Bachelor of Science - Dietetics
Challenging courses and hands-on learning experiences prepare students for entry
into a dietetic internship, graduate school or immediate employment as a nutritionist.
You will experience:
- Quality education in dietetics/nutrition with a strong science foundation.
- Individualized attention in dietetics classes with a low student to faculty
- High-tech classrooms and a dietetic computer laboratory with specialized nutrient
- Real-world learning experiences in local community nutrition programs and health
- Academic and career advisement by experienced faculty who hold registered dietitian
(RD) and licensed
Nature of the Program
Dietitians and nutritionists plan food and nutrition programs and supervise the
preparation and serving of meals. They help to prevent and treat illnesses by promoting
healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications, such as the use of
less salt for those with high blood pressure or the reduction of fat and sugar intake
for those who are overweight.
Dietitians manage food service systems for institutions such as hospitals and schools,
promote sound eating habits through education, and conduct research. Major areas
of practice include clinical, community, management, and consultant dietetics.
Clinical dietitians provide nutritional services for patients in institutions
such as hospitals and nursing care facilities. They assess patients' nutritional
needs, develop and implement nutrition programs, and evaluate and report the results.
They also confer with doctors and other healthcare professionals in order to coordinate
medical and nutritional needs. Some clinical dietitians specialize in the management
of overweight patients or the care of critically ill or renal (kidney) and diabetic
patients. In addition, clinical dietitians in nursing care facilities, small hospitals,
or correctional facilities may manage the food service department.
Community dietitians counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices
designed to prevent disease and promote health. Working in places such as public
health clinics, home health agencies, and health maintenance organizations, community
dietitians evaluate individual needs, develop nutritional care plans, and instruct
individuals and their families. Dietitians working in home health agencies provide
instruction on grocery shopping and food preparation to the elderly, individuals
with special needs, and children.
Increased public interest in nutrition has led to job opportunities in food manufacturing,
advertising, and marketing. In these areas, dietitians analyze foods, prepare literature
for distribution, or report on issues such as the nutritional content of recipes,
dietary fiber, or vitamin supplements.
Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation
in healthcare facilities, company cafeterias, prisons, and schools. They hire, train,
and direct other dietitians and food service workers; budget for and purchase food,
equipment, and supplies; enforce sanitary and safety regulations; and prepare records
Consultant dietitians work under contract with healthcare facilities or
in their own private practice. They perform nutrition screenings for their clients
and offer advice on diet-related concerns such as weight loss or cholesterol reduction.
Some work for wellness programs, sports teams, supermarkets, and other nutrition-related
businesses. They may consult with food service managers, providing expertise in
sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning.
In 2002, most full-time dietitians and nutritionists worked a regular 40-hour week,
although some worked weekends. About 1 in 4 worked part time.
Dietitians and nutritionists usually work in clean, well-lighted, and well-ventilated
areas. However, some dietitians work in warm, congested kitchens. Many dietitians
and nutritionists are on their feet for much of the workday.
Dietitians and nutritionists held about 57,000 jobs in 2006 (U.S. Dept. of Labor
Statistics). More than half of all jobs were in hospitals, nursing care facilities,
outpatient care centers, or offices of physicians and other health practitioners.
State and local government agencies provided about 1 job in 5—mostly in correctional
facilities, health departments, and other public health-related areas. Some dietitians
and nutritionists were employed in special food services, an industry which includes
firms that provide food services on contract to facilities such as colleges and
universities, airlines, correctional facilities, and company cafeterias. Other jobs
were in public and private educational services, community care facilities for the
elderly (which includes assisted-living facilities), individual and family services,
home healthcare services, and the Federal Government—mostly in the U.S. Department
of Veterans Affairs.
Many work environments, particularly those in medical and health care settings,
require that an individual be credentialed as an RD.
Registered dietitians work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health
care, business and industry, public health, education, research, and private practice.
RDs work in:
- Hospitals, HMOs, 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, overseeing 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 businesses and industries, working in communications,
consumer affairs, public relations, marketing, or product development.
- Private practice, working under contract with health care or food companies,
or in their own business. RDs may provide services to food service or restaurant
managers, food vendors, and distributors, or athletes, nursing home residents, or
- Community and public health settings teaching, monitoring, and advising
the public, and helping to improve their quality of life through healthy eating
- Universities and medical centers, teaching physicians, nurses, dietetics
students, 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 recommendations
for the public.
What kind of salary do dietetic grads earn?
In 2011, the median annual income nationwide for
registered dietitians varied by practice area: high was $46,000, low was $24,020
(Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The Dietetic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association, ADA)., and graduates are prepared to enter an accredited internship prior to taking the Registered Dietitian Examination. The DPD Student Handbook contains more detailed information about this accredited program.
Who do I contact for more information about Dietetic?
Dr. Judith Ashley, Professor, Faculty Advisor
Phone: (775) 784-6487
Office: 110 Sarah Fleischmann Bldg, UNR Campus
Page last updated: 11/29/2012