The Dual-Degree in Nutrition Sciences is an academic track that enables students to complete both a bachelor's degree and master's degree in five years, in preparation for becoming a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN). Students pursue the Bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Food Science during their first four years of study and the Master's degree in Human Nutrition during the final year of study. This program allows students to meet the requirements of the Commission on Dietetic Registration that, as on January 1, 2024, all applicants for the entry-level RD/RDN exam have completed a minimum of a master's degree.
Students are eligible to apply for the program upon completion of 90 credit hours if they have achieved a grade of B or better in all required courses. The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Food Science is awarded following completion of year four (first year of graduate study), and the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is awarded following year five. Upon completion of the master's degree, students will receive the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement, allowing them to enroll in an accredited dietetic internship.
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 to prepare students to become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. 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 Human Nutrition curriculum covers all aspects of normal and therapeutic nutrition for individuals and groups. This major also encompasses nutrition science, the application of the principles of biochemistry, physiology, and biology to human nutritional needs. Current research in human nutrition includes food preference and nutrition, nutrition assessment, and effectiveness of nutrition education (particularly by the use of multimedia) on health and eating habits. Current research in nutrition science includes physiological and genetic determinants of obesity, lipid metabolism, neutraceuticals, and diet-endocrine interrelationships.
Soon after matriculation, students consult with their advisors and complete a plan of study. There are 14 required courses and 1 elective course in the DPD track. All students are expected to file a plan of study with the graduate advisor before the end of their third term of matriculation.
What makes the Human Nutrition program unique?
- Drexel University was one of the first universities in the country to offer the DPD at the graduate level specifically geared to students with a bachelor's in another field.
- Extensive network of professional experiential learning opportunities 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 an internship match are eligible to apply for Drexel's Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) to fulfill their supervised practice requirement.
Students who are currently enrolled in Drexel's bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Foods with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above are eligible to apply.
Applicants must have attained 90 earned credit hours and have no more than 120 registered credit hours when applying.
Applicants must complete the following prerequisite courses (or equivalent courses transferred from another university) with a grade of B or better to continue into the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics:
- CULA 115 Culinary Fundamentals
- ENG 101 Expository Reading and Writing
- ENG 102 Persuasive Writing and Reading
- ENG 103 Analytical Writing and Reading
- HRM 215 Commercial Food Production
- HSCI 345 Statistics for Health Science
- NFS 100 Nutrition, Foods and Health
- NFS 101 Introduction to Nutrition and Food (Lab)
- PSY 101 General Psychology I
Applicants must also complete the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better to continue into the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics:
- BIO 122 Cells and Genetics
- CHEM 101 General Chemistry I
- CHEM 103 General Chemistry II
- CHEM 108 Health Chemistry
- HSCI 101 Anatomy and Physiology I
- HSCI 102 Anatomy and Physiology II
- HSCI 103 Anatomy and Physiology III
- NFS 415 Advanced Nutrition I: Macronutrients
- NFS 416 Advanced Nutrition II: Micronutrients
Two letters of recommendation from faculty
Personal Statement/ Essay:
Approximately 500 words explaining your reasons for pursuing a degree from Drexel and your short- and long-term career plans and how your background, experience, interest, and/or values-when combined with a Drexel degree-will enable you to pursue these goals successfully.
Admissions interview is not required.
Tuition and Fee Rates:
Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page on Drexel Central
Applicants must submit all application materials electronically to Colleen Boyle, Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD). ACEND exists to serve the public by establishing and enforcing Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards that ensure the quality and continued improvement of nutrition/dietetics education programs. Programs meeting those standards are accredited by ACNED. ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition/dietetics education programs.
The Drexel University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
For further information, please contact:
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312.899.0040 ext. 5400
Drexel's MS in Human Nutrition graduates have exceptionally high placement in dietetic internships or Drexel's Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway. Over the past five years (2011-2016), 92% (89/97) of graduates of the program have received a match with a dietetic internship or ISPP (national average 51%).
Drexel's MS in Human Nutrition alumni have an exceptionally high pass rate on the entry-level exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Over the past five years (2011-2015), 100% (57/57) of MS in Human Nutrition alumni passed the exam on their first attempt.
Additional program outcomes are available upon request by contacting the program director, Beth Leonberg.
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: Ninety percent of graduating BS students and 90% of graduating MS students will apply to an accredited dietetic internship within 12 months of graduation.
- 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 100% 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 one year 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 facilitating the success of students from underrepresented groups.
- Objective #1: At least 20% of students in all tracks (BS DPD, MS DPD and ISPP cumulatively) will be from underrepresented groups.
MS/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. The program requires 45 graduate credits and may be completed in two years with full-time study and is the first step to becoming a registered dietitian.
What Is a DPD?
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD ) provides the coursework required to become a registered dietitian. Students who want to become a registered dietitian 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 Master of Science degree, the prerequisite courses (listed on the Admissions tab) fulfill a part of the required DPD coursework. 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. Master of Science students are required to earn a grade of B or better in all DPD courses to receive a DPD verification statement.
What Is a Dietetic Internship?
After you complete your MS/DPD program, you must 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 at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice (unpaid) and are usually completed in eight to 12 months, depending on the availability of a part-time schedule. Entry to a dietetic internship is competitive. You will likely need at least a 3.2 undergraduate 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:
- Clinical dietitians—who provide medical nutritional therapy for patients in hospitals, physician offices, and other locations.
- Sports dietitians— who work with competitive and recreational athletes, and for sports teams.
- Wellness dietetians - who work in corporate wellness programs
- Community dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote good health.
- Management dietitians—who oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in healthcare facilities, business and industry, and colleges and universities.
- Consultant dietitians—who often work under contract with healthcare facilities.
- Private practice dietitians—who counsel individuals and groups on good nutrition to improve health.
- Education dietitians—who teach nurses, dietetics students, and others about nutrition in higher education.