Didactic Program in Dietetics

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 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 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. For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN please visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students

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. 

Prospective DPD Students

Current DPD Students

Program Information

Accreditation Statement

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/resources/acend