.
The DPD training includes a strong science component of biological sciences, chemistry, and biochemistry courses appropriate for admission to graduate school. A liberal arts core and specialized courses in nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, clinical nutrition, food science, menu planning, and foodservice management provide depth and breadth.
As a program within a land-grant institution, its philosophy includes meeting the needs of a wide variety of students, some who follow non-traditional routes and some who select career paths other than becoming Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
The mission of the DPD at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is to prepare students for further education and/or careers in nutrition and dietetics practice in which they are critically minded professionals who value life-long learning and evidence-based interprofessional practice, while effectively working across difference within a variety of settings in a diverse world.
Goals and Objectives
Goal #1 – Graduates will receive the knowledge and skills for successful participation in graduate programs, accredited supervised practice and careers in nutrition, dietetics, food and/or health
- Objective a. At least 80% of students complete the program requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
- Objective b. At least 60% of program graduates will apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation
- Objective c. The one-year pass rate (for 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%.
Goal #2 – #2 – Graduates will receive the education and guidance to become confident and valued professionals who are prepared to work effectively in diverse settings
- Objective a. a. 75% of supervised practice/graduate program directors who respond to our surveys will state that, in general, our graduate was prepared “extremely well” or “very well” for their program within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective b. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey will indicate that the U of MN DPD prepared them extremely well or very well for their current position as an employee or as a student/intern.
- Objective c. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey will indicate that they are extremely or somewhat satisfied that their education at the U of MN prepared them well for working in an interprofessional environment.
- Objective d. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey will indicate that they are extremely or somewhat satisfied that their education at the U of MN prepared them well for working in diverse work settings.
Note: Program outcomes data are available upon request by contacting [email protected].
Costs to Students
Tuition and fee information:
In addition to tuition and fees, $300 or less will be needed for items such as transportation to field trips or volunteer experiences, extra supplies or materials for class projects, and student membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (recommended for all DPD students).
Withdrawal and refund of tuition:
Financial aid information:
The Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FSCN) is committed to making scholarships available to its students. The department offers numerous undergraduate awards, over $100,000 yearly, available to students in either Food Science or Nutrition. In addition, our students qualify for scholarships available from the College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), as well as scholarships given by food science and nutrition professional organizations and industries. Further details, such as deadlines, can be obtained from the FSCN website, from CFANS, and from the Undergraduate Student Services Administrator in 225 FSCN.
University of Minnesota Admissions Options
Students seeking an undergraduate degree:
Information and applications can be obtained from CFANS Admissions. You will be seeking admission to the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences.
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 and Professional Studies. 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 and Professional Studies.
Students seeking a graduate degree in FSCN:
Application information can be found on the Nutrition Graduate Program webpage.
DPD Admission Process
NOTE: Only students who are currently enrolled as nutrition undergraduates are required to follow this process.
An application and admission process for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is required for students interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. All students (freshmen and transfers) must apply and be accepted into the DPD and have the DPD sub-plan listed on their student record in order to receive a Verification Statement upon graduation, which is needed to enter into a Dietetic Internship or other accredited dietetics supervised practice program.
DPD Applications will be required to be submitted either by October 15 or by March 15 after students have met the criteria below.
Criteria for DPD Admission
- Completion of at least one semester of coursework at the University of Minnesota, in order to have established a UMN GPA
- GPA – preferred 3.0/minimum required 2.8
- Completion of a DPD Application Form
- Completion of the following courses:
- FSCN 1112 – Principles of Nutrition
- FSCN 3612 – Life Cycle Nutrition
- General Chemistry II
- General Biology
All students will receive notification via email regarding the status of their application before registration begins for the following semester. Students who meet all of the above criteria for DPD entrance requirements will be automatically accepted into the DPD. Students who plan to have all criteria met at the end of the semester of application will initially receive conditional acceptance and will receive final notification of their application status after the semester has ended to ensure that the student has met the above criteria. Final decisions regarding admission are made at the discretion of DPD leadership.
It is recommended that admitted DPD students obtain a student membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics after receiving acceptance, which could be useful for upper level courses and for preparation for the next steps toward becoming a RDN. Academy membership begins June 1, is one-year long, and is $58 for students. See the Academy student membership page for more information.
