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Foods and Nutrition Major and Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Mission of Foods and Nutrition major with or without Dietetics emphasis (Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics) To provide a quality Christian-centered academic curriculum preparing graduates for supervised practice and/or graduate programs leading to entry-level career opportunities in foods and nutrition/dietetics, or for graduates of the Didactic Program in Dietetics eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam, registered dietitian nutritionist.

Potential Careers in Foods, Nutrition, and Dietetics
Professionals in dietetics apply principles of food and nutrition to maintain health, improve or manage chronic disease, improve athletic performance, and help people make healthful food choices. Dietitians work in a variety settings and can be specialized within the field.

Some examples include:

Clinical and Medical Nutrition Therapy
Community Nutrition and Public Health
Corporate Wellness
Food Industry, Regulatory, and Product Development
Food Service Management
Media and Journalism
Private Practice and Consultation
Sports Nutrition

Pictured above right to left: Janelle Benzick, 2019 Roberts Award for Outstanding Graduate in Dietetics, and Dr. Kitty Coffey.

Non-dietetics majors can select career paths that do not require the RDN credential but utilize a person’s skill and knowledge base in foods and nutrition. Positions could be in consumer sciences, extension, public health, nutrition research, journalism, food service and food manufacturing.

Pictured above: FND Students attending FNCE, 2018, in D.C.
left to right: Peyton Clapp, Sarah Sofia, Sarah Sharp

 Accreditation Status of the DPD:

The current Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in 2006 and reaffirmed in 2016. ACEND is located at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) headquarters at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; 312-899-0040, ext. 5400; www.eatright.org, ACEND@eatright.org. ACEND establishes a complete set of standards, knowledge and competency statements that must be met by all accredited dietetics programs. Completion of the DPD permits students to be eligible to apply for an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) during their senior year if they have met the required cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher and have completed (or in progress) all required coursework to receive the degree in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics.

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences also offers a non-dietetics track in the Foods and Nutrition program area of study. This program does not require ACEND accreditation and, therefore, allows the student to have a more flexible course of study that can prepare one for a variety of career paths in foods and nutrition.

All foods and nutrition majors (DPD track and non-dietetics track) are one of seven specialty areas of study within the Family and Consumer Sciences discipline. Therefore, all FND students are afforded the opportunity to become Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS) during the last semester of their senior year as Carson-Newman’s American Association of Family and Consumers Sciences (AAFCS) accredited Department offers curricula in each program area which meet the required standards and a core body of knowledge for FCS graduates. FCS faculty can assist any student interested in earning the CFCS credential during their senior year.

Goals and Measurable Outcomes of the DPD 2016-2023 Cycle: The DPD program/faculty at C-N strives to meet or exceed the following goals and objectives that are important for success of our graduates:

Goal 1
Graduates will have attained a mastery of the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists upon completion of the accredited Bachelor of Science program in foods, nutrition and dietetics.


1.a. At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 4.5 years (150% of the program length)

1.b. 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%.

1.c. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of supervised practice program directors will indicate positive satisfaction with DPD graduates.

1.d. Over a five-year period, 80% of graduates surveyed will evaluate their knowledge and skills as good or excellent preparation for professional work in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.

Goal 2
Graduates will aspire to professional growth and development seeking supervised practice programs, graduate programs, and a variety of career opportunities in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.


2.a. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the same academic year they complete the program.

2.b. Over a five-year period, at least 70% of those applying to supervised practice programs will be accepted within 12 months of completion of the DPD program.

2.c. Over a five-year period, at least 75% of DPD graduates not continuing on to supervised practice will be employed in a food service or a nutrition-related career or have enrolled in an advanced education program within 12 months of graduation.

2.d. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of the DPD graduates completing supervised practice program/graduate programs will be employed in dietetics or related fields within 12 months of completion.

2.e. Over a five-year period, at least 90% of DPD students will become members of the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) and student members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) by the end of their junior year.

Outcome data for the goals and objectives of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is available upon request by contacting Kimberly A. Johnson, PhD, RDN, LDN at kjohnson@cn.edu or (865) 471-2051.

Admission Requirements:

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers two tracks for Foods and Nutrition majors:

 1) Foods and Nutrition major with Dietetics emphasis (DPD track):

This is the program as described above that a student would select if s/he seeks to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN). Once the student meets university admission requirements, there are no additional requirements for admission to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. College admission requirements are listed in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Currently three requirements must be met for Admission to the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics upper division courses:

  1. C or higher is required in all FN courses; BIOL 207/208, 305/306, 316; CFS 206; CHEM 103/104, 301, 310; COMM 135/230; CS 135, 432; ENG 101, 201, 301; FCS 121; FCS 421; FCSE 424; MATH 201;

  2. Cumulative GPA 2.8* or higher; and

  3. B or higher in FN 114, FN 214, FN 310.

The student will need to complete and submit an official application by August 30 of their junior year to the DPD Director in person or mailed to: DPD Director, CN Box 71881, Jefferson City, TN 37760. See FND Student Handbook.

