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School of Human Ecology

Nutrition and Dietetics

Students prepare food in a food lab

Tennessee Tech’s Nutrition and Dietetics concentration, within the Human Ecology Bachelor of Science degree (also known as the DPD Program or Didactic Program in Dietetics), prepares students to be eligible to enter a dietetics supervised practice program, following graduation from Tennessee Tech. Students who wish to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) must complete these requirements:

1. Complete a bachelor’s degree from a U.S regionally accredited university or college or foreign equivalent and coursework through an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited DPD or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP). 

2. Complete 1200 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (supervised practice program), Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) or an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) offered through an accredited ACEND Program.

3. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information on the exam, visit:

  • Accreditation Status

    Tennessee Tech’s DPD program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics . 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext 5400

  • Mission

    The Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) at Tennessee Tech University seeks to provide a high quality curriculum that prepares students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

  • Programs Goals and Objectives

    Program Goal 1

    1.      Prepare graduates to be qualified and competent to pursue careers in food, nutrition and dietetics using a curriculum that conforms to the ACEND 2017 Accreditation Standards for Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Programs; and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Body of Knowledge (2010 version).

    Program Goal 1 Objectives

    a.      Over a three year period, at least 80% of DPD students will complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150%) of the program length.

    b.      Over a three-year period, 75% of DPD graduates will apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.

    c.       Over a three-year period, 60% of DPD graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.

    d.      Tennessee Tech Graduates will be scored as above average or higher (80%) in preparation for supervised practice by program directors. 

    e.      Annually, Tennessee Tech DPD students will participate in at least one professional development activity during their senior year.

     Program Goal 2

    2.      Prepare graduates to improve quality and quantity of food and nutrition for individuals, families and communities through successful completion of the Registration Examination for Dietitian Nutritionists.

    Program Goal 2 Objectives

    a.      Tennessee Tech students will be scored as more than competent or higher (80%) on field experience evaluations by site supervisors to indicate preparation in improving quality and quantity of food and nutrition for individuals, families and communities. 

    b.      The Tennessee Tech DPD 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%.

    NOTE: Program Outcomes data are available by request. Please send an email message to the program director, Dr. Melinda Anderson, at

  • Application and Admission Requirements

    Students interested in pursuing the Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration (DPD Program) must apply to continue into Upper Division. Students must have completed ALL of the following requirements in order to be eligible to submit an admission application.

    Must have completed at least 11 hours in HEC including: HEC 1005 (Intro to the Profession), HEC 1010 (Life Span Development), HEC 2020 (Nutrition for Health Sciences), and HEC 2240 (Food Preparation & Management). A grade of “B” or higher is required in HEC 2020 and HEC 2240.

    Must have completed and received a grade of “C” or higher in: CHEM 1010, 1020 (General Chemistry I & II); and BIOL 2350 (Intro Anatomy & Physiology).

    Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 at the time of admission to the DPD program.

    Students who wish to transfer to the DPD program in the School of Human Ecology at Tennessee Tech must have their transcripts evaluated by the DPD Director (at least two weeks prior to application deadlines) in order to determine DPD course equivalency.  Other university courses will be evaluated for equivalency by the Tennessee Tech Transcript Analyst.

  • Dietetic Internship/Computer Matching Information

    Most supervised practice programs utilize the online centralized application portal called DICAS  The online application to must be completed by the stated deadline for both fall and spring application periods. Applications are typically due in February for the April match, and in September for the November match. Currently, the fee to use DICAS is $45.00 for the first application submitted and $20.00 for each additional application. Note: most internship programs also have separate application fees.

    Students applying to a supervised practice program must be aware of the computer matching requirements during the application process. All supervised practice programs participate in computer matching except those granted an exemption from ACEND. D & D Digital is the company which maintains the computer matching portal. Students must register with D& D Digital, which has a $55.00 fee. Priority rankings for internship choices are entered as part of the application process

  • Program Cost and Expenses

    Current university tuition costs and expenses can be found on the Bursar website:



    Students enrolled in HEC 4994 Field experience will be required to obtain:

    • Liability insurance (approximately $15.00)
    • Background Check through True Screen ($25.00)
    • Proof of TB skin test ($10.00 if needed)

    Students enrolled in upper division DPD courses are expected to be Student Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ($58.00 annually)

    Transportation costs (mileage) may be incurred when visiting off campus facilities while enrolled in HEC 3201, HEC 3270, HEC 4271, HEC 4272, and HEC 4994.

    A lab coat is required in all food preparation courses; and a lab coat is required in certain off campus learning activities (approx. $50.00)

    Students are not expected to locate their own experiential learning sites which are part of the HEC 4994 Field Experience Class; these sites and arrangements are made by the Instructor of the class.

  •  Future Education Model Graduate Program

    Tennessee Tech University  has applied to open a new and exciting program to prepare Registered Dietitian Nutritionists/Nutrition in Fall, 2020.  

    The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) released the Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for programs in nutrition and dietetics (see  These accreditation standards integrate didactic coursework with supervised experiential learning in a competency-based curriculum designed to prepare nutrition and dietetics practitioners for future practice.

    Tennessee Tech University demonstrated its leadership in education by submitting an application to be part of the third cohort of programs to be accredited by ACEND under these new standards. Our eligibility application was accepted by ACEND and we are in the candidacy application and review process for our proposed Future Education Model Graduate program in nutrition and dietetics.  The program is not accepting applications at this time but will do so upon successful completion of the candidacy application process when the program receives accreditation from ACEND. This graduate degree has not yet been approved by THEC.

    Contact:  Dr. Samantha Hutson, ( more information.

  • Masters Degree Requirement


    Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accreditclick hereed DPD program at Tennessee Tech are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN

    For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please click here.

College of Agriculture and Human Ecology