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Didactic Program in Dietetics
INFORMATION FOR POSTBACS
This section is for people who already have a bachelor's degree and want to return to college to complete the Dietetics curriculum and receive a DPD verification statement.
The OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics academic program consists of undergraduate courses. Completing the M.S. in Nutrition at OSU does not earn the verification statement needed to apply to ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internships. The M.S. in Dietetics at OSU (part of GPIDEA) is for people who are already registered dietitians or have completed a dietetic internship.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BECOME A REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST (RDN) IF I ALREADY HAVE A BACHELOR'S DEGREE?
You will need to complete a specific set of coursework in preparation to apply for and be successful in a dietetic internship and to take the RDN exam. The dietetics curriculum has been designed to meet the accreditation standards of the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This means that the curriculum is designed around a required set of Knowledge Requirements and consists of undergraduate coursework.
After completing the required courses and receiving a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement from the DPD Director, you will be able to apply for an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship (DI). DI application is a very competitive process as there is a significant shortage of internship positions across the United States. Over the past five years, an above average percentage of OSU DPD students who applied were accepted to dietetic internships each year as opposed to the nationwide rate acceptance rate of about 50%. Maintaining a strong grade point average is extremely important along with work, volunteer, and leadership experience.
There are over 250 ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internships in the USA. A DI must include 1200 hours of supervised practice. Many involve graduate school hours with the option to complete the master’s degree or with the completion of the master’s degree required. (The OSU Dietetic Internship requires completion of a master’s degree in nutrition and takes about 24 to 29 months to complete.) You do not have to earn a master's degree to become an RD at this time, but a master’s degree will be required after January 1, 2024. Refer to the list of ACEND-accredited DPD courses on the Academy website at http://www.eatrightacend.org/ACEND/content.aspx?id=7980 .
After the completion of a dietetic internship, you will be qualified to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist exam which is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy. Registration fees ($60) are paid annually. Seventy-five hours of continuing education must be completed over a five-year period to remain registered.
The website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is www.eatrightpro.org. The student section contains more information about the process of becoming an RDN. You would do well to familiarize yourself with the pathways to becoming an RDN that are posted there. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/career/become-an-rdn-or-dtr
WHICH COURSES DO I NEED TO TAKE?
For a preliminary look at the courses that need to be taken, download the Transcript Evaluation Checklist for Post-baccalaureates which is posted in the Forms section. Compare the courses on the list to your transcript.
The OSU catalog contains course descriptions and is posted at: http://registrar.okstate.edu/University-Catalog .
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education website also provides information on the transfer equivalency of specific courses from specific institutions at https://admissions.okstate.edu/admission-requirements/transfer-credit-guides .
You need to have earned a "C" or better in all NSCI equivalent courses, or you will need to retake the course at OSU. If you have a "D" in any of the other courses, the DPD Director will recommend that you retake the course, especially science courses. A "D" signifies that you do not have an understanding of the subject matter, adn the grade will very significantly affect your chances of obtaining a dietetic internship.
I’VE COMPARED MY TRANSCRIPT TO THE DPD COURSE LIST, AND I’M NOT SURE HOW SOME OF MY COURSES MATCH UP WITH THE REQUIRED COURSES.
If you are currently enrolled at OSU, the DPD Director will review your transcript in Banner and visit with you about the courses that you will need to take or provide a preliminary list via e-mail. Once you are enrolled in NSCI courses, a formal letter with the list of courses that you will need to take will be sent to you and placed in a departmental file. You may appeal the decision if you believe that one or more completed courses cover required DPD content. For more detailed evaluations of courses, you will need to supply course syllabi and assignments and discuss the courses with the DPD Director. The goal is to identify the knowledge requirements which have been covered in previous courses. The process is reserved for OSU students because it is time-intensive.
If you are not admitted or enrolled at OSU and you want a formal evaluation, the DPD Director will need official copies of your transcripts. The fee for a formal transcript evaluation is $35. A check made out to Oklahoma State University should be sent to: Department of Nutritional Sciences, Attn: DPD Director, 301 Human Sciences, Stillwater, OK 74078, along with your official transcripts and the Request for Transcript Evaluation Form which is posted here.
The DPD Director will consult transfer course equivalency guides. When the evaluation is complete, you will receive a list of the required courses needed.
After a prospective student is enrolled, the DPD Director will do any specific course evaluations that involve looking at the course syllabi that are requested.
