Dietitian Courses and Colleges

Dietitians focus on nutrition, and their work can consist of helping clients make good food choices or planning menus for institutions, such as hospitals and schools. Get information on the courses and experience you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree in dietetics or nutrition. Learn about licensing requirements, projections for job growth in this field and career options. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Dietitians develop meal plans, give advice on proper nutritional habits, and perform health assessments to help individuals meet dietary goals, such as those dealing with weight loss or disease management. Programs in dietetics include classes on nutrition and clinical internships to prepare students to become licensed or certified dietitians.

Colleges Mansfield University, New York University Steinhardt, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Courses Nutrition through the life cycle, nutrition counseling, medical nutrition, food service sanitation
Licensing Required in most states

Which Schools Offer Degree Programs for Dietitians?

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in most cases dietitians must obtain a bachelor's degree to pursue certification and gain entry into internships that are part of the curriculum of a 4-year degree program in dietetics or a related field. In addition to the schools listed in the chart, colleges and universities that offer these kinds of programs include:

  • Boston University (B.S. in Nutrition)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition)
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (B.S. in Nutritional Science)
  • Colorado State University (B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science)
  • Texas A&M University (B.S. in Nutrition - Dietetics Track)

What College Courses Might I Take in a Dietitian Program?

In order to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), you must complete a bachelor's degree program in dietetics, nutritional sciences, food science or nutrition that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition to the coursework listed in the chart, you can expect to take science courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry and microbiology. Other courses you can expect to take in a 4-year degree program in these subjects include:

  • Principles of nutrition
  • Human nutrition
  • Nutrition and health assessment
  • Community nutrition

What Training Might I Receive When Pursuing a Career as a Dietitian?

Along with completing classroom training, you will need to complete a supervised practice program with a community agency, health care facility or food service establishment to qualify for the RD designation. Clinical training programs typically last 6 to 12 months and result in hundreds of hours of training. Some schools require that you complete rotations in several different areas or work with a variety of agencies. Internships can be found through school programs or through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Do I Need to Become Licensed?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most states require licensure while a few require certification or registration. Depending on your state of residence, you may meet the requirements to receive a state license as a dietitian by passing the national credentialing exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the American Dietetic Association. Passage of the exam earns you the Registered Dietitian title.

What Are My Career Options?

As a dietitian, you might work in a group environment, such as a hospital, public health department, school, private cafeteria, assisted living facility or correctional facility. Your duties could include preparing and ordering food and beverages, planning menus and managing food safety. You also might opt to work in a counseling capacity as a community dietitian, assisting individuals and families in developing comprehensive food plans. Additionally, your coursework in dietetics or nutrition could prepare you to consult with patients who have metabolic or digestive diseases, such as diabetes or Crohn's disease.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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