Information for Postgraduate Students
This section is for those who already have a bachelor's degree and want to return to college to complete the dietetics curriculum and receive a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics is an academic program consisting of undergraduate courses. Completing the MS in Nutrition at OSU does not earn the verification statement needed to apply to ACEND-accredited dietetic internships. The MS in Dietetics at OSU is for those who are already registered dietitians or those who have completed a dietetic internship.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) if I already have a bachelor's degree?
You will need to complete a specific set of coursework in preparation to apply for and be successful in a dietetic internship and to take the RDN exam. The dietetics curriculum has been designed to meet the accreditation standards of the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This means that the curriculum is designed around a required set of knowledge requirements and consists of undergraduate coursework.
After completing the required courses and receiving a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement from the DPD director, you can apply for an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship (DI). DI application is a very competitive process as there is a significant shortage of internship positions across the U.S. Over the past five years, an above average percentage of OSU DPD students who applied were accepted to dietetic internships each year, as opposed to the nationwide rate acceptance rate of about 50 percent. Maintaining a strong grade point average is extremely important along with work, volunteer and leadership experience.
There are over 250 ACEND-accredited dietetic internships in the U.S. Internships must include 1200 hours of supervised practice. Many involve graduate school hours with the option or requirement to complete the master’s degree. The OSU Dietetic Internship requires completion of a master’s degree in nutrition and takes about 24 to 29 months to complete. You do not have to earn a master's degree to become an RDN at this time, but a master’s degree will be required after January 1, 2024.
After the completion of a dietetic internship, you will be qualified to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist exam, which is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy. Registration fees ($60) are paid annually. Seventy-five hours of continuing education must be completed over a five-year period to remain registered.
What courses do I need to take?
For a preliminary look at the courses that need to be taken, download the Transcript Evaluation Checklist for Post-baccalaureates which is posted in the Forms section. Compare the courses on the list to your transcript.
You need to have earned a "C" or better in all NSCI equivalent courses, or you will need to retake the course at OSU. If you have a "D" in any of the other courses, the DPD Director will recommend that you retake the course, especially science courses. A "D" signifies that you do not have an understanding of the subject matter, and the grade will vary significantly affect your chances of obtaining a dietetic internship.
How do I confirm the courses I've taken match up with the DPD required course list?
If you are currently enrolled at OSU, the DPD director will review your transcript in Banner and visit with you about the courses that you will need to take or provide a preliminary list via e-mail. Once you are enrolled in NSCI courses, a formal letter with the list of courses that you will need to take will be sent to you and placed in a departmental file. You may appeal the decision if you believe that one or more completed courses cover required DPD content. For more detailed evaluations of courses, you will need to supply course syllabi and assignments and discuss the courses with the DPD Director. The goal is to identify the knowledge requirements which have been covered in previous courses. The process is reserved for OSU students because it is time-intensive.
If you are not admitted or enrolled at OSU and you want a formal evaluation, the DPD director will need official copies of your transcripts. The fee for a formal transcript evaluation is $35. A check made out to Oklahoma State University should be sent to: Department of Nutritional Sciences, Attn: DPD Director, 301 Human Sciences, Stillwater, OK, 74078, along with your official transcripts and the Request for Transcript Evaluation Form, found here.
The DPD director will consult transfer course equivalency guides. When the evaluation is complete, you will receive a list of the required courses needed.
After a prospective student is enrolled, the DPD director will do any specific course evaluations that involve looking at the course syllabi that are requested.
Transcript evaluations are effective for one year. After that time, the list of required courses will need to be updated, according to any changes in the DPD curriculum.
Do you offer course credit for work experience?
No, the DPD does not award course credit for prior work experience. However, a dietetic internship may give you credit towards your rotation hours, and your work may show continued competence in completed coursework.
Do you offer courses online, at night or in Tulsa?
Our program is a traditional on-campus program. Very few hours are offered online or in the evening. Freshman and sophomore level courses are offered at Tulsa Community College (TCC). We have a 2+2 transfer agreement with TCC. Please email email@example.com for more information. A student does not need to retake general education courses for a second bachelor’s degree.
In what order would I take classes and how long will it take to complete the DPD courses?
If you have not taken basic science courses such as biology and chemistry, it will take longer. There are four semesters of sequential chemistry courses (Chem 1 and 2, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry). If your first degree was unrelated to dietetics, it’s possible that very few courses will count toward the Dietetics curriculum.
The current Plan of Study can be found here, which shows the course sequence in and prerequisites. Some of our courses are only offered in the spring or in the fall.
After you are admitted to OSU, you will work with an advisor to plan your course work schedule.
Should I pursue a second bachelor's degree?
You may, it is recommended but you don’t have to earn a second degree to receive the DPD verification statement. A student must take at least 30 hours and complete all degree requirements for the second degree so those completing the dietetics curriculum generally qualify for the second bachelor's degree. If you have a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences under another option, you may not earn a second degree in nutritional sciences.
May I earn a master's degree or Ph.D. while completing the DPD requirements?
You may complete DPD requirements concurrently with graduate courses, but the DPD requirements will not count toward a graduate degree with only a very few exceptions. You’ll need to work with your graduate advisor and the DPD director to coordinate the courses that you need to take.
If your bachelor’s degree is in a subject area other than nutrition, a minimum of 30 credit hours of undergraduate nutrition-related coursework is needed in order to be admitted to the graduate program. At least one course in biochemistry and one upper-level nutrition course is required prior to full admission to the program.
Dr. Deana Hildebrand is the NSCI Graduate Coordinator.
What if my degree is from an international institution?
If your degree is not from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, you will need to have your transcript and degree evaluated by an ACEND-approved international transcript evaluation agency. You should have a copy of the evaluation sent to any program in which you are seriously interested.
The DPD director will only be able to provide unofficial information until the international transcript evaluation is received from the agency.
It is important that you understand your visa and funding status as an international student.
How can I learn more about the OSU Dietetic Internship Program?