DPD Progression Policy
Once admitted to the program, students must maintain a minimum UMN GPA of 2.8. Post-baccalaureate pre-professional practical experiences/dietetic internships are extremely competitive. Successful completion of all DPD required courses does not guarantee admission to post-baccalaureate programs.
DPD students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and professionally by abiding by:
- University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code (.pdf)
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics
Academic and Disciplinary Termination
Students not maintaining a UMN GPA of 2.8 or who receive a course grade of “D” or “F” in any program required course may be dismissed from the Didactic Program in Dietetics at the discretion of program leadership. Students who find themselves in that situation should meet with the DPD Director as soon as possible. Students may repeat DPD courses for which they have received a grade of “D” or “F”, but may not be allowed to progress in the DPD until they have successfully completed and earned a “C” or above in that course and maintained a minimum UMN GPA of 2.8. Students are also required to meet the core knowledge requirements of an accredited DPD – more about this can be found in the “Assessment of Student Learning & Program Completion Requirements” section.
In addition, failure to maintain the Student Code of Conduct and/or the Academy Code of Ethics may result in dismissal from the program and/or not receiving a Verification Statement.
Final decisions regarding program retention or termination will be made at the discretion of program leadership, after full review of the situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I want to apply to the DPD?
If you are planning or considering applying for a Dietetic Internship (DI) or other accredited supervised practice program in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you need to apply to the DPD. In order to enter into any accredited supervised practice experience, you need a Verification Statement from the DPD Director stating that all of the DPD coursework requirements were met. You will only receive a Verification Statement if you have applied to and are accepted into the DPD.
In addition, admission into the DPD will ensure that you receive relevant and important information regarding the DPD and applying to accredited supervised practice programs.
After acceptance in to the DPD, what if I change my mind and do not want to be a RDN?
That’s OK. You can either withdraw from the DPD and choose the Nutrition Studies or Nutritional Science track, or you can remain in the DPD. If you remain in the DPD, you will receive a Verification Statement that you could use if you change your mind in the future.
Are there extra classes required for DPD students?
No. Completing all courses in the DPD track of the Nutrition major is all that is required.
What if I am not accepted into the DPD?
If you do not meet the criteria when you apply, you can re-apply the following semester. You should contact Corrie Marion ([email protected]) or your advisor about steps you can take to make sure you are eligible to apply to the DPD.
If I am currently taking one or more required courses, can I still apply now?
Yes, as long as you meet all other criteria and are currently taking the required course. Your grades will be reviewed at the end of the semester to ensure that you passed before receiving final acceptance into the DPD.
Please contact Corrie Marion at c[email protected] if you have questions about applying to the DPD
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.
- 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.
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.
Will my classes transfer?
Please see the Liberal Education Course Transfer 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. Directors of supervised practice programs look at recency of coursework when evaluating prospective interns. Therefore, th 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 [email protected] 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. The process and requested documentation is highlighted below.
- Please provide complete official transcripts (electronic versions preferred) from institutions other than the University of Minnesota, which will be kept in secure DPD files.
- 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 report certifying foreign degree equivalency must be obtained. There are several companies that provide such a service which are listed on the Academy web site. 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.
- After completion of the transcript evaluation, a list of the required courses will be emailed 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 Coursework and Recency Policy.
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:
- 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.
- All requirements (either UMN courses or approved course equivalents from other institutions) 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.
- 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 Medical Nutrition Therapy I
- FScN 4666 Medical Nutrition Therapy II
Coursework completed in the past 5 years
- FScN 1102 Food: Safety, Risks and Tech.
- FScN 1112 Principles of Nutrition
- FScN 2001 A Food Systems Approach to Cooking for Health and the Environment
- FScN 2512 Food Customs and Culture
- FScN 3612 Life Cycle Nutrition
- FScN 3614 Nutrition Education & Counseling
- FScN 3731 Food Operations Management Lab
- FScN 3732 Food Operations Management
- FScN 4612 Advanced Human Nutrition
- FScN 4613 Experimental Nutrition
- FScN 4614W Community Nutrition
- FScN 4621 Nutrition and Metabolism
- FScN 4667 Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education
- 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
General Course Information
Assessment of Student Learning & Program Completion Requirements
Graduation for current Nutrition undergraduate students:
The University Catalog provides graduation and program completion requirements for the Nutrition major and DPD sub-plan.
