Illinois State's ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD program) is a 2-year program that includes extensive coursework in the sciences, social sciences, management, and specialized courses covering the broad field of food, nutrition, and dietetics. All DPD students will need to complete an undergraduate professional practice experience as a program requirement.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics provides the first step for students planning to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) by preparing graduates for the required ACEND accredited dietetic internship. Find out more about the steps to becoming an RDN.
The program culminates with students receiving a B.S. degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics and an ACEND Verification Statement of DPD Program Completion, which verifies that graduates have met the required Standards of Education established by ACEND, the accrediting agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This official statement is required for graduates to begin an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship after acceptance, and for other professional applications requiring verification of DPD Program completion.
Effective 1/1/2024, a master's degree will be required to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration RDN credentialing exam.
Illinois State University offers multiple master’s program pathways that will enable qualified students to meet the master’s requirement while continuing their educational path to becoming an RDN at ISU. Qualified juniors can apply to the accelerated master’s program which allows students to complete an undergraduate and master’s degree in 5 years. Accelerated dietetics master’s students have the option of being preselected to our distance internship.
Additionally, Illinois State has a traditional graduate program that cumulates in a M.S. in Nutrition. We offer two tracks of an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program, including a combined Master’s-Dietetic Internship and a Distance Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate Program.
Why Study Dietetics?
Dietetics at Illinois State prepares you to help individuals and communities incorporate positive food changes and nutrition strategies.
As a student in this program, you'll take extensive coursework in sciences, social sciences, management, and take specialized courses covering the broad field of food, nutrition, and dietetics.
Employment opportunities are diverse. Graduates of our program work in a variety of settings after completing all steps to become a dietitian.
- Medical centers
- Acute care facilities
- Long-term care facilities
- Corporate wellness
- Community deititian (WIC, University Extension, etc.)
- Food and medical product companies
- School nutrition programs
- Education and research
- Sports nutrition
- Private practice
Students who choose not to pursue all steps to become a dietitian can become a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) with a FND bachelor’s degree, DPD verification statement and successful completion of the NDTR examination. Students interested in this pathway should contact the DPD director (email@example.com) prior to or after graduation to complete the proper paperwork. If a student chooses not to pursue RDN or NDTR, careers are available in the food and beverage industry and health industry.
The minimum GPA for admission into FND is 2.80. Admission is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum GPA requirement does not guarantee admission into the program. Admission decisions are based not only on the cumulative GPA of the applicant, but on the quality of the overall pool of applications, and the number of seats available in the department for students. Students will receive a decision letter regarding their application either before or during advanced registration.