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Field of Study: Dietetics

College preparation

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

  • Lifetime Fitness Education
  • Consumer Law
  • Psychology
  • Food Service and Nutrition
  • Vocational Home Economics Work Experience
  • Introduction to Business
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Food Science
  • Health Education
  • Community Health
  • Healthcare Occupations
  • Healthcare Sciences Work Experience


Undergraduate special

Some colleges require you to first complete the following prerequisites before entering their dietetics programs:

  • English Composition
  • General Chemistry
  • General Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Physical Education
  • Sociology


Graduate admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and in some cases, good test scores on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General. Your bachelor's degree should be in dietetics, and you may also need to be a registered dietitian.

In the case of doctoral programs, you also need a master's degree in dietetics or nutrition.

In all cases, you will need letters of recommendation.

Most schools require you to complete the following prerequisite courses:

  • Biostatistics
  • College-Level Algebra
  • General Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Instrumentation Techniques in Nutrition
  • Microbiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Research Methods in Nutrition
  • Science of Foods


Typical course work

This undergraduate program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Biochemistry
  • Community Nutrition
  • Developmental Nutrition
  • Eating Disorders
  • Food Selection and Preparation
  • Human Nutrition
  • Introduction to Clinical Nutrition
  • Life Cycle Nutrition
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Nutrition and Human Metabolism
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology in Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Physiology and Functional Anatomy
  • Professional Issues in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Quantity Food Purchasing, Production, and Services

Course work in dietetics graduate programs that lead to a master's or doctoral degree varies from program to program. The variation partly depends on what aspect of dietetics and nutrition you want to focus on. You might want to study pediatric dietetics, or maybe you would rather run a business that involves dietetics. Whichever the case, there are some common graduation requirements.

That list is as follows:

  • Required courses
  • Thesis (master's degree only)
  • Preliminary exams (doctoral degree only)
  • Dissertation and dissertation defense (doctoral degree)