The following provides a general description of the Didactic Program (DP), formerly Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), the procedure for transcript evaluation, employment opportunities in dietetics, financial aid, and the DP Student Manual.
The DP is the set of course work in the Nutrition and Dietetics Option of the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Dietetics and Food Administration that fulfills the academic requirements for a student to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). The DP at CSULB is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800/877-1600. All students who meet the program requirements receive a Verification Statement. This verifies that they have successfully completed the DP.
The B.S. degree with the Option in Nutrition and Dietetics (major code FCS_BS01) is composed of a minimum of 131 units that includes 51 general education units. Additional information about the Option in Nutrition and Dietetics can be obtained at the Nutrition and Dietetics site.
Students study a variety of subjects, ranging from food and nutrition sciences, food service systems management, business, computer science, culinary arts, sociology, and communication to science courses such as biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy, and chemistry.
If you are considering this major or have recently declared this as your major, please meet with an advisor who will assist you in determining your schedule of classes. Contact the Department at the above number to be directed to the appropriate advisor. This information is also listed at the end of the Nutrition and Dietetics site. The contact information for the CSULB DP Director can be obtained from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Office at (562) 985-4484. See the following general procedures under Transcript Evaluation for determining required courses.
In addition to a Bachelor’s degree with the accredited curriculum, completion of a supervised practice experience is necessary to meet the requirements to become a RD. For a list of facilities that offer this experience again use the following website, www.eatright.org – click on “Careers & Students,” then “Accredited Education Programs,” and finally “Dietetic Internships.” Those who meet the educational and supervised practice requirements and pass a national registration examination, then receive the RD credential.
To determine which Didactic Program (DP) requirements you may already have fulfilled at other colleges/ universities as well as which courses you still need to take to meet the DPD requirements, your transcripts need to be evaluated by the DP Director. If you feel that you have completed all or almost all of the requirements at another campus, you should have the DP Director at that campus evaluate your transcripts.
There are numerous types of financial assistance available through CSULB financial aid programs and other sources. Please contact the CSULB Office of Financial Aid at 562/985-8403 or visit the financial aid website.
After you are enrolled as a student in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, contact the Department Office for other sources of funding. These may be in the form of traineeships, assistantships, or scholarships from local, state, and national organizations.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) offers scholarships to encourage eligible students to enter the field of dietetics. Students enrolled in their junior year in a ACEND-accredited program may apply for an AND scholarship. Scholarships are also available for students in dietetic internships and graduate studies. Contact ANDs Education and Accreditation Team at 800/877-1600 ext. 5400 for AND Scholarship information or use the website www.eatright.org and click on “Scholarships and Financial Aid.”
Becoming A Registering Dietitian
Registered Dietitians (RDs) are considered food and nutrition experts. They have met the following criteria to earn the RD credential:
In order to maintain registration, the RD must provide evidence of fulfilling continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. Some RDs hold additional certifications in the specialized areas of practice, such as pediatric or renal nutrition, nutrition support, and diabetes education. These certifications are awarded through CDR and/or other medical and nutrition organizations and are recognized within the profession, but are not required.
In addition to RD credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become a RD.
RDs work in:
Reference: The American Dietetic Association. Check it out: Careers in dietetics. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association, 1997.
Salary & Employment Outlook
Employment opportunities related to Nutrition and Dietetics professionals are being influenced by the nation’s changing demographics, and the increased dietary consciousness of the general public. The U.S. Department of Statistics projects an increasing population of retiring senior citizens which is expected to result in an increased demand for nutritional services in hospitals, retirement homes, and senior citizen nutrition programs. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a large proportion of women of child-bearing age participating in the work force with a larger proportion of youngsters in day care and preschools which is expected to increase the demand for nutrition professionals to conduct research, develop training programs and manage programs.
Dietetic internship Availabilty
Acceptance into a DI has historically been competitive. In recent years, the competition for DI positions has increased. Data on the April 2009 first-round match reported 4120 applicants for 2195 DI positions. 50% of applicants were unmatched. This outcome reflects a growing increase in applicants for a fairly stable number of DI positions. Please see the “Availability of DI Positions” summary at http://www.eatright.org/CADE/content.aspx?id=4294967919&terms=availability
Post- Baccalaureate Students
If you already have a Bachelor’s Degree (or a more advanced degree), we are working on an option for your completion of the DP coursework but are not currenlty accepting students to complete only the DP classes . If you have a foreign degree, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website at www.eatright.org, click on “Careers and Students” and then “International Fact Sheet.” You are advised to consult with the DP Director for the courses you need to take. The contact information for the CSULB DP Director can be obtained from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Office at (562) 985-4484. See the following general procedures under Transcript Evaluation for determining required courses.
Due to budget crisis that California State University System (CSU) is experiencing at this time, the University had not been accepting students for second Baccalaureate degrees. We are currently working on providing an option for a second baccacaleaurate degree, this would be the only avenue for students who have already been awared a Bachelors degree, to complete the DP coursework. We are not currently allowing students in the Master's program to simultaneously complete the DP courses. This program is projected to available Spring or Fall of 2015--please check back closer to that time for specific details. In order to prepare for this program, you may look at a current program plan for Undergraduates, and complete lower-division support courses that are require prerequisites for upper-divisin DP courses.
More detailed information about employment opportunities and current salary information can be obtained from the service Jobs in Dietetics. For more information on professional activities, visit the websites of the California Dietetic Association or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics .
© 2001- 2006 Jacqueline D. Lee, PhD, RD
All rights reserved.