Advising Course Plan - Health Sciences Major - Dietitian Interest

There is a standardized exam to become a Registered Dietician (RD). Only those with Master’s degree will be able to take the RD registration exam after 2024, but the Master’s can be in any related program, not just Dietetics/Nutrition. Because of this new Master’s requirement, there is a rapidly increasing number of Master’s of Nutrition programs around the country; there are only six programs across the country at this time.

Requirements for Becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) (NOTE: These are equivalent titles): The requirements to become a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist include successful completion of a Didactic Program (DPD) in Nutrition and Dietetics, an undergraduate or graduate degree program, and an accredited dietetic internship program, and passing the registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Upon successfully completing either the undergraduate or graduate degree program in Nutritional Science and the DPD, students will receive a verification of completion statement, which will allow the students to be eligible to apply for an accredited dietetic internship program. The accredited dietetic internship program composed of a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice provides students with practical, direct training in several facets of dietetic practice.

After students have successfully completed the course work in a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and the accredited supervised practice program (dietetic internship program), they are eligible to take the registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Upon passing this registration exam, the students will earn their Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

As noted previously, there are currently only 6 programs that offer the Master’s degree along with the coursework to be eligible for the Dietetic Internship and Exam. The Internship can be part of the program or separate. At present gaining acceptance into these Internships has proven difficult – only approximately 55% of all RD-eligible applicants are accepted. However, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is working to increase the availability of internships to address this problem. Projections state that by the time current undergraduates are finished with their Master’s program there will be many more openings.

Below are the six aforementioned programs that now offer Master’s degrees and on a separate document are the entry requirements for each. Course requirements vary slightly between programs, so see the websites for more detailed information; however, most will require General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Introductory Nutrition, Introductory Psychology, Introductory Sociology, and (less consistently) Medical Terminology and Statistics.

Students interested in applying for nutrition programs may consider a minor in Chemistry as they will have to take 5 chemistry courses anyway. Therefore, they may benefit from taking one more 200 level CHEM course (and Calculus) and minoring in Chemistry. Requirements may differ from the ones below; depending on the nutrition program(s) in which you may be interested, so please make sure to look at various program requirements for different universities. We highly recommend you begin looking at universities’ requirements during your 1st year as an undergraduate to better prepare you for nutrition programs.

First Year
BIOL 141P1,*Introductory Biology: Biochemistry, Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics1
PSYC 101S1Introduction to Psychology1
FSEM 1001First Year Seminar (unless transfer student)1
HLSC 119VHealth and Wellness1
 Term Units4
BIOL 142P1,*Introductory Biology: Animal and Plant Physiology1
HLSC 200V1,*Introduction to Nutrition Science1
General Education requirement11
MATH 141Q2Calculus I with Analytic Geometry (required for Chemistry minor)1
 Term Units4
Second Year
MATH 141Q should be taken during the fall if it has not yet been taken in First Year. 
HLSC 2011Anatomy Physiology I1
CHEM 141P*General Chemistry I1
BIOL 301*Microbiology (recommended)1
General Education requirement (A, B, H, L course)11
 Term Units4
HLSC 2021Anatomy and Physiology II1
CHEM 142P*General Chemistry II1
SOCI 101S*Understanding Society: An Introduction to Sociology (recommended; or General Education requirement (A, B, H, L course))1
General Education requirement (A, B, H, L course)11
 Term Units4
Third Year
Junior seminar must be taken during this year. 
HLSC 4111Exercise Physiology1
Junior Seminar11
CHEM 2011,*Organic Chemistry I (counts as 1 of 4 HLSC electives)1
 Term Units4
HLSC 4981Senior Research Proposal1
PUBH 140VIntroduction to Public Health1
CHEM 301Organic Chemistry II (counts as 1 of 4 HLSC electives)1
MATH 125QIntroduction to Mathematical and Statistical Modeling1
 Term Units4
Fourth Year
HLSC 4991Senior Research Project1
PHIL 316VBio-Medical Ethics1
CHEM 2041,*Biochemistry I1
 Term Units4
Elective (HLSC 325 recommended)11
Elective (HLSC 303 recommended)11
Optional for Chemistry minor requirement: CHEM 200+ level course31
 Term Units4
Total Unit: 32

Required for HLSC major.


MATH 130 and MATH 131Q may be taken in place of MATH 141Q.


Excluding CHEM 285, CHEM 385, CHEM 485, CHEM 498, CHEM 499.


Common core of prerequisite course work.