Nutrition and Food Science

Didactic Program in Dietetics

Application Process

The only way to be eligible to take the RD exam is to successfully be accepted into and complete a Dietetic Internship (DI), which is also called a Supervised Practice.

The dietetic internship (DI) is a post-baccalaureate supervised practice program. An ACEND accredited DI is typically a full-time and non-paid commitment for the duration of six to twelve months. Upon completion of a DI, students are eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

The selection process for DI applicants is very competitive. Students should plan ahead in order to build an effective career portfolio during their undergraduate experience. To meet minimum eligibility requirements for a DI, individuals must complete the ACEND accredited DPD coursework and earn their bachelor's degree.

In addition, strong applicants usually have a grade point average at or above 3.2; paid and volunteer work experiences in dietetics; demonstrated effective leadership, professional, and communication skills; shown commitment to community service and the practice of dietetics; and received strong recommendations from faculty and employers. The student must have met the minimum requirements and obtained a Verification Statement by the time the DI begins.

There are two application times each year. For programs beginning in January-February, applications are to be completed in September. For programs beginning in July-September, applications will be completed in February. Applying to programs that compliment your qualifications and skills will increase your chances of being accepted to a DI. DPD students are encouraged to apply to a DI anywhere in the nation. They are advised to find a DI that fits their financial, academic and geographic needs.

To better assist students, the DPD program at Cal Poly Pomona provides information workshops twice a year to discuss the DI application and decision-making processes. The department also offers a one-unit course every fall (NTR 4310 – Dietetic Internship Exploration) to provide students with the information needed to successfully pursue a DI. Students are also strongly encouraged to meet individually with the DPD program director and faculty to help them assess their potential to obtain a DI.

Dietetic Internship (DI) Availability

Please see the Availability of DI Positions summary

The data on Cal Poly Pomona's DPD student success rate of acceptance into the DI, as well as the pass rate on the RD exam, is available upon request from the DPD director.

How to apply for a Dietetic Internship

Almost all dietetic internship will be using the online dietetic internship centralized application process (DICAS) in additional to specific requirements for each dietetic internship. Please refer to the dietetic internship’s website for any additional instructions regarding the application

For DICAS instructional video, visit DICAS Application Overview.

Most dietetic internships participate in the computer match, applicants would need to register and submit all the internship program you plan to apply to D&D Digital by February 15 for April match and September 15 for Fall match at 11:59 p.m. central time.

For questions about the centralized application, please contact DICAS customer support at 617-612-2855 or

For assistance with computer matching, please contact D&D Digital customer support at 515-292-0490 or

Suggestion to Improve Application

Competition for dietetic internship is extremely competitive, so if you are an existing student or are considering applying to a dietetic program to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, here are some information on how to improve your chances at getting the internship required to sit for the RD exam

Mission Statement and Goals

Program Mission

To prepare students to meet the Didactic requirements as defined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in order to be successful nutrition professionals that work in diverse communities and workplaces. The students will also be prepared for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).

Program Goals

  1. The program prepares graduates for entry-level nutrition careers as a Dietetic Technician, Registered, (BS-DTR) or Nutrition Dietetic Technician, Registered, BS-NDTR (under Plan III), entrance into a supervised practice program and/or admittance to nutrition-related postgraduate programs.
  2. The program prepares graduates who are competent for employment opportunities in diverse communities and workplaces.

Program Objectives

1.1 At least 80 percent t of full-time program students complete program/degree requirements within 6 years (150 percent of program length)”

1.2 At least 25 percent of part-time program students complete program/degree requirement within 10 years (150 percent of program length)

1.3 Fifty percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation

1.4 Within 12 months of graduation, 80 percent of the graduates that take the DTR exam will pass in the first year of taking the exam

1.5 Twenty-five percent of program graduates are admitted to a supervised program within 12 months of graduation

1.6 Eighty percent of graduates will be employed or pursue further education in a health-related discipline within 12 months of graduation

1.7 The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of their first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.

2.1 At least 80 percent of surveys returned by supervised-practice program directors or employers will rate the DPD graduates as “competent” or “extremely competent” in their ability to provide service to culturally diverse communities and workplaces.

2.2 At least 70 percent of surveys returned by supervised-practice program directors or employers will DPD graduate as “competent” or “extremely competent” in supervised practice, graduate program, pre-professional program, or entry-level nutrition and dietetics position.

