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.
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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 Didactic Program in Dietetics program (DPD program) is an integrative program that prepares graduates for careers that influence the overall health and well-being of individuals and communities through the knowledge of food and nutrition and prepares students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Goal #1– The program will prepare competent graduates for acceptance into and success in supervised practice programs resulting in eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Goal #2 – The program will prepare graduates who become influencers of the overall health and well-being of individuals and communities by providing opportunities within dietetics courses to develop the knowledge, problem solving and critical thinking skills necessary for success in a supervised practice program.
Program outcome data are available upon request.
Illinois State University Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312-899-0040 http://www.eatright.org/acend
Full Reaccreditation was completed in 2018. Our next accreditation will be in 2026.
DPD graduates are eligible to begin a dietetic internship, if matched. Students generally apply for a post-graduate dietetic internship during their last semester. Dietetic internships require a minimum 1200 hours of pre-professional practice experience, approximately 8 months full time. Most internships are typically 10-12 months long, or longer if combined with graduate coursework or a required master's degree. Though completion of a DPD program meets the requirements for a dietetic internship, it is not a guarantee of being matched to a dietetic internship.
Dietetic internship matching is highly competitive with the national match rate at approximately 50% for the past several years.
After completion of a dietetic internship, one is eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians. The registered dietitian credential is necessary, in most cases, to become licensed to practice as a dietitian/nutritionist in the State of Illinois and other states requiring licensure.
For information regarding cost to the student to attend the DPD program, financial aid and loan deferments please view Tuition and Fees.
The DPD program follows Illinois State University’s Academic Calendar
There are many scholarships available to students at Illinois State University and within the FCS department. To view information about FCS scholarships, please follow the FCS scholarship & Awards tab.