*Please be aware that GPA’s above 3.4 improve the student’s likelihood of securing a supervised practice program after graduation, which is required to earn the RDN credential.

2) Foods and Nutrition major (non-dietetics emphasis):

Students may select this major if s/he has an interest in the foods and nutrition discipline and seeks career opportunities in culinary, food industry, food sales, food service management, public health, family and consumer sciences, and extension service. Many of these positions and career paths do not require the RDN credential but may require graduate study or other training. Food and Nutrition faculty are available to discuss this curriculum option which is presented in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Admission requirements are the same as those for the University which are also listed in the current catalog.

Program Costs

Family and consumer sciences majors will be responsible for tuition, room and board, and meal costs listed in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Foods, nutrition, and dietetics majors at Carson-Newman University will be responsible for the following additional estimated costs:

  • Laboratory Coat $25.00-$40.00
  • Student Membership fee to Academy $60.00/year (join junior year at latest) and optional local chapters, Knoxville District Dietetic Association (KAND) ($10.00/year)
  • Student chapter of Academy (SAND) may require nominal membership and activity fees ($5.00-$10.00)
  • Laboratory Fees for FN 310, FN 313, FN 316, CS 432 will each have a fee ranging from $50.00 to $150.00
  • Honors Banquet attendance every Spring if you apply for departmental scholarships ~ $25.00/Spring Semester 

Degree Requirements:

All areas of study within the department include a senior internship/field experience program for application of university concepts and training. Foods, nutrition, and dietetics majors complete a 150-hour field experience with a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a one-semester cooperative management learning experience in Duncan Hall Cooperative Management and Housing Laboratory on campus.

1) Dietetics Track. The following curriculum will meet the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics. This curriculum fulfills the required DPD requirements necessary to apply for a Supervised Practice Program (SPP) to pursue the RDN credential. Currently the program requires a total of 120 credit hours, which is divided into General Education (42 hours), Family and Consumer Sciences Core (8 hours), FND Specialization (34 hours), Support Disciplines (35 hours), and one elective hour.

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: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.

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). At present, graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Carson-Newman University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

2) Non-dietetics track. This curriculum will meet the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition. A student can meet with his/her advisor to select appropriate courses that will fulfill a Minor of choice and help the student tailor his/her course of study for his/her chosen career path.

Pursuing a Dietetic Internship after Carson-Newman 

A FND student will begin the Supervised Practice Program (SPP) application process late fall semester through January of their senior year. A strong GPA (above 3.2), solid GRE examination score, and evidence of professional leadership, community service, and pertinent work experience will strengthen a student’s application.

Information about the competitive nature of the Supervised Practice Program (SPP) application process is available on the ACEND website. The DPD Student Handbook also provides additional information about how to successfully complete the DI application process. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at http://www.eatright.org/ explains the different paths to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist.

Student Handbooks for FND Majors

 The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has published a Student Handbook for use by all FCS students. DPD students will need to also refer to the DPD Student Handbook for additional information pertinent to their success in the dietetics program. These handbooks provide reference information about the FCS program and DPD programs, goals and objectives of each program, curriculum and suggested four-year course of study, scholarship and award information, and career guidance.

FCS Students Handbook
DPD Student Handbook Fall 2020


Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND)

 The chartered Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) is recognized as Carson-Newman University’s student chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All FND students are granted membership into this professional club which seeks to provide opportunities for students to network professionally, serve the local and campus community, and share their knowledge and passion for the field with each other. Students can serve on the board for this organization which helps students develop their leadership and advocacy skills. As an organization, students have attended dietetic internship forums; local, state, and national meetings and conferences; and have organized community health fairs, wellness seminars, and cooking demonstrations.

 Foods, Nutrition, and Dietetics Graduates of Carson-Newman

Carson-Newman University is proud of its graduates in the FND program areas. Many of our alumni are working as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in acute care clinical dietetics settings practicing medical nutrition therapy. Some graduates are even in subspecialties of oncology, eating disorders, metabolic support, holistic health, and bariatrics. Graduates also are working in long-term care, in both clinical and food-service management roles. Other graduates - with and without the RDN credential - have pursued careers in public health as WIC nutritionists, school food service management, eating disorders and behavioral therapy, sports nutrition and wellness, the mission field, and as a consumer scientist with a premier home appliances manufacturer.

FN Curriculum Map
FND Curriculum Map

DPD Faculty

Dr. Karen Gibson, RDN, CSSD, CD
Associate Professor
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Carson-Newman University
Jefferson City, TN 37760


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