Dietetics Option


Nutrition undergraduate option

Become an expert in food & nutrition.

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Apply to the Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Dietetics option (accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics) application for fall 2024 is now open.

  Application form

The due date is Monday, May 6, 2024

Contact your COH academic advisor or the DPD Director, Michelle Bump, with questions.

What is dietetics?

In the dietetics degree option, you’ll play an important role in helping people make nourishing choices about what they eat and understand how nutrition impacts their health and well-being.

Dietitians work on the spectrum of health, from prevention of chronic disease to medical treatment. As a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN), you can choose one area of practice or try them all. The dietetics curriculum trains students to be versatile, enabling them to change their career later without any additional education.

Dietitians can work in a variety of areas upon obtaining the RDN credential. Some examples include:

  • Hospitals: providing medical nutrition therapy to patients with immediate medical needs
  • Clinics: counseling people to meet their nutrition and health goals
  • School districts: managing the foodservice operation, including developing the menu and supervising staff
  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): providing low-income pregnant women and children with food resources and providing intervention and education
  • Eating disorder facilities: coaching and supporting clients in their treatment and recovery from eating disorders
  • Sports teams/athletics: working with athletes to optimize their performance and ensuring the sports organization is meeting their nutrition needs
  • Extension services: developing nutrition education programs and delivering education and resources to local communities



Job outlook

How much do dietitians make and what is the job outlook?

Check out the current Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Dietitians and Nutritionists.

The mean wage for dietitians in Oregon was $82,280 as of May 2023. Oregon is ranked as #3 on the “top paying states for Dietitians and Nutritionists,” behind only California and New Jersey. The Oregon mean wage increased over $10,000 in just 2 years.

Dietitians who work in diabetes, renal, education/research, food management, clinical nutrition management, informatics, home health, pharmaceutical, private practice, sports nutrition, and school nutrition have the highest wages. Dietitian positions nationally are expected to grow 7% (faster than average) over the next 10 years.

You're in the right place

If you’re interested in becoming a RDN or NDTR, you’re in the right place. Oregon State University offers the only accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) in Oregon.

After finishing the dietetics option at OSU, you’ll be eligible to enter an accredited master's dietetic internship program which leads to eligibility to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN).

Graduates of the dietetics option are also eligible to sit for the exam to become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR).

In order to become a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN), students must complete the following education and supervised practice before being eligible to sit for the national RDN exam:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any subject. The OSU dietetics option program fulfills this requirement.  
  • Didactic Program in Dietetics (accredited program). The OSU dietetics option program fulfills this requirement.  
  • Master’s degree in any subject* (see below about this NEW requirement). Any new students admitting to the pre-dietetics option at OSU will fall under the new Master’s degree requirement. The OSU MS-PD program fulfills this requirement.
  • Dietetic internship (accredited program). These programs can be combined with a master’s degree. The OSU MS-PD program fulfills this requirement.

*Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's 2024 graduate degree requirement.

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics program at Oregon State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information visit state licensure requirements.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.


Oregon State graduates consistently exceed the national average on passing the RDN exam.

The DPD program is at the 93rd percentile nationally for first attempt mean score on the RDN exam. The pass rate within 1 year of first attempt on the RDN exam is 98.51% (over the past 3 years).


How to become a registered dietitian

At Oregon State, your instructors and advisors are dedicated to preparing you for your dietetic internship and registration exam. Learn how to become a registered dietitian.

Lisa Perrett, ‘21

Lisa Perret, ‘21

Lisa Perret, ‘21 is passionate about the science behind nutrition and hopes to inspire athletes to live a healthy lifestyle void of fad diets.

The dietetics option helped her regained balance in her own eating habits after she fell for claims made by lifestyle bloggers.

Read more

What will you do with the Didactic Program in Dietetics?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70,900 people worked as dietitians and nutritionists in 2018. Jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 11 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Start with the dietetics option to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

Common work settings:

  • Education
  • Corporate wellness
  • Food industry
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Private practice
  • Public health programs
  • Research
  • Sports nutrition
  • Universities
Jenny Randall

Jenny Randall
Dietetics student

"The dietetics option comes with quite a heavy course load. Everything from anatomy and physiology to the science of foods to lots of chemistry."

“I personally really struggle with chemistry, but there’s also many amazing free tutoring options available on campus. That’s how I got through it.”

Resources for dietetic students

Program costs

Distance education costs & requirements

The OSU dietetics program is offered on-campus in Corvallis, except for a few courses offered occasionally via Ecampus. However, the program may employ distance instruction technology from time to time. Students will incur no additional costs for distance instruction, unless enrolling in Ecampus courses which have a higher per credit cost than resident tuition.

Please see the technology checklist for requirements pertaining to distance education. Information Services supports students with ONID accounts, learning technologies including Canvas, software packages, equipment checkout, printing, technical support, and computing labs.

Resource questions

If you have questions after reviewing and using the above resources, you may contact:

Michelle Bump, MS, RD, LD
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
[email protected]

Accreditation Status

The OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is fully accredited by: The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

ACEND® can be contacted by:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
  • Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
    Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995

Contact us

peers group photo sept 2023

Peer advisors

If you have questions regarding classes, student clubs or campus, our peer advisors would love to chat. Call or email them for advice.

 Mikaela Swaim

Mikaela Swaim

Student Outreach and Support Coordinator

For questions about the program, application process or requirements, contact our  COH recruitment team.