Program outcomes data are available upon request.

Current Students

DPD Handbook

Please access the current DPD handbook here. It also is available by request from the DPD director. All enrolled dietetic students are referred to this document in NTR 1000 as well. Additionally, the handbook will be available in all department DPD classes via Canvas.

Academic Calendar & Important Dates

For academic calendar and important dates, visit Calendars & Schedules on the Registrar’s Office website

Graduation and Program Completion Requirement

As you approach senior status, it is important that your academic records are complete and accurate. Your Degree Progress Report (DPR) will be used to determine your eligibility for graduation. You need to review your DPR, Curriculum Sheet, and unofficial transcript to make sure you met the minimum units to graduate: Minimum 180 quarter units or minimum 120 semester units, minimum 2.00 GPA – core, cverall, and Cal Poly Pomona - and have completed all of the courses in your curriculum sheet.

Curriculum Road Maps

Curriculum road maps can be found at: Curriculum Sheets and Roadmaps

Cal Poly Pomona Course Requirements for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (as of Fall 2019)

***Please note that you cannot use this as a course list for DICAS. Please contact the DPD director for a copy of your curriculum year course list.

Foods and Nutrition

  • NTR 1000: Introduction to the Nutrition Profession
  • NTR 1210/1210L: Intro to Foods/Lab
  • NTR 2350/2350L: Nutrition/Lab
  • NTR 2280: Food and Culture
  • NTR 3130: Intro to Nutrition Research
  • FST 3210/3210L: Experimental Food Science/Lab
  • FST 3250: Food Safety and Current Issues
  • NTR 3280L: Food and Culture Lab
  • NTR 3350: Nutrition of the Life Cycle
  • R 3450/3450A: Nutrition Education And Counseling/Act
  • NTR 3670/3670L: Institutional Food Service I/Lab
  • NTR 3680/3680L: Institutional Food Service II/Lab
  • NTR 3930: Advanced Nutrient Metabolism I
  • NTR 3940: Advance Nutrient Metabolism II
  • NTR 4260: Food Service Administration
  • NTR 4430/4430A: Medical Nutrition Therapy I/Act
  • NTR 4440: Medical Nutrition Therapy II
  • NTR 4460/4460A: Community Nutrition/Act

Supporting Coursework

Communication :
  • COM 2204: Advocacy and Argument or higher-level communication course
  • ENG 1103: First-Year Composition
  • ENG 2105: Written Reasoning or equivalent coursework in writing and critical thinking
  • STA 1200: Statistics with Application
  • ABM 2240: Accounting for Agribusiness or equivalent introductory accounting course
  • BIO 1150/1150L: Basic Biology/Lab
  • BIO 3000: Genetics & Human Issues OR Nutritional Genomics
  • BIO 2060/2060L: Basic Microbiology/Lab
  • BIO 2350/2350L Human Physiology/Lab
  • CHM 1210/1210L: General Chemistry I/Lab
  • CHM 1220/1220L: General Chemistry II/Lab
  • CHM 201: Elements of Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 3210: Elements of Biochemistry
Social Sciences :
  • PSY 2201: Introduction to Psychology or higher-level psychology course

Estudiante de Dietética

The Estudiante de Dietética, also known as the ED program, was developed with the purpose of training undergraduate dietetic students to better serve the Hispanic/Latino community. The Department of Nutrition and Food Science received a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that expanded the dietetic curriculum and develop Spanish-language skills and focus on Latino culture as well as food and health issues.

The program objectives were:

  1. Create and evaluate a novel curricular approach to training dietetic students, which produces dietetic students who are better able to serve the Hispanic community.
  2. To produce dietetic students who are more culturally competent and comfortable working with the Hispanic community.
  3. To develop three dietetic training modules focused on major nutrition issues affecting the Hispanic population and integrate and evaluate them within the curriculum.
  4. To increase recruitment and retention of Hispanic students into the dietetic major.

