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Choosing the right college is one of the most important steps taken by a prospective student. Depending on the field in which the student intends to enter, the individual’s future success can be contingent on this significant choice. Certain fields are regulated by national and/or international agencies which standardize the requirements for becoming a recognized professional in the field. The dietitian profession is regulated by the American Dietician Association and its subsidiary and nationally recognized accrediting organization, CADE. Dieticians must successfully complete a CADE accredited Dietician program in order to qualify to take the exam for registration. Registration is required in the majority of states for licensure or certification to practice. Prospective students will need to select a college with a program which has met the requirements and successfully attained CADE accreditation.
In addition to CADE accreditation, there are various other factors which should be taken into consideration when determining which college is right for the individual. Prospective students should research the curriculum to decide if the program requirements and type of program suit their educational goals. Dietician programs vary based on whether only the coursework is included with the program, leaving the internship requirement up to the student to satisfy, or whether it is a cooperative program, incorporating the required internship with the coursework. Students should also consider the credentials of the faculty members and the number of faculty members within the department. The job placement success rate of the graduates is indicative of the quality of career assistance provided and the regard of the industry towards the institution and its graduates. Other factors are more personal including the size, the location and the financial cost of the school.
The colleges listed below offer dietician programs which are considered as the top ranked among comparable programs offered at other colleges.
1. California State University, Los Angeles
California State University at Los Angeles is a part of the renowned and highly regarded California State University system established in 1961. The California State University system is the largest of its type in the country; boasting 23 campuses, nearly half a million students and 44,000 faculty members. The University is committed to advancing knowledge in all areas of academic study through research and educational pursuits and to producing graduates prepared for the challenges of professional roles in their various fields. The award winning faculty members at California State University contribute to the success of their graduates with their superior teaching skills and through their continuous support. The 1800 comprehensive degree programs offered ensure students satisfy both the academic and practical requirements for the various fields.
The College of Health and Human Services at California State University LA offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Science with two options. Students can complete either the Didactic Program in Dietetics which prepares them for the required internship in dietetics or the coordinated dietetics program which incorporates the internship with the program. Both options are accredited through CADE, permitting graduates to sit for the registration exam after completion of accredited dietician internship programs. The 180 credit degree program requires students to complete at least 127 credits within the major. Courses include human anatomy and physiology, introductory microbiology, cultural cuisine, fundamentals of human nutrition, experimental foods, evaluation of current nutritional concepts, fundamentals of chemistry, nutritional aspects of biochemistry and medical nutrition therapy.
2. Purdue University
Purdue University was founded in 1869 and has become a top ranked research university both nationally and internationally. The superior quality educational programs, productive research efforts and extensive program options have earned the University a ranking of 87 among the top 100 world universities. Additionally, Purdue ranks as one of the top 25 public universities and graduate programs, top 10 of the nation’s best buys and among the nation’s best values. And the rankings of Purdue University have consistently increased annually over the last several years. Purdue University offers more than 200 undergraduate majors in addition to their more than seventy post graduate and professional programs which are also ranked high among comparable programs.
The College of Consumer and Family Sciences at Purdue University offers students the opportunity to pursue several degree options. Students can choose to pursue the dietetics didactic program which is solely coursework, the coordinated dietetics program which encompasses both the coursework and the internship or the dual degree program in dietetics/nutrition, fitness and health. The 130 Bachelor of Science degree programs are CADE accredited and meet the requirements of the American Dietetic Association to apply for the registration exam. The programs teach the essential skills necessary to be successful in the dietetics field; analytical and critical thinking, mathematics, statistics, communication and science. Courses include biochemistry, human design, chemistry, human development, food science, fundamentals of nutrition, nutritional assessment, diet selection and planning, experience in community nutrition and macronutrient metabolism in human health and disease.
3. University of Texas – Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is a part of the Texas University system which was established in 1839. The Austin campus of the University of Texas is the largest of the institutions and is regarded as a premier research university. The commitment of the university to improving the world by advancing knowledge through research and education and through its extensive public service efforts has earned the University of Texas at Austin multiple rankings among the top schools with more than 50 ranked top 10 programs nationally and internationally. The school boasts a student body of more than 50,000 students and nearly 3000 faculty members The extensive resources provided at the University of Texas Austin is unparalleled by any of the other public universities.
