Dietetics is the science and art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health — a field for those with inquisitive minds who enjoy science as much as they do people. Registered dietitian nutritionists help others learn about food, nutrition and lifestyle choices to keep them healthy. The course work is challenging, and the career possibilities are exciting and numerous. The Bachelor of Science in Dietetics curriculum provides a broad and balanced foundation in all of the core areas of dietetics.
The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Fontbonne University is to prepare students for supervised practice to become registered dietitian nutritionists (DPD) or as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists (ISPP). Graduates use their knowledge and skills in food and nutrition to enrich the quality of life of individuals, families, and communities.
Dietetics Program Highlights
- The Fontbonne University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is currently granted accreditation status 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- 400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend.
- Development of culinary skills, as well as the knowledge of how to alter foods and meal patterns for health promotion and disease prevention and treatment.
- Extensive training in the development and delivery of nutrition information to the public.
- Numerous field-based learning experiences built into the curriculum in a variety of settings: health care; community and social service agencies; foodservice establishments.
- Opportunities for leadership skills development and service-learning.
In-Field Learning Experiences
- In the spring of the junior year and the fall of the senior year, students gain experience in a medical center by shadowing their clinical instructor.
- Students complete community nutrition education in schools and/or social service agencies such as homeless shelters and food banks.
- The application of principles and practices in management occurs in school foodservice establishments in a local school district.
Goals, Outcomes, and Objectives of the Dietetics Program
Program Goal #1: To assist competent entry-level dietetics practitioners in the achievement of their career goals in a foods and/or nutrition-related field.
- Of those with major approval, >90% will graduate from the DPD within 150% of the program length (3 years).
- Of those with major approval, 80% will apply to dietetic internship programs or pathways offering supervised practice within 12 months of graduation.
- Of those students who apply to dietetic internship programs or pathways offering supervised practice, >80% will be accepted within 12 months of graduation.
- Of the students who successfully graduate from the DPD and receive a Verification Statement, but do not apply or get accepted to dietetic internship programs or pathways offering supervised practice, >90% will obtain employment in a food or nutrition-related field within 12 months of graduation.
Program Goal #2: To graduate competent entry-level practitioners in the area of foods and/or nutrition.
- >80% of graduating seniors will agree/strongly agree that the DPD has provided them with sufficient opportunity to achieve ACEND Knowledge Requirements (KRDNs).
- Of program alumni who successfully matched with a supervised practice program, >80% will report being adequately prepared for the supervised practice program.
- Of the dietetic internship directors who respond to the survey, >80% will report that Fontbonne University DPD graduates are adequately prepared for supervised practice.
- Of students who successfully complete the DPD and supervised practice programs, >80% of graduates will pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within one year following the first attempt.
*Program outcomes data available upon request.
Pathway to Earn the RDN Credential
The academic requirements for a major in dietetics prepare students for entrance into an accredited supervised practice program following graduation.
- Students must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree* at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work approved by the Accreditation Council for the Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Once a student has earned a bachelor’s degree, and completed all DPD requirements, he/she will be issued a Verification Statement.
- The next step toward the RDN credential is be apply, be accepted to, and complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program (often called a “dietetic internship”).** The application involves a computerized matching system. Students will be guided through this process via the senior level course FCS 459: Internship Preparation Seminar. Details about supervised practice programs can be accessed at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend/accredited-programs/dietetic-internships and additional information on computer matching can be found at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend/students-and-advancing-education/dietetic-internship-match-students
- Once students successfully complete the supervised practice program they will receive another Verification Statement and will be eligible to take the national examination to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Upon successfully passing the exam, you may begin using the RDN credential!
- In addition to RD/RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. For more information about licensure, visit https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure
*Effective Jan. 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to sit for the registered dietitian nutritionist credentialing exam. Please see additional information on the CDR website here
**The demand for Dietetic Internship positions is currently greater than the supply, resulting in approximately one out of every two candidates from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) not obtaining an internship position. However, Fontbonne’s dietetic internship match rate is much higher, averaging 87% for the past three years. Student grade point average (GPA) appears to be the best predictor of a student’s chances of obtaining a position, with students with the highest GPAs being the most likely to obtain one. If you are considering enrolling in a DPD or are a currently-enrolled DPD student, please speak to the DPD program director about your GPA and how it will influence matching with an internship position.
