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Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods

Program

The Drexel Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods program prepares students to pursue career opportunities in nutrition and dietetics. Graduates of this program are able to apply the principles of nutrition and food science to the nutritional care of individuals and groups—such as in school food service or community nutrition—or to excel in careers in the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Dietetics is the practical application of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease. Dietetics is an exciting and challenging profession because there are many diseases that are related to nutrition, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

The nutrition program at Drexel University is referred to as a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) because we provide classroom training for students who want to become Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN).

Our Mission

Drexel University’s Department of Nutrition Sciences, Nutrition and Dietetics Program integrates a foundation in the nutrition sciences with courses in the social sciences to provide the knowledge, skills and professional values needed for successful entry into dietetic internships, graduate school, or dietetics employment. The learning environment is structured to allow students and interns to use current technology, to participate in conducting research, and to engage in experiential learning, including co-operative education for undergraduates.

What you'll learn

The Nutrition and Foods program provides students with an academic background in clinical, community, and administrative dietetics to follow the didactic requirements of the American Dietetic Association to become Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists (RD/RDN). Students complete specific courses in medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, foodservice management, and food science.

Experiential learning is an important component of a dietitian's education. Therefore, students are encouraged to gain paid or volunteer experience in a healthcare facility, community nutrition program, or food service institution.

Graduates of this program may go on to graduate study to further their education within this growing field, or in a related healthcare field. The study of the biochemical nature of nutrients and foods, their interaction with the environment, and their eventual metabolic fate is a strong career path for more research-minded students and provides a unique base for graduate study.

What makes the Nutrition and Foods program unique?

  • Extensive network of professional experiential learning opportunities, including co-op and research involvement.
  • You are part of the Drexel College of Nursing and Health Professions with access to various practice environments and educational facilities.
Graduates of the program who do not receive a dietetic internship match are eligible to apply for Drexel's Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) to fulfill their supervised practice requirement.

Admissions

For Entering Freshmen

To review admission prerequisites, visit the Admission Prerequisites page. 

To find admissions deadlines, apply online, check out financial aid information, and find the current schedule for open houses, visit the Undergraduate Admissions site.

For Transferring Students

To review transfer instructions, visit the Transfer Instructions page.

For International Students

To review transfer instructions, visit the International Instructions page.

Tuition and Fee Rates
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that may be required for every student. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly.

Visit the Compliance pages for more information.

Accreditation

The Drexel University Department of Nutrition Sciences Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council For Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, 800.877.1600. www.eatright.org/acend.

Program Level Outcomes

At Drexel University we believe that a well-formulated set of Program Level Outcomes [PLO] that support and are consistent with the institutional mission and goals are the building blocks of an effective assessment program. 

Click here to view the College of Nursing and Health Professions department of Nutrition Sciences Program Level Outcomes.

Drexel's BS in Nutrition and Foods graduates have exceptionally high placement in dietetic internships. Over the past three years (20112-2016), 88% (44/50) of graduates of the program have received a match with a dietetic internship (national average 51%).

After completing their dietetic internship, 80% (32/40) of Drexel’s BS in Nutrition and Foods alumni passed the entry-level exam on the first attempt.

Program Goals:

Program Goal #1: To provide quality didactic instruction and learning experiences to prepare graduates to be accepted into dietetic internships and graduate schools, or to work in the field of dietetics.

  • Objective #1: Eighty percent of graduating BS students and 90% of graduating MS students will apply to an accredited dietetic internship.
  • Objective #2: Eighty percent of students who apply to dietetic internships or ISPP are accepted.
  • Objective #3: Seventy-five percent of students who apply to graduate schools are accepted.
  • Objective #4: Eighty percent of graduates of the Drexel University ISPP who seek employment will be employed in a dietetics-related position within six months of program completion.
  • Objective #5: Graduates of the DPD will rate ten aspects of their didactic and learning experiences an average of “4” or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5 =excellent.
  • Objective #6: At least 90% of students will complete the program within 150% of the expected time frame for the program (BS DPD full-time = 4 years; BS DPD part-time = 5 to 7 years; MS DPD full-time = 2 years; MS DPD part-time = 4 years; ISPP full-time = 3 quarters or 1 year; ISPP part-time = 6 quarters or 2 years).

Program Goal #2: To prepare graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.

  • Objective #1: The program’s first time pass rate on the entry exam for all tracks (BS DPD, MS DPD and ISPP) will be 80% or higher.
  • Objective #2: Internship directors of graduates of the DPD will rate ten aspects of the students preparation for internship an average of “4” or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5 =excellent.
  • Objective #3: Employers of alumni of the ISPP will rate ten aspects of the employees preparation for entry-level practice an average of “4” or better, on a scale of 1=poor to 5=excellent.

Program Goal #3: To increase diversity in the profession by recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented groups and facilitating their success in the program.

  • Objective #1: At least 10% of students in all tracks (BS DPD, MS DPD and ISPP cumulatively) will be from underrepresented groups.
Additional program outcomes are available upon request.

DPD: A Step Toward Becoming a Registered Dietitian

If you have a desire to promote optimal wellness and quality of life for people of all ages through better nutrition, and if you have an interest in and capacity for science, the Didactic Program in Dietetics option may be of interest to you. This degree is one of the steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian.

What Is a DPD?

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) provides the coursework required to become an RD. Students who want to become an RD must successfully complete coursework approved by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods, all DPD coursework will be completed as part of the degree plan of study. Upon completion of the DPD program, students receive a verification statement, which shows successful completion of the DPD and allows entry into a dietetic internship. Bachelor of Science students are required to earn a grade of C or better in all DPD courses to receive a DPD verification statement.

What Is a Dietetic Internship?

In the last year of the DPD program, students apply for a dietetic internship (also called supervised practice). While the DPD provides mostly classroom training, the dietetic internship provides hands-on training. Dietetic internships provide a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice (unpaid) and are usually completed in eight to 12 months . There are more than 250 accredited dietetic internships available throughout the United States. Entry to a dietetic internship is competitive and is achieved through a national online matching process; students may apply to as many internships as they would like, but they are matched with only one. Students need at least a 3.2 GPA and relevant work experience in healthcare to be a viable candidate. After completion of the internship, you are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.

What Does It Mean to Be a Registered Dietitian?

Registered Dietitians are food and nutrition experts employed in a wide variety of settings who find exciting jobs working as:
  1. Clinical dietitians—who provide medical nutritional therapy for patients in hospitals, physician offices, and other locations.
  2. Sports dietitians— who work with competitive and recreational athletes, and for sports teams.
  3. Wellness dietitians - who work in corporate wellness programs
  4. Community dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
  5. Management dietitians—who oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in healthcare facilities, business and industry, and colleges and universities.
  6. Consultant dietitians—who often work under contract with healthcare facilities.
  7. Private practice dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on good nutrition to improve health.
  8. Education dietitians—who teach nurses, dietetics students, and others about nutrition in higher education.