Department of Dietetics and Nutrition

Cookie tested by penetrometerThe field of dietetics and nutrition is dynamic and rapidly evolving as more research is elucidated on the relationships between food, nutrition, human health and disease. With a greater emphasis on preventive health care and improved eating habits, we are committed to supporting our communities by promoting healthier lifestyles through better nutrition across diverse populations. To meet the ever-changing demands, we foster a synergistic approach to our evidence-based research initiatives. We also maintain more than 30 community partners across South Florida. Some of the most active are with local hospital systems such as Baptist Health, Memorial Regional and Broward Health. Others include Independent Living Systems, FLIPANY, Special Olympics, Broward County Public Schools and Miami Jewish Home.

Graduates from Stempel College’s award-winning Department of Dietetics & Nutrition often go on to work in health care systems, home health care, food service, private business, research and educational organizations after graduation. As vital members of medical teams in hospitals, long-term care facilities and health maintenance organizations, they provide medical nutrition therapy—using specific nutrition services to treat chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries.

The department met a significant milestone from January – June 2017 with a 100-percent passing rate on the national Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam for students in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). For the entire year of 2017, the pass rate average was 79 percent. The national pass rate benchmark is 80 percent. The department’s three-year pass rate average is 87 percent.

We are recognized for excellence in dietetics and applied nutrition research, and these efforts serve as the foundation for quality education and responsive community engagement. Our research advances the profession, promotes nutrition as disease treatment/prevention, integerates food and nutrition services in clinical, home and health networks; and trains professionals to serve the needs of diverse populations. For more information about the college’s top-line research topics, visit the research section of the website. To explore our state-of-the-art research facilities, click on the list of labs on the right side of this page.

To contact the department, call 305-348-2878 or email bsdn@fiu.edu for undergraduate degrees; call 305-348-2878 or email msdn@fiu.edu / phdn@fiu.edu for graduate degrees.

 

Meet our faculty/staff

Undergraduate Programs: Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Overview

Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition:

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Overview

We’re proud to have offered a viable and thriving didactic program since 1972. In order to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), a student needs to complete the DPD requirements in conjunction with their bachelor’s degree (BS) in Dietetics and Nutrition. The DPD is the academic component of the first of three steps to becoming an RDN. The second step is to apply for an accredited dietetic internship, which is the supervised practice component. The third step is to sit for the national RDN Registration Examination. Most states also require licensure or certification to begin practice. As with most professional careers, there’s an ongoing requirement for continuing education as you move into this specialized field. For more information about becoming a RDN, review the Requirements for Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

 DN students in food lab classroom

Accreditation Statement:

As of August 2017, the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) has been fully reaccredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for the maximum seven-year term. The next program review commences in 2024.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics(ACEND). In Florida, graduates must also obtain a state license to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD (Didactic Program in Dietetics) at Florida International University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program before applying to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN, please visit: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics | Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL  60606-6995 (800) 877-1600 

Program Philosophy and Information:

Mission: To provide students with a comprehensive, rigorous academic core of knowledge and skills so they are critically thinking graduates, who are ethically and culturally competent and prepared for evidence-based practice in the profession of nutrition and dietetics and/or post-baccalaureate educational programs. This track leads to the awarding of the Verification Statement, which is to confirm eligibility for an accredited dietetic internship. Goals and Objectives: Program outcome data is available to the public, including current and prospective students, upon request to the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics.

  • Goal 1– Graduates are prepared to become entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).
    • 1.1 Over a five-year period, 80 percent graduate within 150 percent of the normal program length (or within three years of successfully completing HUN 4240 Nutrition & Biochemistry).
    • 1.2 Over a five-year period, 25 percent of students will apply for supervised practice programs within 12 months of graduation.
    • 1.3 Over a five-year period, 50 percent of students applying for a supervised practice program/dietetic internship will be admitted.
    • 1.4 Over a five-year period, 80 percent of graduates will pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians on the first sitting or within one year of the first sitting.
  • Goal 2– Graduates will demonstrate knowledge and skills required for success in the field of dietetics and nutrition.
    • 2.1 Over a five-year period, 85 percent of Supervised Practice Program Directors will be satisfied with the background knowledge of DPD graduates.
    • 2.2 Over a five-year period, 85 percent of employers will be satisfied with the background knowledge of DPD graduates who enter related fields in dietetics.
    • 2.3 Over a five-year period, 75 percent of students will pass undergraduate comprehensive exam on the first or second sitting.

Current Undergraduate DPD Students:

Current students are encouraged to download and review the following academic advising resources:

Resources for applying to a Dietetic Internship:

 

Prospective Undergraduate DPD Students:

Prospective students are encouraged to download and review the following academic advising resources:

Undergraduate Programs: Nutrition Science Overview

Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition:

Nutrition Science Overview

The nutrition science track emphasizes the basic sciences—biology and chemistry—and uses this foundation to build up to the nutrition science core curriculum. Students explore optimal health, disease states, human physiology, metabolism, as well as the complex relationship between nutrients/non-nutrients in foods. This concentration was developed for students seeking a bachelor’s degree (BS) to enter pre-professional programs after graduating (E.g., medical/dental, occupational therapy, physical therapy, pharmacy, physician assistant, registered nurse or allied health sciences). However, this track does not lead to a Verification Statement, which is the case with the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).   Student working in lab

Current Students:

Nutrition Science Advising Sheet

 

Prospective Students:

Undergraduate Programs: Minor in Nutrition Overview

Minor in Nutrition Overview

The Minor in Nutrition is for students with the time and inclination to learn more about dietetics and nutrition, but are not interested in obtaining an internship to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or in applying to pre-professional programs. However, this track does not lead to a Verification Statement, which is the case with the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).  

Student Resources:

Graduate Programs: Master of Science (MS)

Our master’s of science degree program integrates dietetics and advanced nutrition science with research to prepare our students for successful careers. Employment opportunities for graduates are abundant in health care, wellness and food/food service industries. This MS program can serve as preliminary preparation for enrollment into a doctoral program, and career goals should be discussed with an advisor as soon as possible to ensure exceptional results.

Resources:

Verification Statement: Students with degrees from an accredited dietetics and nutrition program in the U.S. must provide an original copy of their Verification Statement once admitted to their program of study.

Graduate Programs: Registered Dietitian Option (RD)

Students interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD) must complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). Students that have not completed the DPD requirements have the opportunity to do so at the graduate level with a combination of undergraduate DPD courses and graduate courses.

Resources:

Graduate Programs: Dietetic Internship (DI)

The Department of Dietetics and Nutrition has successfully prepared dietetic practitioners through a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and a Coordinated Program (CP) for nearly five decades. As part of our continuous quality improvement efforts, the department has established a Dietetic Internship (DI) program. Aligning the DI with a graduate degree allows for an easier transition for students in the model proposed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which is the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Accreditation Statement:

The Dietetics Internship (DI) program at Florida International University’s (FIU) Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) | Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. For more information, call 800-877-1600 or visit eatrightpro.org/acend.

Program Philosophy and Information:

Mission: The mission of the Dietetics Internship (DI) program at Florida International University’s (FIU) Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work is to prepare competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists, through experiential learning and evidence-based practice, who are leaders with ethical and cultural proficiencies. The program is committed to training qualified practitioners who provide dietetic services that promote eating and lifestyle behaviors to enhance health and quality of life. Goals and Objectives: Program outcome data is available to the public, including current and prospective students, upon request to the Director of the Dietetic Internship.

  • Goal 1- Graduates will be prepared for entry-level practice as registered dietitian/nutritionists (RDN).
    • 1.1 At least 85 percent of interns will successfully complete the internship requirements within 150 percent (three semesters) of the time planned for completion (two semesters).
    • 1.2 Over a five-year period, 80 percent of those who successfully complete the internship program will pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians on the first attempt.
    • 1.3 At least 85 percent of those who complete the internship program and graduate with a master’s degree will find employment in the field of dietetics and nutrition within 12 months of graduation.
  • Goal 2- The program graduates will meet expectations of employers.
    • 2.1 In the first year of employment, at least 85 percent of employers will indicate they were very satisfied with the educational preparation of program alumni for entry-level practice.
    • 2.2 At least 80 percent of employers will be very satisfied that program alumni have ethical judgment and decision-making.
    • 2.3 At least 80 percent of employers will be very satisfied that program alumni have knowledge and awareness of peoples from other cultures.
    • 2.4 At least 80 percent of employers would be very likely to hire more graduates from our program.
  • Goal 3- The program graduates will demonstrate leadership in evidence-based practice.
    • 3.1 At least 80 percent of those who complete the internship and pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians will incorporate evidence-based practice into their professional activities and decisions.