DPD Verification Statements will be emailed to you after your Nutrition degree has been conferred by the registrar.
Program Completion and Verification Statements:
DPD students are awarded a Verification Statement after they have completed the DPD coursework and met the core knowledge requirements. You will need a Verification Statement in order to enter an accredited supervised practice program and/or for other licensure procedures. The signed Verification Statement indicates that a student has completed the requirements of an accredited DPD.
Students are expected to complete the DPD within three years of acceptance to the DPD sub-plan, with a maximum allowed completion of five years after DPD acceptance. If a student is unable to complete the DPD in this timeframe, the DPD Director will work with the student regarding potential program completion implications.
In addition to successful completion of the DPD courses, students are required to fulfill target measures for specific activities to prove that the core knowledge requirements for a DPD have been met. All DPD students are to score 70% or greater on these assignments/projects:
- Education Lesson Plan (final) in FSCN 3614- Nutrition Education and Counseling
- Final Counseling Project in FSCN 3614-Nutrition Education and Counseling
- Cultural Humility/Bias in Healthcare Paper in FSCN 3614-Nutrition Education and Counseling
- Problem Resolution & Opportunities Assignment in FSCN 3731-Food Service Operations Management Lab
- Written Procedure Assignment in FSCN 3731-Food Service Operations Management Lab
- Human Resource Management take-home quiz in FSCN 4732-Food and Nutrition Management
- Food Safety assignment in FSCN 3732-Food Service Operations Management Lecture
- Legislative Assignment in FSCN 4614W-Community Nutrition
- Final Grant Proposal in FSCN 4614W-Community Nutrition
- Clinical Case #2 in FSCN 4665-MNT I
- Clinical Case #3 in FSCN 4666-MNT II
- Nutrigenomics module quiz in FSCN 4666-MNT II
- Billing and Reimbursement worksheet in FSCN 4667- Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education
- Pass the Better Together component in FSCN 4667- Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education
- Health Care Delivery article worksheet in FSCN 4667- Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education
- Informational Interviewing Assignments (Parts 1 & 2 combined) in FSCN 4732-Food and Nutrition Management
- Management Principles take-home quiz in FSCN 4732-Food and Nutrition Management
- Financial Management case study in FSCN 4732-Food and Nutrition Management
If you did not meet the target measure for an assignment, the course instructor and/or the DPD Director will work with you to determine the best option for fulfilling the requirement. In addition, if you took an equivalent course at another institution, the DPD Director will work with you to make sure you have met the core knowledge requirements via alternative assignments or projects if needed.
Additional information for non-degree students and graduate students completing the DPD:
Once you complete all required DPD courses as indicated on your transcript evaluation and met the target measures as outlined above, you have completed the DPD and will receive a Verification Statement. You will receive communications about this after you complete the DPD coursework.
Please email [email protected] with any question about graduation and/or program completion.
The following are recommended procedures for problem resolution for Food Science and Nutrition personnel and students. The first step in any resolution should be at the source of the problem, which is between the parties involved, or the parties and an immediate supervisor. Documentation of a student complaint will be maintained according to where the complaint was made (Department Head, DPD Director, student file, etc.) for at least seven years. There will be no retaliation for any student who makes a complaint at any level.
Student Academic Issues for Undergraduates
Undergraduate students majoring in nutrition or taking an FScN class who have concerns about an academic situation are encouraged to contact either their academic advisor, Dan Gallaher, Chair for the Nutrition program ([email protected]), or Department Head Job Ubbink ([email protected]). If no solution is found, resolution should be sought through the college grievance committee/officer or the Student Conflict Resolution Center (SCRC) at 612-624-7272 or www.sos.umn.edu.
For Issues specific to the DPD and the ACEND Accreditation Standards
DPD students should direct concerns to the DPD Director. If no solution can be made, concerns should then be directed to the Department Head.
In the event that a complaint remains unresolved, students may submit their complaint in writing directly to ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606).
Undergraduate Student Employment Issues
Undergraduate students may wish to contact SCRC or the Office of Conflict Resolution (http://ocr.umn.edu/ or 612-624-1030) if the steps stated above do not bring resolution.
