Stephen F. Austin State University

Food, Nutrition and Dietetics

Food, health, science, culture, genetics, healing, performance, management - what is the common thread here? Nutrition!

Find the answer to your calling by majoring in food, nutrition and dietetics.

Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Overview

Food, Nutrition and Dietetics

What are we without our health?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, about half of all American adults - 117 million individuals - have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity. More than two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and youth are overweight or obese.

According to, seven of the top 10 causes of death in 2014 were chronic diseases. Two of these chronic diseases - heart disease and cancer - together accounted for nearly 46% of all deaths.

The study of food, nutrition and dietetics offers you entry into a dynamic profession with a myriad of opportunities. Nutrition experts are filling the increasing demand for dietetic professionals. As society embraces healthy eating and preventive health education, the demand for dietetics personnel will increase.

Will I get a job with this major?

Yes, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17:

"Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is projected to grow 14% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The role of food in preventing and treating diseases, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health."

What are SFA's degree options?

SFA offers two degree plans that provide students with the knowledge needed to excel in the field of food, nutrition and dietetics, as well as a dietetic internship/graduate program.

Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences (Registered Dietitian and Pre-professional Tracks)

Food and Nutrition

Dietetic Internship/Graduate Program

FND Students

There are many career opportunities for students who choose this major.

How to become a registered dietitian

The registered dietitian is the nutrition and food expert. To become a part of the growing and vital profession of dietetics, take the following steps:

  1. Complete a baccalaureate didactic degree program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) such as the program in the School of Human Sciences at SFA. The Registered Dietitian focus and Pre-Professional focus are ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) degree tracks.
  2. Acquire supervised practice experience by competing for and successfully completing an ACEND-sccredited Dietetic Internship.
  3. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for Registration Dietitian Nutritionist.

Students who wish to become a registered dietitian must complete the DPD program, obtain a verification statement, and sit for the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam.

Effective January 1, 2024, the 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 addition, the CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by ACEND. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD at SFA are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program such as the Dietetic Internship (DI) program at SFA. Once they have completed the 1,200-hour supervised practice experience, candidates are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN, visit the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics' information for students webpage. You can calculate the annual costs of the programs using the SFA tuition calculator.

The DPD and DI programs at SFA are granted accreditation by ACEND of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly the American Dietetic Association, 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6955, (312) 899-0040, ext. 5400.