 

Resources:

Graduate Programs: Ph.D.

The Department of Dietetics & Nutrition’s doctoral program prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in research, academia, government agencies, private industry and community-based organizations. Stempel College graduates have been successful in securing dynamic positions, including those who chose to be self-employed. This degree is the perfect credential for increasing your stature and earning potential as a consultant.

All of our doctoral students complete a 15-credit Research and Methods Core. In addition, each student develops, in consultation with his/her Dissertation Committee, an individualized plan of study for advanced coursework in dietetics and nutrition science. The plan of study may also include graduate courses from other Stempel College departments or from elsewhere within FIU, as appropriate to achieve individual educational and research objectives. This degree requires a minimum of 55 credits after a MS or 75 credits after a BS degree.

Our doctoral program allows students to study and work side-by-side with esteemed educators, researchers and practitioners who serve as mentors. The department also boasts state-of-the-art laboratories for research and teaching. Additionally, our faculty  conduct research off-campus in community-based settings, including acute/long-term care facilities, congregate meal sites and and home care settings.

 

Resources:

Graduate Programs: Certificate in Pediatric Nutrition

The fully online Graduate Certificate in Pediatric Nutrition program offers students at the post-baccalaureate level the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary concentration in the study of pediatric nutrition. The certificate empowers dietitians/nutritionists and other health care professionals to integrate nutrition into health care and public health settings with pregnant and lactating women, infants and children. The mission of the program is to advance the nutrition and health of children and families by promoting innovation and excellence in pediatric nutrition education, research and civic engagement locally, nationally and globally. The graduate certificate program requires the completion of 15 graduate credits. The pediatric nutrition student must have completed an undergraduate dietetics program or equivalent with a strong science background. The Graduate Certificate in Pediatric Nutrition is a fully online graduate/professional certificate program that consists of two core courses plus at least three additional specialty courses over an academic year.

Resources:

Check out the exciting RDN career paths for many of our graduates:

CLINICAL

  • Acute care
  • Education/research
  • Ambulatory care/rehabilitation facilities
  • Consultant/counseling (hospital or online)
  • Exercise physiology collaborations
  • Home health care
  • Military
  • Nutrition therapists: integrative medicine, nutrition genomics, function nutrition therapy
  • Pharmaceutical industry

COMMUNITY

  • Federal agencies
  • Consulting/private practice
  • Cooperative extension service
  • Corporate wellness/employee health
  • Cruise industry
  • Education/research
  • Health promotion
  • Marketing and sales
  • Media personality
  • Nursing home practitioner
  • Product development
  • Sports nutritionist
  • Textbook author

FOOD SERVICE/FOOD SCIENCE

  • Business management
  • Caterer
  • Private chef
  • Culinary arts and nutrition consulting
  • Food technology
  • Food service management / inventory
  • Military
  • Product manufacturing

Funding your education

At Stempel College, we understand that academic success can be affected by financial aid and funding opportunities. Our students have access to myriad funding options by degree level (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral) and by academic discipline (Public Health, Dietetics & Nutrition, Social Work). It’s important to understand the basics of applying for financial aid and the additional resources available to you as a Stempel College student. For more, please visit Funding Your Education in our website’s “Student Life” section.

Everything you need to know about applying for your preferred degree level or certificate in our various academic programs can be located by using the “Apply Now!” search tool below. For example, you can select your preferred degree level and unit/concentration in the drop-down fields. Alternatively, you can leave the search term field blank to conduct a search of the college’s entire academic repertoire.

Apply now!

  • Degree Level

  • Select Unit

  • Submit Search