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Dietetics Concentration Family & Consumer Sciences Department

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Didactic Program Dietetics (DPD)

Overview

The Family and Consumer Sciences Department offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food with a Concentration in Dietetics. The Dietetics Concentration fulfills the academic requirements for eligibility to apply for qualifying experiences required to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or to become a Nutrition & Dietetics Technician Registered (NDTR), as well as to prepare students for a variety of careers in the field of food and nutrition.

Our Dietetics Concentration is a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Contact information for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: 800/877-1600 Phone: 312/899-0040120 Fax: 312/899-4817
Academy website: http://www.eatright.org

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

Program Mission

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Sac 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 Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam to become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: The program will prepare graduates for supervised practice, graduate school, or employment in nutrition and dietetics or related fields.

Objective Measures:

1.1 At least 80% of DPD program students will complete the degree and program requirements within six years (150% of the program length).

1.2 At least 50% of DPD graduates will apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.

1.3 At least 50% of DPD graduates are admitted into a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.

1.4 60% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists/dietetics technicians, registered within 12 months of program completion.

1.5 The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80% or the CDR credentialing exam for nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered is at least 70%.

1.6 At least 75% of supervised practice directors responding to a survey will rate program graduate’s preparation for supervised practice as “adequate” (above average) or better.

1.7 Of graduates who seek employment, ≥80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

1.8 At least 80% of the graduates who respond to the survey will rate the DPD program as being "adequate" or higher in preparing them for supervised practice, graduate school, or employment.

Goal 2: The program will graduate diverse practitioners who work effectively with diverse populations in dietetics or related fields.

Objective Measures:

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

2.2 At least 80% of DPD graduates will indicate that the program prepared them for an understanding of cultural differences, diversity, and inclusion.

Goal 3: The program will graduate practitioners with a commitment to continuing education and service to the profession.

Objective Measures:

3.1 At least 75% of DPD graduates responding to the one-year post-graduation survey will indicate membership in a professional organization.

3.2 At least 50% of graduates responding to the one-year post-graduation survey will indicate having participated in one or more professional activities, including but not limited to continuing education events, workshops, seminars, meetings, professional updates.

*Program outcome data is available upon request

DPD Handbook

The DPD handbook is designed to assist you in planning your coursework and to answer questions you may have about the educational path to becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR). It contains general information about our program such as our Mission Statement and Goals, our accreditation status, how to apply to the Dietetics Concentration, what courses are required for the major, and information about the department and advising. There is also information about our university's policies and procedures that provide guidance in your academic career at
Sacramento State.

This handbook is not intended to replace regular appointments with your academic advisor. Rather, it is meant to be a source of information for your use.  

DPD Handbook 2020

Advising

Group Advising Summer 2021

RSVP: Contact Heather Rogers at Heather.rogers@csus.edu to reserve a space. 

Becoming a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists (RDs/RDNs) are considered food and nutrition experts. They have met the following criteria to earn the RD/RDN credential:

  • Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (Dietetic Internship) at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at www.cdrnet.org.
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Some RDNs hold additional certifications in their specialized areas of practice. The Commission on Dietetic Registration offers Board Certification as a Specialist in Pediatric, Renal, Gerontological, Pediatric Critical Care, and Oncology Nutrition, as well as Sports Dietetics and Obesity and Weight Management.

In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become an RDN.

Changes to RDN Certification

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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.

For more information, please visit the CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.

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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at California State University, Sacramento are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

About ACEND-Accredited Programs

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 dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered.

A DPD program provides the required dietetics coursework leading to a bachelor's or graduate degree. Graduates of ACEND-accredited programs who are verified by the program director may apply for Dietetic Internships to establish eligibility to write the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registration examination for dietitians. A search engine designed to locate acredited DPD programs by state and options is also availible.

To become an RDN, you must first successfully complete the degree, followed by an accredited supervised practice program, and then pass the examination for RDNs.

Use these graphics of routes to RDN Registration Eligibility provided by the Academy to determine which program type is right for you:

Routes to Meeting Eligibility Requirements for the Registration Exam for Dietitians (Prior to Jan 1, 2024)

Routes to Meeting Eligibility Requirements for the Registration Exam for Dietitians (After Jan 1, 2024)

Other information about ACEND-accredited programs can be accessed here.

Careers in Dietetics

Dietetics is the science and art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health. It is a vital, growing profession with many career possibilities. Whichever option you choose, you will share your knowledge of food and nutrition to help people make healthful food choices.

Registered dietitian nutritionists work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice.

