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

1. To produce graduates capable of integrating knowledge and theory in nutritional sciences and who exhibit skills necessary for competent supervised practice and for careers in nutrition.

Objectives to support goal 1:

  • Over a five-year period, graduates will rate the preparation received in the program, on average, as "satisfactory" or better;
  • Over a five-year period, alumni will rate the preparation received in the program, on average, as "satisfactory" or better; and
  • Over a five-year period, program directors and employers will rate the preparation of our students, on average, as "satisfactory" or better.

2. To produce graduates with critical-thinking skills necessary for supervised evidence-based practice, for leadership development and for graduate study.

Objectives to support goal 2:

  • Over a five-year period, the first-time pass rate and the one-year pass rate on the RD exam will meet or exceed 90 percent.
  • Over a five-year period, 100 percent of students will complete DPD program requirements within 150 percent of the program length (i.e. three years).
  • Over a five-year period, 75 percent of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs within 12 months of program completion.
  • Over a five-year period, 80 percent of DPD students who apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete DPD requirements will be accepted.
  • Over a five-year period, 50 percent of students not applying to or accepted into supervised practice programs who do not plan to take the DTR exam or seek employment the year they complete the DPD will gain acceptance into graduate school and/or apply/re-apply to supervised practice programs within 12 months of graduation.
  • Over a five-year period, 50 percent of students not applying to or accepted into supervised practice programs who do not plan to attend graduate school or apply/re-apply to supervised practice programs the year they complete the DPD will secure employment in nutrition and/or take the DTR examination.
  • Over a five-year period, at least 15 percent of graduates will identify professional leadership roles they are engaged in.

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 percent are accepted (vs. national rate of 50 percent). 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 are 95 percentand 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 99 percent(five-year average).

The success of the DPD at Cornell is measured using outcomes related to program goals. A full report of outcomes is available upon request.