Ball State’s major in dietetics is a challenging program that prepares you for the first step of the three-step process of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are employed in more than 40 unique specialties within hospitals, public health clinics, senior care communities, sports organizations, schools, state and local government agencies, and more.If your goal is to become an RDN, your timing is perfect—employer demand for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is much higher than the national average. Whatever your career goals, this major will equip you for success in the field of nutrition.
The Dietetics Program is fully-accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), a division of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
The three steps required to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist are as follows:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree and earn a Verification Statement from an ACEND-accredited undergraduate program (like the Ball State Didactic Program in Dietetics).
- Get matched to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (like the Ball State Dietetic Internship Program).
- Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR’s) dietetic registration exam*.
* Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on
Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be
eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian
nutritionist (RDN). For more information about educational pathways to
become a RDN click here.
The Ball State University Didactic Program in Dietetics has as its mission, the preparation of students for acceptance into, and successful completion of, an accredited supervised practice program, an advanced degree program, and/or entry into a career in foods and nutrition. The Didactic Program in Dietetics defines the successful preparation of students for future practice by providing a thorough academic training that fosters interprofessional education, entrepreneurial learning, and encourages graduates to practice in an ethical and professional manner as outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics for Dietitians and the Standards of Practice and Performance for Registered Dietitians.
- The Didactic Program in Dietetics will provide a thorough, challenging curriculum that successfully prepares students for application into accredited dietetic internships, advanced degree programs, and/or careers in foods and nutrition.
- Over a five-year period, 80% of program alumni who sit for the National Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians will pass on the first attempt.
- Over a five-year period, 90% of students in the 3rd year of the dietetics baccalaureate degree program will complete requirements to receive verification statements within three years.
- Over a five-year period, 60% of DP graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the academic year they complete the program.
- Over a five-year period, 60% of those applying to supervised practice programs the academic year they complete the program will be accepted.
- Over a five-year period, 60% of graduates who either were not accepted by, or did not apply to, a supervised practice program the year they completed the program will have re-applied to a supervised practice program, applied to graduate school, pursued taking the NDTR Examination, or will have obtained employment in a dietetics-related field.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Graduates will report that the DP adequately prepared them for the Dietetic Internship, Graduate School, or Employment in the Field of Dietetics.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP seniors will report that the DP prepared them for the Dietetics Internship Application Process.
- Over a five-year period, 80% of dietetic internship directors will rate program alumni preparedness for the internships as “Satisfactory” or above.
- The Nutrition faculty will advise, support and encourage dietetic student success through pedagogy that is entrepreneurial, collaborative, and career-oriented.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will agree that they received adequate advising for the Dietetics program and courses (course sequence, scheduling, etc.) by indicating “Agree” or “Strongly Agree”.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will agree that the nutrition faculty are supportive of them as a DP student (provide guidance, mentoring, and encouragement).
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will agree that the nutrition faculty have suggested opportunities or offered assistance with finding work or volunteer experience appropriate for dietetics majors.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will agree that the nutrition faculty show passion for and commitment to the field of dietetics and educating new practitioners.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will agree that University sponsored organizations and initiatives, such as the Ball State Dietetics Association (BSDA), community outreach, interprofessional simulations, and clinics provided opportunities to learn in an active and collaborative manner.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Graduates will report that they participated in collaborative projects, research, or experiential learning experiences led by nutrition faculty while in the DP.
- The program will encourage student participation in professional activities that foster lifelong learning.
- Over a 5-year period, 80% of DP Seniors will report that they have attended at least one Ball State Dietetic Association (BSDA) meeting or event.
- Over a 5-year period, 50% of DP Seniors will report that they have attended at least one regional, state, or national professional association event.
- Over a 5-year period, 25% of DP graduates will have reported contributing an abstract, poster, paper, and/or presentation at a state, regional or national professional conference or professional publication.
- Over a 5-year period, 30% of DP graduates who have successfully entered the dietetics field as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist will report serving as preceptors for supervised practice.
