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Nutrition (BS)

A nutrition student at a whiteboard mapping out signs of malnutrition

Help others achieve personal health and wellness goals.

Why Study Nutrition Science?

What we eat has a profound impact on our health. Rising rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, among other conditions, illustrate the critical role nutrition plays in improving our health outcomes.

Pursuing a health promotion or nutritionist career fulfills your calling to help people in one of the most meaningful ways possible: improving their quality of life and extending their time with loved ones. This field offers a range of professional possibilities, from food marketing and community education to becoming a registered dietician.

The RDN: How to Become a Dietitian

To practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), you’ll need to pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration Exam. We designed USF’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics to prepare you for this industry certification.

(Effective Jan. 1, 2024, a master’s degree will be required to sit for this exam.)

Take the first step:
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Career Outlook & Success

11%

expected demand for dietitian and nutritionists through 2028 (BLS.gov)

$61,270

national median salary for dietitian and nutritionists in 2019 (BLS.gov)

1,200

hours of supervised practical experiences and clinical rotations for dietetics students

Why USF for Nutrition?

When you study nutrition science at USF, you’ll benefit from small classes, an experienced, readily available faculty and a program that deeply connects with our university’s Franciscan values. Not only will you leave with the knowledge and skills to succeed as a health educator or registered dietitian, but you also will bring to your career a reverence for the dignity of each unique client you’ll serve.

At USF, you can choose a concentration that fits your specific career goals; we offer two:

Community Health Promotion

Gain a solid foundation in nutritional biochemistry and an understanding of how to apply nutrition for disease prevention; then use that knowledge to create educational and intervention programs for people of all ages, backgrounds and stages of life.

Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD)

This concentration encompasses biological, social and psychological influences of food on health and disease. You can practice as an RDN at hospitals, schools, government agencies, research firms and many other organizations. Students in this concentration will also complete the Master of Healthcare Administration before sitting for the Commission on Dietetic Registration Exam. This concentration has special admissions requirements.

Hands-On Learning

Nutrition is an art and science, and you’ll see both come alive as you explore the chemistry of foods or modify a recipe for a health condition. The USF Food Lab — modeled after a commercial foodservice kitchen — gives you a safe space to build skills and confidence.

Internships, service-learning and clinical experience add to the mixture of your hands-on learning at USF:

  • Health promotion students work with community partners on real-world nutrition education projects.
  • CPD students gain at least 1,200 hours of practical experience through a variety of rotations, such as food service management, clinical medical nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, and special interest rotations.

You’ll also find activity- and project-based elements in most of your coursework.

Campus and Community Involvement

Nutrition majors can join their peers in KAN, or the Kinesiology and Nutrition Club. With a focus on career development and community activism, members create awareness projects, attend networking events and host a monthly themed brunch where everyone contributes one ingredient.

I truly feel that if I went to any other college in the state, I wouldn’t have gotten the same level of experience as I did at USF. I think it boils down to the professors, the care they give, the professional opportunities and the Christian atmosphere.
Kelsie Winebrenner ’19
Inpatient dietitian at Lutheran Hospital

A nutrition student writing down stats in a logbook

Health Promotion and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Careers Options

Along with learning how to become a dietitian, our program will prepare for a range of human health and nutrition positions in settings of all kinds:

  • Health education
  • Community outreach
  • School food services
  • Health communications
  • Food marketing
  • Culinary schools
  • Agriculture and food production
  • Human services agencies

Many workplaces, especially those in education and healthcare, require industry certification. The registered dietitian designation will give you wider access to opportunities. In addition to those listed above, you might also pursue RDN roles in:

  • Hospitals and home health agencies
  • Health promotion programs at colleges and universities
  • Government health agencies
  • Foodservice management and operations companies
  • Research and development for nutritional products
  • Sports and performance nutrition
  • Private consulting

Where You’ll Find Our Graduates

USF graduates have started their health promotion or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist career at employers such as:

  • AccuTemp Products, Inc.
  • Appalachian Regional Healthcare
  • Lutheran Health Network
  • Lutheran Weight Management
  • Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital
  • Precision Plastics, Inc.
  • Will Power Fitness
Professor Beverly Moellering showing 2 nutrition students how to properly measure out various ingredients

Be Taught by Experts

As a student in our Nutrition and Dietetics program, you will be taught by true experts — clinicians who work in the field and share the value of their professional experience. They know what’s current in the industry and how to transition into the “real world.” Plus, they really, really care about your success!

Accreditation

University of Saint Francis’ Coordinated Program in Dietetics is fully-accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  This is granted at the baccalaureate level for a maximum enrollment of seven first-year and seven second-year students with a concentration in Health Promotion.

120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
800-877-1600, ext. 5400

For more information about ACEND, visit: http://www.eatright.org/ACEND/. For more information about the AND, visit: http://www.eatright.org/.

The professors are one of the best things about this program. They are so engaged with students and they really want us to succeed. I can always approach them for help if I don’t understand something; they always take the time to clarify it or work through it again.
Melissa Fearnow ’20
Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Get the Details — Coordinated Program in Dietetics Facts & Info

Our Mission

Rooted in the Catholic & Franciscan traditions, the Coordinated Program in Dietetics will engage a diverse community in learning, leadership, and service. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics will provide an integrated academic and supervised practice curriculum to train students to become competent entry-level registered dietitians and community leaders in health promotion.

Additional Resources

Program Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: The Coordinated Program in Dietetics at USF will prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians.

Program Objectives for Goal 1:

  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
  • 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • 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%.
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • 70% or more of program graduates will be rated as satisfactory by employers.
  • At a one-year post graduation survey, 80% of the graduates who respond to the survey will indicate adequate preparation to practice effectively as an entry-level dietitian nutritionist.

Goal 2: The Coordinated Program in Dietetics at USF will prepare graduates to be life-long learners and encourage ongoing professional development.

Program Objectives for Goal 2:

  • 70% of graduates will have their Professional Development Portfolio Plan submitted and approved by Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) within 12 months of becoming a Registered Dietitian.
  • 50% or more of program graduates will be active in professional organizations and/or community service within 12 months of program completion.

The Program outcomes data for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics are available upon request.

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Academic Plan

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