Nutrition Sciences majors can choose one of three concentrations. Pre-dietetics is the didactic program leading to eligibility for a dietetic internship which is needed to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Pre-Healthcare and Food Management are separate concentrations that do not lead to eligibility for a dietetic internship.
The Pre-Dietetics program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education and Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), provides the necessary coursework that makes students eligible to apply for an accredited dietetics internship after graduation. Students in this program must apply for admission to the Pre-Dietetics concentration after completing 60 hours of coursework and meeting the minimum GPA requirement of 3.00. Completing a dietetic internship is necessary to be eligible to take the national registration exam for nutrition and dietetics, overseen by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
The Pre-Health concentration in nutrition is an excellent option for students preparing for professional careers in the medical or healthcare field (pre-med, physician assistant, dentistry, etc.). Extensive research supports the role of diet in health and disease states. Students must check with the Pre-Health office on campus regarding the requirements of the programs to which they aspire to be sure they are meeting all prerequisites while enrolled in the nutrition sciences Pre-Health concentration. Students may petition for changes to the science course to meet pre-health requirements.
The Food Management concentration is for those applying their nutrition expertise to food systems management in healthcare, schools, universities, or other institutional settings. The concentration can be applied to commercial food service settings as well. This concentration incorporates business and management courses with some flexibility to choose courses according to their personal interest of study.
After completion of the program, graduates may enter the field of clinical dietetics (if Pre-Dietetics), public health, health care, food management, food science and product development, school food service, and/or health promotion.
Students in the Pre-Dietetics and Pre-Health concentrations take a significant number of science courses to provide the necessary scientific foundation for their nutrition and dietetics careers.