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.

Accreditation

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 eatright.org/acend. 

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

Want to build a career out of your love of good food and science? For all the yoga fans, vitamin-takers, and those who love a healthy lifestyle, did you know you can build a career out of your passions? Dietetics is the science and research behind health and wellness. And with a degree in dietetics, you can help others be their best selves through researching and planning the best treatment and lifestyle practices.

At PLNU, our dietetics program centers on three fundamental elements of care:

  • Discover the nutrient needs for growth and development
  • Learn how to evaluate patients' nutritional and health needs
  • Hone the ability to prevent and treat many types of conditions and diseases

What do dietetics jobs look like post-graduation?

Dieticians and nutritionists are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

What are our alumni doing with their degree in dietetics?

Many graduates of the dietetics program have gone on to make a difference in people’s lives by creating programs and implementing care through health plans and products. Many work in renowned hospitals such as Scripps Health and Kaiser Permanenete, others have gone on to teach and conduct research at universities such as Baylor University and California State University Long Beach (CSULB). 

Some of the positions our graduates currently hold include:

Dietitians and Nutritionists

2020 Median annual salary: $63,090

Dietitians and nutritionists advise people on how to eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. They assess patients’ and clients’ nutritional and health needs while also counseling patients on nutrition issues and healthy eating habits. They often work with patients having specialized needs (such as diabetes). They offer advice on how to plan meals around balancing sugars, carbs, and fats.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Bachelor’s degree, along with supervised training through an internship
  • Many states require dietitians to be licensed
  • Counseling experience 
  • Interested in keeping up with or contributing to food and nutritional science research
  • Developing meal and nutrition plans

Registered Nurse (RN)

2020 Median annual salary: $80,010

In addition to a college degree, registered nurses must complete the NCLEX-RN exam. Upon successful completion of both graduation and the NCLEX-RN exam, one is able to enter the field. Registered nurses are responsible for providing medical support to patients and doctors. They work very closely with fellow RNs to divide the duties of completing healthcare assessments, administering medications, and providing catered attention to each patient.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Sympathetic, non-judgemental
  • Organization
  • Communication 
  • Patience
  • Stamina and strength
  • Operating medical equipment
  • Giving diagnostic tests

Community and Social Service Specialists

2020 Median annual salary: $46,770

Community and social services specialists help individuals in need find government and private assistance programs. They coordinate activities like community outreach and social service programs to engage the neighborhoods within their reach. Their clientele ranges from people with psychological or addiction problems to lower-income families.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Assisting adults and/or children with developmental disabilities
  • Open communication and non-judgemental interviewing abilities
  • Problem-solving skills specific to client’s needs
  • Networked and connected with individual and family service programs, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, and social advocacy organizations
  • Thorough knowledge of overall direction and mission for partnering organizations

Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors

2020 Median annual salary: $40,510 

Fitness trainers and group fitness instructors lead, instruct, and encourage people in exercise activities and classes. They work in buildings such as recreation centers, gyms, and yoga studios. A significant part of their job is motivating their clients in workouts that are both engaging and strenuous to help them achieve fitness goals. They work with a wide range of equipment from weights to exercise machines such as treadmills and stationary bicycles.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Thorough understanding of safety rules and regulations on sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment
  • Planning and demonstration of various exercises and routines meant to improve fitness
  • High energy and fitness oriented
  • Trained in emergency first aid

Making a lasting impact on clients, families, and broadly the wellness in your community.

Upon completion of PLNU’s Dietetics B.S. you’ll be equipped with knowledge of how to provide quality care and support in the medical field, health and wellness programs, and fitness settings. This program prepares you with a versatile set of skills to flourish in a variety of settings within healthcare positions as you make a difference, one client at a time, preventing and treating many types of conditions and diseases.

If you’re ready to make an impact and begin your journey at PLNU, head to our contact form and get connected with one of our counselors. Or, you can apply today! 

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