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Hospitality Management & Dietetics, B.S.

Nutrition & Dietetics Concentration (CFND)

The Nutrition and Dietetics program results in a bachelor of science degree and helps prepare students to become registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN).  The Nutrition and Dietetics program is one of three concentrations within the Hospitality Management and Dietetics (HMD) major at WKU. We prepare students for careers as dietetic professionals by providing the knowledge and skills needed to improve the quality of life of those they serve.

As part of accreditation, the program has established goals for performance.  Program outcomes data are available upon request. 

Program graduates will become dietetic professionals.

  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • 65% of program graduates will become employed in dietetics or dietetics related fields within 4 years of graduation.
  • The mean graduate rating on the quality of preparation for a professional career related to the field will be a minimum of 3.5 on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0, with 5.0 being the best level of preparation.

Program graduates will be prepared for supervised practice experiences that lead to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration Examination.

  • At least 80% of students complete program requirements within three years (150% of planned program length).
  • At least 65% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  • Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 50% are admitted within 12 months of graduation.
  • Within 12 months of graduation the mean rating on graduate performance as assessed by internship directors of DPD graduates, will be a minimum of 3.5 on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0, with 5.0 being the best level of preparation.
  • The mean graduate rating on the quality of preparation for an internship will be at least a 3.5 on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0, with 5.0 being the best level of preparation.

What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist? 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists 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 an RD/RDN 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.


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Becoming a Registered Dietition Nutritionist

The Nutrition and Dietetics concentration (CFND), within the major of Hospitality Management and Dietetics (HMD), requires the completion of:

  • 10 HMD core courses
  • 11 Nutrition and Dietetics-specific courses
  • 10 colonnade general education courses in support of the concentration

Additional general education courses must be fulfilled to meet University graduation requirements.  To graduate, a minimum number of 120 college credit hours must be earned.

Admission Application PDF

Undergraduate Catalogue

Students must complete an internship that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students apply to internship programs in their last year at Western Kentucky University and complete internships after graduating from the University. Entrance into internships is competitive. An undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.3 to 3.5 and relevant work and volunteer experience aid in the preparation for a supervised practice program. Most internship programs utilize the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) and computer matching to review and select interns. 

Dietetics Internship

Students must pass the credentialing exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) following completion of an ACEND accredited internship.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website here.

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Nutrition & Dietetics program (Didactic Program in Dietetics) at Western Kentucky University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

After becoming an RD/RDN, continued learning is required. 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In Kentucky, and most other states, graduates must also obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

A Verification Statement is only granted to students who: (receipt of the Verification Statement allows a graduate to complete an internship):

  1. Complete all University general education requirements.
  2. Satisfactorily complete all required coursework for the Nutrition and Dietetics concentration. Students must earn a B or better in HMD 211 Human Nutrition and a C or better in all other dietetic specific courses.
  3. Demonstrate attainment of all core knowledge required for dietitians and nutritionists (KRDNs). Achievement of core knowledge is defined as earning a C or better on all assignments used to assess KRDNs. (See Student Performance Monitoring, Remediation and Retention in the Nutrition & Dietetics Handbook for more information).
  4. Have discharged all indebtedness to Western Kentucky University.
  5.  Meet all other WKU degree requirements.

All students must complete an Application for Graduation in the WKU Office of the Registrar after 90 credit hours are earned.

nutrition and dietetics class

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Student Handbook

Faculty & Staff

  • 270-745-5128
  • ahs@wku.edu

  • Academic Complex
    1906 College Heights Blvd. #11037
    Bowling Green, KY 42101

  • The Nutrition and Dietetics Program at WKU is currently accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/899-5400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend.   
  • As a part of accreditation, the program has established goals for performance. Program outcomes data are available upon request.

Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

KRDN 1.1 Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions.

KRDN 1.2 Select and use appropriate current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.

KRDN 1.3 Apply critical thinking skills.

Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner level of practice.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

KRDN 2.1 Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.

KRDN 2.2 Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.

KRDN 2.3 Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice.

KRDN 2.4 Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.

KRDN 2.5 Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates.

KRDN 2.6 Demonstrate cultural humility, awareness of personal biases and an understanding of cultural differences as they contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion.

KRDN 2.7 Describe contributing factors to health inequity in nutrition and dietetics including structural bias, social inequities, health disparities and discrimination.

KRDN 2.8 Participate in a nutrition and dietetics professional organization and explain the significant role of the organization.

KRDN 2.9 Defend a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.

Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

KRDN 3.1 Use the Nutrition Care Process and clinical workflow elements to assess nutritional parameters, diagnose nutrition related problems, determine appropriate nutrition interventions and develop plans to monitor the effectiveness of these interventions.

KRDN 3.2 Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.

KRDN 3.3 Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups.

KRDN 3.4 Practice routine health screening assessments, including measuring blood pressure and conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol).

KRDN 3.5 Describe concepts of nutritional genomics and how they relate to medical nutrition therapy, health and disease.

KRDN 3.6 Develop nutritionally sound meals, menus and meal plans that promote health and disease management and meet client’s/patient’s needs.

Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

KRDN 4.1 Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.

KRDN 4.2 Evaluate a budget/financial management plan and interpret financial data.

KRDN 4.3 Demonstrate an understanding of the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.

KRDN 4.4 Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.

KRDN 4.5 Apply safety and sanitation principles related to food, personnel and consumers.

KRDN 4.6 Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.

KRDN 4.7 Evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.

Skills, strengths, knowledge and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

KRDN 5.1 Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.

KRDN 5.2 Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.

KRDN 5.3 Practice how to self-advocate for opportunities in a variety of settings (such as asking for needed support, presenting an elevator pitch).

KRDN 5.4 Practice resolving differences or dealing with conflict.

KRDN 5.5 Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.

KRDN 5.6 Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.

Accreditations achieved within the Applied Human Sciences Department

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) - Nutrition & Dietetic Undergraduate and Graduate programs

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - Early Childhood Education Associate Degree

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) - Interior Design program


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 Last Modified 11/10/23