College Of Health & Human Sciences

Nutrition and Dietetics Program

Nutrition and Dietetics major

 

The mission of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at Western Carolina University is to provide a sound academic foundation that facilitates the development of effective, engaged dietetic professionals who will integrate their knowledge, skills and values in application of current evidence in food and nutrition science to improve the health of individuals and diverse communities.

Some of the highlights of our program include:

  • Award-winning student professional club
  • Community engagement opportunities
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Undergraduate award recognition opportunities

The didactic program in Dietetics at Western Carolina University is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995. 

The Nutrition and Dietetics Program offers a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree, a minor, and a master’s-level (M.H.S.) concentration specialization in nutrition.

Nutrition and Dietetics, B.S.

The Nutrition and Dietetics, B.S. program is a 120-hour undergraduate degree program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting body for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Students may declare a pre-major in nutrition and dietetics when they have completed, or are concurrently completing, all liberal studies and program pre-requisites. Students must formally apply and be admitted to the program before beginning the professional sequence of courses in the junior year. See the Student Handbook for more information.  

B.S. graduates are eligible to apply for an internship. Upon completion, they are eligible to take the national certification exam to become a registered dietitian (RD).

Students who complete the undergraduate nutrition major requirements must meet the requirements for and complete the internship at the master’s level in order to become a registered dietitian.

M.H.S. Concentration Specialization in Nutrition

Because the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) requires an internship and the responsibilities for dietitians are ever increasing, we strongly encourage our qualified undergraduates to continue into our graduate program and become registered dietitians.

Requirements to Enter Registered Dietitian Concentration

Frequently Asked Questions

Does completing the nutrition and dietetics degree make me a registered dietitian (RD)?

No. Students who complete the undergraduate nutrition major requirements MUST meet the requirements for and complete the RD internship at the master’s level in order to become a registered dietitian. They also must pass the national registration exam. Ask your advisor for more details.

Because the AND requires an internship and the responsibilities for dietitians are ever increasing, we strongly encourage our qualified undergraduates to continue into our graduate program and become registered dietitians.

What happens if I don’t go on to become an RD? Can I still get a job with my bachelor’s degree?

Yes! There are many opportunities for graduates of our major. Graduates of the B.S. program in Nutrition and Dietetics are eligible to apply for Nutritionist I position in the Health Department of most states. They can also apply to take the registration exam to be a registered dietetic technician (DTR). Talk to your advisor or visit WCU Career Services for information and advice.

What is required of a student to obtain a Dietetic Internship?

The Dietetic Internship is designed to provide clinical experiences established by the Standards of Education of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Students who successfully complete the internship are eligible to take the national registration exam of the AND, and on passing the examination become registered dietitians (RD) and active members of the AND.

To obtain a Dietetic Internship a student must successfully complete an undergraduate degree from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting body of the AND, or have a baccalaureate degree from any accredited school but have all of the didactic courses completed from an ACEND-accredited program.

If someone has a bachelor’s degree in an area other than nutrition, they do not have to obtain a second degree, but they do have to complete all of the ACEND-required courses. Dietetic internships are very competitive across the country. 

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