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Nutrition and Dietetics Program

The Nutrition and Dietetics, B.S. program is a 120-hour undergraduate degree program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting body for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

ND Students


Mission Statement

The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to provide active learning opportunities and community engagement that promotes health in diverse communities while preparing students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

The didactic program in Dietetics at Western Carolina University is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: 800-877-1600 ext 5400

Application Process and Information

Admission into the Nutrition and Dietetics program at WCU is a selective process requiring individuals to apply to gain acceptance. Students may declare a pre-major in nutrition and dietetics when they have completed, or are concurrently completing, all liberal studies and program pre-requisites. Students must formally apply and be admitted to the program before beginning the professional sequence of courses in the junior year. See the Student Handbook for more information.  

The application process, required documents, and student handbook are provided in the links below:

The Nutrition and Dietetics, B.S. program is a 120-hour undergraduate degree program. Listed below are links to the catalog course requirements and suggested eight semester plan. 

Program Goals and Objectives

Western Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD Program) and a Master of Health Science (M.H.S.) degree with a concentration specialization in nutrition.

The goals and objectives (measurable outcomes as required and approved by ACEND) for the DPD Nutrition and Dietetics program at Western Carolina University are as follows:

GOAL 1: Graduates will have knowledge to be competent for entry into supervised practice settings and entry level practice.

Objective 1.1:  90% of program graduates who enter a supervised practice program will indicate that they were ‘prepared’ or ‘very well prepared’ for supervised practice.

Objective 1.2:  65% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.

Objective 1.3:  60% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.

Objective 1.4:  80% of graduates in a dietetic internship will receive an overall satisfactory or better rating of graduate preparation from supervised practice program directors.

Objective 1.5: 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 nutritionist is at least 80%.

GOAL 2:  The WCU DPD Program will prepare graduates who are committed to professional involvement and community engagement.

Objective 2.1:   At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of program length).

Objective 2.2:  90% of program graduates intend to continue their community engagement in applied nutrition and dietetic activities post-graduation.

NOTE: Student learning outcomes will be assessed through the KRDN Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan required by ACEND.

Outcomes data and reports related to accreditation are available upon request from the ND Program Director, DPD Director, or School of Health Sciences Director.

Program Cost

Estimated minimum expenses for a full-time undergraduate for the academic year are published each year on the WCU Admissions website.

Housing and meals are included in usual residential student fees. Books at WCU are rented and the fee is included in the registration fees.

Program Additional Fees

Additional costs for the ND program may include:

  • Selected supplemental texts or workbooks required for specific courses.  It is also recommended to purchase many of the nutrition textbooks for future reference.
  • Student membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is required once accepted into the ND program cohort.  Membership in the Academy affords the student access to the Evidence Analysis Library, a required resource for assignments in many of the required courses.
  • Dietetics program academic fees
  • ServSafe Certification: Students will become ServSafe Certified during the program. Purchase of coursebook and test is available at the WCU Bookstore.

Information about RD examination and eligibility requirements can be found on the Commission on Dietetic Registration website. 

Information about dietetic technicians and eligibility requirements can be found on the Commission on Dietetic Registration website. 

Refer to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition for licensure information in the state of North Carolina

Various financial sources, such as grants, loans, scholarships and student employment are available to qualified undergraduate students. To become eligible, an application for financial assistance can be obtained by contacting WCU Financial Aid Office in Room 218 of the Killian Annex (, 828-227-3181.   Additional information can be found in the current printed catalog.  Financial aid recipients are expected to comply with the guidelines established by each specific granting or loaning agency.  

There are three scholarships available specifically for ND students in the DPD program: the Wilma Cosper Scholarship, the Dr. Barbara Cosper Scholarship, and the Leland and Francile Keith Waters Scholarship. The general scholarship application is required for consideration for these scholarships. Application opens during the Fall semester, and the deadline for submitting the scholarship application online is in early Spring semester. Students also must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by January 1 each year in order to be considered for need-based scholarships.

Nutrition and Dietetics Program Faculty

Ruhamah (Ru) Caulkins

Instructor, DPD Program Director


Christina Meyer-Jax

Associate Instructor, DI Program Director and Coordinator of Clinical Education


Anna Dysart

Assistant Professor


C.Y. Wang

Professor, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Sciences


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