Outcomes data is available upon request.
What You Will Learn
The Didactic Program in Dietetics features immersive, real-world learning experiences and prepares students for opportunities in:
- Nutrition-related healthcare (direct patient care)
- Nutrition for wellness and health
- Clinical nutrition management
- Community-based nutrition care and program administration
- Food service systems management
- Food and nutrition policy development and implementation
- Food and nutrition-related research interpretation and application
What It’s Like to Major in Nutrition and Dietetics at Ball State?
If you like science and understanding how food and nutrition impact the human body, dietetics is for you!
Pre-Dietetics students (year 1 and 2) spend their first four semesters learning how the body works (through general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and human nutrition), all while learning about the physical and chemical properties of food (food labs!).
After this foundation is complete and they are accepted into the Dietetics major, students begin to explore human metabolism, nutrition counseling and education, nutrition needs of special populations, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition service management, and professional leadership. Students graduate from the program ready for the rigor of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. The BSU Dietetics Program had an 88 percent five-year average internship match rate in the national internship match process (2013-2017). This is much higher than the national average, which is a 50 percent internship match rate.
In addition to Interprofessional Education and Practice (IPE&P) activities offered through the College of Health, dietetics majors often complete several hours of volunteer work, practicum hours, and professional service. Many students obtain employment in career-related jobs, while others collaborate with faculty to conduct nutrition-related research.
Most dietetics majors become actively involved in Ball State Dietetic Association (BSDA) from their first semester in the program. BSDA is a student-governed organization that focuses on early career development, mentoring, and philanthropy in nutrition and dietetics. BSDA functions as the Dietetics Program’s point of contact for all community outreach opportunities, and state and national professional associations in dietetics.
Learn More about Our Research and Community Impact
As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience helping solve real-world problems while earning course credits through immersive learning projects.
Our department’s faculty members have previously coordinated projects tailored to our own field, but you will also have the chance to work collaboratively with students and faculty from other programs within the College of Health and around campus.
I have grown both personally and professionally at Ball State. This growth gives me confidence that I will succeed in my dream profession.
The bachelor’s program in Dietetics and Nutrition meets all ACEND Knowledge Requirements for Dietetics (KRDs) and other accreditation standards (program outcomes data is available upon request).
The ACEND KRD requirements are met through the courses listed on the Verification Checklist (PDF) (ACEND 2017 Accreditation Standards).
To meet the program and university requirements for graduation, the following Eight Semester Sequence is recommended: Eight Semester Sequence Dietetics (PDF).
A few of the classes you will take include:
- NUTR 101 Introduction to Dietetics
- NUTR 340 Human Nutrition
- NUTR 375 Nutrition Education and Counseling
- NUTR 446 &447 Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 & 2
- NUTR 455 Lifecycle Nutrition
- NUTR 456 Community Nutrition
- NUTR 480 Global Nutrition
For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.
What Can You Do with a Degree in Dietetics?
Ball State’s major in dietetics will prepare you for the rigor of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, and the National Registration Examination for Dietitians. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are employed in more than forty unique specialties within hospitals, public health clinics, senior care communities, sports organizations, schools, state and local government agencies, and more. To explore careers in Dietetics, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
Job titles may include:
- Clinical Dietitian
- Public Health Nutritionist
- Director of Food and Nutrition Services
- Research Dietitian
- Nutrition Education
Many of our students also become specialists in:
- Oncology Nutrition
- Pediatric Nutrition
- Diabetes Education
- Eating Disorders
- Sports Nutrition
- Renal Nutrition
- Nutrition Support
- Women’s Health
- Geriatric Nutrition
- Weight Management
- Cardiovascular Health
- Clinical Nutrition
Paying for Your Education
In addition to funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships and graduate assistantships to our own students.
Ready to Apply?
Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.
Want to Learn More?
The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.
The Ball State Didactic Program in Dietetics is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext. 5400. http://www.eatrightPRO.org/acend