Bachelor of Science Degree
Featuring small classes with personalized attention, University of Central Missouri's undergraduate program in dietetics is the only one of its kind in west central Missouri. It has received continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics since 1957.
The dietetics program prepares students academically to meet the university's Bachelor of Science degree criteria while meeting the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to enter a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship. Students are then eligible to take the national registration exam to receive the credentials of Registered Dietitian (R.D.).
Through a foundation in liberal arts, service learning, technology and research, the student is prepared to be a lifelong learner who is able to enhance the field of dietetics.
Dietitians study a variety of subjects ranging from food and nutrition sciences, food service systems management, business economics, sociology, communication, as well as chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and biochemistry. Since the field of dietetics is a high-tech science of applying food and nutrition to health, it is a vital, growing field open to many directions and opportunities.
Health, nutrition, and fitness have become a way of life. As a registered dietitian, a graduate can work in hospitals, for HMOs or other health care facilities; community and public health settings; fitness, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs; education and research; sales, marketing and public relations; government; restaurant management; food companies, and private practice. The direction you take and how far you take it is your choice.
Program graduates are now working as clinical dietitians, consulting dietitians, community nutritionists, fitness-wellness specialists, and diabetes educators. Students who do not seek postgraduate internships are employed as nutritionists, community nutritionists, community educators, and school lunch program directors.
Completing a bachelor's degree is only one step in the process of becoming a dietitian. The student also needs practical experience. This is what the internship provides. It must provide a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice, and is completed in six to 12 months, depending on the program. To apply for an internship, individuals must complete their bachelor's degree that includes ACEND-approved coursework. The program at UCM provides the courses needed for completion of a bachelor's degree. Following the dietetic internship, the national registration examination is taken to attain the Registered Dietitian status.
The faculty in the dietetics program are committed to student success. They bring practical, real world, hands-on experiences to the classroom, preparing students for their future careers.
UCM offers many opportunities for students to get involved with individuals who share similar interests. Classes foster learning opportunities including job shadow experiences and facility visits to prepare students for their careers. The Student Dietetic Association, for example, gives students an opportunity to take part in campus wellness activities, National Nutrition Month, listen to guest speakers, and volunteer opportunities.
Dietetics students may be eligible to apply for the McClain Scholarships and McClain Distinguished Scholarships, some of the most prestigious awards at UCM. In addition to many different types of scholarships offered on campus, dietetics students also may be eligible for scholarships from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, the Missouri Dietetic Association, as well as the Kansas City Dietetic Association.
To Learn More
Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology