Didactic Program in Dietetics

Undergraduate Certificate

Why study Didactic Program in Dietetics?

The Didactic Program in Dietetics Certificate (DPD) is designed for students who have completed at least a Master's degree and are interested in becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). The DPD Certificate Program provides students with the coursework requirements necessary to apply for an accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship and ultimately become a RDN.  These coursework requirements are set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Upon completion of the DPD Certificate, students earn a verification statement confirming their eligibility to enter an accredited dietetic internship. After completing a dietetic internship, students are required to pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam for RDNs.  Many states require certification or licensure in order to practice as a RDN. While the average national first time pass rate was 87% in 2016, the average first time pass rate for University of Cincinnati DPD graduates averaged 92% over the past five years. 

For a complete description of the DPD Program’s mission, goals, and objectives, visit our department website.

Program Length

The DPD Certificate Program requires completion of 91 semester credit hours and can be done either full or part time. Applicable courses from previous undergraduate and graduate degrees can be transferred into the program to reduce the number of credits required. 

All of the pre-requisites for acceptance into the MS in Nutrition Program at UC and some courses required in the MS in Nutrition Program at UC are equivalent in content to DPD courses and can be applied toward the DPD Certificate Program.

If you receive transfer credit for the majority of the science and general education requirements from previous degrees and/or have completed the MS in Nutrition at UC, you can generally complete the certificate program in approximately one year if you take classes full-time.

If you enter the program with minimal transfer credit for the science and general education requirements, you may need three years to complete the certificate program if you take classes full-time.  If you take classes part-time, the time to completion will be longer.

 Placement Rate in Dietetic Internships

The average national placement rate for students applying to dietetic internships in the last five years was approximately 50%. The placement rate for DPD Certificate program students who applied for dietetic internships in the last five years was 78%.

 Program outcome data are available upon request.

Please visit the department website for program costs, financial aid, and scholarship information.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must have:

A baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for admission into the DPD Certificate Program.  Students must also hold a master’s degree from an accredited university or be enrolled in the MS in Nutrition Graduate Program at the University of Cincinnati. Students in the MS in Nutrition at UC must work with their graduate advisor to determine appropriate timing of entry into the DPD Certificate.

Prospective students must submit the following materials to be considered for admission:

  • Completed application form
  • Official copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate colleges/universities attended

Additional materials, including course catalogs or syllabi, may be requested during the application review process to assist in determining which courses can be transferred into the DPD Certificate from undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Attributes that contribute to success in this program include strong verbal and written communication skills, excellent math comprehension and critical thinking skills, ability to interact well with a diverse population, enjoy helping people, and commitment to lifelong learning.  

Dietetics professionals work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, schools, supermarkets, private practice settings, eating disorder centers, with athletes, academia, research, health departments, business corporations, health clubs, and many other areas.

An individual who wishes to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) must complete the didactic coursework in dietetics (DPD Certificate Program), an accredited dietetic internship, and pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam for RDNs.  This credential enables the RDN to perform nutrition risk assessments and prescribe medical nutrition therapy to remediate or prevent disease.

Contact the Didactic Program in Dietetics Director, Lindsey Mills, at lindsey.mills@uc.edu

The Supervised Practice in Dietetics Certificate offers individuals the opportunity to complete the supervised practice (internship) component of the requirements to become a RDN. Upon successful completion of the supervised practice certificate, students are eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam.

The program has an active student organization for undergraduate students called the Student Dietetic Association (SDA). The purpose of the SDA is to provide students interested in dietetics, food, and nutrition with opportunities to serve the community, develop relationships with other students who have similar interests, and increase student knowledge of food and nutrition career options.

Program Completion Requirements

To remain in the program, students must:

  • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA with no less than C- in any Nutritional Science course,
  • Adhere to policies and procedures, and
  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner, adhering to the Student Code of Conduct.

To complete the program, students must:

  • Complete all didactic course requirements,
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA in the DPD Certificate Program, and
  • Have no outstanding financial or other program obligations.

Transferring in is not applicable for this certificate.

Transcripts from foreign institutions must include a credential evaluation from an organization approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Information about approved credentialing organizations can be obtained by going to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

Application Deadlines

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) certificate is only open to students who have at least a Master’s Degree or who are completing the MS in Nutrition at the University of Cincinnati. 

Application materials are sent directly to the Didactic Program in Dietetics Director. It is not necessary for applicants to apply to the University of Cincinnati separately. Prospective students can apply for the DPD Certificate to start in the fall or spring semester. To guarantee acceptance for fall semester, students must submit their applications no later than May 1st. To guarantee acceptance for spring semester, applications must be submitted by November 1st.

Students who would like to apply to the DPD Certificate program must submit the application form and official transcripts from all prior institutions to: 

DPD Admissions Committee
Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise, and Nutrition Sciences
University of Cincinnati
P.O. Box 670394
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394

More detailed application information is available on the program website.

Prospective students who need additional assistance with completion of the application form or who have questions about the Didactic Program in Dietetics Certificate can contact Lindsey Mills at (513) 558-7506 or lindsey.mills@uc.edu. 

DPD Certificate Application (PDF) 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The University of Cincinnati's Didactic Program in Dietetics and Coordinated Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800/877/1600 ext. 5400. http://www.eatright.org/ACEND

Contact Information

Lindsey Mills, MS, RD, LD
PO Box 670394
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394
(513) 558-7506

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Program Code: 35CRT-DPD-C2