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Didactic Program in Dietetics

Didactic Program in Dietetics Four Year Options

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is an undergraduate program which offers two curriculum options, the DPD traditional curriculum option and the DPD Spanish emphasis curriculum option, and meets the educational requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  Students completing the DPD requirements and a bachelor’s degree will earn a verification statement indicating that students are eligible to apply to an accredited dietetic internship program.  The DPD provides a theoretical background in food science and preparation, general nutrition, life cycle nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, food systems management, research, and community nutrition.

Students earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Dietetics at Marywood University are required to complete 120-129 credits before graduation.  With the guidance of the DPD Director, students who have already earned a BS or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and are graduate students in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department can also complete the DPD curriculum requirements to earn a verification statement.  The program is designed to prepare students to apply for an accredited dietetic internship program, graduate school, or the job market. 

Graduates of the DPD earn a Verification Statement (VS), which indicates they are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) examination and/or apply to an accredited dietetic internship program.  In order to be eligible for the registration examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN), the DPD must be followed by an ACEND accredited dietetic internship.  Although there is a shortage of internship sites and completion of the DPD does not guarantee acceptance into an internship; the faculty will offer guidance with the internship application process.  Please note: the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) changed the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians, beginning in 2024, from baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree. More about the Didactic Program

Didactic Program in Dietetics Five Year Options

The department also offers two options for undergraduate students to earn their BS and Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition degrees within five years. Eligible undergraduate students can choose to earn a combined BS/MS degree, along with their DPD Verification Statement (VS) in five years indicating they are eligible to apply to a dietetic internship program.  Additionally, eligible students can choose to earn a BS/MS degree, their DPD VS, and complete their supervised practice experience in preparation of meeting all criteria to sit for the national examination for RDNs. Advanced coursework begins in the ‘bridge’ year overlapping the fourth year of undergraduate with the first year of graduate work.  The fifth year encompasses the supervised practice component with rotations in facility sites including Community Nutrition, Food Systems Management, Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Professional Practice. (See graduate catalog for additional details.)

Nutrition & Wellness

The Nutrition and Wellness track provides a broad curriculum that includes both liberal arts, science, health, nutrition, and psychology courses. This educational framework provides the knowledge, skills, and values needed for entry into graduate school or a career in nutrition and wellness. Unlike the Didactic Program in Dietetics, this track is not accredited by ACEND.  Therefore, students completing this track are not eligible for an accredited internship program nor are they eligible to sit for the registration examination for dietitians nutritionists. More about Nutrition & Wellness

Coordinated Program in Nutrition & Dietetics

The undergraduate Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics has officially been closed.  The reason for the closing is due to the change in accreditation.  In the year 2024, all newly credentialed Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists (RDN), will be required to have completed a Master's degreed; without a Master's degree, graduates will not be eligible to take the RDN exam.  New curriculum has been developed to meet the new graduate requirement and is currently being approved by the appropriate approving bodies.  The new curriculum is scheduled to begin in the fall 2018.