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Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition and Dietetics Major


student working in labThe Nutrition and Dietetics major opens the door to a variety of careers in foods manufacturing, food service, community health, and medical nutrition.  Many work environments, particularly those in the health care field, require that an individual be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) to practice nutrition care. To earn the R.D. credential an individual must complete a three step process:

  1. Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited college or university and course work approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

  2. Complete a ACEND-accredited dietetic internship. These internships are usually offered by health care facilities, community agencies, foodservice corporations, or educational institutions and are 9 - 12 months in length. (Note: some colleges offer a “Coordinated Program” which combines steps 1 and 2. Messiah does not offer this type of program.)

  3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

The Messiah College Nutrition and Dietetics major curriculum is approved by ACEND as a Didactic Program in Dietetics and enables students to complete the first step towards becoming a Registered Dietitian. Graduates of the Messiah College Nutrition and Dietetics program who wish to become Registered Dietitians apply to a ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (Step 2). After successful completion of a supervised practice program they are eligible to take the national registration exam

(Step 3).

Graduates who do not begin ACEND approved supervised practice programs after graduation are employable as dietetic technicians in health care institutions and businesses, nutrition counselors in community nutrition programs, and food service managers in health care institutions, schools, and industry. Additionally, graduates may choose to continue their education by applying to graduate school in areas such as nutrition science, public health, nutrition education, or international nutrition.

For additional information on dietetics education contact ACEND at: American Dietetic Association, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, Phone: 312-899-0040 Ext. 5400, or

Goals and Outcome Measures


Students in the nutrition and dietetics major study a wide variety of subjects, including anatomy and physiology, chemistry and biochemistry, food science and technology, nutrition science, management and business, education and counseling, and medical nutrition.   Information about the curriculum and course descriptions can be found in the Online Course Catalog.  A number of the upper level nutrition courses are offered every other year.  Therefore, careful course planning is especially important for this major.  General course scheduling guidelines can be found under the Course Scheduling Guidelines link on the Nutrition and Dietetics Department web page. 

Course Progression Policy

To progress to several of the upper level courses in this major, students need to meet specific GPA criteria.  The GPA Requirements for Progression in the Didactic Program in Dietetics policy is found in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics/Didactic Program in Dietetics Policy and Procedure Manual.

(Course catalog and major brochure include PDF files. Click here for the Adobe® PDF Reader®)

How to Apply

To apply for admission to Messiah College, simply call and request an application at 1-800-233-4220 or apply onlineOpen House dates and major-specific events are scheduled throughout the year. Students may arrange for a variety of visit options to suit their interests and schedule.

* Messiah College does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, age, disability, or national or ethnic origin.



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