Dietetics, B.S.

Program Overview

Who doesn't love food? Do you have a passion for science, engaging in a healthy lifestyle, and interacting with people? Are you interested in understanding how nutrients and diets impact the human body? If so, then a degree in dietetics could lead to a fulfilling and meaningful career.

As you work toward your Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, you will gain in-depth knowledge of the dietetics field that will prepare you for an endless range of occupations and specializations. By studying dietetics, you will discover the nutrient needs for growth and development, learn how to evaluate patients' nutritional and health needs, and hone the ability to prevent and treat many types of conditions and diseases. You will take classes across multiple academic disciplines to understand the basics of how the body’s systems work together to maintain life. From anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology to advanced courses in nutrition, food science, community health, and more, you will develop skills to effectively assess, develop, and promote healthier lifestyle choices for clients and patients.

Each major program within the Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences strategically combines theory with practical application centered around professional preparedness. Your studies will introduce you to the concept of vocation and living out your calling through the integration and development of your passions and talents to meet the needs of others. You will also work on developing an innovative professional portfolio and personal code of ethics, and articulating what you believe and how you want to serve. This combination of professional development and practical, experiential learning will equip you to confidently step into the changing world of tomorrow.

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Student Profile

Sammi Montag

As a Registered Dietitian for the Pediatric/Adolescent programs at UCSD Eating Disorder Center for Treatment and Research, Sammi Montag gets to witness transformation in her clients.

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The dietetics degree program also prepares you to earn the needed verification to apply to an accredited dietetic internship after graduation — the next step to becoming a registered dietitian. The Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences will provide guidance and resources to help coach you through the dietetic internship application process.

Verification Statement

International students or students already with a bachelor's degree can also earn a Verification Statement for the Dietetics program. Step-by-step information about how to apply can be found in the PLNU course catalog.


PLNU’s DPD program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, (312) 899-5400. ACEND has established Standards of Education which accredited programs must meet and include knowledge, skill and competency requirements.

The Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master’s degree to take the credentialing exam for registered dietitians beginning on January 1, 2024.

View the Dietetics Handbook

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination that PLNU is approved to conduct educational activities regulated by that state or U.S. Territory. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state or U.S. Territory, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in certain states and U.S. Territories. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Territories. 

Authorizations in specific states may change periodically. PLNU recommends contacting PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

Professional Licensure or Certification

This program is approved by ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) and meets the requirements for national verification and in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet any additional out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in dietetics are available on this website 

For more information on State Authorization and Program Licensure, please refer to our disclosures page.

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This program is approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which means the program meets the requirements for graduates preparing for a dietetics credential in the state of California. However, because dietetics registration in California is earned by more than meeting the educational requirements, successful completion of this program by itself does not fulfill all of the requirements to become a registered dietitian.

Dietetics Handbook

Please note: The Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Family Sciences will notify students when changes in requirements occur in the ACEND. Although dietetics registration is national, some states will require licensure on top of registration. California does not require licensure of dietitians therefore PLNU cannot confirm whether its program meets credentialing requirements in your state of residence. Upon completion of the program, and should you earn dietetics registration, you will need to fulfill licensure requirements for states other than California. Those states that do require licensure do not transfer the license to other states where you may want to be employed.

Accreditation Information

Route to becoming a RDN

  • Earn a Bachelor’s degree:  may or may not be in Foods and Nutrition
  • Complete the undergraduate DPD requirements
  • Get verified by the DPD Director
  • Apply for and get accepted to an accredited Dietetic Internship program
  • Complete the Dietetic Internship
  • Pass the national Commission on Dietetic Registration exam (CDR)
    • Some states will require licensure prior to practicing in that state

To Be Verified at PLNU

  • Earn a “C” or better in all core curriculum DPD and prerequisite classes
  • Maintain a GPA of 2.8 or higher        
  • Earn a B.S. degree (official transcripts, including the one that shows an earned Bachelor’s degree, must be in your DPD file)
  • Participate in community service learning activities during your college education, as evidenced in your senior portfolio
  • Demonstrate ethical principles and follow AND’s Code of Ethics

Verification statements are issued to all graduates of the DPD program who meet the above criteria after graduation. Students must have on file an official transcript showing PLNU graduation, and DPD courses passed with a “C” or better, and a GPA of 2.8 or higher.  Official transcripts from courses transferred in that are DPD requirements must also be provided to the DPD Director.

The DPD program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL  60606, (312) 899-5400.   ACEND has established Standards of Education which accredited programs must meet and include knowledge, skill and competency requirements.

Dietetics Student Handbook

Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

Food, health, and wellness affect all of us. PLNU dietitian graduates are leaders of intentionality and service with a passion for people, health, and systems. Alumnis' ability to address and promote the improvement of people's health from a holistic standpoint makes them stand out and excel in their chosen career fields.

A Bachelor of Science in Dietetics can lead to a career as a:

  • Registered Dietician
  • Clinical Care Specialist
  • Food Scientist
  • Food Service Manager
  • Nutritionist
  • Consumer Educator
  • Food Product Researcher and Developer
  • Corporate Dietician
  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Health Coach
Cindy Swann

A Balanced Diet[itian]

PLNU professor Cindy Swan recaps her academic and professional journey as a dietician.

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Department Faculty