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Nutritional Sciences BS, Dietetics Option

earn your degree from an accredited program

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Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

The B.S. Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics Option provides a deep and varied education that will prepare you for a career in nutrition as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). 

If you would like to become an RDN, earn your bachelor’s degree from UMass Lowell, a program that prepares you to earn a supervised practice-eligible verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Upon completion of our program, you will apply to a supervised practice program: Dietetic Internship, Future Education Model Graduate Program, Coordinated Program or Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway. See more details below.

The UMass Lowell DPD, BS In Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics Option has been granted Candidacy Status for Accreditation by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

Accreditation includes self-analysis, preparation of a selfstudy report, and an on-site evaluation visit by a team of professional peers. Dietetics educators and practitioners, appointed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) board, participate in the peer review process to determine if a program is achieving its own educational objectives and meeting the accreditation standards. 

The ACEND board accredits programs that are able to meet these standards. Candidacy status is awarded after review of an eligibility application and self study report and an on-site evaluation indicate that the program is progressing toward compliance with the Accreditation Standards and demonstrates institutional readiness to implement the proposed program. After candidacy for accreditation is granted, the program may enroll students. 

Students on premises and enrolled after candidacy is granted will be considered graduates of an accredited program on successful completion of the program. Accreditation status provided by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics - the accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered. ACEND® can be contacted by:

Website: ACEND Website
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Apply to a Supervised Practice Program

Please note that supervised practice is not a requirement for earning your undergraduate degree, however, it is necessary before you can become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

Upon completion of BS Nutrition, Dietetics Option program, you will apply to a supervised practice program: Dietetic Internship, Future Education Model Graduate Program, Coordinated Program or Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway.

These programs are competitive, and many are combined with graduate degree programs. These programs will provide you with the experience necessary (1200 hours across ACEND-defined domains and precepted by RDNs) to sit for the national Commission on Dietetic Registration CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

Students who have not completed the entirety of their supervised practice program by December 31, 2023, and who have not already earned a graduate degree (in any field), will have to earn a graduate degree to be eligible to sit for the national Commission on Dietetic Registration CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

Students applying to supervised practice will have to apply to their desired program via the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) or through the graduate program directly. Please review the Accredited Programs Directory to determine if the programs you are applying to require a DICAS or institution application. If using DICAS, you will need to register with D&D Digital Systems to participate in program matching. There is a $50.00 dollar fee for this matching service. View the Instructional Video for Applicants.

UMass Lowell does not currently offer distance learning.

Registration Examination: After successfully completing supervised practice hours and after January 01, 2014, also a graduate degree, students may sit for the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, please visit the CDR website.

Continuing Education: The NDTR must complete continuing professional educational requirements (75 hours of continuing education every five years) to maintain registration.

Every state has its own licensure requirements. Massachusetts licenses individuals who are not RDNs if he or she can provide evidence that they have earned a degree in the health sciences and have earned at least 900 hours of experience “in the field”. Being an RDN simplifies this process as the individual can earn licensure by providing completed CDR (Commission on Dietetic Registration) internship and examination evidence.

Program Outcomes: Program outcomes data are available upon request, please email: marykate_keyes@uml.edu.

Many RDNs workplaces, particularly those In medical and healthcare settings, require that an individual be credentialed as an RDN. 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionalists work in: 

  • Hospitals, HMO's or other health-care facilities, educating patients about nutrition and administering medical nutrition therapy as part of the health-care team. They may also manage the foodservice operations in these settings, as well as in schools, day-care centers and correctional facilities, over-seeing everything from food purchasing and preparation to managing staff. 
  • Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, educating clients about the connection between food, fitness and health. 
  • Food and nutrition-related business and industries, working in communications, consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, product development or consulting with chefs in restaurants and culinary schools. 
  • Private practice, working under contract with health-care or food companies, or in their own business. RDNs may provide services to foodservice or restaurant managers, food vendors and distributors or athletes, nursing home residents or company employees. 
  • Community and public health settings, teaching, monitoring and advising the public and helping improve their quality of life through healthy eating habits.
  • Universities and medical centers, teaching physician’s assistants, nurses, dietetics students, dentists and others the sophisticated science of foods and nutrition. 
  • Research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals directing or conducting experiments to answer critical nutrition questions and find alternative foods or nutrition recommendations for the public.

Visit UMass Lowell's full time undergraduate tuition and fees section.

Additional annual fees for undergraduate Nutritional Science BS, Dietetics option students include,

  • Estimated books: $1,200
  • Estimated health insurance (if not already covered) $1,570
  • Any medical expenses incurred are the responsibility of the student.

Fees for drug testing and criminal background checks are paid for by the university. Uniforms do not need to be purchased.

Scholarship information will be shared by the Program Director and faculty when available.