DPD Admission Process

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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
DPD Progression Policy
Frequently Asked Questions

Criteria for DPD Admission

  • Completion of the DPD Application Form
  • Completion of 60 (at least 15 credits completed at the U of M) or more credits by the end of the semester in which you apply
  • Minimum cumulative GPA and UMN GPA of 3.0
  • Completion (or in progress) at application time of the following courses (or approved equivalents) and acceptable grade in each:


Acceptable Grade

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

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DPD Application

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 of 3.2 or higher will be automatically accepted into the DPD. Students who do not yet meet the criteria or have a GPA 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 is a requirement for their Senior Seminar or Capstone course. Academy membership begins June 1, is one-year long, and is $60 for students. See the Academy student membership page for more information.

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DPD Progression Policy

Once admitted to the program, students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all upper division DPD courses (3000 level or higher).  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:

Academic and Disciplinary Termination
Students not maintaining a GPA of 3.0 in the upper division DPD courses 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 would not be allowed to progress in the DPD program until they have successfully completed prerequisite work earning a “C” or above and hold a minimum UMN GPA of 3.0.  Due to the sequential nature of the curriculum, the latter could require additional time prior to graduation.

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. 

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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. 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 (dpd@umn.edu) 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 at least a C- before receiving final acceptance into the DPD.

If I have a 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 GPA again. If it is 3.0 or greater, then you are accepted.

If my 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 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 dpd@umn.edu.

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 dpd@umn.edu for more information.

Please contact Corrie Marion at dpd@umn.edu if you have questions about applying to the DPD.

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