About the Dietetics Program

Examine the science of food and the role of nutrients in the body to promote and maintain health. The food and nutrition program offers the dietetics major. This programs challenges you to strive for excellence and provide a pathway to graduate study. The University of Dayton dietetics major is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and provides the first step to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). 

What is a Registered Dietitian? (pdf) >>

What can I do with this degree?

With successful completion of the dietetic academic program, the post -baccalaureate internship and the RD credentialing exam, an individual is awarded the RD credential and is recognized as the food and nutrition expert. RDs can work in the public health and community settings to provide population-based or individual-based interventions for the prevention of disease in the community, corporate, or school setting.

RDs administer medical nutrition therapy for the treatment of diseases, often as part of multidisciplinary teams in hospitals, private practice and other health care settings. In addition to these settings, RDs can work in research, sports nutrition, health care management, journalism, and the food and nutrition industry. 


Dr. Jennifer Dalton congratulates dietetics graduate Hillary Budkowski, who was awarded the Elizabeth L Schroeder Award at the School of Education & Health Sciences graduation reception. Hillary was accepted to University of Pittsburg internship and graduate program.

Image of Dr. Dalton and Hillary

What's on Your Plate?

Watch more Dietetics videos >>

Understand what you can achieve.


To prepare qualified students to become competent, compassionate, nutrition leaders within the health profession and community.   


These programs prepare students for professional opportunities in schools, health agencies, corporate health and wellness programs, health/sport clubs, recreational/sport organizations and federations, various media/support areas, and other dietetic/nutrition careers. The programs encompass pre-school, K-12, university, community, youth, adult, senior and multi-cultural populations in the public and private sectors.

Goals & Objectives

Goal 1

Prepare distinctive students to be competent entry-dietetic professional.


  • 1a. Full-time students who begin the DPD in the third year will complete the program within 150% of time (3 years).
  • 1b. Part-time students who begin the DPD in third year of study will complete the program in 150% of time (6 years).
  • 1c. 90% of fourth-year students majoring in dietetics will apply to a dietetic internship or coordinated graduate program that will lead to earning the RD credential.
  • 1d. 85% of students applying to an internship will be successful in obtaining a match appointment within 12 months of graduation.
  • 1e. 80% of first time test takers will successfully complete the RD exam.
  • 1f: 80% of DI directors will indicate strongly agree/agree on a evaluations that students were well prepared for internship.
  • 1g: 85% of alumni will identify they strongly agree/agree on a post internship survey that they were prepared to successful complete internship.
  • 1h: 85% of students not accepted to an internship program will develop an individualized plan to meet their career goals (post-graduate, DTR pathway, employment).

Goal 2

Engage in service learning to develop collaborative and compassionate partnerships that lead to proficiency in critical thinking.


  • 2a: 85% of students will score in Ethonoriative stages using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (IDI) Model during their fourth year of study.
  • 2b: 85% of students will participate in three learning projects within the dietetics curriculum.

Student Commitments

Students who major in Dietetics will complete a dietetic internship and successfully pass registration examination.

Students will be required to obtain and maintain student membership through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during all four years of study in dietetics and to purchase a professional portfolio software package in Introduction to Dietetics.

Marianist Heritage

The Department of Health & Sport Science endeavors to enhance the personal development of each individual through intellectual, social, physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges founded in the Marianist Heritage.

Program outcome data are available in the Department of Health & Sport Science on request >>

Know what we have to offer!

Through the dietetics program, students will integrate the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to gain a thorough understanding of food, food management and medical nutrition therapy.


In the dietetics curriculum, students will take rigorous science- and math-based coursework to build foundational knowledge and skills in order to prepare students for the second step towards becoming a Registered Dietitian—the successful completion of a dietetic internship program. To gain familiarity with the profession and gain experience in the field, students will be required to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a student member, as well as to complete work experience related to dietetics.


As a dietetics major, you will apply to a dietetic internship program during the second semester of your senior year. After successfully completing the post-baccalaureate program, which is usually eight to 11 months in length, you will be eligible to sit for examination to become a Registered Dietitian. Acceptance into a post-baccalaureate program is very competitive and based on grade point average, recommendation letters, work experience, extracurricular activities, motivation and knowledge of the profession. A grade point average above 3.5 in both the major and support courses is recommended.


The didactic program in dietetics is currently granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Suite 2000, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Chicago, Illinois 60606, 800-877-1600. 

More Information

Find out more about coursework and other requirements of the program:

Develop your professional portfolio as you learn!

What and When

The portfolio is an assignment in HSS 113 (pdf) that will continue to evolve during the dietetic student’s academic tenure at the University of Dayton. It will be a component of the Dietetic Enrichment Point System and must be provided to the student’s advisor one time per year for review and point assignment.

