The Didactic Program in Dietetics is a four-year baccalaureate degree leading to the completion of the academic requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The courses are designed to meet the knowledge competencies for entry-level dietitians.
Completion of this degree qualifies a student to apply for a dietetic internship. After completing both the didactic program and more than 1,200 hours of experience provided by the internship, the student is then eligible to sit for the national registration examination to become a registered dietitian. The didactic program is also open to students with a baccalaureate degree in a major other than Nutrition. These students may take six credits as a non-degree student, but then must apply for admission as a second-degree candidate in Nutrition.
Since 2009 the University of Saint Joseph Didactic Program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606 (312.899.0040 x 5400). ACEND is the accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered.
In 2024 in order to take the exam to become a registered dietitian, a student will need the dietetic internship and a master’s degree.
Admission and continuation requirements
To receive a verification statement as required by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to apply to a dietetic internship, students in the didactic program must earn a minimum of a “C” in all required Nutrition major courses and in the following natural science courses or their equivalents:
- General Biology
- Inorganic and Organic Chemistry
- Anatomy and Physiology I and II
One science and one Nutrition course may be repeated once to raise the grade.
If the minimum grade requirement is not met, students are still eligible to graduate from the didactic program with a B.S. in Nutrition. However, they will not be issued the verification statement required by AND.
- Students must meet the University of Saint Joseph admissions requirements
- Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition may enroll in classes to update their education to meet requirements of the Academy. They must meet with a department faculty member, submit official transcripts and maintain a department file as a non-matriculated student.
The mission of the USJ didactic program is to provide excellence in education in Nutrition and Dietetics in the context of a liberal arts education and to meet the requirements of the AND and ACEND.
Goals and objectives
- University of Saint Joseph didactic students will successfully complete these didactic requirements:
- Over a five-year-period 75% of entering seniors will complete the program within five years
- 100% of didactic program students or graduates will earn at least a C in all major courses and the required sciences
- University of Saint Joseph didactic graduates will be successful in furthering their professional education or obtaining employment:
- Of the students who receive didactic verification, 75% over a five-year-period will apply to an internship
- Over a five-year period, of those who apply two-thirds or 66% will be accepted
- Of those who are accepted into a didactic internship, over a five-year-period, 90% will successfully complete the internship
- Of students who complete a didactic internship and take the exam, 80% will pass over a five-year-period
- 75% of graduates will obtain employment in nutrition, a nutrition-related field or a position of responsibility within two years of graduation
- University of Saint Joseph didactic graduates will demonstrate life-long learning and involvement in the dietetics profession:
Outcomes (75% will participate in at least two of the following activities):
- Join AND or another professional organization or a dietetic practice group
- Attend professional meetings including webinars
- Read professional journals and become preceptors to didactic students
- Present posters or talks to the public or professional groups
- Undertake post-graduate work including continuing education credits or certificate
4. University of Saint Joseph didactic graduates will be competent professionals:
- Students will be evaluated in NUTR 499 - Coordinating Seminar , in their didactic internship and in their entry-level positions by preceptors, directors and employers.