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First apply to WKU, then apply to Nutrition & Dietetics
Nutrition & Dietetics Specific Links:
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Admission Requirements
- Admission Application for Nutrition & Dietetics
- Dietetic Internship
- Nutrition & Dietetics Student Handbook
- Nutrition & Dietetics Faculty
- Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
Nutrition and Dietetics
Welcome! The Nutrition and Dietetics program results in a bachelor of science degree and helps prepare students to become registered dietitians and nutritionists. This CFND concentration is structured within the major of Hospitality Management and Dietetics (HMD) at WKU. The major is within the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences.
Dietitians translate the science of food and nutrition to healthy lifestyles. In addition to disease prevention, dietitians are a trusted source to help people manage diabetes, heart disease, weight, and food allergies.
Students interested in becoming a registered dietitian should be committed to academic achievement and have a strong science foundation. Courses in food preparation, medical nutrition therapy, management, biology, and chemistry are taken. This vital and growing profession offers a variety of career opportunities that include nutrition counseling, wellness, and food service management.
- The Nutrition and Dietetics Program at WKU is nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (1-800-877-1600 ext 5400; American Dietetic Association, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995). The most recent program review was in 2010, and the program was granted continued accreditation. The next review and site visit is scheduled for 2014.
- The primary mission of the nutrition and dietetics program is to prepare students to compete for internships accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association that lead to eligibility for the CADE Registration Examination and, thus, to “Registered Dietitian” designation. Students are provided educational experiences to prepare them to effectively fulfill duties of entry-level dietetics positions and to manage others who provide dietetic-related services. Students emerge from the program with information and management skills which enable them to creatively solve problems in the delivery of dietetic services. As a part of accreditation, the program has established goals for performance.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian: 3-step process
- Complete at least a bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university in the United States AND complete course work approved by CADE. Completion of the CFND concentration, within the HMD major, at Western Kentucky University allows for the completion of the bachelor's degree AND the necessary course work.
- Complete an internship that has been accredited by CADE. Students apply to programs in their last year at Western Kentucky University and complete the internships after graduating from the University. Entrance into internships is highly competitive. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.3 and relevant work experience and/or volunteer experience aid in the preparation for a supervised practice program. NOTE: Nationally, there is a shortage of internships available; there are only internship openings for about half of the students which apply to internships. Some internships require taking the GRE for program admission.
- Pass a national examination administered by CADE.
Maintaining registration status as a Registered Dietitian
- After becoming a registered dietitian, continued learning must. This continued education involves the generation of a professional development portfolio. Dietitians must earn 75 hours of continuing professional development related to self-selected goals within a five year period. More about the process of professional development may be found on the website of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for The American Dietetic Association.
- In addition to earning registration status through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association, individual states may have laws regarding licensure/certification regarding dietitians and nutritionists. For example, the Kentucky Division of Occupations and Professions has a Board of Dietitians and Nutritionists.
Enjoy Career Opportunities
- medical nutrition therapy in hospitals and long-term care facilities
- sports nutrition and wellness
- public health nutrition
- private practice
- food service management in schools, hospitals, or long-term care
- business, research & education
Salaries and Job Outlook
- In a 2009 survey, among entry-level dietitians employed full-time four years or less, 50% earned between $43,400-62,200. Salaries increase with years of experience.
- The employment of registered dietitians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through 2014, (US Bureau of Labor Statistics). More information on careers, salaries and job outlook can be obtained from the website of The American Dietetic Association.
Family & Consumer Sciences Department
Family and Consumer Sciences
1906 College Heights Blvd #11037
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1037
photos by Sheryl Hagan-Booth