Foods and nutrition majors study the role of foods and their nutritional components in promoting health and wellness for life. Referred to as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), coursework and field experiences prepare you for an extensive variety of career paths. The program is grounded in a strong Christian liberal arts education, and faculty advisors help you tailor the program to their unique interests and goals.
Service-learning opportunities and off-site experiences are built in throughout the curriculum. Recent examples include food service management in regional hospitals, nutrition education in public health departments, dialysis clinics, university sports nutrition departments, consumer scientist department in a major appliance company, county extension offices, and behavioral health and eating disorder outpatient and inpatient facilities. Our low student-faculty ratio means that learning is customized in and out of the classroom.
C-N students have two options for foods and nutrition tracks:
Foods and Nutrition (FN)
Emphasizes foods and nutrition education for individuals, families and the community in public health settings, and managerial or entrepreneurial roles within the field that do not require licensure
Foods and Nutrition with Dietetics (FND)
Includes additional coursework in biochemistry, advanced human nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and focused nutrition assessment so the graduate is qualified to secure a dietetic internship and sit for the registration examination to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist
Starting January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement will change from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree for eligibility to sit for the registration examination for dietitians. This is a decision made by the Commission on Dietetic Registration with the goal of elevating the knowledge, skills, and research base of entry-level dietitians.
In May of 2021, Carson-Newman University signed a Memorandum of Agreement with John Patrick University (JPU) that allows Carson-Newman students, employees, and alumni to enroll in courses at JPU and receive a 20% tuition discount. JPU offers a Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Medicine with a Concentration in Nutrition. With this partnership, students enrolled in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at Carson-Newman have the opportunity to pursue the graduate degree requirement while still completing their undergraduate degree. To learn more about the MS degree opportunity at JPU, please visit MS in Integrative & Functional Medicine – Nutrition – John Patrick University (jpu.edu).
The C-N DPD program is accredited through 2024 with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312- 899-0040 Ext. 5400.
• Clinical dietitian (RDN)• Consumer scientist or product development• County extension service agent• Chef, restaurant owner or manager• Diabetes educator or diatetic technician• Hospital, long-term care or assisted living dietitian or food service director• Nonprofit agency administrator• Nutrition educator• Pharmaceutical sales representative• Public health nutrition educator or researcher• Sports nutritionist (RDN)
The 150-hour undergraduate field experience is an invaluable time of learning and career exploration. Recent placements include:• East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Food Service and Clinical Nutrition Services• Tennessee Department of Health• Jefferson County Memorial Hospital• Morristown Hamblen Healthcare System• UT Athletic Department & Medical Center• Appalachian Agency for Aging (Virginia)• Clemson University Athletic Department• DaVita Kidney Care (Florida)
The nutrition program at Carson-Newman University adequately prepared me to work as a Registered Dietitian. The academic rigor coupled with professional development opportunities helped me succeed in the field, and the professors went above and beyond to help me reach my career goals. I would not be where I am in my career without the nutrition program at Carson-Newman University.
All Food and Nutrition and Food, Nutrition and Dietetics majors have access to a state-of-the art BOSCH-Thermador Foods and Nutrition Laboratory equipped with commercial cooking ranges utilizing electric, gas, steam and induction modes of heat transfer.
Three year pass rate on first attempt for 10 Didactic Program in Dietetics graduates sitting for the RDN examination (2019-2021) is 60%. For testers within one year of the first attempt, the pass rate is 100% for the same period.
Accreditation Details – Registered Dietitian Examination
The current Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in 2006 and reaffirmed in 2016. ACEND is located at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) headquarters at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; 312-899-0040, ext. 5400; www.eatright.org, ACEND@eatright.org. ACEND establishes a complete set of standards, knowledge and competency statements that must be met by all accredited dietetics programs. Completion of the DPD permits students to be eligible to apply for an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) during their senior year if they have met the required cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher and have completed (or in progress) all required coursework to receive the degree in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics.
