How To Become A Dietician

The issue of nutrition impacts our lives every day. Dietetic schools equip students with a strong foundation in science and emphasize on technology, public policy, communication, information systems, and clinical experiences. These schools employ creative methods of instruction which include classroom experience, computer applications, case studies, and decision-making and problem-solving projects. In most programs, students gain research experience in their final year. They also cover various aspects of dietetics practice through hospital-based practicum. Educational programs in dietetics are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education.

Students in dietetic schools learn to apply advanced technology and information in nutrition, food, wellness and food service management to improve dietetics practice. They will acquire the abilities and skills needed in the evaluation and application of new theories and research concepts. Students will be able to explore current healthcare delivery systems and public policy with specific reference to the function of the dietitian. They will also learn to develop, implement and evaluate the necessary policies and laws designed to reduce health disparities. Dietetic schools aim to produce graduates who are able to advance the dietetics profession by contributing towards evidence-based practice. Advanced programs in this field train students to address the nutritional and health needs of ethnically diverse populations. 

Programs Offered
These schools offer bachelors, masters and doctoral programs in dietetics. A bachelor's program usually takes four years to complete, while a master's degree can be acquired through one to two years of education. In the online setting, program duration will depend upon the time you are willing to devote to your studies. As most students pursuing online programs have jobs and/or familial responsibilities, they only take up a limited number of courses each semester.

A program in dietetics comprises of core and elective courses. Some of the courses offered to students include:-

  • Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle
  • Science of Food Preparation
  • Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Experimental Foods
  • Global Nutrition
  • Food Service Systems
  • Patient Care in Dietetics
  • Medical Terminology
  • Allied Health Microbiology
  • Management in Dietetics

Employment Opportunities
Graduates of dietetic schools can possibly find employment in numerous settings. These include:-

  • Medical centers
  • Outpatient medical clinics or health centers
  • Teaching and research hospitals
  • Home health care
  • Government agencies
  • Wellness Centers
  • Health departments
  • Research centers
  • School foodservice programs
  • Colleges and universities
  • Test kitchens

Professionals employed in these settings can possibly earn respectable salaries. For instance, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage of dieticians and nutritionists amounted to $55,240 in May 2012.

Improving Career Prospects
Dietetic schools prepare students for licensure as some states require dietitians and nutritionists to be licensed. Many graduates opt to earn a Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. This involves graduating from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and then completing an AND-accredited dietetic internship. This experiential program lasts for a minimum of 1200 hours under the supervision of a Registered Dietitian. After completing this internship, individuals can take the registration examination for dietitians in order to become licensed.






Have Questions ?

Please submit your question!

* All Fields are Required
Find Now