Ball State’s major in dietetics is a challenging program that prepares you for the first step of the five-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). ACEND is the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
The five 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*.
- Obtain certification/licensure in your state of practice, if applicable. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.
- Maintain continuing education as outlined by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (click here).
* 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). Learn more.
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 as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.
- Graduates will be prepared for acceptance to and successful completion of an accredited supervised practice program, graduate school, and/or a career in food and nutrition services.
- Objective 1: At least 80% of students complete program requirements within three years (150% of planned program length).
- Objective 2: At least seventy percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 3: Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least seventy percent are admitted within 12 months of graduation.
- Graduates have attained the knowledge, skills, and attributes for competent supervised practice and careers in food and nutrition services in the region and beyond.
- Objective 1: The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- Objective 2: Seventy percent of supervised practice program directors, graduate program directors, or employers will report that program graduates were “prepared” or “well-prepared” for supervised practice, graduate program or employment within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 3: Seventy percent of program graduates completing supervised practice, a graduate program or attainment of employment will report they were “prepared” or “well-prepared” for supervised practice, a graduate program or employment within 12 months of graduation.
*2021 One-year pass rate of 95%, other outcomes data available upon request.
The DPD Handbook and Policy and Procedure Manual (PDF) has information regarding the University, the Department of Nutrition and Health Science, and the Pre-Dietetics/Dietetics major. The purpose of this handbook is to provide a point of reference for important information regarding the Dietetics Program. It is not designed to replace regular appointments with your academic advisor, nor is it intended to replace the BSU Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.
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 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 as Pre-dietetic majors, students apply to be accepted into the Dietetics major, typically the second semester of the second year for most students.
Admission Requirements: a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher including: Completion of the required CHEM series, ANAT 201, PHYS 215 obtaining a "C" or better in each class. Completion of the required NUTR 101 and 340 courses, obtaining a grade of "B" or better and a grade of "B" or better in all HOSP courses completed prior to application.
Once 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.
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 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 2022 Accreditation Standards).
To ensure you meet the program and university requirements for graduation for the Bachelor of Science Degree, use the Dietetics Program Checksheet- BS (PDF).
To ensure you meet the program and university requirements for graduation for the Bachelor of Art Degree, use the Dietetics Program Checksheet - BA (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
Additional Program Fees
Additional program fees include the College of Health Student fee of $25 per credit hour and drug and/or background check fees if required by a supervised practice site used in the program.
Paying for Your Education
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