Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)?

Enrollment in the DPD is unrestricted to admitted undergraduates. However, students must meet the University and College criteria for a student in good standing. These are described in the Undergraduate Catalog. Students in the Clinical Nutrition major complete the DPD coursework as part of their degree requirements.

Are there any specific costs while enrolled?

There are no specific fees associated with the DPD. The UC Davis Catalog lists tuition and fees for resident and non-resident undergraduates.

What is the suggested curriculum sequence for the Clinical Nutrition major?

The coursework is planned sequentially to build on knowledge gained from pre-requisite and introductory courses. The junior and senior level coursework in clinical nutrition and dietetics emphasizes the core knowledge and most up-to-date information in the field. The "Finish in Four" plan allows the student to graduate in four years.

What careers and jobs does a Clinical Nutrition major prepare me for?

Job opportunities include positions in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes; public health agencies; government agencies; food and nutrition management in healthcare, schools, colleges and the hospitality industry; in wellness programs; and in food and nutrition service and marketing industries. As the recognized professional in this field is the Registered Dietitian, many positions are limited to individuals with this credential. (See Career Opportunities)

What are the steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian?

Becoming a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) requires completion of three steps:

  1. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree and completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework.
  2. A supervised practice program (dietetic internship).
  3. The Registration Examination, a national exam to assure competence of practicing dietitians.

See the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics web site for additional details.

Explain the “Supervised Practice Program.”

Supervised practice programs, also known as Dietetic Internships, are postbaccalaureate programs that provide applied experiences in various aspects of the professional field of dietetics. Programs typically run for six to twelve months, longer for graduate degree-linked programs. Although some offer a stipend, most charge tuition. Approximately 250 programs exist and are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students must individually apply to the programs, which are competitive.

How can I improve my chances of acceptance in a supervised practice program?

Programs have varying selection criteria, but the successful applicants usually have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, volunteer or paid work experience and strong recommendations from faculty and employers. Attend the information meetings held by DPD faculty and the Program Director, consult with your faculty advisor, be pro-active about obtaining experience in the field of dietetics, and be active in your campus and local community. Pay attention to details of the application process and highlight your skills and strengths. (See Dietetic Internship Application Process)

What is a “Verification Statement”?

All students completing the BS degree in Clinical Nutrition and who have completed all UC Davis DPD requirements will be given a signed “Verification Statement” that documents completion of the DPD. This is issued at the time of graduation, once the degree has been officially posted by the University Registrar, typically 2 months post-graduation. The Verification Statement is used when preparing for admission to a supervised practice program (dietetic internship), professional membership and registration.

If a student has determined that he or she will not be pursuing a dietetic internship, it is possible for that student to gain exemption from a particular course (especially if that course is impacted) upon consultation with the program director. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. If an exemption is granted, the student will earn the BS in Clinical Nutrition, but not the Verification Statement. If circumstances change and the student later requires a Verification Statement, the course or its equivalent must be completed before the Verification Statement will be issued.

The Verification Statement is valid for 10 years, after which an individual would need to complete additional course work (a minimum of 12 UCD units) to receive a new Verification Statement. The required courses are NUT 116A/AL and 116B/BL. Additional courses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individual Dietetic Internships may or may not consider applicants with degrees received over 10 years ago.
Additional information on Verification Statements is available on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ ACEND website.