There are three ways to enter the Dietitian Nutritionist Program. As an undergraduate, a post-baccalaureate, and as a graduate of a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
Prerequisite Requirements for Undergraduate & Post Baccalaureate Students
Completion of the following courses for a letter grade:
- General Chemistry 1 & 2 with lab, 8 credits
- Organic Chemistry 1 & 2, 6 credits (CHEM 0350, 3 credits, taken at Pitt will fulfill the requirement)
- Foundations of Biology 1, 3 credits
- Foundations of Biology 2, (genetics content) or Intro to Genetics, 3 credits
- Biology lab, 1 credit
- Intro to Microbiology, 3 credits (Food Microbiology will not fulfill the requirement)
- *Biochemistry, 3 credits
- Algebra (or higher math), 3 credits
- Statistics, 4 credits
- English Composition, 3 credits
- English Writing (W course), 3 credits
- *Introduction to Nutrition, 3 credits
- +Intro to Dietetics, 2 credits
- +Food and Culture, 3 credits
- Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits
- Communications, 3 credits
- Business, or Economics, 3 credits
- Humanities or Social Science, 3 credits
- Electives, 6 (*Elective credits may be split in to multiple courses ie. Freshman Program, Physical Education, First
- Aid/CPR, etc.)
*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
+These courses can be taken in the first year of the Dietitian Nutritionist Program for BS and Post Baccalaureate entryway students.
Additional Requirements for DPD Students
Additional Prerequisites for students who have completed, or who are currently completing, a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are outlined below:
- Nutrition Assessment, 3 credits
- Nutrition Education, 3 credits
- Nutrient Metabolism, 3-6 credits
- Food Applications with Lab, 4 credits
- Food Service Management, 3 credits
- Life Cycle Nutrition, 3 credits
- Nutrition Therapy, 3 credits
- Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0)
- A minimum grade of C- in all courses designated as prerequisites taken at the University of Pittsburgh; a C or better is required for transfer.
March 15; however, we encourage students to apply prior to the deadline as the program will begin reviewing applications and interviewing in January.
All applicants must:
- Complete the SHRS ApplyYourself application;
- Submit a self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian;
- Submit resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required;
- Submit three letters of recommendation: one from a registered dietitian, one from a supervisor in volunteer or work experience and one form a college professor. These letters should address the applicant’s academic, professional and personal attributes and potential for meaningful graduate study. At least one letter should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service;
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended; a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale is required.
Applications can be submitted when course requirements are in progress.
Admission is for the fall term only.
International applicants please review specific requirements here.
All candidates and graduates must possess the essential physical, cognitive and behavioral abilities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of an entry-level dietitian. Candidates with disabilities will be considered on a case by case basis. The following link provides detailed information on the technical standards.
Please note that this program requires students to complete portions of their education (e.g., supervised practice experiences) at facilities external to the University to meet requirements for graduation. Many of these external facilities require screening measures such as, but not limited to, criminal background check, child abuse clearance, health appraisal, fingerprint-based background check and/or drug test prior to placement at the facility. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options for the student which can, in turn, result in an inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act abuse may prevent the student from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice in the field.
The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University’s mission. For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, contact the Office of Affirmative Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, 412-648-7860412-648-7860.
The Dietitian Nutritionist Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.), (ACEND@eatright.org), phone (1-800-877-1600 or 1-800-877-1600 x5400), or mail (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995).
Program Mission, Goals and Objectives
The mission of the Coordinated Program is the development of graduates with the competence and advanced skills to practice effectively as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) to enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals and diverse populations. In addition, the vision is to lead among dietetics programs in advancing knowledge, skills, and evidence-based practice of RDNs.
The program goals are:
1. Development of graduates with the competence and advanced skills to practice effectively as entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).
2. To prepare entry-level graduates with advanced knowledge and skills that contribute to the evidence-informed practice of RDNs.
Program outcomes are available upon request.