Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts who translate the science of nutrition into personalized recommendations to help people prevent and manage medical conditions.

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The Purdue University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD)

  • Is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Is a 4-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree program
  • Provides students with didactic courses to meet the knowledge requirements for dietitians, established by ACEND. Additionally, the Purdue DPD curriculum includes a rigorous science core. Thus, Purdue DPD graduates are well-prepared for success in graduate education.
  • Includes coursework in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, human nutrition, nutrition counseling, diet planning, nutrition assessment and medical nutrition therapy. Purdue dietetics offers unique coursework opportunities in nutrition, fitness, and health. Many Purdue DPD students choose to double major in this area.
  • Graduates who receive a BS degree and a DPD Verification Statement are then eligible to enter an ACEND-accredited graduate program to earn a graduate degree and complete the required supervised practice needed to be eligible to take the national registration exam for dietitians (RD exam).
  • Students have the option of applying to Purdue's Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) to complete their supervised practice experience. Purdue’s CPD only accepts students out of the Purdue DPD ("Nutrition and Dietetics," "DPND" major). The CPD plans to introduce a graduate track to provide a pathway to registration but this pathway is under development. Please contact Dinah Dalder, dalder@purdue.edu for more information about the CPD.
  • Graduates who do not receive a dietetic internship match are also eligible to apply to the Purdue DPD Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) to complete their required supervised practice experience. The ISPP accepts up to 10 interns per year. Beginning January 2024, a graduate degree would need to be completed in order to be eligible to take the RD exam. 
  • Has a maximum enrollment of 80 students per class. A typical graduating class is between 60-70 students.

Potential Job Titles

  • Clinical dietitian in a health care facility
  • Food service management (e.g. hospital or school food service systems)
  • Clinical nutrition management
  • Community and public health
  • Sports nutrition
  • Corporate wellness
  • Industry (food, pharmaceuticals, etc.)
  • Business
  • Journalism/Nutrition communication
  • Private practice/consultant
  • Academia
  • Research

Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives

The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD) mission is to prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, and promote professional development through discovery, learning and engagement.  The DPD program will provide a curriculum and learning environment that will provide a strong foundation in nutrition education and promote an appreciation for life-long learning.

Goals and objectives of the DPD program can be found here.

Outcome data are available on request. To request data, please send a written request to Alvin Furiya at afuriya@purdue.edu

Degree Requirements & Academic Advising Worksheet

Pathway to Practice

Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited didactic dietetics program at Purdue University are eligible to apply to ACEND-accredited supervised practice program(s). Purdue University's CPD (coordinated program in dietetics) is one option for supervised practice and a graduate track is planned but is not yet available. Dietetic internships and future education model graduate programs are other options. Following a supervised practice experience, one is eligible to take the national credentialing exam to become an RDN; this is the case through the end of 2023.  Starting January 1, 2024, a graduate degree (master's or doctoral) will also be required prior to taking the credentialing exam to become an RDN.  More information can be found at https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice.  For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about pathways to become a RDN click here.

Useful Links for Current Students

NUTR 35000

Resources for Dietetic Internship Applicants

Program Handbook

Policies and procedures related to the DPD program are available in the DPD Handbook.

Accreditation CouncilThe Purdue University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995; Phone: 800-877-1600, Ext. 5400. http://www.eatright.org/ACEND.


How do I change my major?

If you are interested in switching your major to Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) to complete the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD), please visit the HHS Change of Major to learn more about the process to enter the College of Health & Human Sciences.

How do I transfer to Purdue?

If you are interested in transferring to Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) from another college or university, please visit the Future Transfer Students page to learn more about the steps needed to finish your degree at Purdue University.

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Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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