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University of Pittsburgh    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
  May 27, 2024
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nutrition and Dietetics, BS

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Proper nutrition plays a major role in the maintenance of health and the quality of life, prevention and treatment of certain diseases, as well as recovery and rehabilitation following physiological trauma. Although a number of professions include nutrition as one area of research and/or practice interest, it is the profession of dietetics that dedicates its efforts entirely to the improvement of the nutritional status of people and the advancement of the science of nutrition. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) possess specialized education to provide nutritional care to people, both well and ill, by using their expertise in nutrition science, food science, psychological and social significance of eating behavior management, food service management, counseling and education, and research methodology. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists practice in a variety of settings. These include hospitals and other health care institutions, industry, wellness and community programs, government, research, and private practice.

Preparation for a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist requires the completion of:

  • a bachelor’s degree and coursework verified by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • an accredited supervised practice experience
  • The National Registration Examination for Dietitians

The Nutrition and Dietetics program offers several options for meeting the eligibility requirements to take the registration examination:

  • Completion of a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. The BS degree is a Didactic Program in Dietetics accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. Following competition of the didactic BS degree, completion of an accredited post baccalaureate supervised practice program is required in order to be eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians. The University assumes no responsibility for the placement or supervision of graduates in supervised practice programs.
  • Completion of the Coordinated Master Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (CMD), which combines didactic education leading to a Master of Science degree with supervised practice. The CMD emphasis area is nutrition therapy. Admission prerequisites for the CMD are provided in the graduate bulletin or see The CMD is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Contact Information

Lori Cherok, MS, RDN, LDN, CNSC
Program Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
4042 Forbes Tower
Fax: 412-383-6636


Notification to Current and Prospective Students of the Closure of the Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) will be voluntarily closing effective May 31, 2020.   The last class of students that will be admitted to the DPD will be students who apply in the Spring Term of 2018 to begin the program as juniors in Fall 2018.  No students will be admitted after this time.  The DPD will maintain its ACEND accreditation status through May 31, 2020.  Students who do not complete all DPD course requirements by May 31, 2020 will not be considered graduates of an ACEND-accredited DPD.  For more information about the closure of the DPD, please contact Lori Cherok at

The Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition is committed to providing education and training to prepare students seeking to become Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists (RDNs) and will continue to provide programming that meets ACEND and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requirements.  Beginning in Fall 2019, the department will offer an entry-level graduate program, the Coordinated Master in Nutrition and Dietetics (Coordinated MS), which will provide both the didactic and the experiential practice competencies to meet eligibility requirements for the National Registration Examination for Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists. Interested students will apply in the Spring Term of 2019 to begin the Coordinated MS as juniors in Fall 2019.  For incoming Pitt freshmen, a guaranteed admit will be available to enable students to complete the BS/MS degree in 5 years by following the recommended course schedule.

  • University of Pittsburgh main and regional campus students admitted to the Coordinated MS with the prerequisite coursework will be able to graduate in 5 years with both a BS and MS degree. 
  • A post baccalaureate entry will be available for individuals with a BS from any accredited University to complete the Coordinated MS in 3 years to meet RDN eligibility requirements.
  • Undergraduate transfer students, who have completed all prerequisite coursework, may apply to the Coordinated MS program.

For information about this program, please contact Dr. Deborah Hutcheson at  

Beginning in Fall 2019, the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition will offer an undergraduate Bachelor of Science program in Nutrition Science.  Nutrition Science is an important discipline and course of study amid the changing healthcare landscape. Students who pursue this program will be prepared to work in many capacities to help further nutrition knowledge.  Graduates of the Nutrition Science program will be able to implement the knowledge and skills learned in industry, government, academia and NGOs. Graduates will be able to apply the science of food and nutrition to the well-being and health of people. This may include working on food and nutrition labeling laws, creating better food products and supplements and helping to educate others about the importance of nutrition. In addition, graduates of the BS in Nutrition Science program will be prepared to further their education in the health professions including professional graduate programs in nutrition, medicine, and dentistry among others. Students interested in this program will apply in the Spring Term of 2019 to begin as juniors in the Fall Term of 2019.  For information about this program, please contact Dr. Samara Joy Nielsen at   


Application Procedures

Admission to the Nutrition and Dietetics program requires successful completion of a minimum of 60 credits including all prerequisite courses below.  The deadline for submission of an application for admission consideration is March 15th annually.


Prerequisites for Admission


  Completion of the following courses: Credits  
  1. Foundations of Biology 1: BIOSC 0150   3  
  2. Foundations of Biology Lab 1: BIOSC 0050        1  
  3. Foundations of Biology 2:  BIOSC 0160   3  
  4. Introduction to Microbiology: HRS 1025   or BIOSC 1850   3  
  5. General Chemistry 1 with Lab:  CHEM 0110     4  
  6. General Chemistry 2 with Lab:  CHEM 0120   4  
  7. Organic Chemisty: Students should take Principles of
Organic Chemistry: CHEM 0350  offered each spring term
or must take both Organic  Chemistry 1: CHEM 0310   and 
Organic Chemistry 2: CHEM 0320  
  8. Economics: ECON 0800 , ECON 0100  , or ECON 0110     3  
  9. English Composition: ENGCMP 0200                3  
  10. Intensive Writing (W) Course: ENGCMP 0450   recommended 3  
  11. Algebra or higher math: MATH 0031  , MATH 0032  ,
MATH 0100  , or MATH 0200  
  12. Introduction to Psychology: PSY 0010   3  
  13. Public Speaking: COMMRC 0520   3  
  14. Introduction to Sociology: SOC 0010   3  
  15. Statistics: STAT 0200   or STAT 1000      3-4  
  16. Introduction to Human Nutrition:  HRS 1006   or NUTR 1006      3  
  17 Introduction to the Profession of Dietetics: NUTR 1600  
           Note: Transfer students may take this course in the
           Fall Term, of the Junior Year.

Admission Selection Criteria Include:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • A minimum prerequisite GPA of 2.5
  • A minimum grade of C- in all courses designated as prerequisites taken at the University of Pittsburgh.  If the course is taken at another college/university, a minimum grade of C is required.
  • Submission of one letter of recommendation (college instructor/professor, recent supervisor, or academic advisor preferred).
  • Submission of a personal statement discussing why the applicant is interested in the program and the field of nutrition and dietetics, professional goals, and any work or volunteer experience in the field. 


Please note that admission is competitive.  Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission.


Curriculum Sequence

The BS degree in Nutrition and Dietetics requires the completion of a minimum of 122 credits which includes 60 credits prior to admission and 62 credits of required courses taken within the program. The usual time required to complete the program after admission to the junior year is two years. The program curriculum is as follows:

Credits: 16

Junior Year - Spring Term

Credits: 16

Senior Year - Fall Term


Credits: 15

Senior Year-Spring Term

  • Electives - 3 Credits

Credits: 15

Total Program Credits: 62

Total Degree Credits: 122

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