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Didactic Program in Dietetics Admission Requirements, Application Process, and Graduation Requirements

Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.) through ISU

The steps to become a registered dietitian nutritionist include a minimum of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited US college/university or foreign equivalent (Note: this will increase to a minimum completion of a masters degree from a regionally accredited US college/university or foreign equivalent in January 2024); completing the requirements of an ACEND-accredited dietetics education program which is a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at ISU; completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice experience and the passing of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registration exam for registered dietitian nutritionists. Students are informed of the steps through required dietetic courses and individual advising sessions. In depth coverage of the supervised practice application process is provided during Dietetic Senior Seminar. In addition, licensure or certification is required for practice in most states. More information on specific licensure and certification requirements for individual states can be found on the CDR website.



Students apply for a “seat” in the professional component of the program after completion (or during the spring semester of final completion) of prerequisite courses. Consideration of the application is primarily based upon the following criteria: 1) 3.0 accumulative grade-point-average or above, 2) completion of the majority of the ISU General Education Requirements, 3) completion with a C- or higher in several basic sciences, food, and nutrition and English classes. Classroom performance, leadership and experience may also be considered by the selection committee. Committee decisions on awarding seats are final. (See Appendix A or the ISU undergraduate catalog for a listing of classes). Applicants must complete the DPD application, write a letter of application, submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended outside of ISU and pay an application fee of $25. Applicants are considered for placement either the upcoming academic year or the following year depending upon anticipated year of graduation. This is done so that the Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) course series is taken senior year.  Accepted students are notified of which year they are scheduled to take the MNT series.  Students accepted to the DPD must earn a C- or better in any dietetic required course to remain in the program. Students may continue to take most dietetics classes, with the exception of the MNT classes, without being accepted into the program. A student must, however, be accepted into the program and complete all of the required classes (including MNT) in order to receive a B.S. in Dietetics and a Verification Statement needed for admittance to a dietetic internship. Students with a prior bachelor’s degree or higher have the option of earning a second bachelor’s degree in dietetics, but must still pass the required DPD prerequisite and professional courses with a C- or better to be awarded a Verification Statement.


Admission Requirements:

For consideration of the application for a seat in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), the following criteria must be met:

  1. Accumulative GPA in both required prerequisite courses and professional courses of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Completion of the following required pre-dietetics courses with no course grade lower than a C- in any of the following classes (Note: some courses have prerequistes that may need to be completed):

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

BIOL 1101

Biology I lecture and lab (Objective 5)


BIOL 2221/2221L

Intro to Microbiology Lecture and Lab


BIOL 3301/3301L

Anatomy and Physiology I Lecture and Lab


BIOL 3302/3302L

Anatomy and Physiology II Lecture and Lab


CHEM 1101

Essen of Chemistry I


CHEM 1102

Essen of Chemistry II


CHEM 1103

Essen of Chemistry Lab


ENGL 1101

English Composition


ENGL 1102

Critical Reading and Writing (Objective 1)


HE 2210

Medical Terminology


NTD 1104



NTD 2204

Meal Management


NTD 2239

Nutrition (Objective 5)


 In addition, the following courses must be completed before graduation with a C- of higher. General education courses are suggested to be completed prior to application to the program.

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

COMM 1101

Principles of Speech (Objective 2)


ECON 2201

Macro Economics (Objective 6)


MATH 1153

Statistics (Objective 3)


NTD 1101

Intro to Dietetics


PSYC 1101

General Psychology (Objective 6)


SOC 1101

Intro to Sociology


Objective 4

Choice of two courses in two categories


Objective 7 or 8

Choice in either category


Objective 9



 Application Process:

Students submit an application for a seat in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), which is the NTD 3300 Medical Nutrition Therapy I and NTD 3301 Medical Nutrition Therapy II taken in the senior year. Students can apply a year in advance once admission requirements are met. Those applications will be considered for pre-award for the final year in the program. Other professional courses can be taken without a seat once the course prerequisites are met.  Applications will only be considered if the above-mentioned admission requirements (1 and 2) are met. DUE DATE: February 15th or following workday if the 15th falls on a weekend or university holiday.

Applicants must complete the following:

  1. DPD Application Form 2017-18
  2. A written letter of application stating reasons for choosing dietetics as a career and professional goals.
  3. Official transcripts of all colleges and universities attended (Other than ISU) must be submitted unless required classes taken at other colleges or universities are already listed on the student’s ISU transcript. Current ISU students do not need to submit transcripts.
  4. $25 non-refundable application fee (make check payable to the ISU Dietetic Programs).
  5. Put all materials together in one large envelope and send to the address below.

