A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is an expert in food and nutrition and an advocate for healthy eating. Registered dietitian nutritionists are employed in a variety of settings including clinical facilities, food service establishments and community programs. Admission into either program requires a formal application process during spring semester of the sophomore year. See the "What It Takes" section for details.
The dietetics programs at Utah State University are offered as an in-person, face-to-face program. Education in the USU programs for dietetics prepares students to sit the national registration exam for dietitians. This exam is required for licensing in most states, including the state of Utah. Additional information on licensing and certification programs can be found at https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure.
- Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD): This emphasis includes an internship during a student’s senior year .
- Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD): This emphasis includes an internship following graduation.
With a degree in dietetics, students may be qualified for the following careers:
- Registered Nutritionist
- Clinical nutrition (hospitals, long-term care facilities, health care, etc.)
- Community nutrition and education
- Public health
- Food service management: schools, clinical facilities
- Private consulting
- Sports nutrition
- Freshman: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to the pre-dietetics program.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 3.0 total GPA to apply to this emphasis.
- Dietetics Program Requirements: In order to be formally admitted into the dietetics program, students must apply to either the CPD or DPD program.
- CPD: The CPD program is limited to 12 students per year. Students in this program complete a 1,200-hour internship while completing their junior- and senior-level coursework. After graduation, they are eligible to take the national registration exam, administered by the American Dietetic Association, to obtain their registered dietitian credential.
- DPD: Usually 12-18 students are admitted to this program each year. Students in the DPD program complete junior- and senior-level coursework, graduate, and then apply for an internship elsewhere. The internship is 1,200 hours and typically takes 7-12 months to complete. After the internship is complete, students are eligible to take the national registration exam, administered by the American Dietetic Association, to obtain their registered dietitian credential.
Program application occurs each March. Students who apply must:
- Complete prerequisite coursework (see department for more information)
- Have a 3.0 GPA or higher
- Submit a cover letter and written application summarizing academic performance, goals, and dietetics-related experience
- Complete 200 hours of dietetic-related experience (see department for more information)
- Participate in a 20-minute interview and take a short math quiz
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
Phi Upsilon Omicron: This is a national honor society for majors in family and consumer sciences. The society recognizes and encourages academic excellence, develops qualities of professional and personal leadership, provide opportunities for service to the profession and encourage professional and personal commitment to the area of family and consumer sciences.
Dietetics Club: The Dietetics Club meets monthly to provide opportunities to interact with other dietetics students and participate in projects and activities related to nutrition.
Labs, Centers, Research
Center for Advanced Nutrition: The CAN provides a multi-disciplinary venue for the discussion, discovery, and dissemination of information about the biological, physiological, and psychological mechanisms of proper nutrition. The scope of discovery is broad and falls into four distinct but overlapping focus areas: bioactive foods, nutrition and the brain, ingestive behavior, and personalized nutrition.
Center for Human Nutrition Studies: The "Center for Human Nutrition Studies" at Utah State University provides the organizational structure and logistic support for research scientists with interests in conducting clinical studies with an emphasis on nutrition. The Center, with a core staff consisting of experienced clinical researchers, community interventionist, research dietitian, clinic coordinator, laboratory research associate and support staff, coupled with an outstanding clinical facility and research kitchen, is designed to serve as a resource to Utah State University researchers in efforts to secure extramural research funding and industry contracts and partnerships. The Center also provides opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to gain experience in the design and conduct of human nutrition clinical studies. The Center is managed by the USTAR Applied Nutrition Research Team in conjunction with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and under the administrative oversight of the College of Agriculture.
Center for Integrated BioSystems: The CIB leads a progressive, interdisciplinary effort in research, core services, and education serving agriculture and life sciences. The CIB is where the first hybrid animal, a mule, was cloned, and was named one of “30 Awesome College Labs” by Popular Science magazine. The CIB has a research program with several active projects in diverse areas of life science that encompass plant, animal, and microbe functional genomics.
Dairy Plant/Aggie Ice Cream: Famous Aggie Ice Cream is produced in the Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Building. Ice Cream, cheese, yogurt, jerky, and other food products are available.
Kitchen/Taste Panel Roomand Sensory Laboratory: The Kitchen/Taste Panel Room and Sensory Laboratory is where students and community members often participate as members of a consumer panel to test food products and/or rate the taste of new foods developed by food science students.
Meat Processing Plant: In this facility, students learn how to identify and harvest different cuts of meat.
Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.
Western Dairy Center: The Western Dairy Center conducts basic and applied research in dairy products and ingredients, and then transfers the results to the dairy industry. The center provides expert assistance in these important areas: fluid milk and ice cream, fermented products (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, buttermilk), milk protein chemistry (coagulation, denaturation, separation), food engineering (membrane, extrusion and injection processing), genetics and bioengineering of lactic acid bacteria, ultra-high temperature and extended-shelf life products.