Although there are no schools in Kentucky offering holistic nutrition degree programs, several offer options in nutrition and dietetics. Students can choose a bachelor's or master's-level program, and concentrations may be available in food management, sports nutrition, community nutrition or biochemical nutrition.
Most of the schools described below offer dietetics programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Graduates who successfully complete one of these dietetics programs and an internship are eligible to take the national certification exam and become registered dietitians. Graduates of programs that haven't been accredited by ACEND are eligible for other positions in the food industry.
Below are overviews of each of the schools offering nutrition programs in Kentucky, followed by a comparison table.
Berea College is a 4-year, private not-for-profit school that offers a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies with a nutrition and food studies concentration at the college's 140-acre campus located in Berea. Students learn about lifespan human development, consumer decision making, family relations, family resource management, and nutrition fundamentals. The curriculum also covers food production systems and consumer marketing practices, quality standards and food preservation, manufacturing processes, and principles of menu planning. General education requirements include algebra, critical thinking, scientific knowledge and inquiry, identity and diversity, and global issues. The program also requires courses on lifetime health and fitness, physical activity, practical reasoning, and mathematics or statistics.
Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University is a public institution of higher learning located in Richmond that began as the Eastern Kentucky State Normal School in 1906. The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences administers the bachelor's program in general dietetics and the master's program in community nutrition.
The Bachelor of Science in General Dietetics is an 8-semester Didactic Program in Dietetics that focuses on human anatomy, food hygiene, chemistry, medical terminology, behavioral science, and food production. This program has received ACEND accreditation, and those who successfully complete the program and a dietetics internship can take the registration examination offered by the Commission for Dietetic Registration.
Students in the Master of Science in Community Nutrition program have two tracks to choose from. Option one requires students to complete 30 hours of graduate-level courses. Option two requires 36 hours of graduate courses and prepares graduates to take the registration examination necessary to become a registered dietician. Both options require written and oral comprehensive examinations.
Murray State University
Murray State University is a public school that offers degree programs in nutrition, dietetics, and food management through the College of Health Sciences and Human Services in Murray. Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate program can choose one of three tracks that are offered with the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management degree program. These tracks are nutrition and foods, dietetics, and food management.
The nutrition and foods track isn't geared toward those who want to become registered dieticians, but provides students with a knowledge base to prepare them for a variety of positions in the food industry. The curriculum includes courses in food service personnel and facilities management, food safety and sanitation, meal management, and experimental foods. A quantity food production practicum is also required in this 120-credit program.
Students interested in becoming registered dieticians can enroll in the ACEND-accredited track in dietetics, which requires the completion of 123-125 credits. In addition to classroom lectures and lab sessions, students complete a 1200-hour internship program with clinical rotations in the areas of food service management, community nutrition, and clinical nutrition.
The food management track requires the completion of 120 credits in core concentration coursework as well as general education credits. Students learn about food science and preparation, quantity food production, community nutrition and health, meal management, and the fundamentals of management. The curriculum includes a 400-hour job practicum that provides students with the opportunity to acquire industry-related experience in the areas of food management, production, and purchasing.
The Master of Science in Nutrition is an individually-designed program that requires students to complete coursework in the areas of counseling, statistics, and research. A research project is required. Students can choose elective courses in health counseling and managed care, ethical issues in human services, and pathophysiology. Admission to the program requires completion of a dietetics internship and a passing grade on the national certification examination for registered dieticians.
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky offers students a variety of degree programs in dietetics and nutrition in Lexington. Program options include undergraduate studies at the bachelor's level and more advanced programs leading to a master's degree.
Students who pursue the Bachelor of Science in Dietetics program, which has been accredited by ACEND, have two options. The Didactic Program in Dietetics, Option A, prepares individuals to complete an accredited dietetic internship program. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Option B, prepares participants to pursue the registered dietitian credential and includes the supervised internship. Coursework within both programs include classes in nutrition and wellness, quantity food production, institutional purchasing, nutritional biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, and wellness.
The 4-year Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition program explores human nutrition and allows students to prepare for advanced study in similar fields, including nutrition research and public health. The curriculum for the 4-year plan of study includes classes in food preparation, food service sanitation, experimental foods, nutritional biochemistry, community nutrition, and nutrition research.
Students interested in combined studies in hospitality and dietetics may want to explore the school's Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems program, which integrates elements of both industries with a focus on administration, decision making, and leadership. Program options are Plan A for 24 credit hours with a 6-hour thesis research project and Plan B, which requires 30 credit hours plus 6 hours for a research project, and 6 hours for special problems. Coursework includes management of hospitality and dietetics organizations, basic statistical analysis, strategic planning, advanced trends analysis, and advanced work in dietetics.
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University offers a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and Dietetics through the Family and Consumer Sciences Department in Bowling Green. This program offers three concentrations, including one in nutrition and dietetics and another in food, nutrition, and wellness. The nutrition and dietetics program is accredited by ACEND and prepares students to become registered dieticians. The food, nutrition and wellness program doesn't prepare graduates for careers as registered dieticians, but provides a background for other jobs in the food industry, such as working in food service management, community food programs, or extension services.
In order to work as a dietician in Kentucky, an individual must obtain a license from the Kentucky Board of Licensure and Certification for Dieticians and Nutritionists. Licensure requires registration with the Commission on Dietetic Registration, and a passing grade on the national certification exam is required for registration.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Nutrition Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Berea College||4-year, private not-for-profit; distant town||Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Studies with Nutrition and Food Studies Concentration||$39,990*|
|Eastern Kentucky University||4-year, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in General Dietetics,
Master of Science in Community Nutrition
| $9,666 in-state;
|Murray State University||4-year, public; remote town|| Bachelor of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Management,
Master of Science in Nutrition
| $9,084 in-state;
|University of Kentucky||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Dietetics,
Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition,
Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems
| $12,245 in-state;
|Western Kentucky University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management and Dietetics||$10,512 in-state; $26,280 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.