Didactic Program in Dietetics

Didactic Program in Dietetics banner image; a female student practicing in a lab.Want to be a Registered Dietitian?

A Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is an undergraduate nutrition or dietetics program that meets the accreditation standards set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This course work will ensure that students have the "Knowledge and Skills" required by ACEND to compete for a dietetic internship. Graduates of a dietetic internship program can sit for a (computerized) national certification exam. At Cal Poly, the courses required for a B.S. in Nutrition following the Applied Nutrition concentration have been accredited to meet these requirements.

Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics Student Handbook 

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Cal Poly

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Cal Poly is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and resources needed to gather data, assess information, plan interventions, and evaluate outcomes appropriately to implement the nutrition care process in preparation for success in a dietetic internship and in the career of dietetics.

Didactic Program in Dietetics Goals

  • To provide education in a learning environment that prepares graduates to demonstrate knowledge and skills producing the competencies needed to become entry-level dietitians.
  • Program graduates demonstrate the knowledge, ethics, and technical skills needed for a successful career continuum in dietetics or in other professional fields

Graduating in the Applied Nutrition Concentration enables you to:

  • produce appetizing, safe, affordable, and nutritious foods with a working knowledge of food composition, food preparation principles, and commercial food technology.
  • develop diets and promote consumption of foods that meet the medical, nutritional and health needs of individuals and groups.
  • practice effective and ethical management concepts and functions, particularly as applied to foodservice operations and nutrition programs.
  • have working knowledge of public policies, regulations, and the health care system as each relate to and impact the field of nutrition.

For more information on the program goals and assessments schedule, click here to see the Program Assessment Plan (pdf).

Results of program assessment are available upon request.

The only way to become a registered dietitian (RD) is by completing (1) a bachelor's degree, (2) the DPD required courses, (3) an accredited dietetic internship, and (4) the RD exam (successfully).

If you are in Cal Poly's Applied Nutrition concentration and want to know more about preparing for and applying to dietetic internships, please contact the DPD program director, Arlene Grant-Holcomb, agrantho@calpoly.com, for access to dietetic internship application information and resources.


You may also view a short video below:


Want to be a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)?

Effective June 1, 2009, individuals who have completed both a baccalaureate degree and a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) will be able to take the registration examination for dietetic technicians without meeting additional academic or supervised practice requirements.

If you are a graduate of the Applied Nutrition concentration and would like to find out more information about career options for Dietitian Technician, Registered see www.eatright.org

For more information about how our graduates who have ALREADY received a Verification Statement and would like to apply for taking the DTR exam, see http://www.cdrnet.org/program-director/grad-info-dpd-pathway-iii for procedures.

For more information, please see the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics's web page at www.eatright.org/CADE/

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000.Chicago, IL 60606-6995
312-899-0040 ext. 5400 Fax: 312-899-4817
E-mail: acend@eatright.org

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