DNS Dietetic

Undergraduate Dietetics Program

dietetics

What is the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Cornell?

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Cornell is to prepare critical thinking graduates ready for supervised evidence-based practice in community, clinical and management settings, for careers in nutrition and for future leadership. To accomplish this mission, the DPD at Cornell has established two overarching program goals:

  1. To promote the integration of knowledge and theory in nutritional sciences and development of the skills necessary for competent supervised dietetics practice and for careers in nutrition;
  2. To produce graduates with critical thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, for leadership development and for graduate study.

Program assessment and student learning outcome measures are in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the DPD at Cornell and are available upon request.

After successful completion of a bachelor’s degree and DPD requirements, students are issued a Verification Statement and are eligible to apply for supervised practice programs in dietetics.

Becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD)

The majority of students completing DPD requirements pursue supervised dietetics practice, a necessary step to become eligible to sit for the National Registration Examination for Dietitians (Registered Dietitian). The Registered Dietitian (RD) credential is the most widely held credential of nutrition practitioners. A Registered Dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who is a translator of the science and art of foods, nutrition, and dietetics in the service of people. Many jobs in nutrition require the RD credential to be considered for employment. Registered Dietitians work in a wide variety of settings including management, community, research and clinical settings. Some RDs practice in highly specialized areas such as pediatrics, diabetes management, nutrition support, eating disorders and oncology. Successful completion of the DPD also prepares students to sit for the National Registration Examination for Diet Technicians. For more information on what an RD and a DTR are, please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Academic Preparation in the DPD

Translating the science of nutrition into healthy food choices for individuals and groups or appropriate nutrition therapy for those with illness requires the integration of many different disciplines. The DPD curriculum provides a broad and integrated academic program that is strongly grounded in the physical, biological, and social sciences. The program emphasizes critical thinking, communication skills, quantitative literacy, and the application of theory to practice.

Students begin with basic courses in biology, chemistry, social sciences and introduction to food, nutrition, and health issues and nutrition and the life cycle. In the second year students progress to organic chemistry, physiology and courses that examine the social science aspects of food and nutrition, and the nutritional and physicochemical properties of foods. Advanced courses taken in the junior and senior years apply biochemistry, physiology, and social sciences to problems in clinical nutrition, counseling, communications, public health, and food and nutrition management. Throughout the program students develop skills that will foster personal and professional growth as life-long learners and as leaders and team members in the dietetics profession.

Completing the DPD at Cornell

Any student accepted to Cornell may consider the DPD. Most students however are completing one of the majors offered by the Division of Nutritional Sciences. Many nutrition majors at Cornell complete the courses required for the dietetics program. Students completing the DPD are required to register as a DPD student with the Dietetics Office and work closely with their faculty advisors and with the Dietetics Program faculty to prepare course schedules and to acquire field, work, and research experiences that enhance classroom learning. Faculty also help seniors prepare applications to supervised practice programs. Guidance for students on completing DPD requirements, program policies and applying to supervised practice programs can be found in the DPD Handbook.

Cornell DPD Outcomes

Admission to supervised practice programs is competitive. Students with a strong GPA, relevant work/volunteer experiences and letters of support often do well in placing to their top choice of supervised practice programs. The Cornell DPD currently graduates approximately 20-30 students per year. Of students who apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete the program, approximately 90% are accepted (vs. national rate of 50%). Graduates of the Cornell DPD may also pursue graduate studies either with or prior to supervised practice.

Our graduates are highly successful and well-prepared for evidence-based practice, leadership and graduate study. Placement rates of our graduates in dietetic internships and graduate schools is 95 percent and better. Feedback from our graduates, program directors and employers indicates satisfaction with knowledge and skills developed through the program. The passing rate of our graduates taking the Registration Examination for Dietitians for the first time is 100 percent (five year average).

Minimum Academic Course Requirements

2013-14 Schedule of Dietetics Meetings:

DATE TIME/PLACE TOPIC
Wednesday
September 4, 2013
4:30-5:30
Savage 200
Are you on track to apply to internships?
Meeting for DPD Juniors
Monday
September 16, 2013
4:30-5:30
MVR G71
INFORMATIONAL MEETING
for Non-Seniors
Monday
September 23, 2013
4:30-5:30
Savage 200
THE NUTS & BOLTS OF APPLYING TO DIs PART I
Monday
September 30, 2013
4:30-5:30
280 MVR
THE NUTS & BOLTS OF APPLYING TO DIs PART II
Monday
October 28, 2013
4:30-5:30
Savage 200
TIPS FOR WRITING YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT
Monday
November 4, 2013
TBA DOROTHY PROUD LECTURE
Monday
December 2, 2013
4:30-5:30
Savage 200
SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEWING SKILL AND
FINAL APPLICATION REMINDERS
Monday
December 9, 2013
Cornell DI Open House (Register online by October 15)
Thursday
January 2, 2014
Due Date for Cornell DI Pre-select application

For more information...

Emily Gier, MBA, RD, CDN
Lecturer and Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences
416 Savage Hall
(607)255-2638
eg47@cornell.edu

Brenda Daniels
Dietetics Program Coordinator
Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences
114 Savage Hall
(607) 255-8443
bjd2@cornell.edu