Nutrition & Dietetics: Didactic Program

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 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 year. 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 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 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 a Latin American country for a portion of one semester.  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 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. Full 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 costs incurred by students include travel to and from Costa Rica, one meal daily while in Costa Rica, and personal spending.

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 Options

The department also offers two options for undergraduate students to earn their BS and Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition degrees within five years. Eligible undergraduate students can choose to earn a combined BS/MS degree, along with their DPD Verification Statement (VS) in five years indicating they are eligible to apply to a dietetic internship program. 

Baccalaureate degree seeking students in the DPD- Traditional or DPD- Spanish option who earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition and Dietetics at Marywood University and who meet additional 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. These students 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 would be eligible to sit for the national examination for RDNs.  Advanced coursework begins in the "bridge" year overlapping the fourth year of undergraduate study and the first year of graduate work. The fifth year encompasses the supervised practice component with rotations in facility sites including community nutrition, food systems management, medical nutrition therapy, and professional practice.

Post-graduate students with a BS degree or higher & only completing DPD requirements

Students in this pathway must 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 courses. Full time post-graduate students with a BS or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree or higher and only completing the DPD requirements typically complete the DPD in 1.5 years.

Post-graduate students 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.  

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.

Post-graduate students with a BS degree or higher and completing DPD requirements can choose to apply to be preselected into Marywood’s ACEND Accredited Dietetic Internship program. This is not a requirement, but an option. These students earn a DPD Verification Statement, a MS in Nutrition, and a Dietetic Internship program Verification Statement in 4 years and would be eligible to sit for the national examination for RDNs.  The supervised practice begins after they earn the DPD Verification Statement, in the summer of the third year of study at Marywood University and includes rotations in facility sites including community nutrition, food systems management, medical nutrition therapy, and professional practice.

For more information such as costs, application, admission, and completion requirements, and calendar please see the DPD Handbook. 

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 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