Didactic Program in Dietetics

Accreditation Status

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at Jacksonville State University is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND can be contacted by mail at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995 or by phone at 800/877-1600, ext. 5400.

Program Description

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at Jacksonville State University resides in the Department of Kinesiology, a unit of the College of Health Professions and Wellness. In 1966, the dietetics program was initiated and approved by the American Dietetic Association. Students completing the program earn a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science Wellness with a concentration in Dietetics. The program has a long history of preparing students for careers in the areas of dietetics and nutrition. The sponsoring institution, Jacksonville State University, is a state-supported, comprehensive, regional agency serving approximately 10,000 students in northeast Alabama and surrounding areas. The dietetics program strives to emulate the university's educational philosophy by providing a quality learning-centered educational experience emphasizing global engagement, scholarship, and service.

Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at Jacksonville State University is to provide a high-quality dietetics program that offers instruction for the entry-level dietitian that is related to nutrition knowledge, critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and ethical awareness. The program seeks to encourage diversity of the student population and prepare graduates who are competent for entry into supervised practice, leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to be a registered dietitian nutritionist who is empowered to manage the challenges of a complex global society, by encouraging excellence in scholarly and service activities related to dietetics and nutrition.

Goal #1– Program graduates will be prepared to become competent at entry into supervised practice or other post-graduate programs through high-quality educational offerings.

At least 50 percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.

Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 60 percent are admitted within 12 months of graduation.

80% of dietetic internship directors will rate graduate as 4 or better out of 5 as being prepared for supervised practice.

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%.


Goal #2 – Program graduates will be prepared to serve communities and individuals through application of evidence-based nutrition knowledge.

40% of graduates will report being involvement in research or community service within 12 months of graduation.

At least 80% of students complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of planned program length).


Program outcomes data are available to ACEND, current and prospective students, and the public upon request.

Requirements and Processes for Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

 See information from the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics about the pathway to the registered dietitian credential. Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Note: as of January 1, 2024, in addition to all other requirements, a completed graduate degree is required for eligibility to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. In some states RDN’s are required to be licensed. For more information, please review State Licensure. The JSU DPD fits into the pathway by providing and required educational components, knowledge, and skills. Upon completion of DPD requirements, a verification statement of completion is issued by the program director. This statement is required for entrance into a supervised practice program and eligibility for CDR’s NDTR and RD examinations.

Admission to Jacksonville State University

Jacksonville State University Admissions

Estimated Cost to Students

Information about fees and tuition costs can be found on the JSU Tuition and Fees webpage located at this link: 


Students must purchase required textbooks and materials listed in course syllabi for all courses on the dietetics check sheet. Textbooks range from $250 to $500. Some texts may be used in more than one course during the program. Students are encouraged to keep all nutrition and dietetic related textbooks for future reference. Other required materials include a lab. The estimated cost is $30.

Admission to the Jax State Didactic Program in Dietetics

Students will be classified as “ESW_NSC_Undecided” majors prior to assessment into the ESW program.

At the completion of the sophomore year, students may seek assessment into the ESW upper-level courses upon email invitation from the Kinesiology Office. Assessments are completed twice per year. All the following criteria must be met:

  1. The candidate must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours of college credit.
  2. The candidate must have an overall grade point average of 2.5 based on a 4.00 scale to include all HPE courses and BY263 with a “C” or better. After assessment into the ESW upper-level courses (Nutrition Science concentration), the student is required to maintain a minimum 2.50 grade point average. In accordance with the Department of Kinesiology Grades Dismissal Policy, a student may repeat a professional course only once and may not accumulate more than three (3) grades of “D” or “F” in “professional studies” courses. In accordance with the Department of Kinesiology GPA Dismissal Policy, failure to maintain the appropriate GPA will result in dismissal from the ESW program. Reinstatement to the ESW program in at the discretion of the ESW committee.

Jacksonville State University Graduation Requirements:

General requirements for obtaining a bachelor’s degree from JSU are available in the undergraduate catalog

Completion Requirements of the JSU Didactic Program in Dietetics

An overall minimum grade point average of 2.50.

Complete the degree plan of study. Note: the course of study builds on prior learning. Student’s may not take courses out of sequence as directed by course pre-requisites.

