Overview: B.S. in Dietetics and Nutrition

Nutrition is the application of the principles of science and food preparation to health. The professionals who use this knowledge to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and management to individuals (in health and disease), as well as to institutions are called registered dietitians. The term “nutritionist” is often a used a broader term to describe someone who has studied nutrition, but may or may not be a registered dietitian.

The registered dietitian

The dietetics program at the University of Mississippi is accredited by the credentialing body for dietetics, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)* It is called a “didactic” program in dietetics (DPD) because it provides the four-year classroom component of learning, culminating in the bachelor of science degree. It must be followed by a dietetic internship (DI, also called “internship” or “supervised practice) in order to qualify someone to take the registration exam for dietitians (RD exam). The BS degree, DI, and passage of the RD exam are all necessary to be qualified as a registered dietitian (RD).

Dietetics is a dynamic profession and the career possibilities are endless. Employment of dietitians is expected to grow at the rate of 9% between 2008 and 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Registered dietitians provide nutritional care and counseling in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, community health programs, and fitness centers, as well as in the food industry. Regardless of career choice, dietitians are recognized as the professional link between nutrition and health.

Other careers available

A wide variety of career opportunities is also available to students who do not pursue registration. Jobs are available in commercial and school foodservice, extension, education, and research. Many students choose the major as a path to medical or dental school or allied health careers.

For more information

For more information about dietetics, visit the website for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) at www.eatright.org. For more information about dietetics and nutrition at the University of Mississippi, please contact the NHM dietetics program coordinator:

* The DPD at the University of Mississippi is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 606-6995 (Phone 1-800-8771600).