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Didactic Program in Dietetics

The mission of the TCU Didactic Program in Dietetics is to support the missions of the University, college and department by fostering a rigorous 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 objectives 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.

A student must complete an ACEND-accredited program in education and supervised practice in order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). After completing an ACEND-accredited Coordinated Program (CP) , Future Education Model Graduate Programs (FG), or a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) followed by a Dietetic Internship (DI) students that have earned verification are eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. After passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, RDNs may seek licensure, if applicable. In order to become a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (DT) students must complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Technician Program. Examination requirements for the RDN and the DT are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

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 Didactic Program in Dietetics is based on successful completion of at least 60 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for Nutrition (NTDT) classes and an Associated Requirements GPA of at least 2.75, no more than 3 grades below a “B-” in the Associated Requirements, 45 semester hours of required prerequisites and major courses specified in the TCU Undergraduate Catalog, 200 hours of documented food or nutrition practical experience and an application packet. Application packets for the Didactic Program in Dietetics must be received by Feb. 1, and applicants are notified of provisional acceptance by April 15. Students must earn a grade of “C-“or better in all NTDT and Associated Requirement courses taken prior to admission. Students who are accepted begin coursework the subsequent fall semester. 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 Didactic Program in Dietetics is contingent upon attainment of a strong academic record and successful completion of the program sequence. Students must complete 500 hours of documented food or nutrition practical experience prior to the completion of their final semester in the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Upon graduation, the student must attain a minimum Nutrition (NTDT) GPA of 3.0, earn a grade of “C-” or better in all NTDT and Associated Requirement courses, and no more than 3 grades below a “B-” in the Associated Requirements. 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). The Dietetic Internship Match is a computer-based method which provides an orderly and fair way to match the preferences of applicants for Dietetic Internships (DIs) with the preferences of DI program directors. The Academy contracts with a company called D&D Digital to operate the DI Match and help applicants obtain an Internship (supervised practice position).  More information about the computer matching process can be found here.   Successful completion of a Dietetic Internship (or other accredited supervised practice program) is necessary for students to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

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). The current TCU DPD one-year pass rate on the registration examination is 100%. The DPD’s current three-year average of the one-year pass rate on the registration examination is 100%. 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. For more information about Texas State Licensure visit

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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