Didactic Program

Our Didactic Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and consists of 4 years of undergraduate academic coursework needed to apply for a Dietetic Internship, which is a supervised practice experience. Graduates earn a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and meet ACEND core knowledge requirements, receiving a verification statement. After completing the Didactic Program and an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship, students are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) national registry exam to earn the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

Learn More

Explore coursework for the Didactic Program and a suggested four-year plan to earn a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. Explore the Didactic Program Handbook for more information and the program schedule. Visit the UK academic calendar for important dates and deadlines.

Eligibility and Admission

Before taking courses at the 300-level or above, students must be admitted to the University of Kentucky and apply for and be admitted into upper-division of the Didactic Program. Students need a minimum 2.4 overall (cumulative) GPA and must also complete pre-dietetics courses with a minimum GPA of 2.8.

If you transfer into the major from another university, you should plan to take a minimum of three semesters to complete all required coursework, assuming you have completed all pre-major requirements.

Mission

The mission of the Didactic Program is to provide a quality undergraduate experience of education, research, and service using a comprehensive evidence-based program in food, nutrition, and management that will prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a RDN.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Prepare graduates for acceptance to, and success in, a supervised practice program leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist by providing opportunities for graduates to develop dietetics core knowledge, enhance their understanding of research, and participate in service activities to benefit their community.

Objectives:

  • 60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  • 50% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • 70% of program graduates will receive "satisfactory" ratings or higher in relation to their overall dietetics knowledge and skills as reported from supervised practice program director survey respondents while participating in a supervised practice program leading to eligibility for the CDDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
  • 70% of program graduates will receive “satisfactory” ratings or higher in relation to their overall dietetics knowledge and skills as reported from graduate/professional-school professors or employer survey respondents.
  • 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%.
  • 50% of program graduates will report participating in service activities to benefit their community.
  • Of the program graduates that participated in the DHN 374 research course, 75% will report “satisfactory” ratings or higher.

Goal 2: Graduates of the dietetics program will have a positive impact on the community, patients and employers by providing meaningful nutrition education, research and/or service experiences to enhance the well-being of people.

Objectives:

  • Of the program graduates completing the alumni survey, 60% will report “yes” regarding their perception of having a positive impact on the community, patients and employers through their work.
  • Of the supervised practice program director survey respondents and employer survey respondents, 70% will report “yes” regarding their perception of the program graduate having a positive impact on the community, patients and employers through their work.
  • Of the students completing the exit survey, 70% will report “satisfactory” ratings or higher regarding their perceived ability to perform successfully in a supervised practice program, entry-level nutrition-related position, graduate program, or a pre-professional program.
  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).

All program outcomes data are available on request from Dr. Dawn Brewer, Didactic Program Director.

Program Fees

In addition to tuition, students may incur expenses for travel, housing, liability insurance, medical exams, drug testing, background checks, verification of student identity (such as for distance learning), uniforms and other program-specific costs. Review the Didactic Program Handbook for more information on estimated fees. Learn about scholarships and awards opportunities for UK students.

Contact Us

Didactic Program Director: Dr. Dawn Brewer
Academic Coordinator: Anissa Radford


The Didactic Program, in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the University of Kentucky, is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) - 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; (800) 877-1600, ext 5400; www.eatrightpro.org/acend.