FAQs / Application to DPD

Can the Didactic Program in Dietetics program prepare me for a professional credential?

Yes. Coursework supports applicants to:

  • Sit for the Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) exam
  • Apply for a Dietetic Internship for eligibility to take the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam

My undergraduate degree is in a completely different field. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes. If you already have a B.S., B.S.W., or B.A., you will still need to complete all required DPD courses to pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian, or RD. You will be required to complete foundation, knowledge, and skills as established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Upon successful completion of those courses, you will be issued a verification statement and you will be able to apply for dietetic internships with other students who are receiving their first bachelor’s degree.

Am I able to transfer in course credit from other institutions?

Yes. Accepted students are able to transfer in a select number of equivalent courses from other institutions. Any courses transferred into the program must have been taken within the past 7 years at an accredited institution. Course syllabi must be provided for all courses taken outside of Meredith College.

Do I need to have experience in nutrition or dietetics to apply?

No, but experience in the field is important part of our program and required for those applying to Dietetic Internships.

How long will it take for me to complete the program?

Most students are able to complete the DPD coursework in one year.

When are classes held?

Classes are held during the day.

When can I start?

Didactic Program in Dietetics program cohorts begin in May and August.

What Dietetic Internship programs have Meredith graduates been accepted into?

Meredith graduates have been accepted into numerous Dietetic Internship programs including Meredith College, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University and North Carolina Central University.

Are there other requirements for the Dietetics Program?

All students are required to complete a personal professional portfolio as a course requirement in FN 480 Colloquium, in Spring of their senior year. Throughout their DPD course work, students should keep files that include: honors, awards and scholarships; representations of assignments, including handouts developed, papers, etc.; community service projects; and records of volunteer and work experience.

Is it important to get work or volunteer experience in the dietetics field?

In order to learn about the field of dietetics and to strengthen your application for a dietetic internship, it is strongly recommended that you work or volunteer in dietetics related areas. You can do this during the summer or the school year. You are encouraged to contact local dietitians and request a volunteer experience. Opportunities for volunteer experiences are also sent via campus email. You should keep a record of your hours and experience for both your portfolio and your internship application.

What about scholarships?

Scholarship opportunities are available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the North Carolina Dietetic Association Foundation for student members of these organizations. For information about Academy/NCDA scholarships, eligibility, and application forms, visit the Academy’s website at www.eatright.org or the NCDAF website at www.eatrightnc.org.

Where do I get advising?

Students accepted into the Didactic Program of Dietetics program will be assigned an advisor from the Food and Nutrition faculty. Your advisor will provide assistance in planning a schedule of required courses, as well as information about professional organizations, work and volunteer opportunities, and planning for the future. You should plan to schedule at least one advising appointment with an advisor each semester.

After completing the DPD program at Meredith College, will I be a Registered Dietitian?

No! Completion of a DPD like the Meredith College program is the first step to becoming a Registered Dietitian. The second step, completion of an accredited supervised practice program (dietetic internship), follows the completion of the Didactic Program and the minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. There are currently two types of supervised practice programs: Accredited Dietetic Internships (DI), and Accredited Coordinated Programs. You need to be well informed that receiving an appointment to a supervised practice program is very competitive, and there are no guarantees that any one student will receive an appointment. The third and final step to becoming an RD is successful completion of the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.

What are my options if I’m not interested in becoming an RD?

Nutrition students can pursue careers in nutrition education (through WIC), sales (including pharmaceutical, food and equipment sales), product development, foodservice management and public policy or health fields. Graduate school is another option to consider after graduation. There are many Master’s degree programs in nutrition, health science education, business and communication. You should take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) if you are interested in graduate school.


Thank you for your Interest!

Contact Tracy Smith to schedule a visit or attend an information session.

Tracy Smith
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