College of Education and Professional Studies

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management

Download the Degree Sheet
Download the DPD Student Handbook

Students prepare for a variety of careers in the food and/or health industries. This rapidly growing profession prepares students to assist people in selecting and obtaining nourishing, healthy food. There are diverse opportunities for the graduates that include food service management, healthcare in hospitals and clinics, private practice, education, research, community nutrition, and business and industry. The Nutrition program offers a diverse mixture of courses that may lead to an entry-level position in the area of dietetics. Completion of the program may qualify the graduate to enter a dietetic internship and/or enter a graduate program.

The Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management program at The University of Central Oklahoma is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).  Upon completion of this degree, also called the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), students may be eligible to apply for entry into a supervised practice program (internship), which will make them eligible to take the Registration Examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.). At the undergraduate level, this degree emphasizes the knowledge and skills essential for competent entry-level dietetics practice.

ACEND Address
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
https://www.eatright.org/ACEND

Admission

There is no admission process to become a DPD student. Any student who has been admitted to the University will be considered a dietetics student upon the declaration of their major. Any student may declare Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management as a major (Code 3080).

Requirements for a Bachelor of Science Degree

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management program must complete at least 124 credit hours of courses. Students must complete University core curriculum requirements in addition to DPD courses (major requirements). See the Undergraduate Catalog or your assigned academic advisor for approved courses or for information regarding credit for courses.

Students must earn a 2.50 minimum cumulative grade point average in all college coursework, coursework at UCO, and major courses to qualify for the degree. You may earn a degree in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management without earning a verification statement.

It is important to note, that those who earn a degree but do not qualify for a verification statement will have career options but will not be eligible to become a Registered Dietitian or a Dietetic Technician Registered. Students may not apply for entry into a dietetic internship until the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) has been successfully completed AND the student has met the requirements to earn a verification statement which includes a minimum GPA of 3.20 in the DPD courses. Likewise, students are not eligible to sit for the registration exam until they have successfully completed their supervised practice program.

Requirements for Earning a Verification

A verification statement is an official document that certifies successful completion of a Baccalaureate degree and the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited program. A verification statement is required to qualify for application to a dietetic internship. The following is the policy of the UCO DPD program for earning a verification statement. The DPD Director will issue a verification statement if the following criteria are met:

  • A GPA of 3.20 in the DPD required coursework (all courses excluding the University Core)
  • No grade lower than a C in all DPD courses
  • Meet all coursework requirements within a 5 year period
  • All 4000 level NTRN courses taken in residence at the University of Central Oklahoma.

All students meeting the requirements for a verification statement will be issued one. It will be retained on file in the Program Director’s office indefinitely. A Declaration of Intent form will be provided by the Program Director for students applying to supervised practice programs prior to when coursework is completed. Issuance of a verification statement requires up to four weeks post-graduation.

Students receiving a verification statement who are unable to enter a dietetic internship may qualify to become a Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR). A DTR is a food and nutrition practitioner who has completed at least a two-year associate's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, required course work and at least 450 hours of supervised practice accredited by ACEND or at least a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and required coursework for a Didactic Program (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP). Earning the DTR credential does not require additional supervised practice hours however, you must pass a national DTR examination administered by CDR and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. The majority of DTRs work with RDs in a variety of employment settings including health care (assisting RDs in providing medical nutrition therapy), in hospitals, HMOs, clinics or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of DTRs work in community and public health settings such as school or day care centers, correctional facilities, weight management clinics and WIC programs as nutrition counselors.

To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N), a student must:

Earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management or have a degree from an ACEND accredited DPD program. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements, students may earn a verification statement that allows them to apply for entry into a supervised practice program (see Post Baccalaureate section).

  • Successfully complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program (dietetic internship), which require 1200 hours of supervised practice.
  • Pass the Registration Exam for Dietitians.
  • Students may not apply for entry into a dietetic internship until the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) has been successfully completed. Likewise, students are not eligible to sit for the registration exam until they have successfully completed their supervised practice program.

Students not wishing to become a registered dietitian or who do not earn a verification statement may complete a degree in Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Management.  This degree is designed to meet the requirements for Pre-med, dental, optometry, pharmacy and other post-graduate programs in the health care arenas as well as foodservice management and food science.  Students earning a degree in Nutrition and Food Management will have an in-depth knowledge of the science of nutrition and a solid foundation in applied science.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to provide high quality nutrition education and skills necessary to encourage responsible, ethical, competent professionals and prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become registered dietitian nutritionists, or related fields. The program will foster an environment which will encourage leadership, professional development, and community service through transformative learning.

Program Goals

Goal 1: The program will prepare graduates with basic knowledge and skills needed for acceptance into a supervised practice program.

 Outcome Measures

  1. 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of program length).
  2. 70% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  3. 80% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  4. The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  5. 90% of Dietetic Internship Directors completing a DI Director survey will rate graduates as satisfactory for entry level into supervised practice.
  6. 80% of graduates completing a graduate survey/exit interview or alumni survey will indicate the DPD program prepared them to succeed in a dietetic internship.

Goal 2: The program will prepare graduates for a career in food, nutrition, or health related fields through development of professional skills, leadership and transformative learning.

Outcome Measures

  1. 80% of graduates completing a graduate survey/exit interview will indicate that they agree or strongly agree that they were exposed to a variety of career paths in nutrition and related fields.
  2. 80% of graduates completing a graduate survey/exit interview will agree or strongly agree that they were exposed to leadership and professional development activities.

Outcome data is available upon request.

Costs

Fees associated with enrollment to the University of Central Oklahoma can be seen by visiting UCO’s “Financial Disclosure / Enrollment Costs” webpage.
 
In addition to tuition, books, and living expenses, costs associated with the DPD program include, but are not be limited to the following:

  • $25 - Estimated lab uniform
  • $20 - Immunizations
  • $20 - Food and Nutrition Club dues
  • $58 - AND dues
  • $20 - District Dietetic dues
  • $10 - Background check


Academic Calendar

http://calendar.uco.edu/MasterCalendar.aspx

Financial Aid

Financial Aid: Information concerning tuition, fees and financial aid is published in the University of Central Oklahoma Undergraduate Catalog. For information regarding student loans, University scholarships or grants, visit the UCO Financial Aid webpage, or contact them here:

Student Financial Services
Nigh University Center (NUC) 141
100 North University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
405-974-2727
FAX: 405-340-7658
onestop@uco.edu

Career Opportunities

For career opportunities and salary estimates, see the DPD Student Handbook.

Related Professional Organizations

Program Handbook Statement

All policies and procedures specific to the program are available in the DPD Student Handbook.  

For more information:

Contact the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), Tawni Holmes, PhD, RD/LD.