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Nutrition and Dietetics

Purdue University in West Lafayette

Nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining health and in the prevention and treatment of diseases. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are the food and nutrition experts who translate the science of nutrition into personalized recommendations to help people prevent and manage medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and many more.

To become an RDN, students must complete required coursework as well as 1,200 hours of supervised practice from an accredited program and then pass a national examination. Required courses include biology, chemistry, biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition assessment, diet selection and planning, and food service systems management.

At Purdue, students complete all required coursework for dietetics in the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND), and then apply to either an outside dietetics internship or the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) at Purdue to complete the required supervised practice. Upon completion of supervised practice, students are eligible to sit for the national registration examination for dietitians.

Purdue’s placement rate into supervised practice (internship or CPD) is approximately 90%, compared to a national dietetic internship placement rate of approximately 50%. Additionally, we offer an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) as an alternative route for students who do not secure a traditional dietetic internship.

The Purdue DPND, CPD and ISPP are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

Dietetics students interested in exercise science are eligible to declare a double major with Nutrition, Fitness and Health (NFHL) during Summer Transition, Advising and Registration (STAR) or may select the Nutrition and Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness and Health (DNFH) double major when applying to Purdue. This is a popular double major for our dietetics students, achievable in four years, adding only an additional 8-16 credit hours. This double major prepares students to be at the exciting interface between nutrition, dietetics, and fitness.

With a focus on health and nutrition, dietetics is an excellent major to fulfill the prerequisite requirements for professional health programs. The curriculum may be easily modified to meet the requirements for most professional health programs such as medicine, physician assistant, physical therapy, dentistry, public health and veterinary medicine. Students interested in this option may also consider a double major in Nutrition Science (NUSC).

Watch these videos to learn more about Nutrition and Dietetics.

Plan of Study

Nutrition and Dietetics Webpage

Transfer to Nutrition and Dietetics

Purdue admits to individual majors. Transfer students must meet Purdue's overall transfer criteria, as well as any major-specific requirements. Before you apply, check the closed programs page to confirm this major is open to transfer students. If it is, refer to the information below for major-specific transfer criteria.

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Additional Requirements: At least one semester of college-level chemistry or biology with a grade of C or higher.

Contact Information

HHS Undergraduate Student Services
(765) 494-8533

College of Health and Human Sciences

Careers in Nutrition and Dietetics

  •   Hospitals, clinics or healthcare facilities
  •   Food service management (e.g. hospital or school food service systems)
  •   Clinical nutrition management
  •   Community and public health
  •   Sports nutrition
  •   Corporate wellness
  •   Food and nutrition-related business and industry
  •   Journalism/Nutrition communication
  •   Private practice/consultant
  •   Research
  •   University educator

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