Offering career preparation in dietetics that includes clinical nutrition, food and
nutrition management, community nutrition and consultation and business practice.
Dietitians are known as the food and nutrition experts. A degree in dietetics will prepare you for many career directions and opportunities. Dietitians are able to use their skills to help individuals achieve better health with nutritional intervention. Dietitians have diverse employment opportunities such as hospitals and other health care settings, government agencies, the military, schools and universities, food industries, public health and wellness programs, sports nutrition, businesses, health coaching organizations, private consulting practice and communications.
The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Murray State University is to prepare graduates for successful entry into a dietetic internship and for roles as nutrition and food experts in their communities. We encourage critical thinking, effective communication, cultural competency and a commitment to lifelong learning through evidence-based practices, innovative education and experiential learning.
About the Program
Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is a degree track of the B.S. degree area called Nutrition & Dietetics. The other degree track in this area is Nutrition and Foods. The dietetics track (DPD) is the first step in the process to become a Registered Dietitian. An individual must earn a B.S. degree and successfully complete all the required DPD courses in order to receive a Verification Statement from the DPD Director. A Verification Statement is necessary to proceed to the next step in the credentialing pathway.
The second step in the credentialing pathway is to complete an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) that provides a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience in order to ensure competence for entry level practice. Dietetic Internship (DI) programs are located in universities and health care facilities throughout the nation. The process of getting accepted into an internship program is very competitive. Students must have good grades, volunteer experiences, work experiences, as well as other positive characteristics in order to be considered for an internship.
After successful completion of an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI), a person must then pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians to be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian (RD). Credentialing as a Registered Dietitian (RD) is required in order to get licensure as a dietitian in the state of Kentucky. A credential of Licensed Dietitian (LD) is a legal requirement to practice in the state, while a credential of Registered Dietitian (RD) is a professional requirement recognized nationally. In order to maintain the RD credential, a dietitian must complete 75 continuing education credits every 5 years. So the learning never stops!
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In the state of Kentucky, graduates also must obtain licensure to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD at Murray State are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervise practice program.
The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Murray State University is to foster critical thinking, effective communication, cultural competency and a commitment to lifelong learning through evidence-based practices, innovative education and experiential learning in preparation for supervised practice, eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam and entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists in their respective communities.
Program Goals and Objectives
- Goal 1: Graduates will be prepared for entry into supervised professional practice.
- Objective 1: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within three years (150% of program length).
- Objective 2: 75% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 3: 50% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 4: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- Objective 5: At least 75% of directors of supervised practice programs will be satisfied with Murray State University DPD graduates’ preparedness for supervised practice.
- Objective 6: At least 75% of graduates who respond to the DPD graduate survey will report that they either “agree” or “strongly agree” that they felt adequately prepared for the dietetic internship program.
- Goal 2: Graduates will be prepared for community engagement and contribution.
- Objective 1: At least 75% of graduates who respond to the DPD graduate survey will report that they either "agree" or "strongly agree" that their undergraduate curriculum fostered community engagement and contribution.
*Program outcome data are available upon request.
- Successfully completed a minimum of 45 hours and have a minimum of 15 in-progress hours
- A cumulative GPA ≥ 3.0
- Earned a “B” or better in each of the following courses: NTN 230 Nutrition, NTN 231 Principles of Food Science and Preparation, NTN 330 Nutrient Metabolism
- Earned a “C” or better in each of the following courses: BIO 115 Cellular Basis of Life, CHE 105 Introductory Chemistry, CHE 210 Brief Organic Chemistry, MAT 140 College Algebra
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and a C or better in all DPD required courses is requisite for successful completion of the DPD and issuance of a Verification Statement from the DPD Director. A Verification Statement establishes eligibility for a Dietetic Internship, which is a necessary step in the pathway toward becoming a Registered Dietitian.
You will take courses in Nutrition, Chemistry, Biology and more.
View the full curriculum (subject to change)
The handbook includes information related to accreditation of the dietetics program, faculty, admissions criteria, curriculum, policies and procedures, program costs and more.
The Murray State DPD was last accredited in 2013 by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Questions regarding accreditation may contact ACEND at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. Phone: 1.800.877.1600 or 312.899.0040, ext. 5400