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Stephen F. Austin State University

Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences (DPD)

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) was initially approved in 1973 by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The program is housed in the School of Human Sciences at SFA. The DPD program is part of the food, nutrition and dietetics (FND) major, which is one of the five majors in the school. The School of Human Sciences is located in the James I. Perkins College of Education.

The major in food, nutrition and dietetics provides two concentrations:

There are no specific admission requirements for the DPD, so interested students must follow the admission requirements outlined by the university.

For more information about employment opportunities and a guide to successful completion of the program, view the dietetics and nutritional sciences experiential major matrix brochure.

For an estimation of tuition costs by academic semester, state of residence and delivery method of the course, view the SFA tuition and fees webage. This includes any fees associated with attending the university. View a detailed list of fees.

For information about living on campus, including costs, visit the Residence Life website. Note that SFA has a requirement to live on campus unless you have 60 credit hours or are 21+ years of age. To get this waived, complete an off-campus permit.

For meal plan information and pricing, visit the SFA Dining website. Meal plans are required if living on campus but optional if living off campus.

Other program-specific estimated expenses include:

Graduation (SFA students only) $50
Uniforms/lab coats (SFA students only) $100
Educational materials (SFA students only) $1,200
Academy membership (optional) $58

View information on financial aid at SFA.

Registered Dietitian Concentration (DPD)

The registered dietitian focus is the pathway that equips you with food, nutrition and dietetics knowledge required of a registered dietitian. You will receive a verification statement at the end of the program indicating that you have met the requirements to apply for a dietetic internship.

The DPD program is mandatory for those wanting to pursue a career as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and a dietetic technician, registered (DTR).

How to become a registered dietitian (DPD program)

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 Stephen F. Austin State University (dietetics courses-registered dietitian focus and pre-professional courses-registered dietitian focus).
  2. Acquire supervised practice experience by competing for and successfully completing an Accredited Dietetic Internship.
  3. Pass the CDR credentialing exam for Registration Dietitian Nutritionist.

Students who wish to become a DTR must complete the DPD program, obtain a verification statement, and sit for the DTR Exam.

Pre-professional Concentration (DPD)

If you're preparing to go to a health professional school or program, food, nutrition and dietetics is a great major! Professional programs and schools don't require a certain major, Instead, they want students to pick a major that interest them while fulfilling the course requirements.

These programs and schools are looking for diversity and innovation within their students. Make your application stand out with a major in nutrition. With this major, you'll learn how to apply all of the sciences that are required for most pre-professional programs to multiple disease processes. You will also learn nutritional therapy for multiple health conditions throughout the lifecycle, develop counseling skills and get hands on experience through our experiential learning opportunities.

The pre-professional focus provides the upper level sciences typically required for this educational route, plus, the verification statement needed to apply to a dietetic internship in order to become a registered dietitian. The dietetics courses and pre-professional tracks are part of the Education for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Both focus areas require courses that are heavily science oriented, such as cell biology, chemistry (inorganic and organic) and biochemistry. If you are a science whiz and chemistry comes naturally to you, then this major is for you! If not, don't despair. You can get tutoring help at SFA's Academic Assistance and Resource Center (AARC).

In fact, some of our students in the past actually worked in the AARC, helping students through organic chemistry. Don't let your fear of the sciences prevent you from majoring in food, nutrition and dietetics and having your dream job!

Tarleton State University Consortium Agreement

In fall 2020, SFA entered a consortium agreement with Tarleton State University (TSU) whereby TSU students receiving a degree in public health with a concentration nutrition science can take six courses through SFA (NUTR 4309, 4335, 4339, 4349, 4379 and RSTO 4331) and meet all ACEND requirements to receive a verification statement and continue their education to become registered dietitian nutritionists, if desired.

TSU students in this degree will receive a Bachelor of Science degree from TSU (home institution) and a verification statement from SFA (consortium provider institution). For more information about the SFA/TSU consortium, TSU students can visit the TSU website or contact consortium coordinators:

Tarleton State University Consortium Coordinator
Paula McKeehan, MS, RD, LD
Tarleton State

SFA Consortium Coordinator
Sarah Drake, MS, RD, LD



Our degree plans and degree maps indicate which courses are required and course sequencing recommendations. Visit the Perkins College of Education website and scroll down to find the Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences: Registered Dietitian and Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences: Pre-Professional Registered Dietitian degree plans and maps.

Our DPD Student Handbook is an excellent resource to learn more about the DPD program.

Our handy guide Dietetic Internship Information for DPD Students will provide more information on what you will need before applying to our dietetic internship and how to apply when you are ready to take that next step.

For more information about employment opportunities and a guide to successful completion of the program, see our brochure.

Our program follows the SFA academic calendar.