DICAS/Supervised Practice Application Resources

DPD Course Lists

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2021-22

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2020-21

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2019-20

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2018-19

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2017-18

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2016-17

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2015-16

CPP DPD Course List Form for 2014-15

Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) Workshop

Department of Nutrition and Food Science faculty held a workshop on the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System. Here are the materials from that workshop, which was held on Zoom and recorded:



Links to Application Resources

  1. ACEND accredited programs directory
  2. ACEND How to Apply to Dietetic Internships
  3. DI Application Checklist
  4. DICAS Virtual Tour
  5. 7 Ways to be an Awesome Dietetics Student
  6. ACEND DICAS Overview Video
  7. ACEND About DnD Digital Video
  8. Link to Matching Calendar Spring 2022
  9. Personal Statement Checklist

Program Graduates

Students who successfully complete the DPD coursework at Cal Poly, and have earned a bachelor's degree, are eligible to take the DTR examination. If you're interested in becoming a Registered Dietetic Technician, see below.

DTR Exam process:

  1. Please order and have a set of Official Transcripts* emailed to OR a sealed official transcript mailed directly from the Cal Poly Registrar's Office to my address listed below.

*Note: The date that your BS degree was conferred must appear at the top of the first page of the Official Transcripts.

Emily Kiresich, PhD, RD
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Department of Nutrition and Food Science
Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
3801 West Temple Avenue
Pomona, CA 91768

  1. Pay the $25 nonrefundable DTR exam processing fee via E-Market
  2. Upon receipt of the transcript and the payment, I will email you to schedule an appointment to complete the additional required paperwork via Zoo

Prospective Dietetic Students

Want to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN)? These are the necessary steps.

Individuals must successfully complete all three steps to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN):

  • Step 1: Completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements with verification statement and completion of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Step 2: Acceptance into and successful completion of a dietetic internship.
  • Step 3: Successful passing of the national registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Original verification statements from both the DPD program and the dietetic internship must be submitted before taking the RDN exam and/or state certification/licensure, if applicable. Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the commission will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

For more information on the steps to become an RDN or NDTR, visit Become an RDN or NDTR.

RDN Fact Sheet

Cal Poly Pomona's Department of Nutrition and Food Science (NFS), welcomes you as a nutrition major, dietetics option major, leading to a bachelor's degree. The Cal Poly Pomona Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

The Didactic Program in Dietetics provides the necessary coursework to apply for a supervised practice (dietetic internship). The DPD coursework can be seen below. DPD programs require accreditation because dietetics is a complex profession that pertains to the health of our nation and therefore requires that the training adhere to national standards. These national standards are determined and evaluated by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (for educational programs that lead to both the registered dietitian (RD) and the dietetic technician, registered (DTR) credential. Our program currently offers two tracks: full-time and part-time for students who wish to pursue the degree in part-time status.

Admission Requirement

For all incoming freshmen in either full-time and part-time track, must meet the minimum California State University eligibility requirements as the first step in being considered for admission. For the eligibility requirement visit Freshmen Requirement

Students who have been admitted should review the Next Steps Checklist

Student without a bachelor’s degree, will need to complete the courses requirement for the DPD which are in the curriculum for the bachelor’s degree. Students who already have a bachelor’s degree or a foreign degree, will need to complete the transcript evaluation prior to determine DPD requirements. See below for more information on transcript evaluation.

Transfer Admission Requirement

The DPD program are not involved with the admission process. Transfers must meet the minimum California State University eligibility requirement as the first step in being considered for admission. Cal Poly Pomona requires all transfers to complete the following by spring prior to fall enrollment or by summer for spring enrollment:

  • Must be in good academic standing at the last institution attended
  • Must have minimum 2.00 GPA in transferable coursework
  • Must have at least minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter). 30 of the 60 semester units (45 quarter), must be in General Education, and completion of the “Golden Four.”(Oral Communication; English Composition; Critical thinking; and Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning)

For information on admission process if you wish to transfer into our program, visit Transfer Requirement.

Expenses & Tuition

Tuition and Mandatory Auxiliary Fees are calculated each term. Laboratory fees vary from course to course and textbooks/equipment cost is about $500 per semester. Parking is about $231.00 per semester for vehicles or $92.00 per semester for motorcycles. On-campus food and housing are $14,909.00

CSU Fee Policy: Feeds listed published schedules or student accounts any need to be increased when public funding is inadequate. Therefore, CSU must reserve the right even after fees are initially charged or initial fee payments are made, to increase or modify any listed fees. All listed fees, other than mandatory systemwide fees, are subject to change without notice. All CSU listed fees should be regarded as estimates that are subject to change up on approval by the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, or the Presidents, as appropriate. For complete information on expenses and tuition at Cal Poly Pomona, please visit Tuition and Fees from Student Accounting and Cashiering Service.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarship is here to assist you with obtaining the finances you need to complete the degree you set out to achieve. For information about how to apply for financial aid or scholarship, visit Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Students with a Baccalaureate Degree

