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Prepare for a Career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Are you passionate about health and nutrition? Does helping others achieve their health and nutrition related goals excite you? If so, the coordinated program in nutrition and dietetics (CP) with a master of arts in health advancement and promotion may be a perfect fit. Whether you are a first-time college student, transfer student, or already have a degree, our program has a pathway for you to complete the requirements to qualify for credentialing as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) through one seamless program.  

DPD graduates can join us to complete graduate coursework and supervised practice and finish the program in just 5 semesters (includes summers). Please see the information below specific to the DPD graduate application process for more information.  

Program Highlights

  • Accelerated program format offers a faster track to graduation with both a B.S. and M.A.  
  • Experiencedfaculty who provide an inclusive classroom environment where students feel comfortable, valued and supported.  
  • Experiential learning (internship) experience occurs under supervision of experienced RDNs to gain professional experience in a variety of career settings  
  • Small class sizes to allow for personalized instruction and support. Our student-to-teacher ratio is unmatched by any other program in the area. 
  • Proactive advising provides guidance and support to students in managing academic goals and personal challenges. 

 The Fontbonne University Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics 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. 

The requirements to become credentialed as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) involve the following steps: 

  1. Completion of at least a bachelor’s degree including didactic coursework through a university accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)* 
  1. Completion of supervised practice experience as required by ACEND 
  1. Passing a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) 

 

The coordinated program in nutrition and dietetics at Fontbonne University prepares graduates as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) through one seamless program. Beginning on January 1, 2024 all candidates will be required to hold a graduate degree in order to be eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for RDNs.  

RDNs work in various settings including hospitals and other health-care facilities, community/public health programs, nonprofits, food and nutrition-related business and industries, and research. You can learn more about credentialing and career possibilities here 

*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). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website 

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited CP program at Fontbonne University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. 

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Professional licensure for dietitians varies by state.  

For more information about state licensure requirements click here. 

Licensure information for Missouri can be found here. 

It is ACEND’s considered opinion that the program is designed to and does meet all state dietetics licensure and certification laws as some states may interpret their statutes differently.  

The coordinated program in nutrition and dietetics prepares graduates to sit for the registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs). Upon successful completion of all coursework and supervised practice requirements, program graduates are eligible to sit for the registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs). 

Our curriculum provides in-depth and hands-on experiential learning at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Our small program and class size makes it possible for faculty to provide individualized support and mentoring, increasing student success.  

Our graduate curriculum includes faculty supervised practicums in clinical, community and food service settings to help increase students’ confidence before beginning full time rotations. A series of seminar courses offer opportunities to explore professional topics of interest in nutrition and dietetics.   

We currently have agreements with over 50 facilities in and around the St. Louis area that provide field-based learning under the supervision of experienced nutrition and dietetics professionals. Many of our preceptors are program alumni who have chosen to remain involved by offering rotation experiences to our current students.   

CP students will follow the university academic calendar for scheduled holidays and breaks during the semesters they are completing full time coursework. During the final two semesters, while in full time supervised practice rotations, CP students will follow the rotation schedule of Monday – Friday rotations with the exception of the following holidays as applicable during their rotation schedule (as observed by the University, see academic calendars): Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Break, and Winter Break.

To graduate from the coordinated program, students must complete all required course work for the bachelor of science (if applicable) and master of arts, as well as a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practice. 

To graduate, each student must also demonstrate achievement of each of the ACEND defined competencies for entry-level dietitian nutritionists (CDRNs)  

Upon completion of all of the above requirements, students will receive a bachelor of science in dietetics (if applicable), a master of arts in health advancement and promotion, and a CP verification statement making them eligible to sit for the credentialing examination for registered dietitian nutritionists. 

To learn more about our program, policies and procedures you can review the current version of our Student Handbook 

Contact Us

The Fontbonne University Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics 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. 

 

Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives 

The mission of the Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Fontbonne University is to prepare graduates as competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. Graduates use their knowledge and skills in food, nutrition, health promotion, and communication to enrich quality of life and advance the health of individuals, families, and communities. 

Program Goal #1:  Program graduates will be prepared as competent entry-level professionals in the areas of food, nutrition, and dietetics. 

Objectives:* 

  1. “At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 3.75 years [26 months for DPD graduates] (150% of planned program length)”. 
  1. “At least 90  percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion”.  
  1. “The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%”.  
  1. Of the employers who respond to the survey, at least 80 percent will report that program graduates are at least adequately prepared for their position.   

 

Program Goal #2: Program graduates will achieve their career goals in food, nutrition, and dietetics.  

Objectives:* 

  1. “Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation”.  
  1. At least 50 percent of graduates who indicate that they are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields will report being employed in their desired area of practice (i.e. clinical, community, food and nutrition management, consulting and business, or education and research) within 12 months.  
  1. Of the graduates who respond to the 12 month follow up survey, at least 80% will respond with a “4” or “5” to the question that asks how adequately the supervised practice portion of the program prepared them for their current position.    

 

*Program outcome data are available upon request.  

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