DPD Director
Idaho State University
921 South 8th Ave, Stop 8117
Pocatello, ID 83209-8117

Application Review:

  • Applications are reviewed by a committee of Dietetic Faculty. All materials must be submitted for the application to be reviewed and must be post marked by the DUE DATE of February 15th or the following workday if the 15th falls on a weekend or university holiday.
  • The following criteria are considered in the application review by the DPD Selection Committee:
    • Accumulative GPA in both required prerequisite courses and professional courses completed
    • Honors/Activities
    • Volunteer/Work Experience
    • Written letter of application
  • Due to the limited number of seats, achievement of minimum standards does not ensure admission in the DPD.

Notification and Acceptance Requirements:

  1. Applicants are notified in writing of acceptance status by the Friday before Spring Break. Acceptance status can be 1) accepted to seat for the upcoming academic year; 2) accepted to a seat for the following academic year; 3) alternate for a seat for the upcoming academic year or 4) not accepted. Students must accept their seat in writing (email) by the communicated due date to the DPD Director.
  2. Students enrolled in MNT will have some required experiences at medical facilities within the local community. In order to be in alignment with facility policies, all MNT students must have updated vaccination records. 
    1. Before attending off campus experiences in medical facilities, students must show proof of the following vaccinations:
    2. Negative PPD (TB test) in the past 12 months
    3. Proof of 2 MMR vaccinations or titer proving immunity
    4. Proof of 3 Hep B vaccinations or titer proving immunity
    5. Proof of 2 varicella vaccinations or titer proving immunity
  3. Students enrolled in MNT must complete a background check at their own expense and a HIPPA training prior to obtaining required course experiences in the local health care facilities.

Graduation Requirements:

The DPD at Idaho State University culminates in a Bachelor of Science degree with successful completion of a minimum of 120 credit hours with 36 credit hours coming from upper division courses within 3 years of being accepted into the program. The DPD defines successful completion as a C- or better in the prerequisite and professional courses:

Professional Courses

NTD 3300/3300L

Medical Nutrition Therapy I Lecture and Lab


NTD 3301/3301L

Medical Nutrition Therapy II Lecture and Lab


NTD 3312/3312L

Quantity Foods Lecture and Lab


NTD 3360

Nutrition through the Lifecycle


NTD 4407

Principles of Community Nutrition


NTD 4408

Applications in Community Nutrition


NTD 4410/4410L

Foodservice Systems Management Lecture and Lab


NTD 4457

Experimental Foods


NTD 4461

Nutritional Biochemistry I


NTD 4485

Nutritional Biochemistry II


NTD 4470

Dietetic Senior Seminar


ACCT 3303

Accounting Concepts


ENGL 3307

Professional and Technical Writing


MGT 3312

Individual and Organizational Behavior


Students should apply for university graduation at least one semester before all requirements are completed. A graduation/diploma fee must be paid at the Office of Registration and Records. Upon successful completion of the undergraduate program requirements, students receive a B.S. degree in Dietetics.

Once degrees are conferred, several copies of the ACEND verification statement and directions for use will be sent to you via U.S Mail. It is important that you keep your preferred mailing address on file with ISU records to receive this mailing.


The program director will issue a verification statement to students upon conferred graduation or program completion (post baccalaureate), as posted by the university registrar, indicating that requirements have been met as dictated by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The several copies of the verification statement with original signatures from the program director are sent to the graduate along with directions for use. A copy of the verification statement with an original signature from the program director is also kept in the student’s file indefinitely.

Students with a prior earned Bachelor’s Degree or higher (post-baccalaureate), can also earn a verification statement with completion of the prerequisites and professional courses with a C- or better. Completion of the unprescribed objectives is not required. The student may choose to earn a second bachelor’s degree but is not required to for issuing of a verification statement.


After completion of the DPD and earning an ACEND Verification Statement, graduates are eligible to apply for graduate and supervised practice programs to continue in the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Graduate programs vary with application requirements and due dates. It is important to thoroughly review each graduate program you are considering. Supervised practice programs also may vary on their application requirements and processes. Many supervised practice programs require an online centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at;  Many supervised practice programs may also use the online computer matching system, D & D Digital. These processes are covered in depth in the Dietetic Senior Seminar class and in personal advising sessions.

Dietetic Programs

(208) 282-5719

(208) 282-3937

Garrison 603 (physical address)

921 South 8th Avenue, Stop 8117 (mailing address)

Idaho State University Pocatello, ID 83209-8117

Accredited By

ACEND: Accreditation Council For Education in Nutrition and Dietetics with in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics



120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Fax: 312/899-4817


921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209
(208) 282-4636

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