Many work environments, particularly those in medical and health-care settings, require that an individual be credentialed as an RDN. RDNs work in:

  • Hospitals, HMO's or other health-care facilities, educating patients about nutrition and administering medical nutrition therapy as part of the health-care team. They may also manage the foodservice operations in these settings, as well as in schools, day-care centers and correctional facilities, over-seeing everything from food purchasing and preparation to managing staff.
  • Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, educating clients about the connection between food, fitness and health.
  • Food and nutrition-related business and industries, working in communications, consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, product development or consulting with chefs in restaurants and culinary schools.
  • Private practice,working under contract with health-care or food companies, or in their own business. RDNs may provide services to foodservice or restaurant managers, food vendors and distributors or athletes, nursing home residents or company employees.
  • Community and public health settings,teaching, monitoring and advising the public and helping improve their quality of life through healthy eating habits.
  • Universities and medical centers,teaching physician’s assistants, nurses, dietetics students, dentists and others the sophisticated science of foods and nutrition.
  • Research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals directing or conducting experiments to answer critical nutrition questions and find alternative foods or nutrition recommendations for the public.

(RDN Fact Sheet Coming Soon)

Job Compensation and Outlook

According to the Academy's 2018 Dietetics Compensation and Benefits survey, among all RDNs in all positions, the median hourly wage as of April 1, 2017, was $30.45. If annualized, this equates to a full-time salary of $63,340 per year. As would be expected, years of nutrition/ dietetics experience (or years within the same position) is strongly associated with an increase in compensation. As with any profession, salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility and supply of RDNs. Salaries increase with years of experience and RDNs, in management and business, earn incomes of $85,000 to $88,000.

Specific work settings for which median hourly wages are highest include pharmaceutical or nutrition products manufacturer, distributor, or retailer ($43.27); contract food management company ($36.35); college, university, or teaching-hospital faculty ($35.76); informatics ($34.13).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. In recent years, interest in the role of food and nutrition in promoting health and wellness has increased, particularly as a part of preventative healthcare in medical settings.

DPD Verification Statement

Verification Statements are issued when the student has completed DPD requirements, and the registrar has cleared the student for graduation. This form is completed, signed, and supplied by the DPD director on record with ACEND® when the form is signed.

Before beginning a supervised practice program, the verification statement is required to establish eligibility to write the registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered.

The DPD Director's signature on this form verifies that the individual has successfully completed the program requirements. Once the student's degree is posted, the director will issue a Verification Statement, and a minimum of six copies will be mailed directly to the student. Alternatively, the student will be emailed a Verification Statement signed with the DPD Director’s digital signature that can be authenticated.

Declare Dietetics Concentration

Change of Major

Declare Dietetics Concentration

Current NUFD Majors: Declare Dietetics

You are eligible to declare the Dietetics Concentration after completing NUFD 9, 10, 11, and 113; CHEM 1A and 1B; BIO 10; and STAT 1 with a grade of at least C. Overall GPA must be at least 2.75.

To declare the Dietetics Concentration, have the ‘Declaring Dietetics Concentration’ form reviewed by either Dr. Mulasi or Dr. Buchan. Include a copy of your unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities (including Sac State), highlight all the prerequisite courses taken.

Post Baccalaureate DPD Program

Post-baccalaureate DPD Program

Flowchart

Advising Sheet

Application Process for Post-baccalaureate DPD:

Our program is currently full to capacity for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. New candidates can begin enrolling in classes beginning Summer 2022. The application process for the program will reopen in Spring 2022. Review of prior coursework (transcripts) and work experience will also occur in Spring 2022 for the Summer 2022 and future cohort.

Enrollment in the required courses for the DPD Verification is not guaranteed; degree-seeking students are given priority. Individuals are enrolled based on seat availability and instructor permission. One might have to wait until the first week of the semester for registration.

While lower division DPD courses can be transferred from another college/institution, all upper-division courses must be taken through Open University Program. Open University Program allows you to take classes on a space-available basis without being formally admitted to Sacramento State University.

Fees:

The Open University fee is $253 per unit. Financial aid is not available. Waivers are not accepted. A $25 late fee is applied to registrations submitted after the deadline.

International Degree Holders

If you have an international degree, you are required to have your coursework evaluated by a foreign degree evaluating agency first. A list of foreign degree evaluating agencies can be found here. Once the foreign degree evaluation is completed, complete DPD Enrollment Form with required documents.

The Academy has provided resources and information for international students you might find helpful in order to become an RD and pursue a career in dietetics, including answers to frequently asked questions.

DPD Program Director

Dr. Urvashi Mulasi, PhD

DPD Program Director, Professor, NUFD Faculty Advisor

Office Hours: Mon. 2 - 4 p.m.,Tues. 3 - 4 p.m.

Email: mulasi@csus.edu

(email for Zoom meeting information)

Department of Family & Consumer Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions