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The program will prepare graduates to work collaboratively and interprofessionally.

In the James Madison University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), students use creativity in learning from classroom experiences, case studies, computer applications, and problem-solving and decision-making projects. Students will gain research experience in their senior year. Students also obtain real-life experiences by completing a hospital-based practicum covering all aspects of dietetics practice.

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95% Passing Rate

The major is a part of the Department of Health Professions, 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.

  • Degrees Offered: 
    • B.S. in Dietetics
  • Concentrations: None
  • Minors: None

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 the process to change  to the dietetics major in MyMadison and meet with the program director in the Health and Behavioral Studies building. A major change after the sophomore year may result in a delay of graduation beyond the traditional four years.

Admission to the Professional Program
Any student admitted to JMU can declare dietetics as his/her major and will be permitted to enroll in Nutrition for Wellness (NUTR 280) and Foundations of Nutrition Practice (NUTR 295); 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
  • BIO 270L. Human Physiology Lab
  • SCOM 121, 122, or 123. Fundamental Human Communication
  • POSC 225. U.S. Government
  • PSYC 101. General Psychology or PSYC 160. Life Span Human Development
  • WRTC 103. Critical Reading and Writing
  • HTH 210. Medical Terminology
  • 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 should plan to apply to the program by February 15 of the year they plan to enroll at JMU.

Equivalent coursework taken at other schools and AP or IB credit will be accepted.

The application deadline is Feburary 15 of each year. Applications may be obtained online

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:

If Mailed:
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
JMU Department of Health Professions
235 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, MSC 4315
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Hand Delivered:
Stephanie Lewis
Administrative Assistant - Dietetics
Health & Behavioral Services Building (HBS) 2012

Students who complete the application and meet the grade requirements in the prerequisite courses will be interviewed by dietetics program representatives as part of the admission 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:

  • The student will maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in the major
  • The student will earn a grade of C (2.00) or higher in all remaining major nutrition and health classes
  • The student will earn a grade of C- (1.7) or higher in all remaining major science classes

Any admitted student who receives an unsatisfactory grade in a 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 remains unsatisfactory 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.

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