The major is a part of the Department of Health Sciences, an academic unit within the College of Health and Behavioral Studies.
As a dietetics major students will complete coursework requirements to become a generalist in dietetics and will be exposed to all facets of this dynamic profession. Following the completion of the program in dietetics, students should plan to meet the experience requirements for registered dietitian status by completing a dietetic internship (DI). The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at JMU is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Students will study a wide variety of subjects including food and nutrition science, chemistry, physiology, anatomy and microbiology that will prepare them for meeting the requirements to become a registered dietitian. Registered dietitians work in a wide variety of employment settings including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice.
Declaring the Major
New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the Dietetics major when they register for orientation.
Currently Enrolled Major Changers
Students should complete a "Change or Declaration of Major" form and meet with the program director in the Health and Human Services Building, room 3124. A major change after the sophomore year may result in a delay of graduation beyond the traditional four years.
Other Declaring Information
Admission to the Major
Admission to the Professional Program
Any student admitted to JMU can declare dietetics as his/her major and will be permitted to enroll in NUTR 280. Nutrition for Wellness and NUTR 295. Foundations of Nutrition Practice; however, to make progress in the major beyond the first few courses, students need to apply and be admitted to the professional program.
Students wishing to be admitted to the dietetics program at JMU must apply in the spring semester during which admission requirements will be met, usually in the sophomore year. Students applying for admission must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or above in the following classes, with no grade lower than a "C" (2.0):
- CHEM 131 and CHEM 131L. General Chemistry I and Lab
- CHEM 132 and CHEM 132L. General Chemistry II and Lab
- BIO 270. Human Physiology
- GCOM 121, 122, or 123. Fundamental Human Communication
- GPOSC 225. U.S. Government
- GPSYC 101. General Psychology or GPSYC or 160. Life Span Human Development
- GWRTC 103. Critical Reading and Writing
- MATH 220. Elementary Statistics
- NUTR 280. Nutrition for Wellness
- NUTR 295. Foundations of Nutrition Practice
Students with grades of "C-", "D+", "D", "D-" or "F" in the listed prerequisite courses will need to repeat those courses and receive a grade of "C" (2.00) or better before admission to the program. All grades earned in retaking a prerequisite class (including courses taken on a repeat/forgive basis) will be used in the calculation of the GPA for admission purposes.
New transfer students with junior status or higher who have earned JMU transfer credit for the prerequisite courses will be allowed to apply to the major at orientation or during their first semester of enrollment.
Equivalent coursework taken at other schools and AP or IB credit will be accepted.
The application deadline is Feburary 15th of each year. Applications may be obtained from the Department of Health Sciences, Health and Human Services Building (HHS), room 3129.
Application packets must include the following:
- A completed dietetics major application form
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended other than JMU
- An unofficial transcript printed from MyMadison
All application materials must be together in one envelope and submitted or mailed to:
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
3129 Health and Human Services Building
Department of Health Sciences, MSC 4301
801 Carrier Drive
James Madison University
Students who complete the application and meet the grade requirements in the prerequisite courses will be invited to take a placement test and be interviewed by dietetics program representatives. A minimum score of 60% is required on the placement test for students to be considered for admission. Scores on the placement test and skills demonstrated during the interview will be considered in the application process.
Students who are not admitted to the major may reapply in the following year if they meet the admission criteria. Students may not apply more than twice to the program.
Progressing in the Major
Students admitted to the dietetics major can expect four semesters of full time classes and at least one summer class before graduation. To remain in the major, students must meet the following criteria:
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in the major
- Earn a grade of "C" (2.00) or higher in all remaining major courses
Any admitted student who receives a grade of "C-", "D+", "D", "D-" or "F" in a major course while his/her major GPA remains above 3.0 will be allowed to continue in the program and repeat the class the next time it is offered. If the course grade earned in the repeated course is below a "C" grade, the student will be dismissed from the major and referred to Career and Academic Planning for assistance in choosing another major.
Students will be allowed only one repeat of an individual course and no more than two repeated courses in the entire professional program. Repeating major courses will result in a delay in graduation beyond the traditional four years.
A student whose major grade point average falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation in the major and allowed one semester to raise the major GPA to the requisite 3.0 needed to continue in the program.
A student whose major GPA falls below 3.0 during their final semester will be allowed to graduate, but will not be verified as completing the Didactic Program in Dietetics to be eligible for admission to a post-graduate Dietetic Internship Program.