Important Policies and Links
U of MN Policies and Links
- Academic Calendar
- Student Records Privacy and Access
- Student Support Services
- Student Life
- CFANS Academic Policies
- Liability Policies for Community-Engaged Practices
Links – Dietetics
- Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS)
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Dietetic Internship Computer Matching Information and Application Calendars
- Academy Student Membership Information
- List of Accredited Dietetic Internships
- D & D Digital
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is currently granted Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: 312-899-5400, Website: www.eatrightpro.org/acend.
A Professional Electronic Portfolio – DPD Recommendation
What is a Professional Portfolio?
Portfolios can be used for many different reasons. Business professionals may use them to display case studies of experiences they have encountered, artists may want to show examples of their creative side, and models may want to show agencies or clients a variety of “jobs” they have been able to secure. In the world of education, portfolios were initially designed to help student’s reflect on different assignments and learning opportunities. Educators could also view them periodically to monitor progress in the learning process.
In the beginning, paper (hard) copies of portfolios were kept by means of a binder with tabs that divided the document into many different sections. Today, the web has made keeping an electronic portfolio more appealing. Students can still use the portfolio to reflect on what they have (or what they are in the process of) accomplished and instructors can still view them periodically to monitor learning.
Why go to the time and trouble to do an electronic one?
An electronic portfolio can be used to help you when you want to apply to other programs (Internship Programs, Masters Programs or even PhD Programs) or help when you are ready to begin the job search. By keeping a “journal” of things you create, accomplish or experience during the educational process, you will be able to not only tell future directors or employers what you are capable of; you will be able to SHOW them. In addition, some internships require that you provide a portfolio.
Organization of the E-folio
Because creative and electronic juices flow differently in different types of people, there are many formats in which to follow. Your E-folio should be designed using a format that is comfortable and possibly even familiar to you. It is up to you to check out the different types of formats and design your portfolio with the tool you are most comfortable with. Below is a list of tools that have been used by other DPD’s or other UMN students. The list is by no means inclusive.
What to include in your E-folio
Your E-folio will always be a work in progress. This is a professional development tool that consists of your best examples of work, volunteer and classroom experiences. You should keep your best assignments/projects from your coursework that you feel demonstrates your strengths.
Items you could include in your E-folio:
- Writing samples
- Computer work
- Class projects
- Goal statements
- Documents created at internships
- Student leadership examples
- Work and volunteer experiences
The Career & Internship Services website has information and access to an online workshop on Professional Portfolios.
Building your Resume
Utilize your resources
Join one of our department sponsored Student Groups to meet people, learn more about the majors, and find leadership opportunities.
- Student Organization of Nutrition and Dietetics (SOND)
- Food Science and Nutrition Club
- Wellness and Culture Club
Join any other fun and enriching student groups on campus to make friends and build many different skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and time management.
Career and Internship Services (CIS)
Visit CIS which maintains information for Nutrition majors with many career as well as paid and volunteer experience ideas and lists Job and Internship Fairs. They have drop in hours and appointments available. Their office is located at 198 McNeal Hall. Sara Newberg is the main contact for the Nutrition major. Look under “Career Info by major” for more information related to nutrition jobs.
Golden Gopher Workshop Database
Find workshops, information sessions, fairs and information on academic opportunities, academic success, career services, community service and engagement, leadership and advocacy, off-campus opportunities, personal development, scholarships
Strongly consider incorporating a learning abroad experience into your undergraduate education. Discuss with your Advisor and the FSCN Student Services staff for ideas on finding courses that meet requirements in your major and finding scholarships to help with the costs.
Review the resources and information provided on the Jobs and Opportunities webpage.