  • HSS 113 (pdf) portfolio requirements
  • Two reflection papers from RD shadow opportunities 
  • Updated resume
  • Updated professional goals
  • Samples of best work
  • Volunteer experience in nutrition or food service reflection paper OR paid experience in nutrition or food service reflection paper
  • Updated resume
  • Updated professional goals
  • Samples of best work
  • Samples of leadership training/extracurricular leadership position/lead on nutrition or food service project
  • Reflection paper on leadership experience
  • Personal statement outline
  • Updated resume
  • Updated professional goals
  • Samples of best work
  • Personal statement

Students may wish to include a miscellaneous section in which they list their accomplishments and their involvement in the university and the community. Student goals for the future will be important to include as the student progresses through the program.


The information contained in this requirement builds the professional foundation for the dietetic student’s post-baccalaureate application as well as the requirements for the registered dietitian’s professional portfolio.


Beginning in Fall 2012, students will be required to purchase Chalk & Wire portfolio software in HSS 113 Introduction to Dietetics.

Work in the field!

Dietetics majors are eligible to apply to a dietetic internship during senior year. In order to apply, each candidate must have completed, or be able to show that they will complete, the courses that provide the “Foundation Knowledge and Skills” that are required by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These courses are included in the dietetics curriculum (pdf). Upon successful completion of all DPD coursework and conference of the degree, a student will be issued a Verification Statement. (See the Dietetics Handbook (pdf) for the complete policy on Issuance of the Verification Statement)

Nationwide Opportunities

There are approximately 280 dietetic internship programs nationwide. Students can find a listing of these programs via the ACEND website. In addition, students can find detailed dietetic internship program information by visiting the internship website and by reviewing the internship binders in the HSS office. All dietetic internships are required to maintain accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. These programs provide students with experience in food management, community dietetics, and clinical dietetics.

Competitive Placement 

Acceptance into a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program is very competitive. The national average placement rate to an internship for the years 2008-2012 averaged between 50-55%. The University of Dayton dietetics program placement rate for the years 2008-2012 ranged between 80-85%. 

What Students Can Do

While no dietetics program can guarantee a student acceptance into an internship, students can do the following to increase the chances of being accepted to an internship:

  • Earn and maintain GPA > 3.0. The average GPA for the University of Dayton Dietetics class of 2012 was 3.58.
  • Obtain paid work experience in a nutrition or food service related field.
  • Seek out long-term volunteer nutrition related experience.
  • Develop leadership skills through extracurricular activities.


The DPD Director will work with each dietetic student in the fall of their final year of study to provide guidance during the application process. Students generally submit formal application in the second semester of their senior year to post-baccalaureate programs.  Many dietetic internship programs require students to take the GRE as part of the application process. Selection of the post-baccalaureate program is made through computer matching, using D&D Digital and DICAS.

For additional internship application timeline and matching information, visit ACEND: http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=191.

View the Dietetic Internship Timeline (pdf) >>

Get what you need to succeed!

Program Information

Visit the Department of Health & Sport Science Student Resources to access course syllabi >>

Career Information

Key Terms

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD): An academic program that provides the required coursework leading to a bachelor’s degree and a verification statement. These programs are accredited through Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Dietetic Internship (DI): Students who successfully complete the DPD coursework from an accredited DPD program, have earned a bachelor’s degree, and have earned a verification statement are eligible to apply to a Dietetic Internship (DI). Internships are completed over 6-24 months. Once students complete an accredited DI and earn a verification statement to show eligibility, they can write the CDR registration exam for dietitians.

DICAS: Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) online applicant portal is for use by students who are applying to Dietetic Internship programs that participate in the DICAS Match. The DICAS Online is a service of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The DICAS Online offers applicants a convenient, state-of-the-art, web-based application service that will allow them to apply to any number of participating dietetic internship programs by completing a single online application. The DICAS Online was specifically designed by DICAS to simplify and streamline the application process while providing considerable flexibility, electronic submission of applications, ongoing communication with applicants, and excellent customer support.

D&D Digital: D & D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

GRE: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a required test for undergraduate students who hope to pursue graduate studies.

Join the Dietetics program!

The curriculum of the dietetics major is an integration of the humanities and arts, social sciences, and the physical and life sciences.  The Didactic Program in Dietetics (EHA) is a challenging science-based curriculum, which includes foundational sciences such as chemistry, biology, and biochemistry as well as nutrition sciences such as food management and medical nutrition therapy for specific pathology. The dietetics major provides students with the first step to becoming a Registered Dietitian.

Admissions Criteria

Freshman entry: ACT score 25

Transfer Student: GPA 3.0

Students are required to take Biology 151, 152 and Chemistry 123, 123L, 124, 124L or their equivalent coursework from a four-year college or university prior to review for transfer.

Any dietetic student whose cumulative average after two years of study is below 3.0 will be advised to draft a program for success, access tutorial assistance, and/or be counseled into career paths that are appropriate to their ability.

Apply now >>