The Department of Nutritional Sciences, a component of the College of Science & Engineering at TCU, offers four Bachelor of Science degree programs:
Didactic Program in Dietetics
As early as 1922, the Department of Home Economics at TCU offered courses in Food and Nutrition. In 1963, the Department began offering a degree in Foods and Nutrition. In 1965, the American Dietetic Association, now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), approved the Didactic Program in Dietetics at TCU, which offered students the option of completing a degree in nutrition. Until 2002, the Department of Nutritional Sciences maintained a curriculum approved by the ADA for students majoring in nutrition. In 2002, the Didactic Program in Dietetics at TCU was granted initial accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, now called the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). After a self-study and site visit in 2011, the program was re-accredited for another 10-year period. Students who successfully complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics receive verification and are eligible to apply for a post-graduate dietetic internship.
A major in nutrition emphasizes the scientific basis of human nutrition and provides students with knowledge and skills to work in a myriad of food and nutrition settings that focus on attaining and maintaining the health and well-being of individuals across the lifespan. The major prepares students for graduate studies and for careers in research and development, medical/nutritional sales, medicine, and the allied health professions.
A major in food management was first offered through the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics in 1985. This program offers a four-year curriculum emphasizing coursework in the procurement, production, distribution, service and management of food service systems and results in a baccalaureate degree. The food management major is designed for students who elect to emphasize practical experience in the food industry and/or management of food service systems. During the junior and senior years, students complete supervised practice experiences and hands-on training in various food service applications. A minor in general business is recommended. Since the inception of this degree option, the number of students electing to major in food management has progressively grown. Many students have graduated with this major and secured employment in food-related business and industry careers.
Coordinated Program in Dietetics
When the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at TCU admitted its first class and was awarded developmental approval as a Coordinated Undergraduate Program in Dietetics in 1975, the program was partially funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The program is now completely funded by the University. At its inception, the program was housed in the Department of Home Economics, Division of Food and Nutrition. The program was granted approval status in 1977, accreditation status in 1979, and re-accredited in 1984, 1999, and 2011. In 1985, an independent Department of Nutrition and Dietetics within the AddRan College of Arts and Sciences was formed.
The Coordinated Program in Dietetics at TCU combines the undergraduate didactic course work with the 1200 hours of supervised practice, which allows the graduate to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians upon completion. The TCU Coordinated Program in Dietetics is one of only five coordinated dietetic programs in Texas and one of 57 in the entire United States. The TCU Coordinated Program does not require post graduate supervised practice or a Dietetic Internship. The Accreditation Council currently accredits the Coordinated Program in Dietetics for a maximum of 16 students in each class for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Following two years of general TCU Core Curriculum Requirements and prerequisite courses, the Coordinated Program in Dietetics curriculum combines advanced course work and closely supervised practice with dietitians in various facilities including hospitals, community agencies, schools, private practice, and food service sites. The professional phase of the program is comprehensive in all major areas of dietetics practice, including food systems management, nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, community dietetics, research, and business/entrepreneurial.