About the Dietetics Track
Choose this program option if you want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, or a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered; credentials required for jobs involving Medical Nutrition Therapy provision in healthcare settings. You’ll be prepared for a career in hospitals, outpatient clinics, private practice, athletic clubs, and wellness centers. You can also provide consulting services to sports teams and restaurants. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in public health, health communication, and the food industry. Information regarding first-year application to this or any program in Boston University can be found here. The Boston University Academic Calendar is available here.
The dietetics track* provides a thorough understanding of nutrition science and dietetics practice. This track meets ACEND accreditation requirements for Didactic Programs in Dietetics which allows students to enter supervised practice (required for credentialing as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or RDN). Through a structured series of academic coursework, laboratory experiences, and the optional practicum, the curriculum emphasizes the development of critical thinking skills that will enable graduates to enter and successfully complete their supervised practice experience – ultimately, best serving the health care needs of society. In this way, the dietetics track is the gateway to professional practice. For those interested in the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) credential, successful completion of the dietetics track qualifies individuals to sit for the national NDTR registration exam.
Successful completion of this track results in the student earning an ACEND Verification Statement which allows the student to proceed into supervised practice and ultimately the national registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, or to take the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered national examination. To obtain an official ACEND Verification Statement the student must:
- Successfully meet the Dietetics Track Gateway Criteria (outlined below), or successfully petitioned to remain in the Dietetics Track
- Meet all degree requirements to graduate
- Completion of all cognate activities and paperwork
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 most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics (DPD) at Boston University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.
The Boston University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995; 312-899-0040, ext. 5400 (http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend).
After completing the dietetics track, you will be eligible to participate in the national computer matching process for supervised practice experiences (e.g., Dietetic Internships), or to take the national registration exam for the NDTR credential.
The 2018 national match rate for supervised practice experiences is 62 percent when pre-select applicants are included, and 57 percent when pre-selected applicants are not included. Our match rate for undergraduate students in the DPD program is 91 percent when pre-select applicants are included and 86 percent when pre-selected applicants are not included. As of February 2020, our pass rate on the NDTR national examination is 100%.
Upon successful completion of supervised practice, (and successful completion of a Master’s degree starting January 1, 2024) students are eligible to take the national registration examination. Students attaining a passing score on the registration exam will earn the credential “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).”
Courses: The curriculum includes basic courses in the biological and chemical sciences. Courses in nutrition include life cycle nutrition, community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, applied nutrition care, applied nutrition counseling, and nutrition research.
To enter the Junior Year, the student must
- Earn a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Meet Gateway Criteria: A minimum grade of C+ (2.3) or better in each of the following four courses, BI 107/BI 108, CH 171/CH 174
- Complete all required first-year and sophomore courses
To enter the Senior Year, the student must:
- Earn a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Complete all required junior courses
To graduate and obtain an ACEND DPD Verification Statement the student must:
- Complete a minimum of 128 credit hours (Note: PDP coursework does not count toward minimum)
- Earn a minimum GPA of 2.0
- Receive no more than 12 credits of D
- Complete all required senior courses
- Complete all required activities and cognate paperwork associated with the DPD
A student may repeat a course only once to meet the above requirements. If courses are repeated, both grades are used to calculate GPA.
*Please note that external transfer students can enroll in the Nutrition and Health track or the Nutrition Science track, but not in the Dietetics track due to professional accreditation requirements.