Since you already have a baccalaureate degree, you have completed one part of the requirement. The second part of the requirement would be to finish the required DPD courses. To receive a DPD Verification Statement (VS) from Cal Poly, Pomona, you must complete all Cal Poly DPD course requirements and meet the required grade requirement for courses. For the DPD courses requirement, you need a transcript evaluation so that you can receive a VS when you finish your DPD courses. There is a fee involved and it is a lengthy process. For more information about the transcript evaluation process, please contact the DPD Director.

Students with a Foreign Degree

The first step is to have your academic degree(s) validated as equivalent to the bachelor’s or master’s degree conferred by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. The summary section of the evaluation report must state the degree is equivalent to a degree from a U.S. regionally accredited institution. The identified independent non-profit agencies that perform this specialized service are listed here. CDR only accepts transcripts evaluated by the agencies listed on this website. The list is provided as a convenience to international students and professionals. All transactions between the individual and evaluation service are considered private business transactions, without the Academy or CDR intercession or obligation. Contact the agency for current information, procedure, and costs.

Several types of evaluations are available. A detailed course-by-course evaluation will be the most useful for the program director of a DPD who will evaluate your previous academic preparation and identify the courses you will need to meet the dietetics course requirement.

Career Opportunities

The registered dietitian (RD) is a nationally recognized health professional that specializes in the promotion and integration of proper nutrition practices. With training in the areas of human nutrition, food science, biology, chemistry, social sciences, management, and education, the RD is capable of incorporating this information into practical working solutions for healthy living. The RD works with individuals and groups from diverse cultures with varying concerns to help them make positive lifestyle changes. There are many employment opportunities in food and nutrition for the registered dietitian, each differing by target population, level of expertise, and primary location. Some career options include:

  • Clinical Dietetics: Clinical dietitians utilize medical nutrition therapy to accurately assess nutritional needs and determine nutritional diagnoses. They create both individualized and group nutritional programs, which include counseling and outcome evaluation, based on the health needs of patients or residents. Clinical dietitians may work in hospitals, nursing homes or outpatient settings, and with other healthcare professionals.
  • Community Nutrition: A community dietitian applies human nutrition knowledge to help people in the community meet their food and nutrition needs. These dietitians plan, organize and implement aspects of nutrition policies and programs designed to prevent disease and improve health at the community level. Community dietitians work to promote public health in clinics, government, and non-profit agencies with diverse groups of individuals.
  • Food Service Management: Dietitians working on food service management plan, implement, and evaluate meal programs and food service systems. They may be responsible for budgeting and buying food, as well as for carrying out other business-related tasks such as employee training, staff management, and developing policies and standards within the workplace. They may work in healthcare facilities, schools, senior centers, hotels or restaurants.
  • Business and Industry: Dietitians may be employed to work in a variety of settings, including sales, marketing, public relations, research and development, and production quality control. Dietitians may also work with food and pharmaceutical companies, marketing associations and food service providers to develop, promote and market food and nutritional products.
  • Private Practice/ Consultation: Dietitians working in private practice or on a consultant basis are generally self-employed under their own private consulting business; however, previous experience in dietetic practice is necessary.
  • Research: Research dietitians are involved with development, implementation, and assessment of nutrition-related research projects. These dietitians may work in a clinical research center in a hospital, private company, or academic center. Advanced degrees are usually required for research and university-based jobs.
  • Nutrition Jobs for Those without RD Certification: Obtaining the RD certification is required for many jobs within the fields of health and nutrition. However, there are career opportunities for those who receive their bachelor's degree and do not complete the requirements for becoming an RD. These include food service supervisor, community nutritionist for organizations like WIC, diet clerk or dietetic technician, registered, and other various positions within food and health businesses.

Working in dietetics offers a rewarding career with a promising future. Appreciation for the profession is growing, translating into a greater need for and utilization of nutrition experts in health promotion practices throughout the country. As public interest continues to move in the direction of improving nutrition and health, emerging employment opportunities are ideal for the knowledge, training and versatility of the registered dietitian. For more information on the RD, visit


The Didactic Program in Dietetics at Cal Poly Pomona is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Contact info:

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60060-6995
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400

ACEND 2017 Standard