Several bachelor degree options are offered to students by the University of Texas Austin’s Nutritional Sciences Department to students majoring in dietetics. Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in dietetics can choose to complete the coordinated program or the didactic program, both of which are accredited by CADE and approved by the ADA. Additionally, students can choose a nutritional sciences option, nutritional and health option or the teaching option. Dietetics option concentrates on satisfying the curriculum requirements to ensure students will be eligible to sit for the registration exam administered by CADE. The program equips students with the requisite knowledge in the areas of anatomy, bimolecular study, nutrition, health and incorporates interdisciplinary study in the social sciences and economics essential to understanding the field.
4. Howard University
Howard University was established by charter in 1867 as a research institution with a concentration in liberal arts and science. The University is dedicated to furthering the education of African-American men and women and endeavors to produce graduates who are socially conscious leaders focused on providing answers to societal issues and concerns. The 1064 faculty members are professional educators dedicated to providing an exceptional educational experience. Students have the opportunity to select from 80 undergraduate majors and more than 90 post graduate majors. In addition to being fully accredited through the Middle States Association of Colleges and schools, Howard University has earned numerous accreditations for their various degree programs through the nationally recognized accrediting agencies.
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Sciences offered at Howard University is accredited by CADE. Students learn the foundational areas of the nutrition discipline; ensuring students are well versed in the basic concepts of the dietetics field. The flexible program curriculum permits students the opportunity to tailor the program towards their interests and professional goals. During their junction year, students can choose to specialize in community nutrition or human nutrition and food or can pursue the coordinated dietetics program and begin completing more advanced coursework in the major. Courses include meal management, experimental foods, introduction to dietetics, community nutrition, advanced nutrition, medical terminology and evaluating nutrition status.
5. University of Cincinnati
Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati is a highly regarded public research institution credited with substantial discoveries shaping the future of society. The University of Cincinnati is a top ranked research and public university which provides superior educational programs also ranked among the top in the nation, nine of which are ranked in the top ten. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the University of Cincinnati’s cooperative education programs which was the nation’s first. The University is dedicated to the concept of experiential education, the advancement of knowledge and the production of intellectual innovation. Students benefit from the expertise of the more than 2600 faculty members. The University of Cincinnati is accredited through the Higher learning Commission and has earned extensive accreditations for the range of degree programs offered at the school.
The Bachelor degree in dietetics offered at the University of Cincinnati requires students to apply for admission for the coordinated program in the spring of their second year. Students who are accepted into the program will complete the internship required of dieticians to become registered professionals while completing the bachelor degree. Students who choose not to apply or are not accepted can complete the didactic program in the dietetics major and complete the internship requirement after graduation. Both programs are accredited by CADE. The curriculum encompasses coursework in chemistry, English, biology, health and nutrition and includes the completion of a portfolio capstone requirement. Courses include medical anthropology, social health and illness, eating disorders, introduction to health promotion, health issues, consumer health, personal health behavior and community health.
6. SUNY – Buffalo State University of New York
Founded in 1846, Buffalo State University of New York is the largest and most comprehensive of the New York University system campuses. Buffalo State University is a highly regarded, top ranked research institution dedicated to providing academically superior degree programs and effecting constructive advancements in the world. The University boasts among their alumni astronauts, founder of Miramax films and Pulitzer prize winners and significant contributions to the invention of revolutionary medical technology and treatments. The university is home to approximately 29,000 students and employs 1600 full time and nearly 770 part time faculty members. Students are able to select from more than 100 undergraduate and over 250 graduate degree programs offered at the school.
The Department of Exercise and Nutrition at Buffalo State University offers a comprehensive degree program in exercise and nutrition. Dedicated to providing a quality educational plan, the university believes that solely earning a bachelor degree in the field doesn’t sufficiently equip graduates for a career in the field of dietetics. Students are offered the opportunity to complete an accelerated and combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program in exercise science and nutrition, to complete a post bachelor internship in dietetics or to pursue a master of science in the field. The combined program can be completed in five years by motivated students. Students have the option to specialize in a nutrition emphasis. The combined BS/MS and the MS only degree programs are accredited through CADE. The internship requires participants to complete 1200 hours within a twelve month period.