Look for a variety of experiences in the different areas of nutrition and dietetics, such as:
- Review the websites for hospitals or clinics near you or contact the nutrition department or Director of Nutrition or Dietary Services to look for paid and volunteer opportunities
- If possible, it is optimal to work as a Dietetic Technician or Diet Clerk
- If no paid positions, inquire about volunteering
- Review the websites or contact the Director at a long-term care facility
- Inquire about paid positions in dietary department
- If no paid positions, contact the RDN on staff to see if you might be able to assist as a volunteer; for example, to assist with meal rounds
- Shadow a dietitian in different settings
- Review the websites for hospitals or clinics near you or contact the nutrition department or Director of Nutrition or Dietary Services to look for paid and volunteer opportunities
- Volunteer for the Farmer’s Market Voucher program during the summer
- Possible paid or volunteer opportunities during the school year
- Feeding America (Hunger relief organization in St. Paul)
- Many different types of volunteer opportunities
- Head Start (Government-funded child feeding program serving preschoolers)
- Develop lessons/activities for kids
- Food shelves
- Cook evening meals at Dorothy Day Houses, Loaves and Fishes
- Home-Delivered Meals
- Meals-on-Wheels; Open Arms
- Food service
- Review the websites or contact the Nutrition Department or Food Service Director at a hospital, long-term care facility, or college or university near you to see if they are hiring dietary aides or foodservice staff, including foodservice supervisors
- Shadow a foodservice director at a local school or university
Recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website include:
- Volunteer and provide community service, especially in areas related to health and nutrition
- Get practical, paid work experiences, especially in areas related to your desired area(s) of practice.
- Become actively involved in professional organizations, such as college dietetics clubs; district-, state- and national-dietetics associations; especially at the leadership level.
- Publish and present any relevant research, projects or work that you have done in journals and at conferences or in poster sessions.
Keep track of what you do with your Resume and Portfolio - It is a great idea to maintain a current resume throughout your academic career. Portfolios take the resume and your valuable experiences to the next level. Career and Internship Services provide resources to help you develop a resume and portfolio. In addition, you can find more portfolio suggestions below.
Building relationships with professors, employers, coaches, advisors, supervisors, etc. early in order to assure you will receive strong reference letters. With every experience, consider that may need a reference letter from your supervisor/manager/other. Always present your best self and make sure they can honestly write a strong recommendation for you.
Additional Information and Resources
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND): It is highly recommended that you become a Student member of the AND at least by your third year of studies. It is $58/year for student membership and begins June 1. Membership makes you eligible for scholarships through the Academy, and has other benefits.
- Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is this state’s branch, or affiliate, of the national level Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Membership in this is automatic when you become a member at the national level.
- To help you determine the many career options and specialty areas available as a RDN, check out the Academy groups. As a student member of AND, you are able to also join most of the Academy groups that might be of interest to you. This would allow you to network with professionals involved in an area of interest to you. You might also be able to gain some tips as you work toward that career path in dietetics.
- Please know that The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spells Dietitian with a “t”, not a “c” (“dietician” is not acceptable to The Academy). You will see it spelled both ways during your studies. The Academy only recognizes “Dietitian” on applications to the internships and scholarships.
- Before you apply and are accepted to the DPD sub-plan, you can be added to the DPD email Google group in order to receive emails about work/volunteer opportunities and other DPD-related communications. Email [email protected] about joining this email group.
FAQs about Applying to Supervised Practice Programs
All of these questions and more will be answered in detail in FSCN 4667, which is a required DPD course.
NOTE: The vast majority of Dietetic Internships participate in an online application system (called Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System – DICAS). However, you should read the website for each DI carefully to determine how you should apply to each program. DICAS has unique procedures for each step of the application process. Please contact [email protected] with any questions.
Where can I see a list of supervised practice programs?
Note: Always check the program’s website for the most up to date information.
Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice (See Below) includes files containing standardized information about supervised practice experience programs. Every attempt was made to collect and report the most current and accurate program information available at the time the guide was compiled.
ACEND website lists all accredited programs by type of program and organized by states. Program websites are available on this resource.
Is there a way I can get help with my application?
Yes! You should take FSCN 4667 Dietetics Capstone and Interprofessional Education (offered in the Fall semester) within 2-3 semesters of graduation. This course focuses primarily on preparing an application for a supervised practice program.
When are applications due?
The majority of internships participate in the Spring match (mid-February application due date). There are a few that participate in a Fall match (late September application due date). See the link above for the specific dates.
Is there a general application and recommendation form that should be used? Where can I find them?
Since most internships will use DICAS, there are no additional forms that need to be used. The application and recommendation letters are all done through DICAS. If the program does not utilize DICAS, their website should provide information about recommendation letters.
How many internships can I apply to?
