Program Overview 


The Family and Consumer Sciences Department at CSUS offers a Bachelor of Science degree in the Special Major in Dietetics.  This major is designed to meet the degree requirement that prepares students to become a registered dietitian (RD), as well as to prepare students for a variety of careers in nutrition, foodservice administration, and food science.  Since dietetics is a special major at CSUS, it is not listed in the University Catalog as a separate program of study.  The Special Major in Dietetics is a Didactic Program for Dietetics (DPD) is currently developmentally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association,120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600, Ext. 5400.

A BS in the Special Major in Dietetics is designed to academically prepare students to apply for an American Dietetic Association accredited supervised practice program (Dietetic Internships or Pre-professional Practice Programs) to establish eligibility for active membership in the American Dietetic Association and/or to write the registration examination for dietitians.  To become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you must first successfully complete the degree, followed by an accredited supervised practice program, and then pass the Examination for Registered Dietitians. Our program will guide you through the steps. 

The majority of required courses for the special major in Dietetics are offered through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.  Additional courses are needed in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics & Statistics, Management, and Psychology.  Students who intend to earn a BS in the Special Major in Dietetics declare the Family and Consumer Sciences major, with a Nutrition and Food concentration.  Students must complete all-university graduation requirements, including general education and specified dietetics course requirements, as described in the major requirements and in the CSUS course catalog.  Approximately three semesters prior to the anticipated graduation date and in conjunction with a faculty adviser, students complete a special major application to verify completion and/or pending completion of dietetics course requirements to the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  Click here for the guidelines. If all Special Major requirements, including an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher and dietetic coursework requirements have been or will be completed by the anticipated graduation date, the Special Major petition is approved and a Bachelor of Science in the Special Major in Dietetics will be awarded at graduation.

If you already have a Bachelor's degree (or a more advanced degree), you may elect to take only courses required for the DPD listed under the major requirements.  You are advised to consult with a faculty adviser for the courses you need to take.  The CSUS DPD Director is Dianne Hyson, PhD, MS,  RD. 

Employment opportunities include dietetics work in hospitals, HMOs, health care facilities, sports nutrition, corporate wellness programs, hospitality and food service industry, food and nutrition-related businesses, private practice, community and public health settings, university and medical centers and research areas. 

Goals and Objectives

The mission of the DPD at Sacramento State is to prepare a diverse population of students to become competent, productive, culturally sensitive, committed, and ethical members of the professions of dietetics, nutrition and food. The program is dedicated to the delivery of a high quality curriculum and experiential activities in accordance with the Foundation Knowledge and Skills set forth by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.

The goals and measurement outcomes for DPD are:

Goal 1: The DPD program will provide quality undergraduate instruction to enable students to apply to an accredited supervised practice program, graduate school, or to pursue a career in the profession of dietetics, nutrition and food, or related field.

Outcome measures:

1.1 Acceptance into a supervised practice program by ≥ 75% of DPD graduates.

1.2 Eighty percent or more of DPD graduates who do not continue on in a supervised practice program, will obtain employment in dietetics, nutrition and food or related field or acceptance into a graduate program within 6 months of completing the DPD.

1.3 Of the students who complete a supervised practice program, ≥ 80% will rate the DPD program as being “adequate” or higher in preparing them for a dietetic internship.

1.4 Of the DPD graduates who complete a supervised practice program, ≥80% will pass the Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians on their first attempt.

Goal 2: The DPD program will provide educational opportunities for a diverse student population and promote cultural sensitivity among students enrolled in the DPD.

Outcome measures: 

2.1 The DPD will include representation of at least four ethnic/racial groups and 5% male students.

2.2 Eighty percent or more of DPD graduates will indicate cultural awareness and sensitivity or will be employed in a work setting that requires cultural sensitivity and awareness.

Goal 3: The DPD program will foster participation in professional activities.

Outcome measures: 

3.1 Within 1 year of completing the DPD, ≥ 75% of students will become members of a professional dietetics organization or a professional organization in a closely related field 

3.2 W ithin 1 year of completing the DPD, ≥ 75% of students will have participated in one or more professional activities including but not limited to continuing education events, workshops, seminars, association, meetings, professional updates, graduate level coursework.

Goal 4: Faculty in the DPD program will utilize diverse teaching styles and current technology to enhance teaching effectiveness and accommodate various styles of learning of enrolled students.

Outcome measures: 

4.1 Seventy five percent or more of the courses offered through the DPD will utilize current technologies in teaching.

4.2 Seventy five percent or more of the courses offered through the DPD will utilize at least three different teaching methodologies.

Curriculum designed for the Special Major in Dietetics develops competencies and skills required of entry level dietetics practitioners as identified by the American Dietetic Association Standards of Education, an advisory panel of local dietitians, and Family and Consumer Sciences faculty.  Program curriculum is committed to helping students and faculty in nutrition and food to maximize personal growth and professional performance and advancement.

The Family and Consumer Sciences Department has five nutrition and food faculty who have advanced degrees in nutrition and/or education.  Two of these faculty are registered dietitians and active members of the American Dietetic Association, California Dietetic Association, and local Northern Area Dietetic Association.  The academic and professional experiences of the nutrition and food faculty are diverse and represent all areas of dietetics: nutritional metabolism, clinical nutrition, food service management and community nutrition.

Upon graduation you will receive a verification statement in accordance with the American Dietetics Association guidelines. Graduates are encouraged and guided to take the necessary steps to become registered dietitians and seek dietetics related professions.  Whether the graduate elects to develop a career in food service management, community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, nutritional metabolism, dietetics research or teaching, it is expected that they have the skills and confidence to perform in any of these areas of the dietetics specialty after completing their dietetics program and supervised practice.