Nutrition and Dietetics—Bachelor of Science

Bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics

 

Admissions requirements

  • Current student at Western Michigan University on pre-nutrition and dietetics pathway.
  • Completion of the required pre-nutrition and dietetics courses with a grade of "C" or better.
  • Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • Dietetics and nutrition program application. 

Student TEstimonial

  • "I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with a clinical dietitian to learn about ICU and cardiovascular nutrition, create education handouts and present posters at local health expos, all of which I now do or have the opportunity to do as a clinical dietitian!"Sarah Price
    Read more from Sarah Price

Program overview

This program is offered in-person.

Dietetics is an allied health field that builds on the foundation of life and social sciences. The nutrition and dietetics program provides the graduates with the food and nutrition knowledge needed to promote good health and prevent chronic diseases. The undergraduate program in nutrition and dietetics at Western Michigan University leads to a Bachelor of Science degree and is accredited by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a didactic program in dietetics (DPD). The nutrition and dietetics program meets the Standards of Education of ACEND and graduates are eligible to apply for accredited internship programs. ACEND can be contacted at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995 or by calling 1-800-877-1600 (ext. 5400).

In addition to completing the nutrition and dietetics program, students must complete a dietetic internship and pass the registration examination for dietitians in order to qualify for certification as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Students apply for admission to internships during the last semester of their senior year or after graduation. Appointment to internships is competitive. Students are selected on the basis of a variety of criteria including grade point average, work and volunteer experience, and recommendation letters. Most dietetic internships require that applicants have a GPA of at least 3.0. Beginning in January 1, 2024 the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credentialing exam will change from a bachelor’s degree to a master's degree. Program graduates that decide not to pursue a dietetic internship or not to pursue one immediately after graduation are eligible to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered (NDTR) credentialing exam.

Graduates of the DPD program who earn their NDTR credential or go on to earn their RDN credential and want to practice as Dietitians/Nutritionists may need to apply for licensure before they are eligible to do so. Licensing statutes include an explicitly defined scope of practice, and professional practice is illegal without first obtaining a license. A list of the states that require licensure is available on the Commission on Dietetic Registration website.  Licensure is not currently required for practice as a dietitian or a dietetic technician in the state of Michigan. Additional information about the program’s curriculum, policies and procedures, the process of applying to post-graduate internships and career opportunities in dietetics are included in the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics Student Handbook.

Why this program at Western Michigan University

  • 95% of WMU nutrition and dietetics graduates who applied to postgraduate internships were accepted, which is over 37% higher than the national acceptance rate for 2016-21.
  • 88% of 2020-21 WMU nutrition and dietetics graduates who responded to the post-graduate report survey were employed or continuing education within three months of graduation.
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Students receive personalized attention with a 18-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Faculty support students through the undergraduate program and guide them through the post-graduate dietetic internship application process.
  • Students can participate in the Dietetic Community Service Program, which links students to dietitians and food service professionals in the local area for mentorship opportunities. WMU is the only school in Michigan that formally connects its students with volunteer experiences. Connect with Dr. Ouyang to join!
  • The Student Dietetic Association (SDA) registered student organization allows current students to interact with fellow nutrition and dietetics majors, refine leadership skills, stay informed about events hosted by district dietetic association, find out about scholarships/fellowships provided through the state and national dietetic associations as well as other organizations, and provide service to the community.
  • Students receive strong support from current professionals in the greater Kalamazoo and SW Michigan regions. Local RDNs provide opportunities for externships, mentor our students, and work closely with our student organizations.
  • Students are encouraged to pursue additional educational opportunities through one of our many excellent study abroad programs.
  • All WMU programs offer an optional WMU Signature Designation, which helps students degrees stand out through an integrative learning project in one of several pathways including: Leadership, Health & Wellbeing, Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice, and more! 

Who should apply

Prospective students interested in food and nutrition knowledge needed to promote good health and prevent chronic diseases with a long term goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). 

All students are initially admitted to the pre-nutrition and dietetics program when they apply and are accepted to WMU. After successful completion of the required pre-dietetics courses, they apply for admission to the nutrition and dietetics professional program. Applications are due by Oct. 15 of the semester prior to entry into the three-semester professional program. The admission criteria and application procedures are described below:

  • Completion of the following pre-nutrition and dietetics courses with a grade of "C" or better
    • ENGL 1050: Thought and Writing
    • BIOS 1120: Principles of Biology
    • BIOS 2400: Human Physiology
    • BIOS 2320: Microbiology of Infectious Diseases
    • CHEM 1100/1110: General Chemistry I w/ Lab
    • CHEM 1120/1130: General Chemistry II w/ Lab
    • CHEM 3700/3710: Introduction to Organic Chemistry w/ Lab
    • FCS 2600: Nutrition
  • Achievement of a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Completion of the majority (70%) of WMU's general education requirements is strongly recommended prior to applying to the Nutrition and Dietetics program.
  • Completion and submission of a formal application to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences where the nutrition and dietetics program is housed
    • A non-refundable application fee of $30 (paid electronically immediately following application submission)

DIETETICS PROGRAM APPLICATION

Students will not be allowed to enroll in professional nutrition and dietetics courses at the 3000-level or above until they have been admitted to their professional program.

Career opportunities

  • Hospitals (in-patient and out-patient clinical dietitian)
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Food service industry
  • Food manufacturing companies
  • Government sponsored child nutrition programs
  • College and university dining services
  • Armed forces and Veterans Administration
  • Community and public health agencies
  • Research and education

Cost & Funding

Helpful links

Faculty

Graduation Requirements

In order to receive the Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics the following graduation requirements must be met:

  • Completion of all courses required for B.S. in nutrition and dietetics degree including general education courses, with no incomplete (I) grades (see current degree requirements).
  • As of fall 2010, students admitted to the pre-nutrition and dietetics program need to officially apply for admission to the professional component of DPD and be admitted.
  • Completion of at least 122 semester hours of credit, of which at least 60 semester hours must be credits from four-year baccalaureate degree granting institutions and at least 30 semester hours must be credits from WMU. Of the last 30 semester credit hours required for the degree, at least 10 semester hours must be WMU credits.
  • A maximum of 15 credit hours of correspondence or self-instructional course work may be applied towards completion of degree requirements. This rule does not apply to online courses.
  • Attainment of a minimum of 2.0 grade point average in the major and cumulatively.
  • All courses on the nutrition and dietetics program guide must be completed with a minimum letter grade of "C".
  • Student must pay all fees owed to the university.
  • Student must complete all graduation-related paperwork including graduation audit.
  • Western Michigan University does not impose a time limit on completion of a Bachelor of Science degree. If a student does not take courses for one calendar year or more, then decides to complete degree, he/she is allowed to follow the catalog used at the time of initial admission. However, if the DPD curriculum has changed during student's absence, he/she will not be issued a verification of program completion, unless additional course(s) deemed necessary to update knowledge are completed.

WMU DPD will issue a verification statement (completion document) to all students who successfully complete the requirements of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students will use this document to prove their completion of the program for the application to Dietetic Internship programs and eligibility to take the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered (NDTR) Examination.

Verification statements can only be issued to students who have completed at least 21 upper division credits of their professional nutrition and dietetics courses at WMU. 

Post-graduate internship information

Program graduates are eligible to apply for post-graduate internship programs. Students apply for admission to internships during the last semester of their senior year or after graduation. See accredited dietetic internship programs for a list of internship programs available in different states.