The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods program is not accepting applications for the 2024 - 2025 academic year.
The Drexel Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods program prepares students to pursue career opportunities in nutrition and dietetics. Graduates of this program can apply the principles of nutrition and food science to the nutritional care of individuals and groups - such as in hospitals, school food service or community nutrition - or to excel in careers in the wellness, food or pharmaceutical industries.
Although the degree does not by itself prepare you to become a dietitian, many of our students go on to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). 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.
Drexel offers two pathways to becoming an RDN:
- The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Foods (with co-op), followed by the Master of Science (MS) in Human Nutrition Plus Partner Dietetic Internship
The BS in Nutrition and Foods (without co-op) Bridge to MS in Nutrition and Dietetics
- The bachelor’s degree is completed in four academic years with an optional 6-month co-op in the spring/summer of the third year.
- The MS degree is completed in one additional academic year (12 months) beginning in the fall after completion of the BS degree. The MS is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics as a Didactic Program in Dietetics and meets the coursework portion of the requirements to become an RDN.
- During the first quarter of the MS, students complete an internal application to at least two of our partner dietetic internships. These high-quality dietetic internships have agreed to pre-select them into their program for the following year without going through the centralized application system and internship match.
- Students are eligible to take the RD exam after they complete the dietetic internship.
- NOTE: you may also complete the BS in Nutrition and Foods and choose a different master’s degree and/or dietetic internship to complete after graduation. You are not required to continue into one of Drexel’s partner internships.
- Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn grades of C or better in prerequisite science courses and B or better in other prerequisite courses. Once they have completed between 90 and 120 credits, they can complete the necessary paperwork to be enrolled in the bridge program.
- Students take bachelor’s degree coursework in the first three years of the program and master’s degree coursework for the last two years of the program. The BS in Nutrition and Foods degree is conferred at the end of the fourth year; the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics is conferred at the end of the fifth year.
- Beginning in spring of the fourth year, students complete 24 hours per week of experiential learning at a variety of hospitals, clinics, and other sites to develop the competencies to become RDNs. Experiential learning sites are in and around Philadelphia (up to 1.5 hour drive); students are responsible for their own transportation to sites.
- Students are eligible to take the RD exam after they complete the MS degree.
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 Nutrition and Foods program provides students with coursework in basic sciences (chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology), nutrition science, food preparation and food science, communication and applied nutrition (wellness and weight management, community nutrition, nutrition in chronic disease and nutrition research) to prepare them for a variety of career options.
Students who complete this degree may go on to complete the requirements to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), go to medical, dental or nursing school, or pursue careers in wellness, sustainability, food science or the food industry. A six-month co-op is available with the four-year degree option. For students who pursue bridge to the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics, experiential learning is built into the program beginning in the spring of the fourth year and continuing through the remainder of the degree.
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 Drexel’s Nutrition and Foods program unique?
- BS to MS in Nutrition and Dietetics Bridge, allowing you to complete all the requirements to become a registered dietitian nutritionist at Drexel in only five years.
- Option to complete a four-year degree with co-op, followed by the one-year MS in Human Nutrition at Drexel Plus Partner Dietetic Internship or another master’s degree and dietetic internship.
- Integration of hands-on food preparation and wellness courses throughout the curriculum preparing you for multiple career options.
- Extensive network of professional experiential learning opportunities, including co-op and research involvement.
Additional Program outcomes are available upon request by contacting the program director, Beth Leonberg at email@example.com.
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 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
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 or the Drexel Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP). Over the past five years (20 11-2016), 88% (44/50) of graduates of the program have received a match with a dietetic internship or ISPP (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 to become a registered dietitian nutritionist on the 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 or to work in the field of dietetics.
- Objective #1: At least 90% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective #2: Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 90% are admitted within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective #3: 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 #4: At least 80% of students complete program within 18 months (150% of planned program length).
Program Goal #2: To prepare graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.
- Objective #1: The program's one-year pass rate on the CDR credentialing exam for registered dietitian nutritionists is at least 90%.
- Objective #2: Internship directors or employers 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 within 12 months of graduation.
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 will be from underrepresented groups.
Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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 Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is the right career choice for you.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics determines the educational requirements to become an RDN. You can find the latest information on their website here:
Drexel offers two pathways to becoming an RDN:
- The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Foods (with co-op), followed by the Master of Science (MS) in Human Nutrition (Didactic Program in Dietetics) Plus Partner Dietetic Internship, or
- The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Foods (without co-op) Bridge to the MS in Nutrition and Dietetics
At completion of either pathway, graduates are eligible to take the Registered Dietitian Exam offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration:
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In Pennsylvania, graduates also must obtain licensure to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics at Drexel University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN please visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students
WHAT IS A DIDACTIC PROGRAM IN DIETETICS (DPD)?
The DPD provides the coursework required to become an RDN. Students who want to become an RDN must successfully complete coursework approved by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon completion of the DPD program, students receive a verification statement, which shows successful completion of the program and allows entry into a dietetic internship.
WHAT IS A DIETETIC INTERNSHIP (DI)?
The dietetic internship (also called supervised practice) provides hands-on training to apply what you learn in the classroom. Dietetic internships provide a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practice and are usually completed in eight to 12 months. They are an additional part of the educational process to become a dietitian and have tuition and fees associated with them. There are more than 250 accredited dietetic internships available throughout the United States and each sets its own admission requirements, tuition, and fees. Entry to a dietetic internship is competitive and is typically achieved through a national online matching process called the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) (https://portal.dicas.org/). Drexel students may apply to one of our partner DIs without going through the match or may apply to any other dietetic internship they would like, but they are matched with only one. After completion of the internship, graduates are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.
WHAT IS A GRADUATE PROGRAM (GP)?
The GP is a new pathway to becoming an RDN that combines the coursework and experiential learning (supervised practice) into a single program. The GP uses competency-based education from the start of the program to prepare students with the competencies they need to be successful as an RDN at three levels (knows, shows and does). There are more than 50 accredited GPs in the United States, and each sets its own admission requirements, tuition and fees.
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 dietitians—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.