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).
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
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 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.
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
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 interim program director, Stella Volpe, PhD.
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.
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:
- 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.