7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina is one of the oldest of the nation’s universities, established by charter in 1789, and celebrates a long history of distinguished alumni. The school has regularly ranked among the top schools over the last decade; earning a number one ranking among the 100 best public colleges and universities in 2009. The dedication of the University of North Carolina to providing a superior academic curriculum, its 3500 highly regarded faculty members committed to teaching and affordable tuition costs are directly attributed to making it a premier institution. As one of the nation’s most productive research universities, the University of North Carolina contributes substantially to the knowledge and academic advancement of all disciplines.
The Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs which lead to careers as dieticians. The curriculum encompasses the breadth of the discipline; including the areas of public health and behavioral analysis. Students learn the essential aspects of nutrition and its effect on individuals and society as a whole. The curriculum is CADE accredited and provides training in human biology, effect of nutrition on the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of disease and evaluates the cultural and organic factors of nutrition as well. The Bachelor of Science prepares students for the advanced study of the field in graduate school. Students who successfully complete the program will also be eligible to apply to sit for the dietetic registration exam or for admission to medical school.
8. Eastern Michigan University
Since its early beginnings in 1849, Eastern Michigan University has been committed to providing high quality degree programs and contributing to the global community through public service. The university endeavors to remain abreast of advancements and developments in the various fields; providing students with the most current curriculum. The school maintains a student focused environment, dedicated to the success of their graduates and to developing ethical community leaders. The student body of nearly 23,000 individuals has the opportunity to select from 200 majors from among the five colleges. Among the 689 faculty members of Eastern Michigan University are individuals who have won prestigious teaching awards in recognition for their excellence.
The Dietetics and Human Nutrition program offered at Eastern Michigan University is fully accredited by CADE. The coordinated program in dietetics is unique in that the university includes training in business and entrepreneurship in addition to the traditional curriculum. The program is offered both in the traditional classroom setting and online. Students learn the concepts of applying food and nutrition concepts to the overall health of the individual and learn to utilize the latest technology and the application of such in their professional capacities. The curriculum has a strong concentration in public health and teaches the skills and knowledge necessary for dietetic professionals to adapt to the changing needs of the populations they serve. Students are also afforded the opportunity to develop specializations within their curriculum.
9. La Salle University
La Salle University was established in 1863 as a teaching institution of higher learning based on Catholic values. Dedicated to developing the spiritual and intellectual growth of students, La Salle University strives to provide a high quality education which instills ethical professional standards in its graduates. La Salle serves a student body of 7300 and offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs. Many distinctions have been earned by the university, including being named one of the nation’s best regional universities by US News and World Report and being named as one of the Princeton Review’s great schools for 15 of the most popular undergraduate majors. The school provides distinguished, highly regarded faculty members, a 14 to 1 student faculty ration and the opportunity to study abroad.
At La Salle University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences, students have the option to pursue either the didactic or the coordinated program in nutrition. Both programs are CADE accredited. Students who complete the didactic program have the opportunity to fulfill the internship requirement and take the registration exam for dieticians. Courses for the program will include practicum in food service management and in clinical nutrition. The program is designed to allow students to pursue a specialization in a particular area of interest by the designation of a minor or through the selection of electives. Students are required to complete 900 hours of supervised practice within their senior year to satisfy the internship requirement of the coordinated program. Externships are offered to students as a means to attain additional experience in the field.
10. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, founded in 1787, began as a small private school which evolved into one of the nations premier research universities. The university has earned international recognition as an educational leader; in large part for their success in providing a diverse array of high quality comprehensive degree programs. The emphasis of the University on experiential learning equips graduates with the essential skills necessary to become leaders. Students are provided with substantial opportunities to engage in hands on activities and projects. The study abroad programs provide students who choose to participate with a global understanding and perspective of the field in which they major. The faculty advisers provide substantial support throughout the educational experience at the University of Pittsburgh.
The Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science degree program in clinical dietetics and nutrition. Students learn the foundational areas of nutrition, the reciprocal relationship between nutrition and chronic disease and the effect of nutrition on health. The coordinated program is CADE accredited; ensuring students are qualified to take the exam to become registered dieticians upon graduation. The didactic curriculum is also CADE accredited, qualifying students to complete CADE internship programs after graduation. The courses are taught by experts and renowned researchers in the field of nutrition. Students are also offered the opportunity to participate in a range of opportunities within various dietetic student and community organizations.