Have a “C” or better in all science courses.

Have a “C” or better in all pre-professional and professional courses.

Achieve a minimum of a “meets expectations” on a minimum of one assignment/activity linked to each Core Knowledge Requirement for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (KRDN). Core Knowledge Requirements are as follows:

Domain 1. Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice. Knowledge Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 1.1 Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate, and use professional literature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions.
  • KRDN 1.2 Select and use appropriate current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols.
  • KRDN 1.3 Apply critical thinking skills.

 Domain 2. Professional Practice Expectations: Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner level of practice. Knowledge Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 2.1 Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation.
  • KRDN 2.2 Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics. KRDN 2.3 Assess the impact of a public policy position on the nutrition and dietetics profession.
  • KRDN 2.4 Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services.
  • KRDN 2.5 Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates.
  • KRDN 2.6 Demonstrate cultural humility, awareness of personal biases and an understanding of cultural differences as they contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • KRDN 2.7 Describe contributing factors to health inequity in nutrition and dietetics including structural bias, social inequities, health disparities and discrimination.
  • KRDN 2.8 Participate in a nutrition and dietetics professional organization and explain the significant role of the organization.
  • KRDN 2.9 Defend a position on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.

Domain 3. Clinical and Client Services: Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups, and populations. Knowledge Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 3.1 Use the Nutrition Care Process and clinical workflow elements to assess nutritional parameters, diagnose nutrition related problems, determine appropriate nutrition interventions, and develop plans to monitor the effectiveness of these interventions.
  • KRDN 3.2 Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population.
  • KRDN 3.3 Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change and enhance wellness for diverse individuals and groups.
  • KRDN 3.4 Practice routine health screening assessments, including measuring blood pressure, and conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol).
  • KRDN 3.5 Describe concepts of nutritional genomics and how they relate to medical nutrition therapy, health, and disease.
  • KRDN 3.6 Develop nutritionally sound meals, menus and meal plans that promote health and disease management and meet client’s/patient’s needs.

Domain 4. Practice Management and Use of Resources: Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations. Knowledge Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 4.1 Apply management theories to the development of programs or services.
  • KRDN 4.2 Evaluate a budget/financial management plan and interpret financial data.
  • KRDN 4.3 Demonstrate an understanding of the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained.
  • KRDN 4.4 Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations.
  • KRDN 4.5 Apply safety and sanitation principles related to food, personnel, and consumers.
  • KRDN 4.6 Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services.
  • KRDN 4.7 Evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement.

Domain 5. Leadership and Career Management: Skills, strengths, knowledge, and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner. Knowledge Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 5.1 Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.
  • KRDN 5.2 Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.
  • KRDN 5.3 Practice how to self-advocate for opportunities in a variety of settings (such as asking for needed support, presenting an elevator pitch).
  • KRDN 5.4 Practice resolving differences or dealing with conflict.
  • KRDN 5.5 Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
  • KRDN 5.6 Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others.

Verification Statement Requirements:

A verification statement is an official document that certifies successful completion of the requirements of an ACEND accredited didactic program in dietetics.

Jacksonville State University students must either complete a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness with a concentration in Nutrition Science or the DPD post baccalaureate plan with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and the DPD required coursework to qualify for a verification statement.

Completion of the requirements for Jacksonville State University’s DPD will be verified by the Program Director prior to issuance of a verification statement. Students must meet the program completion requirements as well as all requirements of the institution.

Distance Education Requirements

Students can access information regarding the laptop policy and online requirements and resources at:

Online: A Guide for Online Students and Jacksonville State University Laptop Policy

Prior Learning Assessment:

The Registrar's Office at Jax State reviews transcripts for transfer students and postbaccalaureate students to evaluate coursework taken prior to entering JSU. Faculty evaluate post-baccalaureate coursework to determine which courses are needed to earn a verification statement from JSU’s DPD program. Students must provide faculty with course syllabi for any DPD nutrition course that they would like to have evaluated for transfer credit or a verification statement. If the student's knowledge requirements/learning objectives for the course match a JSU DPD course and the student received a C or better in the course, then the student will be granted course credit and will not be required to repeat the course. Course credit is not offered for prior work or volunteer experience.