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences also offers a non-dietetics track in the Foods and Nutrition program area of study. This program does not require ACEND accreditation and, therefore, allows the student to have a more flexible course of study that can prepare one for a variety of career paths in foods and nutrition.
All foods and nutrition majors (DPD track and non-dietetics track) are one of seven specialty areas of study within the Family and Consumer Sciences discipline. Therefore, all FND students are afforded the opportunity to become Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS) during the last semester of their senior year as Carson-Newman’s American Association of Family and Consumers Sciences (AAFCS) accredited Department offers curricula in each program area which meet the required standards and a core body of knowledge for FCS graduates. FCS faculty can assist any student interested in earning the CFCS credential during their senior year.
The DPD program/faculty at C-N strives to meet or exceed the following goals and objectives that are important for success of our graduates:
Graduates will have attained a mastery of the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists upon completion of the accredited Bachelor of Science program in foods, nutrition and dietetics.
1.a. At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 4.5 years (150% of the program length)
1.b. 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%.
1.c. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of supervised practice program directors will indicate positive satisfaction with DPD graduates.
1.d. Over a five-year period, 80% of graduates surveyed will evaluate their knowledge and skills as good or excellent preparation for professional work in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.
Graduates will aspire to professional growth and development seeking supervised practice programs, graduate programs, and a variety of career opportunities in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.
2.a. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the same academic year they complete the program.
2.b. Over a five-year period, at least 70% of those applying to supervised practice programs will be accepted within 12 months of completion of the DPD program.
2.c. Over a five-year period, at least 75% of DPD graduates not continuing on to supervised practice will be employed in a food service or a nutrition-related career or have enrolled in an advanced education program within 12 months of graduation.
2.d. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of the DPD graduates completing supervised practice program/graduate programs will be employed in dietetics or related fields within 12 months of completion.
2.e. Over a five-year period, at least 90% of DPD students will become members of the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) and student members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) by the end of their junior year.
Outcome data for the goals and objectives of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Finley, MS, RDN, LDN at firstname.lastname@example.org or (865) 471-3298.
1) Foods and Nutrition major with Dietetics emphasis (DPD track):
This is the program as described above that a student would select if s/he seeks to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN). Once the student meets university admission requirements, there are no additional requirements for admission to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. College admission requirements are listed in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Currently three requirements must be met for Admission to the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics upper division courses:
The student will need to complete and submit an official application by August 30 of their junior year to the DPD Director in person or mailed to: DPD Director, CN Box 71881, Jefferson City, TN 37760. See FND Student Handbook.
*Please be aware that GPA’s above 3.4 improve the student’s likelihood of securing a supervised practice program after graduation, which is required to earn the RDN credential.
2) Foods and Nutrition major (non-dietetics emphasis):
Students may select this major if s/he has an interest in the foods and nutrition discipline and seeks career opportunities in culinary, food industry, food sales, food service management, public health, family and consumer sciences, and extension service. Many of these positions and career paths do not require the RDN credential but may require graduate study or other training. Food and Nutrition faculty are available to discuss this curriculum option which is presented in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Admission requirements are the same as those for the University which are also listed in the current catalog.
The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has published a Student Handbook for use by all FCS students. DPD students will need to also refer to the DPD Student Handbook for additional information pertinent to their success in the dietetics program. These handbooks provide reference information about the FCS program and DPD programs, goals and objectives of each program, curriculum and suggested four-year course of study, scholarship and award information, and career guidance.
FCS Student Handbook
DPD Student Handbook
The Curriculum Map for the Foods & Nutrition Major can be found here.
The Curriculum Map for the Foods & Nutrition Major with an Emphasis in Dietetics can be found here.
Assistant Professor & Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Jefferson City, TN 37760
Dr. Karen Gibson, RDN, CSSD, CD
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Jefferson City, TN 37760