Undergraduate Academic Programs

Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science (B.S.A.H.S.), Dietetics Major

Description of Program

The Dietetics major in the Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science is an ACEND-accredited four-year undergraduate degree that prepares students for careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). A dietetics education is a broad, useful course of study aimed at promoting the health of individuals and communities. The curriculum involves nutrition science (including chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, and food science), medical nutrition therapy, food preparation, menu planning, communication, information technology, and management. Students who earn a B.S. in AHS with a major in Dietetics are eligible to apply to supervised practice or graduate school in the journey to become RDNs.

Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) is the credentialed professional in the field of dietetics. There are four steps to becoming an RDN:

  1. Obtain at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. As of January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to take the credentialing exam to become an RDN*.
  2. Meet basic educational competencies established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  3. Complete a supervised practice experience through an ACEND-accredited institution.
  4. Take and pass the national RD exam.

A person who graduates from IU as an undergraduate Dietetics major fulfills steps 1 and 2 at the same time and is eligible for step 3.

*Notice from the Commission on Dietetic Registration:

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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor's degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics at Indiana University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

Degree Requirements

This is a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Applied Health Science degree with an emphasis in Dietetics. Graduation requirements include:

  • completion of general education requirements;
  • completion of dietetics major requirements;
  • a minimum of 120 successfully completed credit hours which count toward the degree program;
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA;
  • a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in courses used to complete the portions of this degree entitled: Dietetics Core and Additional Major Courses;
  • No Pass/Fail except for free electives.
General Education (20–39 credits)

All undergraduate students must complete the IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground Requirements. Visit gened.indiana.edu to review them.

Major (94 cr.)

Dietetics Core (53 cr.)
A minimum grade of C– is required in each professional core course.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • SPH-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.) (P: Dietetics or NS major)
  • SPH-N 231 Human Nutrition (3 cr.) +N&M (R: CHEM-C 101 or equivalent and a course in Biology)
  • SPH-N 301 Methods of Nutritional Assessment (3 cr.) (P: SPH-N 231)
  • SPH-N 320 Food Chemistry (3 cr.) (P: CHEM-C 117, R: SPH-N 325)
  • SPH-N 321 Quantity Food Purchasing and Production (4 cr.) (P:SPH- N120, Dietetics major, Senior Standing or permission of instructor) (See advisor for scheduling)
  • SPH-N 322 Management Systems in Dietetics (3cr.) (P: SPH-N 321, Dietetics major)
  • SPH-N 325 Food Chemistry Laboratory (3 cr.) (R or C: SPH-N 230)
  • SPH-N 331 Life Cycle Nutrition (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 336 Public Health Nutrition (3 cr.) (P: Dietetics major)
  • SPH-N 401 Issues in Dietetics (1 cr.) (P: Dietetics major)
  • SPH-N 416 Nutrition Counseling and Education (3cr.) (P: Dietetics major, SPH-N 431)
  • SPH-N 430 Advanced Nutrition I (3 cr.) (P: SPH-N 321 -AND- CHEM-C 341 or CHEM-R 340)
  • SPH-N 431 Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 cr.) (P: ANAT-A 215 -AND- PHSL-P 215)
  • SPH-N 432 Advanced Nutrition II (3 cr.) (P: SPH-N 430)
  • SPH-N 433 Medical Nutrition Therapy Application (3 cr.) (P: Dietetics major)
  • SPH-H 351 Complementary and Alternative Approaches to Health (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 494 Research and Evaluation Methods in Health and Safety (3 cr.)
  • SPH-N 480 Mech of Nutrient Action (3 cr. or BIOL- L312

Additional Major Courses (41 cr.)
A minimum grade of C- is required in each pertinent major course, except CHEM-C 117 and CHEM-C 127, which each require a minimum grade of C for admission to the dietetics program.
Complete each of the following courses:

  • ANAT-A 215 Basic Human Anatomy (5 cr.) +N&M
  • BIOL-M 200 Microorganisms in Nature and Disease (3 cr.) (P: MSCI-M 115 -or- PHSL- P 215 -or- a college course in biology or chemistry)
  • CHEM-C 117 Principles of Chemistry and Biochemistry I (3 cr.) (minimum grade of C required for admission) +N&M
  • CHEM-C 127 Chemistry and Biochemistry Laboratory I (2 cr.) (minimum grade of C required for admission) +N&M
  • CHEM-R 340 Survey of Organic Chemistry (3 cr.) orCHEM-C 341 Organic Chemistry Lecture I (3 cr.)
  • CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
  • COLL-P 155 Public Oral Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPH-H 360 Writing in Public Health (3 cr.) or ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills (3 cr.)
  • PHSL-P 215 Basic Human Physiology (5 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology 1  (3 cr.) +N&M
  • PSY-P 325 Psychology of Learning (3 cr.) or PSY-P 335 Cognitive Psychology (3 cr.) or EDUC-P 254 Educational Psychology for Teachers - All Grades (3 cr.)
  • SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.) +S&H
  • SPH-Q 381 Introduction to Biostatistics (3 cr.) or MATH/PSY-K 300 Statistical Techniques (3 cr.)

Suggested Electives

  • SPH-N 305 Sports Nutrition (R: SPH-N231 or N220)
  • BIOL-L 112 Biological Mechanisms N&M (May not sub L100, L104, E112, Q201)
  • BIOL-L 211 Molecular Biology (P: BIOL-L112)
  • BIOL-L 311 Genetics (P: BIOL-L211)
  • BIOL-L 331 Introduction to Human Genetics*
  • CHEM-C342 Organic Chemistry II Lectures (P: C341)
  • CHEM-C483 Biological Chemisry (P: 18 hrs. Chem, incl. C342)
  • PHSL-P421 Principles of Human Physiology*
  • SPEA-E272 Introduction to Environmental Sciences N&M
  • SPEA-H 316 Environmental Health
  • SPH-K 409 Basic Physiology of Exercise (P: PHSL-P215)

+ Courses with an N&M notation apply toward both major requirements and the natural and mathematical sciences general education requirement. These count in both places.

Suggested Dietetics Courses for the First-Year Student
Fall Semester
ENG-W 131 Elementary Composition 1 (3 cr.)
PSY-P 101 Introductory Psychology (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities Elective /World Languages and Cultures Elective (3 cr.)
CHEM-C 117 (3 cr.) and CHEM-C 127 (2 cr.) or CHEM-C 103 (5 cr.) or MATH-M 118 or M 119 (3 cr.)
SPH-N 120 Introduction to Foods (3 cr.)

Spring Semester
CHEM-C 117 (3 cr.) and CHEM-C 127 (2 cr.) or CHEM-C 103 (5 cr.)
CLAS-C 209 Medical Terms from Greek and Latin (2 cr.)
PSY-P 102 Introductory Psychology 2 (3 cr.)
SPH-B 150 Introduction to Public Health (3 cr.)
Arts and Humanities Elective /World Languages and Cultures Elective (3 cr.)

Special Opportunities

Experiential and Service Learning: Courses cover the wide range of dietetics topics to forge a curriculum that enables the students to fulfill knowledge requirements established by ACEND. Experiential and service learning activities include food and food chemistry labs; nutrition counseling case studies and role play; planning and preparing special event meals; designing a research project; and running a cooking class for at-risk youth.

Faculty and Facilities: The diverse nutrition faculty provide a wide range of expertise in teaching and research. The program's location in the School of Public Health-Bloomington allows students and faculty to focus beyond nutrition to the areas of fitness, health, epidemiology, and environmental health. Facilities include teaching and research labs, technology-rich classrooms, recreational facilities, and outdoor spaces on a beautiful campus. Consistent volunteer and work opportunities exist on campus with IU Athletics and IU Dining and at off-campus sites such as the local Boys and Girls Clubs, the Bloomington Community Orchard, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, the Campus Farm, and Meadowood Retirement Center.

Interprofessional Education: The program is an active participant in the TEACH! curriculum developed and implemented by the Indiana University Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. Interprofessional Education activities are incorporated into multiple core dietetics courses.

Student Leadership: The Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at IU (SANDIU) provides opportunities for student leadership and encourages seniors to mentor sophomores and juniors. SANDIU provides numerous opportunities for community nutrition outreach.

Outcomes: The SPH-B Dietetics program has strong outcomes, with a 92% placement rate of alums into supervised practice programs and >95% one-year passage rate on the national RD exam since the year 2000.


RDNs may work in clinical settings such as hospitals, long term care facilities, nutrition clinics, or private practice; serve on a health care team; or work one-on-one with people in the treatment and prevention of disease. Community-based RDNs counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices designed to prevent disease and promote health. Management RDNs often oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation in health care facilities, schools, universities, restaurant chains, or private industry. A growing number of RDNs work in business, journalism, marketing, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs. Dietitians who enjoy research may prefer the food industry, where they can research and develop food products, services, or educational programs; or in major medical centers where clinical research is conducted. With advanced degrees, dietitians may pursue careers in dietetics education.

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