The Dietetics emphasis, also known as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), at Seattle Pacific University provides you with the coursework required to become a registered dietitian (RD).
If you intend to become a registered dietitian, after completing the DPD and your baccalaureate degree, you must also complete a dietetic internship and take an exam offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Additional information on educational requirements and the RD credential can be found from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A list of dietetic internships, (DI’s), is also available on this page.
Appointments to dietetic internships are awarded on a competitive basis, and most use a national computer matching program. Due to a DI shortage, currently approximately 50 percent of applicants are accepted into a DI.
Mission, goals, and objectives
The mission of our Dietetics program is to prepare you to engage the culture and offer solutions to nutrition problems faced by individuals, families, and communities. Through this major’s emphasis, you are prepared to enter a dietetic internship, graduate school, and/or employment.
Program goal 1
The program will prepare competent graduates who are accepted into DI programs, the professional arena, and/or graduate study programs.
- At least 85 percent of students accepted into the Dietetics major will complete the undergraduate degree and the DPD in 150 percent of the time planned for completion. For students who matriculate at SPU as freshmen, this is 18 terms (six academic years; four years is the time planned for completion). For transfer and post-baccalaureate students this is nine terms (three academic years; two years is the time planned for completion).
- Over a five-year period, 60 percent of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete the program.
- Over a five-year period, 80 percent of those applying to supervised practice programs during the academic year they complete the program will be accepted.
- Over a five-year period, the pass rate for DPD graduates taking the registration examination for the first time will be at least 80 percent.
- At least 75 percent of graduates will rate their academic preparation and academic advising as satisfactory or better.
- At least 75 percent of internships will rate the academic preparation of interns from SPU as satisfactory or better.
- Fifty percent of students who opt to not apply to a dietetic internship, or are not accepted into an internship, will attain employment in a food and nutrition-related field, or will enroll in graduate education.
Program goal 2
The program will prepare graduates to participate in professional, leadership, and community service activities.
- At least 75 percent of graduates will participate in professional, leadership, or community service activities.
View complete information about the DPD program in the Dietetics Handbook (PDF).
Apply to the major
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for admission to the major.
- Successful completion of the prerequisite science courses and either FCS 2365 “Food Science” or FCS 3340 “Human Nutrition” is required before applying to the major.
- Online major applications are due the first Friday of Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters.