A registered dietitian is a dietetic practitioner who has completed at least four years of college and earned a B.S. degree with clinical experience in an accredited program. To become registered, a dietitian must pass a national registration examination. Dietitians are required to update their knowledge in continuing education during their careers.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) enjoys a long-standing reputation in food and nutrition. Since 1925, NDSU has educated dietitians who are active nationwide in the profession of dietetics and leaders in professional organizations. There are two undergraduate dietetics options at NDSU: The Dietitian Education Program (DEP) and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
Dietitian Education Program (DEP) Option
The DEP is intended to provide comprehensive educational and clinical experiences to enable students to develop competencies needed to function as successful entry-level general practitioners in the profession of dietetics. Students are expected to participate in professional activities.
The DEP option coordinates experience course components with academic courses during the professional program in the junior and senior years of study. It is a two-year full-time professional program with a concentration in Gerontology. Acceptance into the DEP is limited. Transfer students are encouraged to contact the department early on for information if they intend to transfer to NDSU and enter the DEP. The application deadline is mid January. Up to fifteen students are accepted annually into the DEP. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 with a 2.75 science GPA. Once accepted into the DEP, an overall GPA of 3.0 with a "C" or higher in all HNES classes is required to remain in the DEP. Students graduate at the end of four years with the necessary preparation to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. The DEP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; phone number 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400.
Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Option
Selective Post-Baccalaureate Internship Admission
A second option is the DPD. In the DPD option, a student takes all of the academic courses needed to meet ACEND Accreditation Standards for Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics and will graduate with a B.S. degree in dietetics. The application deadline is mid January. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 with a 2.75 science GPA. Students accepted in the DPD should be aware that, in order to continue their education in a dietetic internship (DI), they should have a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA. If the GPA is lower than 3.25, it is unlikely that a student will be accepted into a DI. Work experience, volunteer or paid, in a hospital, long-term care food service, or some other type of food service experience will enhance a student's chance to receive a DI. A student is eligible to take the registration examination to become a registered dietitian following successful completion of a DI.
Dietetic Internships are available across the United States and range in length from 6 to 12 months. Students graduating from this program (DPD) are given departmental faculty assistance in applying for DIs. The DPD program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; phone number 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400.