2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Dec 04, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Nutrition and Dietetics (B.S.)

Location(s): Brookings Main Campus

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Program Coordinator/Contact

Chris Comstock, Lecturer
School of Health and Consumer Sciences
Wagner Hall 445, Box 2275A

Program Information

Dietetics is the education and practice of food, nutrition and wellness and offers a wide variety of jobs in the health promotion, wellness, nutrition care and foodservice administration areas. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) provide nutrition education and counseling and are pivotal in preventive health care and community nutrition programs. Additionally, a RDN is essential to the total care of a patient in a healthcare facility through nutritional assessment and medical nutrition therapy. Students develop an understanding and competency in food, nutrition, wellness, and management and a background in the basic and behavioral sciences to apply the science of nutrition for the promotion of health and disease prevention.

The employment opportunities are in health promotion and wellness programs, public health agencies, foodservice and food production industries, schools, universities, the armed services, hospitals, nursing homes, and state, national and international organizations. Governmental regulations require the services of dietitians in federally supported programs. The consulting services of a dietitian are often sought by architects and hospital administrators in planning and equipping food preparation and services facilities.

Mission and program objectives are available on the Nutrition and Dietetics homepage at www.sdstate.edu/health-and-nutritional-sciences/nutrition-and-dietetics. Program outcome data are available upon request from the program director.

Accreditation, Certification and Licensure

The program has been continuously approved/accredited since inception by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Didactic Program in Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995), the accrediting agency for Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (http://www.eatright.org/resources/acend).

All students successfully graduating from SDSU with a B.S. degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and the courses required to receive a verification statement must have a “B” or better in NUTR 315 - Human Nutrition (COM)  and “C” or better in all major (course with NUTR prefix) coursework to receive the verification statement. To become a RDN, one must complete an accredited didactic program in dietetics, a bachelor’s degree, an accredited supervised practice (dietetic internship) and pass the Commission on Dietetics Registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionist. In 2024, a graduate degree will also be required to take the CDR registration examination. The dietetic internships are post-graduation, require additional fees, and are competitive. To practice in the state of South Dakota the RDN must apply for licensure through the State Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners (www.sdbmoe.gov).

Course Delivery Format

The program offers coursework through lecture, discussion, and laboratory experiences.

Additional Program Requirements

Students must be current on immunizations and complete a criminal background check to complete education components of program. Additional costs may also be incurred for laboratory coats and student membership in the national organization of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics major, students will:

  • Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions.
  • Select and use appropriate current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
  • Apply critical thinking skills.
  • Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.
  • Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice.
  • Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.
  • Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates.
  • Demonstrate cultural humility, awareness of personal biases and an understanding of cultural differences as they contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Describe contributing factors to health inequity in nutrition and dietetics including structural bias, social inequities, health disparities and discrimination.
  • Participate in a nutrition and dietetics professional organization and explain the significant role of the organization.
  • Defend a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.
  • Use the Nutrition Care Process and clinical workflow elements to assess nutritional parameters, diagnose nutrition related problems, determine appropriate nutrition interventions and develop plans to monitor the effectiveness of these interventions.
  • Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.
  • Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups.
  • Practice routine health screening assessments, including measuring blood pressure and conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol).
  • Describe basic concepts of nutritional genomics and how they relate to medical nutrition therapy, health and disease.
  • Develop nutritionally sound meals, menus and meal plans that promote health and disease management and meet client’s/patient’s needs.
  • Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.
  • Evaluate a budget/financial management plan and interpret financial data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.
  • Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.
  • Apply safety and sanitation principles related to food, personnel and consumers.
  • Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.
  • Evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.
  • Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.
  • Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.
  • Practice how to self-advocate for opportunities in a variety of settings (such as asking for needed support, presenting an elevator pitch).
  • Practice resolving differences or dealing with conflict.
  • Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.

Academic Requirements

A minimum final grade of “C” is required in all NUTR prefix required courses in the major to graduate.

Requirements for Nutrition and Dietetics Major: 120 Credits

Bachelor of Science

College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements

Major Requirements


Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Total Required Credits: 120

Summary of Program Requirements

Bachelor of Science

System General Education Requirements* 33 Credit Hours
College of Education and Human Sciences Requirements 4 Credit Hours
Major Requirements 82 Credit Hours
Electives** 1 Credit Hours

*System General Education Requirements for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree shall include a minimum of 30 credit hours. Some general education coursework may be counted for Major Requirements and Supporting Coursework.
**Taken as needed to complete any additional degree requirements.

Academic Advising Guide Sheet

The goal of the academic advising guide sheets and sample plans of study is to promote undergraduate student success by guiding all students to timely completion of an undergraduate degree. Students are not limited to the course sequence provided for their academic program. Instead, the sample plan of study is one possible path to completing your degree and is meant to be used as a guide for planning purposes in consultation with an academic advisor. The plans also help students prepare for meetings with their academic advisor and track their progress in their selected academic program.