We are no longer accepting applicants to the Undergraduate Dietetics Program.

Dietetics Graduate MPH-RDN (Coming Soon)

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH – Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Coming soon!

Please contact Melissa Powell, RDN for more information regarding the application process and timeline for the MPH-RDN program.




     The Didactic Program in Dietetics prepares students for the first stage of a three-stage process leading to the Registered Dietitian credential. The second stage requires that Dietetic program graduates complete a 1200-hour, nationally competitive, clinically supervised internship. The third stage requires that graduates pass the National Registration Exam for Dietitians after completing their Dietetic Internship.     

     Dietitians are the “nutrition experts” in healthcare and wellness. They are employed in a variety of settings from large corporations to small community programs, working to assess the nutritional needs of individuals and groups; to provide practical and timely recommendations founded on “evidence based practice,” to improve the daily diet and well being of individuals. Registered Dietitians in healthcare may specialize in research, pediatrics, geriatrics, cancer, surgery and trauma, etc. They may also work in their own private practice or as part of a medical practice group. A growing number of sports nutrition dietitians are working with professional and university athletes. On an outpatient basis, they may assist individuals with diabetes, eating disorders or weight control issues. Many work in public health programs, while others develop wellness programs for corporations. The possibilities are practically endless.

     The University of Tennessee’s Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext 5400. http://www.eatright.org/

Mission Statement:

The mission of the dietetics program is to provide the highest level of preparation for graduates of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, so each graduate has the knowledge, attitudes, and practice skills to serve individuals and communities with excellence in the area of food and nutrition. The program prepares students for the pathway to become a Registered Dietitian.


Goals of the Didactic Program in Dietetics:

Goal #1:  The program will prepare graduates to be competent for entry into the supervised practice or other post-graduate programs through high-quality educational offerings.

  • Objective #1: Over a five-year period, ≥70% of graduates will apply to Dietetic Internships within 12 months of graduation
  • Objective #2: Over a five-year period, ≥70% of graduates who apply to Dietetic Internships will be accepted.
  • Objective #3: Over a five-year period, 80% of graduates taking the RD exam for the first time (and within 1 year) will receive a passing score.
  • Objective #4: Within two years after completion of the dietetics program, at least 50% of graduates not applying for internships will be employed in a nutrition-related area.
  • Objective #5: Over a 5-year period, at least 85% of dietetic internship directors will rate the UTC students as equally or more highly prepared in the didactic knowledge of their internship than their peers

Goal #2:    The program will attract and retain well-qualified candidates with an appreciation for community service.

  • Objective #1: At least 75% of students in the DPD, under the former program policies, will complete the program within 6 years, or 150% of the time planned for completion.
  • Objective #2: At least 75% of the students in the DPD, under new admission policies, will complete the program within 3 years, or 150% of the time planned for completion.
  • Objective #3: Over a 5-year period, at least 60% of DPD graduates will participate in community service.

Goal #3:   The program will promote excellence in practice among its graduates.

  • Objective #1: Over a 5-year period, at least 50% of program graduates will indicate the pursuit of an advanced degree or certificate.


Data about program outcomes are available upon request.  Please contact Char Schmidt, PhD, RDN, Didactic Program Director in Dietetics at Charlene-Schmidt@utc.edu

At the time of application submission for post-graduation placement in a dietetic internship, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the use of chemistry and chemical concepts related to food and nutrition.

  • Categorize anatomical structures and differentiate normal from abnormal physiological systems.

  • Analyze food and food product ingredients for functional properties.

  • Interpret data from parametric and nonparametric statistics.

  • Evaluate the role of specific nutrients in disease prevention and health promotion.

  • Compare statistical methods for the interpretation of research data.

Program outcomes data is available upon request.


Learning Assessment - The Dietetics Program utilizes several formative assessments to determine student learning outcomes. These venues include but are not limited to tests, written papers, case studies, projects, lab participation etc. These criteria provide the faculty adequate opportunity to assess student learning outcomes. Students who complete each course are given a grade, which measures their mastery of content. During each semester, faculty of record for each class ensures that assessments are given on a timely basis.


Continuation Standards – once accepted into the Didactic Program in Dietetics, students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average with no grade lower than a C in any required program course. A student receiving a grade lower than a C in any required course would be placed on probation until they are able to repeat the course at its earliest offering. If they fail to receive a C for the course or their GPA remains below 3.0 they will be dropped from the program.


Program Completion Requirements – students will be expected to complete the program requirements within 150% of the allowed time or 4.5 years from the initial acceptance into the Dietetics Program.


Verification Statements – students who successfully complete the requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics will receive a written verification statement from the Program Director upon graduation.