A Bachelor of Science in Dietetics is the most common type of undergraduate degree offered for aspiring dieticians, although undergraduate degrees in food science and nutrition are suitable as well. Such a degree program is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of nutrition and exercise, and it often incorporates elements of healthcare, wellness, community health and food service administration.
Some bachelor's degree programs in dietetics allow students to choose a concentration, such as sports nutrition, clinical nutrition or geriatric nutrition. Aspiring dieticians interested in pursuing an undergraduate degree in dietetics should enroll in a program that meets the requirements of the American Dietetic Association. Such a program can prepare students for professional dietetics licensure.
Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics
Students who are interested in enrolling in a 4-year undergraduate degree program for aspiring dietitians should first complete a high school diploma program or equivalent GED. College freshmen and sophomores looking to declare a major in dietetics should first complete prerequisite courses in mathematics, physical science, communication and college writing. The courses found within a bachelor's degree program in dietetics cover several areas of physical science and wellness studies. Some core examples of such courses include:
- Health enhancement
- Physiology and anatomy
- Food finance and cost control
- Chemical health science
- Food technology
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Dieticians study the effects that food and nutrition can have on the human body, and they often work in a clinical or advisory capacity. Dieticians and nutritionists held approximately 70,900 jobs in the United States in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Many of these individuals worked in hospitals, nursing care facilities or outpatient care centers. The job growth rate for dieticians and nutritionists is projected to be 11% from the years 2018 to 2028, which is considered to be faster than average. In 2018, the BLS noted that dieticians and nutritionists earned a median annual salary of $60,370.
Continuing Education Options
Master's degree programs in nutrition and dietetics can provide current or aspiring dieticians with an advanced knowledge of emerging research and technologies in the food science arena. It can also prepare individuals for upper-level consulting, management and research positions. The majority of U.S. states require that dieticians and nutritionists gain state licensure, certification or registration. Each state offers its own licensure procedures, but aspiring dieticians can also gain national certification from the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association.
Students interested in working as a dietician can complete a bachelor's degree program in dietetics, preferably one that meets the requirements of the American Dietetic Association. During this program, students will focus their studies on physical science and wellness.