In order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), students will need to complete the 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 first of three required steps toward becoming a RD. 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 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 educational pathways to become an RDN.
One of the options for U of MN DPD students is the BS/MS Integrated program which must be applied for in the junior year of the DPD. Check out specific information on the BS/MS Integrated program here.
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
Prospective Student Information
Requirements for Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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:
Complete a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and accredited DPD coursework as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. As stated in the accreditation standards, the DPD is a composite of courses designed to ensure the breadth and depth of requisite knowledge needed for entry to supervised practice to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Traditional students enroll in an accredited program and complete the DPD as a part of their baccalaureate degree. Please see the degree requirements in the University Catalog, which includes all courses needed for Dietetics.
Students who already have their baccalaureate degree and then decide to complete the DPD may either complete a second baccalaureate degree or have their transcript evaluated by the DPD director to determine what additional didactic courses are needed and enroll as a non-degree seeking student. See "Info for Prospective and Transfer Dietetics Students" below for more information.
Students are awarded a Verification Statement after they have completed the DPD coursework (and have completed a bachelor’s degree). Students will need a Verification Statement in order to enter a Dietetic Internship. The signed Verification Statement indicates that the student has completed the requirements of an accredited DPD.
Supervised Practice Experience
Achieved by either:
- Obtaining an accredited dietetic internship in a post-baccalaureate accredited program averaging 9 to 12 months in length. There are over 250 accredited programs in the U.S. Appointments to dietetic internships are awarded on a very competitive basis through a computer matching process which occurs in November and April of each year.
- Admission to a graduate school program integrating graduate-level academics with dietetic internship components.
Prospective applicants must review supervised practice program websites carefully for current information, including application deadlines, program requirements and tuition. Refer to the "Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice" below or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for more information about dietetic internships. Read all information carefully.
NOTE: Historically, the two-step process has allowed internships to select from among the most qualified applicants in order to give them the opportunity to complete their education. In recent years, however, the number of internship positions has remained relatively constant while the number of graduates from DPD programs has increased, leaving growing numbers of qualified students who are unable to complete their education and become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. During the first round of the April 2017 match, approximately 56% of the 4,839 applicants were matched to internships. Moreover, that percentage has been relatively constant over the past 10 years or more, due to large numbers of new DPD graduates, unsuccessful applicants reapplying for internships, and a relatively stagnant number of internship positions. In order to ensure that you will be successful in obtaining a dietetic internship, please see “How to Increase Your Competitiveness for a Dietetic Internship” below for more information. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any questions you might have.
Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Application to take the examination is made to the CDR following verification of completion of the academic (DPD program) and supervised practice (Dietetic Internship program) requirements. The Dietetic Internship program director will provide details regarding the application process.
Complete 75 clock 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.
Info for Prospective and Transfer Dietetics Students
Meeting the requirements to become an RDN
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 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. If this seems like the best option for you, a transcript evaluation is required (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 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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 [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 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 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 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 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 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
- Sample Program for Nutrition BS Degree-Seeking Students
- University of Minnesota Courses
- University of Minnesota Class Schedule
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 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.
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.
Contact: [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.
Info Video Part 1
How to become an RDN, Nutrition major, DPD information, applying to the DPD, future in Dietetics, BS/MS integrated program, dietetic internships, improving chances of getting an internship
Info Video Part 2
Improving chances of getting an internship continued, hands-on learning experiences to look for, advice from dietetic internship directors to prospective interns, choosing an internship, MS/DI coordinated programs
Info Video Part 3
DI application process, considerations for applying, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership, RDN in professional practice, earnings, additional information
Current Student Resources
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.
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 the DPD Application Form
- Completion of 60 or more credits by the end of the semester in which you apply
- Completion of at least 15 credits at the University of Minnesota at the time of application submission
- UMN GPA of 3.0
- Completion (or in progress) at application time of the following courses (or approved equivalents) and acceptable grade in each:
CHEM 2301-Organic Chemistry
Greater than or equal to C-
FSCN 1112-Principles of Nutrition
Greater than or equal to B
MATH 1031-College Algebra
Greater than or equal to C-
ANSC 3301-Animal and Human Physiology
Greater than or equal to C-
FSCN 3612-Lifecycle Nutrition
Greater than or equal to B
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 and have a GPA (both UMN and major) of 3.2 or higher will be automatically accepted into the DPD. Students who do not yet meet the criteria or have a GPA (both UMN and/or major) less than 3.2 will initially receive conditional acceptance and will receive final notification of their application status after review of final semester grades to ensure that the student has met the above criteria. If a student is taking a required course during the summer, they will also be initially notified before registration and will receive final acceptance after the grade is posted and reviewed in July or August.
Students are allowed to apply to the DPD only 2 times; therefore, they should not apply until they are quite sure they have met or can meet the DPD admission criteria by the end of the semester in which they apply. Final decisions regarding admission are made at the discretion of the DPD leadership team.
It is recommended that admitted DPD students obtain a student membership to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics after receiving acceptance, which will be useful for the Senior Seminar course. 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 GPA (UMN and major) of 3.0. 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 GPA (UMN and major) of 3.0 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 or Assistant Director as soon as possible. They may consider switching to the Nutrition Studies subplan of the major. Students may also 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 and major GPA of 3.0.
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 plan to apply or are considering applying for a Dietetic Internship (DI) in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you need to apply to the DPD. In order to enter into a DI 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 for DI’s.
