Food and Nutrition Major
Food and Nutrition Major - Dietetics Option
Welcome to the Didactic Program Dietetics (DPD) in the Department of Health and Human Development--the only dietetics program offered within the state of Montana. The Dietetics option is one of two options offered in the Food and Nutrition major; the other is Nutrition Science.
What's a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)?
Didactic Program in Dietetics is a term used by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to describe the program approved under the standards of education as meeting academic requirements leading to at least a bachelor's degree. ACEND is the accreditation body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The dietetics option at Montana State University-Bozeman has been granted initial accreditation as a Didactic Program in Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation and the United States Department of Education, 120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, phone 312 877-5400. A graduate will attain a verification statement upon completing the ACEND-approved dietetics program curriculum in addition to a minimum of a "C" or better in each required program course at graduation. A graduate is then eligible to apply for a ACEND-accredited supervised practice/dietetic internship. Upon completion of the post-graduate dietetic internship, students are eligible to take the national registration exam for dietitians. Once the individual has passed the exam, the individual is then a "registered dietitian" or "registered dietitian nutritionist." The dietetics option has a strong foundation in food and nutrition, food service management, and science components. Registered dietitians may find employment in health care facilities; industrial, school, and university food services; community nutrition services; private practice; sales for food service or health products; and other related fields.
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 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). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Montana State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please visit ACEND.
Students with a 4-year dietetics degree are eligible to take the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered exam and become NDTRs. A nutrition and dietetics technician, registered works independently or as a team member under the supervision of registered dietitians in a variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, foodservice and research.
Upon completion of the master's degree and internship, students can sit for the exam to become Registered Dietetitians or Registered Dietetian Nutritionists. RDs and RDNs are employed in hospitals, clinics or other health-care facilities, sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs, food and nutrition-related business and industries, private practice, community and public health settings, universities and medical centers, and research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities, and hospitals.
Mission Statement of the MSU Dietetics Program, Program Goals and Objectives
The mission of the Montana State University Didactic Program is to produce students prepared for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the credentialing exam to become highly qualified registered dietitians who serve their clients in diverse practice settings in the State of Montana and the nation. The program prepares graduates who are committed to make professional contributions, provide leadership and service to communities.
Program Goals and Objectives
The program will prepare graduates capable of succeeding in accredited dietetic supervised practice programs and/or graduate programs and employment in nutrition- and dietetic-related fields.
Objective 1: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
Objective 2: 60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
Objective 3: 70% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
Objective 4: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
Objective 5: 80% of program graduates accepted into a dietetic internship will rate how well-prepared they were for supervised practice at least a 3 on a scale of 1-4.
Objective 6: 80% of the supervised practice directors (preceptors) or graduate program major professors will rate preparedness of MSU Dietetics Program graduates for a supervised practice and/or graduate school at least a 3 on a scale of 1 to 4.
Objective 7: 80% of program graduates accepted into graduate school will rate how well prepared they were for graduate school at least a 3 on a scale of 1 to 4.
Objective 8: 80% of program graduates who were not accepted (or did not apply) to an internship or graduate school will rate how well-prepared they were for employment in nutrition or dietetics related field at least a 3 on a scale of 1-4.
Objective 1: 80% of senior level students at their exit interview will report being involved in one or more community service activities independently or as part of the student dietetic association during their academic career at MSU.
Objective 2: 80% of graduates responding to the Alumni survey will report being involved in their communities and professional organizations.
The program outcomes data are available upon request from the Didactic Program Director.
Didactic Program in Dietetics Faculty
Melody Anacker, MS, RDN
Asst Teaching Professor and Program Leader; Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Carmen Byker Shanks, PhD, RDN
Janet Gamble, MTeach, RDN
Coleen Kaiser, MS, RDN
NTT Instructor; Director, Montana Dietetic Internship
Anne Shovic, PhD, RDN