Human Nutrition and Dietetics Requirements

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Nutrition is an exciting and expanding field. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this field is expected to grow at a faster rate compared to other careers. The study of Human Nutrition exemplifies the intricate relationships between diet, health, and disease. The Human Nutrition & Dietetics (HND) major is part of the School of Human Sciences and offers two specializations: Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD); and Nutrition for Wellness (NW). Admission to the HND major follows general undergraduate admission requirements outlined in this catalog.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Nutrition and Dietetics Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Requirements for Major in Human Nutrition and Dietetics 32
PSYC 102, MATH 108, UNIV 101I 1 7
PLB 115/ZOOL 115 (3)
CHEM 140A, CHEM 140B 2 (3)+5
PHIL 104 (3)
MICR 201 4
QUAN 402, MATH 282, ABE 318, or PSYC 211 3-4
PHSL 201 and PHSL 208 4
HND 100, HND 101, HND 320, HND 356, HND 425, HND 475, HND 485 (2)+16
Additional Requirements for Didactic Program in Dietetics Specialization 49
AH 105 2
HND 321, HND 400, HND 410, HND 470, HND 472, HND 480 16
HTA 156, HTA 206, HTA 360, HTA 373 11
MKTG 304 3
PSYC 323 3
Electives 11
Additional Requirements for Nutrition for Wellness Specialization 49
AH 105 2
KIN 201 3
HTA 206 (1)
HED 311, HED 312 6
HND 321, HND 410, HND 445, HND 495 12
Approved Electives 25
Total 120

1 The numbers in parentheses are counted as part of the 39-hour University Core Curriculum. MATH 109, MATH 111 or MATH 150 may be substituted.

2 CHEM 200/CHEM 201 or CHEM 210/CHEM 211 may be substituted.

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Specialization

The DPD specialization is designed specifically for those wanting to become registered dietitians (RD). The first step to become a registered dietitian (RD) and/or licensed dietitian/nutritionist (LDN) requires successful completion of an ACEND-accredited DPD program. To become a RD or LDN the following qualifications apply:

  1. Baccalaureate degree or post-baccalaureate degree in human nutrition, food and nutrition, dietetics, food systems management, nutrition education, or equivalent from an accredited University.
  2. 1200 hours of supervised practice in an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship to obtain RD status, and 900 hours of supervised practice to obtain LDN status.
  3. Successful completion of a professional examination.
  4. Continuing education.
    Please note: 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).

The SIU DPD program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, Phone 312- 899-5400. As a DPD student it is of utmost importance that significant dietetic work experience (paid or volunteer), exceptional academic performance (overall GPA>2.85), and involvement in extracurricular activities are acquired.

All DPD students are required to maintain at least a 2.85 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA and a 3.0 in HND courses to remain in the DPD program. If a student's GPA drops below minimum requirements, they will be placed on departmental probation and have one semester to reestablish the minimum requirements (2.85 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 in HND courses). If a student is unable to reach the requirements within this time-frame, he/she will be transferred to the Nutrition for Wellness Specialization (NW). Once the desired GPA is obtained, readmission to the DPD program will be granted.

The DPD specialization is guided by an advisory committee comprised of practicing registered dietitians, food service managers, dietetic internship preceptors, and educators who provide expertise to ensure a curriculum that meets ACEND Standards of Education as well as fully prepares graduates to apply for admission into a DI or ISPP. Employment opportunities for RDs have grown exponentially over the past couple of decades. In addition to traditional careers in dietetics (clinical, management, and community), non-traditional careers such as nutrition coaching, corporate dietetics, wellness, private practice, education, government/politics, book authoring, and health promotion are just a few of the newer opportunities on the horizon. Additional information regarding this specialization can be found at

Nutrition for Wellness (NW) Specialization

Interest in sports nutrition and wellness is rapidly growing. Employment may comprise working with a healthy, active, and highly competitive population, or pursuing to acquire or reestablish a dynamic, healthy lifestyle. Individuals aspiring to become Registered Dietitians must also complete the DPD specialization to qualify to apply for a post-baccalaureate DI or ISPP. Combining the DPD and NW specializations may require additional semesters and more than 120 credit hours. Individuals wishing to provide nutrition counseling or medical nutrition therapy must be a Registered Dietitian and/or licensed in their state of residence.