Nutrition & Dietetics: Undergraduate Programs

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Didactic Program in Dietetics

Didactic Program in Dietetics Four Year Options

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is an undergraduate program which offers two curriculum options, the DPD- Traditional curriculum option and the DPD- Spanish emphasis curriculum option, and meets the educational requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  Students completing the DPD requirements and a bachelor’s degree will earn a verification statement indicating that students are eligible to apply to an accredited dietetic internship program.  The DPD provides a theoretical background in food science and preparation, general nutrition, life cycle nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, food systems management, research, and community nutrition.

Students earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Dietetics trhough the DPD-Tradiational at Marywood University are required to complete 120 credits before graduation while students in the DPD-Spanish option are required to complete 129 credits before graduation. The program is designed to empower students to develop leadership skills and to prepare them to apply for an accredited dietetic internship program. 

Graduates of the DPD earn a Verification Statement (VS), which indicates they are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) examination and/or apply to an accredited dietetic internship program.  In order to be eligible for the registration examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN), the DPD must be followed by an ACEND accredited dietetic internship.  Although there is a shortage of internship sites and completion of the DPD does not guarantee acceptance into an internship; the faculty will offer guidance with the internship application process.  Please note: the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) changed the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians, beginning in 2024, from a baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree. More about the Didactic Program

Didactic Program in Dietetics Five Year Options

The department also offers two options for DPD students to earn their BS and Master of Science (MS) degrees within five years. Qualified baccalaureate degree seeking students in the Traditional or Spanish Emphasis DPD who earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Dietetics at Marywood University can choose to earn a combined BS/MS degree, along with their DPD VS in five years. Students complete the DPD requirements and concurrently complete year one of the graduate program in year four/senior year of the undergrdaute degree program, and then complete the graduate degree requirements in year five. More about the Graduate Programs

Additionally, baccalaureate degree seeking students in the Traditional or Spanish Emphasis DPD at Marywood University who meet additional requirements can choose to apply to Marywood’s ACEND Accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program through a preselection process. Graduates of this option earn a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics, a DPD Verification Statement, a MS in Nutrition, and a Dietetic Internship program Verification Statement in 5 years and are eligible to sit for the RDN exam. Graduate coursework begins in the "bridge" year overlapping the senior year/senior-level DPD courses and the first year of the graduate courses. Students earn the DPD Verification Statement in their fourth academic year of study at Marywood University and begin their supervised practice the summer between academic years four and five. The supervised practice component includes rotations in facility sites including community nutrition, food systems management, medical nutrition therapy, and professional practice and ends in May of the fifth academic year. Their graduate course work is completed during academic years four and five. More information about the admission criteria and application process for the BS/MS/DI 5 year option can be found on the DI website. More about the Dietetic Internship Program

Didactic Program in Dietetics Option for Students with an Undergraduate Degree

Students with an earned BS or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or higher can complete all requirements of the DPD while earning their Master of Science (MS) degree in either Nutrition or Sports Nutrition and Exercise Science (SNES). Students with a BS or BA degree or higher, who earned DPD-required undergraduate credits through their baccalaureate experience collaborate with the DPD Director and, when applicable, a course instructor in determining which of these credits may meet the DPD requirements. Several Marywood University graduate level courses are accepted as equivalent undergraduate DPD courses and therefore meet the DPD VS as well as the MS degree requirement. The DPD Director works with each individual student. More about the Didactic Program

Nutrition & Wellness

The Nutrition and Wellness track provides a broad curriculum that includes both liberal arts, science, health, nutrition, and psychology courses. This educational framework provides the knowledge, skills, and values needed for entry into graduate school or a career in nutrition and wellness. Unlike the Didactic Program in Dietetics, this track is not accredited by ACEND.  Therefore, students completing this track are not eligible for an accredited internship program nor are they eligible to sit for the registration examination for dietitians nutritionists. More about Nutrition & Wellness