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Didactic Program in Dietetics

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Texas Christian University (TCU) is to support the missions of the University, College, and Department by providing a preeminent academic curriculum that prepares students to be scientifically competent, accountable, and ethically responsible citizens who are prepared for supervised practice and/or graduate school and advancing as self-educating dietetics professionals who will become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in the global community.  The goals and student learning outcomes of the program support the DPD mission. Data collected to determine achievement of program goals is available upon request to ACEND and to the public.

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), designed for those who wish to enter the dietetics profession, is an academic program in a U.S. regionally accredited college or university that culminates in a minimum of a baccalaureate degree. The TCU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) meets the eligibility requirements and accreditation standards for entry-level dietetics education programs specified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, with required coursework in communications, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, research, food, nutrition, management and health care systems. Coursework is based upon achievement of Foundation Knowledge Requirements and Learning Outcomes for Didactic Programs in Dietetics. The NTDT curriculum includes courses in human nutrition, food science, food and culture, community nutrition, food systems management, medical nutrition therapy and nutrition research. These courses are based on a solid science and math background, which include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, and elementary statistics.

Admission to TCU is required for all programs, however admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the DPD. Neither TCU nor the Department of Nutritional Sciences discriminate on the basis of personal status, individual characteristics or group affiliation, including but not limited to, classes protected under federal and state law. Eligibility for admission to the TCU DPD is based on successful completion of at least 60 semester hours with a Nutrition GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), an Associated Requirements GPA of at least 2.75, 45 semester hours of required prerequisites and major courses specified in the TCU Undergraduate Catalog, 200 documented hours of practical experience in food or nutrition, and an application packet. Application packets for the DPD must be received by February 1, and applicants are notified of provisional acceptance by April 15. Provisionally accepted applicants must pass a background check following notification of provisional acceptance during the spring semester. Students who are accepted begin coursework in the DPD the subsequent fall semester. Materials and directions for application to the program are available from the Department of Nutritional Sciences. Final acceptance/enrollment in the DPD depends on successful completion of work in progress and required summer school prerequisites.

A student’s continuation in the DPD is contingent upon attainment of a strong academic record and successful completion of the program sequence. Upon graduation, the student must attain a minimum Nutrition GPA of 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale), attain a minimum GPA of 2.75 in the Associated Requirements, earn a grade of “C-” or better in all NTDT courses and all Associated Requirements, and accumulate 500 hours of documented experience in food or nutrition in order to receive DPD Verification and to graduate from the Didactic Program in Dietetics.  Students who meet the requirements above and successfully complete the 125 credit hour requirement of the DPD will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and receive verification, and are eligible to apply for a supervised practice program (Dietetic Internship) leading to eligibility to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. The current first-time five-year pass-rate on the Registration Examination for Dietitians for the TCU DPD is 100%.

Direct undergraduate costs for tuition, room, board, books, and supplies for each academic year may be found here. More detailed costs for DPD students are outlined in the DPD Student Handbook and include approximately $1,000 per year for lab fees, photocopying, school and office supplies, textbooks, and professional dues.

Generally, a student who applies to the TCU DPD plans to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). For more information on the steps necessary to become an RDN, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website. The AND website also has a list of all of the accredited programs including Didactic Programs in Dietetics, Coordinated Programs in Dietetics, and Dietetic Internships in the United States. In the state of Texas, after passing the Registration Examination to become an RDN, one may become a Licensed Dietitian.

Although some DPD programs allow a student to earn DPD Verification without earning a degree from that program, the TCU DPD will not provide DPD verification for students who do not earn a BS from the TCU DPD. The TCU DPD also does not offer credit for prior learning other than that earned from transfer courses.

The Texas Christian University Didactic Program in Dietetics is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

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