Nutrition Major: Dietetics Option (B.S.)

Nutrition Major: Dietetics Option (B.S.)
An individual getting counseled by a dietitian

The nutrition program celebrated 100 years of graduates in 2022 and commemorated the milestone with special events and stories throughout the year. Learn more here.

At UNH, you have three curriculum options (Dietetics Option, Health and Wellness Option, Nutritional Sciences Option) for pursuing a bachelor's degree in nutrition. Students typically declare an option within the nutrition major no later than the second semester of their sophomore year.

The UNH Nutrition Major: Dietetics Option B.S. is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The United States Department of Education recognizes ACEND as an accrediting body.

Website
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Phone: 800-877-1600, ext. 5400
Mailing Address: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995.


What is dietetics? 

Dietetics is the study of the ways in which food and nutrition affect human health. Students in this program learn how to provide nutrition information to individuals and families to improve their health and wellbeing. This degree option is the first step toward becoming a registered dietitian, who is someone engaged in the assessment, diagnoses and treatment of nutritional problems. 

Why study dietetics at UNH? 

UNH offers a Didactic Program in Dietetics for students interested in becoming registered dietitians. The curriculum, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), provides a strong foundation in nutrition, food science, dietetics and management, with integrated laboratory and clinical experiences and numerous research opportunities with award-winning faculty. Students can also participate in UNH-in-Italy, a study-abroad program that explores the links between food culture, sustainable agriculture and the policies and issues impacting the country’s food system. Graduates are prepared for the supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, as well as graduate school and entry-level nutrition positions that do not require an RD. 

Potential careers 

  • Business owner 
  • Consultant (hospitals and care facilities) 
  • Dietary counseling to individuals 
  • Food service industries 
  • Hospitals and nursing care facilities 
  • Outpatient centers and health practitioner offices 
  • Registered dietitian 
  • State and local government agencies
Contact

Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics
CLINICAL ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-4524
Office: Agriculture, Nutrition, & Food Systems, Kendall Hall Rm 119, Durham, NH 03824
Contact
  • UNH nutrition student Caroline Williams
    On Her Way to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
    Caroline Williams is a nutrition: dietetics major from Danbury, Connecticut. While excelling in both her studies and extracurricular activities, she has also found time to run two marathons while an undergraduate.
    Learn More
  • UNH home economics archive photo
    Issues Commendation for 100 Years of Graduates
     
    Learn More
  • UNH nutrition major Julie Melius
    "There are so many reasons why nutrition is important"
    Julia Melius is a nutritional sciences master’s student from Reading, Massachusetts. She graduated from UNH in 2021 with a degree in nutrition with a dietetics option.
    Learn More
  • UNH Nutrition Student Ana Gaudette '24
    "Nutrition is the foundation of health"
    Ava Gaudette '24 is a nutrition major in the dietetics option from Bedford, New Hampshire.
    Learn More
  • UNH nutrition major Dominick Tavares '22
    Honors Student Focuses on Nutrition and Athletic Performance
    Dominick Tavares is a nutrition: dietetics major from Ossipee, New Hampshire. He is also Marble Scholar, member of the Student Nutrition Association and part of the University Honors Program.
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

Nutrition is the study of how nutrients and food components function at molecular, cellular, and whole-body levels to impact human health and disease. Students are grounded in fundamental sciences as they develop nutrition-specific competencies in nutrition and health, foods, nutritional assessment, wellness, life cycle nutrition, and/or metabolic biochemistry.

The nutrition program prepares students for entry-level positions in health care, education, research, or the biotechnology industry, or entry into post-baccalaureate professional programs. Nutrition faculty have expertise in clinical nutrition, telehealth, epidemiology, and food science, as well as assessing risk factors of chronic disease risk (i.e. obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular, cognitive) in diverse populations (pediatric, young adult, older adult).

The curriculum for the Dietetics option is accredited by the Academic Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Students who complete the B.S. in Nutrition with the Dietetics option are eligible to apply for a masters degree and dietetic internship, a prerequisite for becoming a registered dietitian. 

SAMPLE Course Sequence for Dietetics

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
NUTR 400 Nutrition in Health and Well Being 4
NUTR 401 Professional Perspectives on Nutrition 1
BMS 507 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4
SOC 400
or PSYC 401
Introductory Sociology
or Introduction to Psychology
4
ENGL 401 First-Year Writing 4
 Credits17
Spring
NUTR 476 Nutritional Assessment 4
BMS 508 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4
HMP 401 United States Health Care Systems 4
Discovery Course 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
CHEM 403 General Chemistry I 4
NUTR 403 Culinary Arts Skills Development 4
Select one of the following: 4
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology  
SOC 402
Statistics  
BIOL 528
Applied Biostatistics I  
HHS 540
Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals  
Inquiry Course 4
 Credits16
Spring
NUTR 504 Managerial Skills in Dietetics 4
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective (any course) 4
 Credits16
Third Year
Fall
NUTR 550 Food Science: Principle and Practice 4
NUTR 610 Nutrition Education and Counseling 4
BMS 501 Microbes in Human Disease 4
CHEM 545
CHEM 546
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
5
 Credits17
Spring
NUTR 600 Field Experience in Nutrition 2
NUTR 650 Life Cycle Nutrition 4
NUTR 773 Clinical Nutrition 4
BMCB 658 General Biochemistry ( (no lab required)) 3
Discovery Course 4
 Credits17
Fourth Year
Fall
NUTR 700 Career Development in Dietetics 1
NUTR 750 Nutritional Biochemistry 4
NUTR 775 Practical Applications in Medical Nutrition Therapy 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective (any course) 1-4
 Credits14-17
Spring
NUTR 720 Community Nutrition 4
NUTR 780 Critical Issues in Nutrition 4
Discovery Course 4
Elective (any course) 3-4
 Credits15-16
 Total Credits128-132

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

A grade of C-minus or better must be earned in all NUTR courses required by the major.

Foundation Courses
BMS 507Human Anatomy and Physiology I4
BMS 508Human Anatomy and Physiology II4
SOC 400Introductory Sociology4
or PSYC 401 Introduction to Psychology
Select one statistics course from the following:4
BIOL 528
Applied Biostatistics I
HHS 540
Statistics for Health and Human Service Professionals
PSYC 402
Statistics in Psychology
SOC 402
Statistics
Science Core Courses
CHEM 403General Chemistry I4
CHEM 404General Chemistry II4
BMS 501Microbes in Human Disease4
CHEM 545
CHEM 546
Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory
5
BMCB 658General Biochemistry3
Nutrition Core Courses
NUTR 400Nutrition in Health and Well Being4
NUTR 401Professional Perspectives on Nutrition1
NUTR 476Nutritional Assessment4
NUTR 650Life Cycle Nutrition4
Dietetics Option Courses
NUTR 403Culinary Arts Skills Development4
NUTR 504Managerial Skills in Dietetics4
NUTR 550Food Science: Principle and Practice4
NUTR 610Nutrition Education and Counseling4
NUTR 700Career Development in Dietetics1
NUTR 720Community Nutrition4
NUTR 750Nutritional Biochemistry4
NUTR 773Clinical Nutrition4
NUTR 775Practical Applications in Medical Nutrition Therapy4
NUTR 780Critical Issues in Nutrition4
HMP 401United States Health Care Systems4

Dietetics Capstone Experience

One capstone experience, supervised and approved within the major, is required of all seniors. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning. The capstone requirement for Dietetics students is satisfied through the completion of NUTR 720 Community Nutrition or NUTR 780 Critical Issues in Nutrition during their senior year.

Both NUTR 720 and NUTR 780 are required courses; one of these courses must be taken during the student's senior year to fulfill the university's capstone requirement.

  • Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions.
  • Select and use appropriate current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
  • Apply critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.
  • Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice.
  • Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.
  • Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates.
  • Demonstrate cultural humility, awareness of personal biases and an understanding of cultural differences as they contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Describe contributing factors to health inequity in nutrition and dietetics including structural bias, social inequities, health disparities and discrimination.
  • Participate in a nutrition and dietetics professional organization and explain the significant role of the organization.
  • Defend a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.
  • Use the Nutrition Care Process and clinical workflow elements to assess nutritional parameters, diagnose nutrition related problems, determine appropriate nutrition interventions and develop plans to monitor the effectiveness of these interventions.
  • Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.
  • Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups.
  • Practice routine health screening assessments, including measuring blood pressure and conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol). 
  • Describe concepts of nutritional genomics and how they relate to medical nutrition therapy, health, and disease.
  • Develop nutritionally sound meals, menus and meal plans that promote health and disease management and meet client’s/patient’s needs. 
  • Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.
  • Evaluate a budget/financial management plan and interpret financial data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.
  • Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.
  • Apply safety and sanitation principles related to food, personnel, and consumers.
  • Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.
  • Evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.
  • Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.
  • Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.
  • Practice how to self-advocate for opportunities in a variety of settings (such as asking for needed support, presenting an elevator pitch).
  • Practice resolving differences or dealing with conflict.
  • Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.

Explore Program Details

Initial Admission to the major as a First-year or Transfer Student

Students entering the University as first-year or transfer students may declare Nutrition as part of the UNH admission process.  First-year and transfer students who are admitted directly into Nutrition will be assigned an academic faculty advisor who will work with you throughout your course of study.

Change of Major Requirements for Existing UNH Students

We welcome UNH students who wish to declare the Nutrition Major or change their major from other degree programs. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis; see below for entry requirements.

What Are the Steps to CHANGE My Major?

To facilitate a change of major into Nutrition, students should complete two steps*:

1) Submit an application requesting the transfer from another degree program.  This online application is then reviewed by the program coordinator. Students are assigned an academic faculty advisor who will work with you throughout your course of study.

2) Request to change your major in Webcat.  A tutorial for the process of changing a major is available.

ARE THERE REQUIREMENTS TO CHANGE MY MAJOR?

Current UNH students wishing to change their major and join the Nutrition Program must have:

  1. Earned a minimum of 12 UNH credits
  2. Completed OR be enrolled in NUTR 400 and NUTR 401

All students may transfer into one of the following:

  • Nutrition: No Option
  • Nutrition: Nutrition & Wellness
  • Nutrition: Nutritional Sciences

Students interested in transferring into the Nutrition: Dietetics Option, must also meet the following 3 requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA of 3.2
  2. Minimum earned grade in introductory nutrition (e.g. NUTR 400) = B
  3. Minimum earned grade in one semester of chemistry w/lab or anatomy/physiology with lab = C+

Students admitted to the Nutrition major at UNH are required to declare, and be formally admitted into, one of the following options:

Nutrition majors designate an option once they have successfully completed: 1) NUTR 400, 2) NUTR 401, & 3) BMS 507 or CHEM 403 (CHEM 411 for Wellness). The Fall and Spring semester deadlines are September 15th and February 15th, respectively

Option Application for Current Nutrition Majors

Description of the Program

The University of New Hampshire Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is a baccalaureate program which provides students with the foundation knowledge and learning outcomes to fulfill the competencies established by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The program consists of four years of academic coursework equaling 128 credit hours of coursework, which includes DPD courses, general education courses, and electives.

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)  Policies & Procedures Handbook is a guide for undergraduate students admitted into the Dietetics Option.

Program Mission

The mission of the dietetics program at the University of New Hampshire is to provide a quality baccalaureate program for students seeking careers in dietetics. The program is designed to meet the accreditation standards for foundation knowledge and learning outcomes of the The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by providing a strong science-based foundation with a professional preparation in nutrition, food science, dietetics and management with integrated laboratory and clinical experiences. Students are encouraged to participate in outreach activities in addition to research, service, and academic activities. Graduates will be prepared for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, as well as graduate school and entry-level nutrition positions that do not require an RD.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Dietetics graduates, who complete a post-graduate dietetic internship and pass the national Registration Examination for Dietitians are eligible for jobs in:

  • medical nutrition therapy at healthcare facilities
  • state and local government agencies
  • food service industries
  • private practice

Dietetics students, who choose not to apply for a post-graduate dietetic internship or take a “gap year” before applying for a dietetic internship are eligible for jobs in:

  • state and local government agencies
  • nonprofit and community organizations
  • wellness promotion at schools, fitness center, or within the industry

DPD program graduates are also eligible to take the registration examination for dietetic technicians to become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered (NDTR). Professionals that hold this credential may work independently or under the supervision of an RDN in a variety of settings including:

  • healthcare facilities
  • schools
  • state and local government agencies
  • health clubs

Requirements

Course requirements for the Dietetics Option are found in the undergraduate catalog.  A grade of C- or better must be earned in all NUTR courses required by the major.  Students admitted to the Dietetics Option must maintain a cumulative GPA of ? 3.2.

CHANAS is a wonderful venue for those interested in undergraduate and graduate research projects. Each semester UNH students work as research assistants for the project and, in the process, gain valuable research and clinical skills.

CHANAS

Advising is available for UNH students, alumni, and post baccalaureates pursuing health professional careers.

The Pre-Health Advising Office provides support throughout the process of preparing for health professions school from advising on the courses they should take to helping navigate through the complex steps of the application process.

Register with Pre-Professional Health Office

Advising

Explore the Health Professions

Application Process

Prospective Students

Experiential Opportunities

The UNH Nutrition: Dietetics Option B.S. is accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The United States Department of Education recognizes ACEND as an accrediting body.

Website
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Phone: 800-877-1600, ext. 5400
Mailing Address: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995.

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