Nutrition & Dietetics: Didactic Program in Dietetics

Undergraduate students earning a BS degree & DPD requirements 

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD- Traditional Option)

The traditional curriculum option in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD- Traditional) is an undergraduate program which 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 (VS) indicating that students are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) examination and/or 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 at Marywood University are required to complete 120 credits before graduation.

Students must apply to the DPD at the end of completion of sophomore level courses and begin program courses during the following fall semester. Full time undergraduate DPD students typically complete the program in 2 years.

The DPD must be followed by an ACEND accredited dietetic internship in order to be eligible for the registration examination for RDNs. 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 and computer matching 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. The student’s advisor and the DPD Director provide guidance on how best to accomplish this goal.

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD-Spanish Option)

The Spanish option Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD- Spanish) is an undergraduate program which meets the educational requirements set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and also enables a student to become linguistically and culturally competent to serve the Hispanic/Latino population.  Additionally, students following this curriculum option will study abroad in the Latin American country of Costa Rica for a portion of one semester.  Students completing the DPD requirements and a bachelor’s degree will earn a Verification Statement (VS) indicating that students are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) examination and/or 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 through this Spanish emphasis pathway at Marywood University are required to complete 129 credits before graduation.

Students must apply to the DPD Spanish emphasis curriculum option at the end of completion of sophomore level courses and begin program courses during the following fall semesterFull time undergraduate DPD students typically complete the program in 2 years. Students receive individualized guidance on preparing for their international experience from the DPD Director and the Study Abroad Office who coordinate this experience. Additional estimated costs incurred by students include travel to and from Costa Rica, one meal daily while in Costa Rica, and personal spending money.

The DPD must be followed by an ACEND accredited dietetic internship in order to be eligible for the registration examination for RDN. 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 and computer matching application process. Please note: the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) changed the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians, beginning in 2024, from baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree. The student’s advisor and the DPD Director provide guidance on how best to accomplish this goal. Learn more about this program.

Didactic Program in Dietetics Five Year BS/MS & BS/MS/DI Options

The department also offers two options for 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. These students can choose to earn combined BS/MS degrees, 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 of their undergraduate career, and then complete the graduate degree requirements in year five. Because graduates of this option earn a DPD Verification Statement (VS) after they complete the DPD requirements, they are eligible to sit for the NDTR examination and/or apply to an accredited dietetic internship program. Learn more about the graduate programs.

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 pre-selection 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 (BS/MS/DI) 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. Learn more about the Dietetic Internship Program.

Graduate students earning a MS degree & DPD requirements 

Didactic Program in Dietetics (Graduate Student Option)

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 earning a MS in Nutrition or SNES at Marywood University are required to complete 36 graduate credits before graduation. Some of the DPD requirements may have been met during the student’s undergraduate studies, while other requirements are met with graduate courses that are required to complete the MS degree. Students must apply to the DPD at the end of completion of sophomore level DPD courses and begin program courses during the following fall semester. Full time post-graduate students with a BS or BA degree or higher and only completing the DPD requirements typically complete the DPD in 1.5 years.

Student 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. Learn more about the graduate programs.

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 and computer matching application process. Please note: the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) changed the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians, beginning in 2024, from baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree.

Students with an earned BS degree or higher and completing DPD requirements can choose to apply to be pre-selected into Marywood’s ACEND Accredited Dietetic Internship program. This is not a requirement, but an option. Graduates of this option earn a DPD Verification Statement, a MS in Nutrition, and a Dietetic Internship program Verification Statement in 4 years and are eligible to sit for the RDN exam.  Students earn the DPD Verification Statement in their third academic year of study at Marywood University and begin their supervised practice the summer between academic years three and four. 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 fourth academic year.  Their graduate course work is completed at the same time as the supervised practice. Note: The students in this option complete the DPD requirements in two and a half years similar to those students in the DPD-Grad option. More information about the admission criteria and application process for this option can be found on the DI website Learn more about the Dietetic Internship Program.

Additional Information

Please follow the links below for more information about University costs and financial aid, the Academic Calendar, and how to apply to Marywood.  The DPD Handbook provides additional information specific to the DPD program such as program application, retention and completion requirements, DPD required courses, and program costs for all options.

For more information about any of the DPD options please contact the DPD director Mrs. Jessica Bodzio at jbodzio@marywood.edu 

Accreditation

Marywood's Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is currently granted accreditation status by the

 Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
312/899-0040
Fax: 312/899-4817

Email: ACEND@eatright.org