Transcript evaluations are effective for one year. After that time, the list of required courses will need to be updated, according to any changes in the DPD curriculum.
MAY I RECEIVE CREDIT FOR WORK EXPERIENCE?
No, the DPD does not award course credit for prior work experience. However, a Dietetic Internship may give you credit towards your rotation hours, and your work may show continued competence in completed coursework .
ARE COURSES OFFERED ONLINE OR AT NIGHT? ARE THE COURSES OFFERED IN TULSA?
Our program is a traditional on-campus program. Very few hours are offered online or in the evening. Freshman and sophomore level courses are offered at Tulsa Community College (TCC). We have a 2+2 transfer agreement with TCC. Information about the transfer agreement is posted under the Prospective Students section of this website. A student does not need to retake general education courses for a second bachelor’s degree.
IN WHAT ORDER WOULD I TAKE COURSES? HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE THE DPD COURSES?
If you have not taken basic science courses such as biology and chemistry, it will take longer. There are four semesters of sequential chemistry courses (Chem 1 and 2, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry). If your first degree was unrelated to dietetics, it’s possible that very few courses will count toward the Dietetics curriculum
The current Plan of Study is posted on the NSCI website and it shows the sequence in which courses are taken and the prerequisites. Some of our courses are only offered in the spring or in the fall.
After you are admitted to OSU, you will work with an advisor to plan your course work schedule.
ARE COURSES OFFERED ONLINE OR AT NIGHT? ARE THE COURSES OFFERED IN TULSA?
Our program is a traditional on-campus program. Very few hours are offered online or in the evening. Freshman and sophomore level courses are offered at Tulsa Community College (TCC). We have a 2+2 articulation agreement with TCC. Information about the articulation agreement is posted under the Prospective Students section of this website. A student does not need to retake general education courses for a second bachelor’s degree.
SHOULD I PURSUE A SECOND BACHELOR’S DEGREE?
You may, it is recommended but you don’t have to earn a second degree to receive the DPD Verification Statement. A student must take at least 30 hours and complete all degree requirements for the second degree so people completing the Dietetics curriculum generally qualify for the second bachelor's degree. If you have a BS in Nutritional Sciences under another option, you may not earn a second degree in Nutritional Sciences.
MAY I EARN A MASTER’S DEGREE OR PHD WHILE COMPLETING THE DPD REQUIREMENTS?
You may take DPD requirements concurrently with graduate courses, but the DPD requirements will not count toward a graduate degree with only a very few exceptions. You’ll need to work with your graduate advisor and the DPD Director to coordinate the courses that you need to take.
If your bachelor’s degree is in a subject area other than nutrition, a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate nutrition-related coursework is needed in order to be admitted to the graduate program. At least one course in biochemistry and one upper-level nutrition course is required prior to full admission to the program.
Dr. Deana Hildebrand (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the NSCI Graduate Coordinator.
The Graduate College website has information for all prospective OSU graduate students. http://gradcollege.okstate.edu/
The NSCI website has departmental specific information for prospective graduate students.
MAY I EARN AN MS IN DIETETICS INSTEAD OF THE MS IN NUTRITION AT OSU TO BECOME AN RD?
No. The MS in Dietetics is offered through Great Plains IDEA (a consortium of universities), and it is meant for people who already are registered dietitians or have completed a dietetic internship.
WHAT IF MY DEGREE IS FROM AN INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTION?
If your degree is not from a regionally accredited US college or university, you will need to have your transcript and degree evaluated by a ACEND approved international transcript evaluation agency. The list is found on the ACEND website along with other helpful information. You should have a copy of the evaluation sent to any program in which you are seriously interested. http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/career/become-an-rdn-or-dtr/international-students
The DPD Director will only be able to provide unofficial information until the international transcript evaluation is received from the agency.
It is important that you understand your visa and funding status as an international student. The Office of International Students and Scholarships is an excellent source of information for students who want to study at OSU. http://iss.okstate.edu/
HOW DO I CONTACT THE OSU DPD DIRECTOR?
313 Human Sciences (office)
310 Human Sciences (mailing address)
Stillwater, OK 74078
HOW DO I CONTACT THE OSU DIETETIC INTERNSHIP DIRECTOR?
The website for the OSU DI is http://humansciences.okstate.edu/nsci/graduate-students/dietetic-internship.html. Contact information is located there.