Human Nutrition and Dietetics

Why should I major in Human Nutrition and Dietetics?

The Human Nutrition and Dietetics program primarily prepares students to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with an optional pathway to become a Nutrition & Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR), or a non-RD nutrition-related professional.

The University of Arkansas's Nutrition and Dietetics Education Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400.  Complete program details can be found in the student handbook


The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to prepare graduates for successful careers in nutrition and dietetics.  These graduates will serve in diverse areas of practice in Arkansas, the United States, and the world with professionalism and leadership.  Through this preparation, graduates will be eligible for supervised practice and graduate school leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become registered dietitian nutritionists.

Program Goal 1

Program graduates will possess the foundational technical knowledge and communication skills to be competent for entry into supervised practice, other post-graduate programs and for careers in nutrition and dietetics for individuals and families in the state of Arkansas and beyond. 

Program Goal 2

Program graduates will be prepared to be active professionals exhibiting characteristics of professionalism, leadership, and service to the profession of nutrition and dietetics and their community.

Outcome Objectives

  1. At least 80% of program students complete program  requirements within 6 years (150% of the program length). 
  2. At least 65% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.  
  3. Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 75% are admitted within 12 months of graduation.
  4. 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%.
  5. 85% of the program graduates who complete a dietetic internship/supervised practice or graduate school will be rated as having met or exceeded performance expectations as indicated by Dietetic Internship (DI) Director Survey results.
  6. 85% of the program graduates will rate their overall preparation in human nutrition and dietetics as having met or exceeded expectations.
  7. 90% of Dietetic Internship Directors will agree that program graduates met or exceeded expectations for professionalism and leadership as indicated by DI Director Survey results.
  8. 50% of program graduates responding to alumni survey will   report participation in professional and/or community service activities. 
  9. 50% of program graduates responding to alumni survey will recognize the importance of professionalism and service through their participation in Nutrition and Dietetics professional local, state, and/or national groups and/or through service to the profession through service as a mentor to students/interns.   

Program outcomes data are available on request.

What can I do with a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics?

Accreditation is given to Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD), that are in compliance with the Standards of Education. When you complete the DPD, you are eligible to apply for dietetic internships. Completion of the internship qualifies you to take the national registration exam, and passing it earns you the title of Registered Dietitian. There are many different career fields for a RDN, NDTR, or non-RD nutrition graduate:

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Acute Care Setting
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Food Industry
  • School Nutrition Programs
  • Long-term Care Facility
  • Private Consulting Practice
  • More Career Options

What does a Human Nutrition and Dietetics major study?

In addition to the University core courses, Human Nutrition and Dietetics majors will take project-based courses like biochemistry, human physiology, community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and more. 

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: 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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Human Nutrition and Dietetics program at the University of Arkansas are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. View more information about state licensure requirements 

View more information about educational pathways to become a RDN

Course requirements and a semester-by-semester degree plan for Human Nutrition and Dietetics can be found in the UA Course Catalog . View the printable 2023-2024 checksheet and 2023-2024 eight-semester degree plan. An archive of past checksheets and semester-by-semester degree plans is available in Box.

How can a Human Nutrition and Dietetics student be involved?

The School of Human Environmental Sciences and the University offer a variety of outlets for students to gain professional development experiences.

Instructor with young students outside working in a school garden. Photo by the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

Quick Facts

School of Human Environmental Sciences

Human Nutrition & Dietetics Student Handbook (PDF)

Average Starting Salary:

*According to a 2021 survey from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

RD Exam Pass rate:
6 month and 5 year data, as well as first-time pass rates and time to pass exam within year of first attempt are all available upon request

Internship Required:
Yes (post baccalaureate)

Commonly Paired Minors:
Food Science, Business, Spanish, Sustainability

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Accreditation Information:

Accreditation for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL  60606
Phone:  312-899-0040 ext. 5400

ACEND logo