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.
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.
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
On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.
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