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Dietetics Program Overview

In today’s world, a staggering number of people could avoid health-related issues by making changes to their nutritional intake, and you can learn to show them how. If you are passionate about healthy eating and interested in counseling others about nutrition to improve their well-being, our nationally-ranked Dietetics program is for you. It will prepare you for a career in the diverse field of nutrition and dietetics.


student cutting vegetables in food lab

Learning Experiences

Ashland University’s Dietetics program will provide you with the knowledge to help others truly make a difference in their health. It takes more than eating right. You’ll acquire a strong foundation of physical, biological and social sciences education to understand the social and psychological dimensions of human nutrition.


student preparing food in dietetics lab class

Program Benefits

Our mission is to provide the foundational knowledge, skills and experiences necessary to foster the development of ethical behavior, intellectual growth, critical thought, communication and problem-solving skills. At AU, small class sizes and passionate faculty mentorship provide a personalized experience. This prepares students for supervised practice and eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Our graduates have dietetics internship match rates significantly above the national average. Graduates will also be ready for professional employment and graduate school.

  • Program Goal 1: Prepare, assist and encourage graduates to seek admittance into a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), professional employment or graduate school.
    • Sixty percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
    • Fifty percent of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
    • Fifty percent or more of graduates not going into a supervised practice program, employed or seeking employment report pursuing an advanced degree.
  • Program Goal 2: Prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians through completion of the dietetics program, which leads to completion of a supervised practice program, passing of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam and employment in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
    • At least 80% of our graduates pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within one year of their first attempt.
    • At least 80% of our graduates receive satisfactory or higher ratings on the supervised practice program director’s satisfaction survey.
    • Seventy-five percent or more of AU graduates who complete a supervised practice program are employed in dietetics within 12 months.
    • At least 80% of AU students complete degree requirements within 3 years.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL  60606-6995
Phone: 800/877-1600 ext. 5400

Program Requirements

A student majoring in Dietetics, who is also a candidate for a bachelor’s degree, must complete all the course requirements for that particular degree and must earn 123 semester hours of college work with a minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0. The grade point average in the Dietetics major field must be at least 2.25, although a minimum GPA of 3.0 is recommended.

The completion of an accredited dietetic internship is required before you’re eligible to take the registration examination and obtain the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential.

Registered Dietician Nutritionists

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the Registered Dietitian credential:

  • Completed a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally-accredited university or college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), such as the Ashland University Dietetics Program.
  • Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency or a foodservice corporation, or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Some RDNs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through CDR and/or other medical and nutrition organizations and are recognized within the profession, but are not required. Some of the certifications include pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support and diabetes education.

Per ACEND, the Dietetic Internship Match is a computer-based method that provides an orderly and fair way to match the preferences of applicants for dietetic Internships with the preferences of internship program directors. A company called D&D Digital operates the Dietetic Internship Match and helps applicants obtain an Internship (supervised practice position). Information on the Dietetic Internship Match process is on the ACEND website at

Information about supervised practice programs is updated regularly by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and can be accessed from the Academy website. The information on supervised practice programs is listed under Accredited Education Programs and is available at This information is consistent with what is stated in the AU Dietetic Student handbook.

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. 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 before midnight Central Time, Dec. 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement, visit CDR’s website:

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by ACEND. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited program at Ashland University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Click here for  information about state licensure requirements.

Learn more about exams to further your career:

Click here for information about educational pathways to become an RDN.

Recent Employers of AU Graduates

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Clinics
  • Private practice
  • Government or private organizations
Students in Dietetics lab

Contact Information

Denise Reed, MS, RDN, LD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Director of Dietetics
239 College of Nursing & Health Sciences