In addition to these programs, students may major in Food and Nutrition and complete the requirements to apply for medical, pharmacy, or physical therapy schools. Students wishing to meet these requirements should choose the nutrition sciences concentration.
Please visit the UA majors website to view course requirements of the food and nutrition major.
In order to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, you must complete a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and didactic coursework approved by ACEND (step 1); then you must complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (step 2 or in conjunction with step 1); and lastly, you must pass the national Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist exam (step 3). To find out more about becoming a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, please visit the Academy’s website.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.
Do you have an aptitude for science, a strong interest in food, nutrition, and health, a concern for people, and the ability to plan and direct programs? Well, keep reading. The food and nutrition major may be the right one for you!
To be successful, students need a strong foundation in science. Human anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry and biochemistry provide the foundation for the study of nutrition. Math, English, social sciences, and management are also important. Courses in food and nutrition help the student develop into a professional who is able to work with people to improve their diets and their health.
Diverse career opportunities await graduates in major medical centers, small hospitals, public health programs, community agencies, private consulting firms, higher education, corporate wellness programs, and in business and industry.
The food and nutrition major offers two options for preparation to be a Registered Dietitian as well as the flexibility to prepare for entrance into medical school. The first option is the coordinated program in dietetics which is accredited by The American Dietetics Association. This option combines the theory presented in class with experience in health care settings under the supervision of faculty and other health professionals. Students are eligible to take the national examination to become Registered Dietitians immediately upon graduation. Students apply for admission to the coordinated program in the second semester of the sophomore year. Admission decisions are based on grades in relevant courses, score on the pretest, letters of reference, and interview.
The second option to become a Registered Dietitian is the didactic program in dietetics, which is approved by The American Dietetics Association. This program prepares graduates to enter dietetic internships where they can apply the theories they learn as undergraduates in health care settings under the supervision of health professionals. Subsequently, they are eligible to take the national examination and become Registered Dietitians.
With an increased emphasis on health promotion and increased knowledge about the important role diet plays in treating various diseases, food and nutrition makes an excellent undergraduate major for students interested in attending medical school. Students interested in going to medical school should work with a faculty advisor to develop a program of study that will meet their needs.
The Registered Dietitian credential is the key to securing a good job offer. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the employment of R.D.′s is expected to grow faster than average through the next decade. Most graduates secure competitive salaries in the $30,000 to $40,000 a-year range. Graduates willing to relocate usually have several job offers before they graduate. The Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management has been successful placing students from both of these programs.
You bet! During the first two years, students take laboratory courses that provide opportunities for constant interaction with faculty. Students completing the coordinated program rotate through clinical and management experiences at a major medical facility such as DCH Regional Medical Center or the Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration Medical Center and complete a community nutrition experience at a public health department such as West Alabama Health Department. Students completing the didactic program obtain these experiences through their dietetic internship. By the time they take the R.D. examination and apply for that first job, our graduates have had ample opportunity to apply what they have learned to real world situations.
The University of Alabama is committed to academic excellence and is dedicated to maintaining a strong Food and nutrition program. Faculty have professional experience as well as outstanding academic credentials in their areas of expertise.
Selecting a professional program like food and nutrition in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at The University of Alabama offers students the best of both worlds. You benefit from the vast array of opportunities that are available at a large, comprehensive university. And, you get the individual attention that comes from a small, student-centered college.
By selecting a major in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, you will get the best of both worlds. You will complete a professional program of study that prepares you for the real world. And, you will obtain the strong liberal arts education for which The University of Alabama is known. Students who begin their college careers in fall 1998 or later will complete a different set of core curriculum or general education requirements than will be required of students who first took courses prior to that date. For specific information about core curriculum and professional program requirements refer to the UA Undergraduate Catalog that is in effect when you enter. But, regardless of the core curriculum requirements that apply to your program of study, you will obtain a solid foundation that provides you with critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. In your first two years, you will take courses in freshmen composition, social science, humanities, and mathematics, which satisfy your particular core curriculum requirements. And, you will complete either a year of a foreign language or courses approved to satisfy the computer requirement. During your junior and senior years, you will be expected to take at least two semesters of advanced coursework in your major in which you must demonstrate writing proficiency. After you take some introductory courses in your major in your first two years, you will complete advanced coursework to obtain the expertise that is necessary for entry level positions in your field. Food and Nutrition majors will take courses in normal nutrition, nutrition in the life cycle, community nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, food service management, personnel management, food science, experimental food science, and quantity food production and service.
As soon as you become a major in food and nutrition you will be assigned a faculty advisor who will work with you throughout your college career. Your faculty advisor will help explain degree requirements, help you select the right courses each semester, and help you get involved in professional organizations. Many of your classes will be small, providing you an opportunity to get to know your professors and to receive more individualized attention.
The success of our graduates attests to the quality of the food and nutrition program at The University of Alabama. Many pursue professions as dietitians. Some launch successful careers in related fields such as journalism. Others attend graduate school, medical school, or law school.
We appreciate your interest in our program. While a personal visit is not required for admission, it helps you gain perspective about our programs, students, faculty, and facilities. To arrange for a visit or obtain additional information, contact us at the Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management, College of Human Environmental Sciences, 403 Russell Hall, Box 870311, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0311 or (205) 348-6157. You can also FAX us at (205) 348-2982 or visit our website: nhm.ches.ua.edu