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A registered dietitian is a dietetic practitioner who has completed at least four years of college and earned a Bachelor of Science degree with 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.

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Background Information

North Dakota State University has enjoyed 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. The undergraduate program in dietetics is one of the finest in the nation. There are two undergraduate dietetics options at NDSU—the dietitian education program (DEP) with a concentration in gerontology, and the didactic program in dietetics (DPD).

Dietitian Education Program Option Selective Admission

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 February 1 of the sophomore year. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 with a 2.75 science GPA. 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Didactic Program in Dietetics Option Selective Post-Baccalaureate Internship Admission

A second option is the DPD. In this option, the student takes all of the academic course requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and graduates with a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics. The application deadline is February 1 of the sophomore year. 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 that, it is less likely a student will be accepted into a DI. Work experience, volunteer or paid, in healthcare food service, or some other type of nutrition or community 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 eight to 12 months. This program is also accredited by ACEND.

Career Opportunities

Dietitians are employed in facilities such as hospitals, clinics and long-term care, providing nutrition therapy as well as food service administration. They also work in business as sales or educational professionals, for commercial and government establishments, or as dietetic practitioners in community settings and public health. Some registered dietitians work for food commodity groups such as the Dairy Council or Wheat Commission. Dietitians work in education by teaching dietetics, nutrition and food service management in colleges, universities, medical schools and public school systems. In community settings, dietitians provide counseling and nutritional services for city and county health departments, older American feeding programs, child care centers and school food service programs. Dietitians also work in wellness centers, hospitals and consulting positions as part of the health promotion team.

The practice of dietetics is continuously changing as more research is conducted on foods and on the role of food in human health. Many dietitians work in hospital settings, either in clinical management or nutrition therapy as clinical dietitians. Clinical dietitians who work in nutrition therapy assess the nutritional needs of patients, plan menus, recommend or prescribe diets and nutritional support for patients, consult with physicians and direct educational programs on nutrition and special diets. They are members of the interdisciplinary team both in healthcare and wellness facilities.

Career Outlook

Placement surveys conducted in the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences at NDSU show that more than 90 percent of the dietetics graduates obtain employment in their field within four months of graduation. It should be pointed out that employment is most favorable outside of Fargo. A recent study projects there will be a continued demand for dietitians in both traditional and nontraditional areas for years to come. During college, many opportunities are available for students to obtain experience in the field. Some of those opportunities are through food service management companies, public health service and university dining services.

Academic Advisement

The Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science prides itself on giving individual attention and advisement to each student. A faculty advisor is assigned to each dietetics major. The academic advisor helps students set goals for their college work, helps them choose courses and encourages them to seek community work experience during their college career. In addition to the academic advisor, each incoming freshman and transfer student is assigned a student advisor to help with routine questions and to give assistance in adjusting to college life.

High School Preparation

Students interested in dietetics should have a background in the natural sciences. A good ability in communication skills, both oral and written, is an advantage to students considering dietetics.


Numerous scholarships are available through the College of Human Development and Education and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Contact the department for more information.

Sample Curriculum

(Dietitian Education Program Option/Gerontology

General EducationCredits
First Year Experience
    HD&E 189 - Skills for Academic Success1
  COMM 110 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking3
  ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II 3, 3
  English Upper Level Writing Course3
Quantitative Reasoning
  STAT 330 - Introductory Statistics3
Science & Technology
  BIOL 220 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I 3
  CHEM 121, 121L - General Chemistry I and Lab 3, 1
  MICR 202, 202L - Introduction to Microbiology and Lab3
Humanities & Fine Arts6
Social and Behavioral Sciences
  ECON 105 - Elements of Economics3
  PSYC 111 - Introduction to Psychology3
  HNES 250 - Nutrition Science3
Cultural Diversity
  ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology 3
Global Perspective
  ECON 105 - Elements of Economics3
Major RequirementsCredits
ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology3
BIOL 221 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II3
CHEM 240 - Survey of Organic Chemistry3
CHEM 260 - Elements of Biochemistry4
HNES 141 - Food Sanitation1
HNES 251 - Nutrition, Growth and Development3
HNES 260 - Athletic Training Medical Terminology1
HNES 261, 261L - Food Selection and Preparation Principles
   and Lab

HNES 291 - Seminar1
HNES 351 - Metabolic Basis of Nutrition4
HNES 354, 354L - Introduction to Medical Nutrition
  Therapy and Lab

HNES 361, 361L - Foodservice Systems Management I and Lab     4
HNES 442, 442L - Community Health and Nutrition
   Education and Lab

HNES 452 - Nutrition, Health and Aging3
HNES 458, 458L - Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
   and Lab

HNES 460, 460L - Foodservice Systems Management II
   and Lab

HNES 480 - Dietetics Practicum (Capstone Experience)12
HNES 499 - Special Topics3
MATH 103 - College Algebra or
   MATH 104 - Finite Mathematics

PSYCH 211 - Introduction to Behavior Modification or
    PSYCH 280 - Introduction to Health Psychology

Curriculum Total122

This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall
Room 255D

Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall is located in the center of campus on Centennial Boulevard and is connected to the east end of the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Family Life Center (Campus Map)

Contact Information

College of Human Development and Education
North Dakota State University
Evelyn Morrow Lebedeff Hall
Dept #2600, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7071 / Fax: (701) 231-7174


Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences
North Dakota State University
Dept #2600, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-7474 / Fax: (701) 231-7174

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:57:41 PM