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 (eg. either UMN or major GPA below 3.0), you can re-apply the following semester. However, you can only apply a total of two times. 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 received the required grade before receiving final acceptance into the DPD.
If I have a UMN and/or major GPA just under 3.0 but meet all other criteria, can I still apply to the DPD?
We do review all applications. Then, at the end of the semester that you applied, we review your GPAs again. If they are 3.0 or greater, then you are accepted.
If my UMN and/or major GPA is under 3.0 and I can only apply twice, when should I apply?
You should apply when you meet all of the other criteria and when you think you can get your UMN and/or major GPA above 3.0. You can use the GPA calculator to help you determine when and how you can get your GPA over 3.0. If you need help with this decision, please see your advisor or contact Corrie at [email protected].
Can I still get a Verification Statement if I did not apply to or was not accepted into the DPD?
As long as you have followed the DPD curriculum according to the University of Minnesota catalog, you can petition to the DPD Director to receive a Verification Statement. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Please contact Corrie Marion at [email protected] if you have questions about applying to the DPD.
Early Preparation for Becoming a RDN
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
- Student Ambassadors for Food, Health and Culture
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. To make an appointment, call 612-624-2710. Sara Newberg is the main contact for the Nutrition major; you can ask to be scheduled with her. Look under “Career Info by major”.
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.
Check out “How to Increase your Competitiveness for a Dietetic Internship” below for ideas on what you can do to not only boost your chances for a dietetic internship but also to help prepare you to be a strong professional. Also review the resources provided on the Jobs and Opportunities webpage.
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.
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.
Graduation and 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 mailed 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 a Dietetic Internship 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
- Food and Culture Paper in FSCN 3615-Sociocultural Aspects of Food, Nutrition and Health
- 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 #3 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-Senior Seminar for the DPD
- Pass the FIPCC component in FSCN 4667-Senior Seminar for the DPD
- Health Care Delivery article worksheet in FSCN 4667-Senior Seminar for the DPD
- 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
Before the end of each semester, an Informational Survey will be sent to students planning to graduate or finish the DPD that semester to collect information needed to issue a Verification Statement. This information will include scores for the activities listed above. Please remember when completing this survey that you are subject to the UMN Student Conduct Code and the AND Code of Ethics and we will& confirm the grades with the course instructor. Intentionally providing false information may result in not receiving a Verification Statement.
If you did not meet the target measure for an assignment, the course instructor will give you a short time to re-do the assignment for regrading (this will be explained on course syllabi and will be enforced throughout your time in the program, not just before graduation). After regrading, if you still have not met the target measure, the DPD leadership team will provide remediation measures to ensure you have the required core knowledge. In addition, if you took an equivalent course at another institution, the Assistant DPD Director will work with you to make sure you have met the core knowledge requirements via alternative assignments or projects.
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.
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.
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 Career Center
- 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.
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, a land-grant institution situated in a culturally rich urban environment, is 1) to prepare students for entry into and successful completion of supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, a variety of employment opportunities related to food and nutrition, or graduate/professional programs and 2) to produce 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 – Provide a high quality undergraduate university education and advising support that facilitates our graduates to gain entry into accredited supervised practice, post-baccalaureate graduate/professional programs and/or the workforce in food, nutrition or health related fields.
- Objective a. 60% of the DPD graduates will apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective b. 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%.
- Objective c. At least 80% of program students complete the program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
- Objective d. At least 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey will have initiated or completed an accredited supervised practice program, a graduate or professional program and/or entered into the food, nutrition, and/or health-related workforce.
Goal #2 – Provide the education and guidance to create graduates who are successful in their future endeavors.
- Objective a. Supervised program directors who respond to our surveys will state “agree” or “strongly agree” to greater than 50% of questions regarding our graduate’s high level of preparation of our supervised practice.
- Objective b. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey will indicate that their education at the U of MN prepared them somewhat or extremely well for their current position.
- Objective c. 40% of DPD graduates will be admitted into a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective d. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey who indicate they are working in a food, nutrition, and/or health-related field will indicate that their education at the U of MN prepared them somewhat or extremely well to work in an interprofessional environment.
- Objective e. 75% of respondents to the DPD alumni survey who indicate they are working in a food, nutrition, and/or health-related field will indicate that their education at the U of MN prepared them somewhat or extremely well to work in diverse work settings.
Note: Program outcomes data are available upon request by contacting [email protected].
Assessment of Student Learning
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics has determined that a DPD curriculum must prepare students with the following core knowledge*:
Domain 1: Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: integration of scientific information and research into practice
Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions.
Use current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
Apply critical thinking skills.
Domain 2: Professional Practice Expectations: beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the professional dietitian level of practice
Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.
Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics; and describe interprofessional relationships in various practice settings.
Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice.
Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.
Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates in the delivery of food and nutrition services.
Demonstrate an understanding of cultural competence/sensitivity.
Demonstrate identification with the nutrition and dietetics profession through activities such as participation in professional organizations and defending a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.
Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.
Domain 3: Clinical and Customer Services: development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations
Use the Nutrition Care Process to make decisions, identify nutrition-related problems and determine and evaluate nutrition interventions.
Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.
Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change for and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups.
Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.
Describe basic concepts of nutritional genomics.
Domain 4: Practice Management and Use of Resources: strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations
Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.
Evaluate a budget and interpret financial data.
Describe the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.
Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.
Describe safety principles related to food, personnel and consumers.
Analyze data for assessment and evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.
*Source: ACEND Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Programs (DPD), adopted July 29, 2016; effective as of June 1, 2017