Nutritional Sciences

The Department of Nutritional Sciences advances health and quality of life of individuals and communities and prepares professionals through discovery, education and application of scientific knowledge.

Graduates are prepared to apply nutrition knowledge in dietetic internships, healthcare professional schools, graduate programs and food and nutrition-related professions. Four degree options and a minor are offered through the department.

The human nutrition/premedical sciences option is ideal for students desiring greater depth in the physiological and biochemical sciences in preparation for medical and other professional schools, graduate study and research in human nutrition. It includes the prerequisites for admission to most medical, dental, optometry and pharmacy schools. The allied health option provides required coursework for most nursing schools, physician assistant programs, schools of physical and occupational therapy, dental hygiene and other health professions. The public health nutrition option offers coursework for positions in nutrition education, wellness, school food service management and other areas as well as the prerequisites for the MS in Athletic Training. The dietetics option provides the coursework required to become a Registered Dietitian (see OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics below).

The mission of the OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics is to promote human health and quality of life by preparing students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a RDN. The dietetics profession is diverse and dynamic, integrating human nutrition, food service administration, food science, chemistry, physiology, management and interpersonal skills. The dietetics option is the only option that includes the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) coursework required to apply for competitive dietetic internships (DI). When students successfully complete the academic requirements (DPD) and supervised practice component (DI), they are eligible for the national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy). Individuals who successfully complete the examination become Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists and are entitled to use the initials “RD” or “RDN” to signify professional competence. Many states, including Oklahoma, also require a license to practice dietetics in the state. Each state law varies in its scope. Didactic Program in Dietetics information and the DPD Student Handbook are found at https://education.okstate.edu/departments-programs/nutritional-sciences/didactic-program-dietetics/index.html.

The Didactic Program in Dietetics is currently granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, 312.899.0040 ext. 5400.

Nutrition professionals work in a wide range of settings, in both the public and private sectors and assume an array of challenging responsibilities. Career opportunities for a registered/licensed dietitian include:  health care dietitian and administrator, nutrition researcher, fitness/wellness consultant, public health nutritionist, school nutrition director, Cooperative Extension educator, entrepreneur in dietetic programs and services, and corporate dietitian/nutritionist. DPD Graduates who do not enter dietetic internships may work in related fields which do not require the RD credential such as school food service, Cooperative Extension, pharmaceutical or food sales, food service management and government programs; take the certified dietary manager (CDM) exam; or enter related graduate programs such as Master of Science in Public Health. Upon earning the DPD “verification statement,” students may take the CDR exam to become dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). University teaching and research in the field of nutrition and some specialized careers require advanced degrees or additional course work.

Admission Requirements

Transfer students must have earned a 2.5 retention GPA in order to be admitted to the NSCI undergraduate program.

Further information may be found at https://education.okstate.edu/departments-programs/nutritional-sciences/index.html.

Dietetic Internship

The dietetic internship (DI) at Oklahoma State University requires a bachelor’s degree and prior completion of the DPD requirements for admission and meets the Academy’s 1200-hour supervised practice requirement for registration eligibility. Its mission is to advance health and quality of life of individuals and communities by preparing dietetic professionals for competent practice through education, discovery and application of scientific knowledge. The internship provides experience in clinical, management, and community practice settings where interns develop entry-level practice competence. Entry into the dietetic internship is competitive, requiring an application to the OSU DI and NSCI Master’s of Sciences degree and participation in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics computer matching or pre-selection process. All students admitted to the Dietetic Internship must earn the departmental Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences (Dietetics Research option) or enter with at least an MS which is essentially equivalent to the NSCI MS (Dietetics Research option).

The Dietetic Internship at OSU is currently granted continuing accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995, 312.899.0040 ext. 5400.

Dietetic Internship information is found at https://education.okstate.edu/departments-programs/nutritional-sciences/dietetic-internship-program/index.html.