You can apply to as many internships as you would like. Just remember that most have application fees in addition to the DICAS fees ($50 for the first application and $25 for each additional). Also, do NOT apply to an internship unless you are absolutely willing to accept it if you are matched.
What are the costs associated with a DI? Is there financial aid available?
Each program has different costs associated with it. A complete listing of programs and their approximate costs can be found on the Academy’s website.
Whether or not financial aid is available depends on the program you are enrolled in; many do not supply financial aid. There is the possibility that existing student loans may be deferred. Some internships do not have a fee and/or provide a stipend, however these internships are the most competitive. Make sure to carefully read the websites for each program that you are applying to regarding costs and tuition. Contact the Program Directors if you would like more information or would like to know how others have financed their supervised practice program. You should only apply to programs that you know you will for sure be able to finance.
What format should I use for the personal statement?
Generally, you should write a formal essay following the questions provided on DICAS and/or on the program website. However, check the information for each internship to make sure you follow their specific instructions.
Where can I get help with my personal statement?
You can get help at the Career and Internship Services. Sara Newberg has helped many dietetics students in the past. This will also be an assignment in FSCN 4667 where you will receive feedback from the course instructors.
Do I need to take the GRE?
That all depends on where you are applying. Some programs require it and some do not.
Questions related to experience:
How many hours of work/volunteer experience do I need?
There is no defined number of hours. However, having a position with some longevity (longer than 6 months) will demonstrate commitment to a program director and will allow you to gain adequate experience in an area. At the same time, participating in short experiences can also be very beneficial as it allows you to try something new and different.
I have a job that pays well but is not nutrition-related. I cannot quit because it helps pay the bills. Will it look bad on an application?
No, it will not look bad as long as you have also been able to participate in some other nutrition-related activities. Any job will give you valuable experience such as time management, work ethic, organization, and leadership. However, if your application only lists a non-nutrition related job, you may not be selected. So, make the time and commitment to other opportunities, paid and/or non-paid. The summer is a great time to gain experience as you most likely will have little to no school commitments.
How can I gain dietetics-related experience in my current job?
Waitress/cook - try to get involved with things like taking inventory, food/supply ordering, costing recipes, menu modification, menu analysis, doing product specifications, a marketing project, taking a look at environmental issues (recycling, organic options, etc.) and/or equipment needs. Also, ask if there is some type of in-service for the staff that could be developed on something like a food safety topic.
PCA/Nanny – ask to be involved with food/supply ordering, costing recipes, menu modification, menu analysis, taking a look at environmental issues (recycling, organic options, etc.). Also, ask if there is some type of in-service or training opportunity for the staff that could be developed on something like a food safety topic or a common specialty diet.
Other – review the suggestions above to see if any of these could considered for the job you have.
Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice
The following is a description of the "Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice". If you are University of Minnesota Nutrition/DPD student or graduate and would like to receive access to the guide and the files it contains, please send an email to [email protected].
These are files containing standardized information about supervised practice experience programs required as part of the process to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Please note that information is provided for both undergraduate coordinated programs and post-graduate internship programs; students in the University of Minnesota Didactic Program for Dietetics are not eligible for the undergraduate coordinated programs. Information is organized by state where the program is located.
Every attempt has been made to collect and report the most current and accurate program information available at the time the guide was compiled. However, changes in costs and supervised practice experiences may occur due to institution policy, cost of living increases, as well as needs of the program and supervised practice sites.
This guide may not contain information for all programs. Also, always check the program websites for the most current and up to date information.
Many of the tuition costs are for the previous school year; please refer to the institution website for most current costs.
Housing, meals, transportation, and insurance
These costs are estimates. The values will vary significantly depending upon personal choice and changes in the cost of living.
Many institutions have student health insurance available; these costs are also subject to change on a frequent basis.
Cost is impossible to estimate for students still carried on family health insurance policies.
Supervised Practice Sites and Experiences
Sites and experiences detailed in the guide are not guaranteed. The capacity of a site to accommodate interns may change for a variety of reasons and new sites may be recruited resulting in some variation in sites and experiences.
It is common for internships to use a variety of sites due to limits on how many interns a single site can accommodate. Interns are provided a similar experience but not necessarily at the same site.
Intern choice rotations are subject to availability of chosen practice area.