Dietetics Course Samples
- FCS 221
Food Science Theory and Application4 credits
Study of the physical and chemical properties of food in relation to quality, safety, selection, preparation, and standards. Laboratory experiences, including the integration of computer applications, are integral to this course.
- FCS 415
Medical Nutrition Therapy I4 credits
Study of the roles of the dietitian in the nutrition care process, focusing on nutrition assessment, documentation, counseling, and appropriate nutrition intervention in selected disease states.
- BIO 240
Microbiology for Health Professionals4 credits
Catalog description to be used: An introductory course covering the basic principles of life, with an emphasis on and examples from the microbiological world. Content covered will include the scientific method, cellular structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and reproduction in the context of pathology, pathogenicity, and immunology related to health-related microbes.
Fontbonne University's Dietetics Graduate Successes
- DPD graduates who sat for the RDN exam over the past three years (2014 – 2016) achieved a pass rate of 88.89%.
- Graduates work as clinical dietitians at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish St. Peters, DePaul Health Center, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Touchpoint and Healthcare Services Group.
- Our students interested in working in wellness and health promotion find careers in community nutrition education and work for public health clinics (e.g., Betty Jean Kerr Peoples Health Center) and community nutrition education centers (e.g., St. Louis District Dairy Council, Maplewood-Richmond Heights Early Childhood Center Seed to Table Program, Ritenour School District).
- Boundless opportunities exist for dietitians in foodservice establishments (e.g., St. Anthony’s Medical Center, Chartwell’s, Touchpoint and Healthcare Services Group).
Dietetics Career Opportunities
Estimated Program Costs
In addition to tuition and textbook costs, the student in dietetics can expect to incur the following expenses:
- Course fees: The following are fees associated with specific courses required in the dietetics curriculum.
|Course Number||Fee Amount|
- Lab coat and/or uniforms for laboratory and field-based experience ($30);
- Liability insurance ($15) and background checks (~$50) for EDU 313: Methods and Practicum for Middle, Secondary, and Community Education
- Immunizations as deemed essential by practicum site (example, Hepatitis A and B, MMR, Varicella/Chicken Pox, TB and flu shot (if applicable) $5-15 each or $30-90 for series). NOTE: Students may refuse immunizations for various reasons. In the event that a student refuses to acquire the immunizations required by their practicum site, it is the student’s responsibility to find an alternate site that is acceptable to the practicum instructor and DPD Program Director. If a suitable site is not found, the student will not be allowed to stay enrolled in the practicum. This may delay or prevent graduation from the DPD and receipt of a Verification Statement.
- Transportation costs for field trips/field based experiences (varies by location).
- Graduate Record Examination fee $150. (not required by all supervised practice programs); for more information see: http://www.ets.org/gre/.
- Supervised Practice Application fees vary for each program the student applies to, but includes a general fee of $40 plus $20 for each additional application (DICAS) and computer matching fee of $55. [NOTE: for a complete description of the computer matching policy and procedures, including updated calendars and information sheets, please visit the following web site: http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/acend/students-and-advancing-education/dietetic-internship-match-students or speak to the DPD program director. This information is also discussed in great detail in FCS 459 Internship Preparation Seminar.]
- Students are required to join the Academy as a student member, when enrolled in the courses designated for Jr Fall (e.g., FCS 312 Application of Nutrition Concepts, FCS 316 Lifecycle Nutrition, FCS 326 Quantity Food Production, etc.). Please visit: http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/membership/membership-types-and-criteria/student-member
The student fee is $58 per year.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Scholarships are available from various professional organizations as well as several endowed or memorial scholarships. For complete information about scholarship programs at Fontbonne University and your eligibility for them, please contact the Financial Aid office at 314-889-1414, or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the webpage at https://www.fontbonne.edu/financial-aid/
External scholarships are available to dietetics majors at the local, state, and national levels. For more information contact the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-St. Louis (AND-StL), Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MOAND), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. For more information, please visit the websites of these organizations.
Schedule and Calendar
Students should follow the dietetics major curriculum guide for the semester they entered the program.
Academic plans and schedules will be discussed during advising sessions each semester. University course schedules and calendars can be found at: https://www.fontbonne.edu/academics/academic-resources/course-schedule/
Questions? Contact our Office of Admission: 314-889-1400 or 1-800-205-5862 | email@example.com