Dietetics: Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)

Accredited Program in Dietetics

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of Maryland.

Since 1977, our ACEND Accredited Program prepares students to become outstanding Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN).

Students of the Dietetics Program at the University of Maryland benefit from decades of experience from our accomplished and diverse faculty. Graduates of our Dietetics Program may choose to pursue entry into medical and dental school, pharmacy and physician assistant school, or graduate study in a variety of fields.

Approximately 130 students are enrolled in the program. Of alumni who have taken the national Registration Exam for Dietitians in the past five years, 100 percent have passed the exam within one year of first attempt. More program outcomes data are available upon request.

*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). Additionally, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

With pride, we invite you to explore what a degree in Dietetics can do for you.

UMD COVID-19 Information and Updates - Click Here

As we strive to serve our students and prospective students, the Dietetics Program now offers Virtual Office Hours via Zoom on Thursdays 1:30 PM to 2:45PM. To reserve an appointment time, use the link below to find an open time slot.

Sign up for Virtual Office Hours here.

Questions about the Dietetics Program? Email: mudahogo@umd.edu

Mission, Goals, and Objectives

Mission

The University of Maryland Dietetics Program aims to provide a robust academic foundation which emphasizes the sciences and research principles for health, nutrition, foods, and foodservice administration through a curriculum which prepares graduates to enter supervised practice with critical knowledge to succeed as a registered dietitian.

Program Goals

Program Goal 1: To prepare graduates with a strong comprehensive education with knowledge and skills for successful completion of supervised dietetic internship practice.

Program Objectives for Goal 1:

  • At least 80% of program students complete the program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of program length).
  • 60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  • 60% of  program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • 90% of seniors, responding to the exit interview, will report a ≥ 2.5 (on a scale of 1-5, strongly disagree to strongly agree) on all items when asked how their coursework and advising prepared them for a career in Dietetics. 
  • 85% of Internship Directors responding to a survey respond with ≥ 4 or better (on a scale of 1-5, poor to exceptional) on all items when asked how University of Maryland DPD coursework and advising prepared their interns for a career in Dietetics. 

Program Goal 2: To prepare graduates to be competent entry-level dietitians.

Program Objectives for Goal 2:

  • 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%.
  • 90% of one or three year alumni who return the survey will respond with ≥ 2.5 (on a scale of 1-5, strongly disagree to strongly agree) on all items when asked how their coursework and advising prepared them for a career in Dietetics.

Accreditation Status

The Dietetics program at the University of Maryland is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 9-0040312-89, ext 5400.

Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) or Registered Dietitians (RDs) are food and nutrition experts. They work in many areas including clinical, community, food service, sports nutrition, corporate wellness, public health, nutrition education, research, government, private practice, consultation, and others.

Registered dietitians are in demand, as the field of nutrition expands and changes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics, employment of dietitians is expected to grow 11% on average from 2018-2028.

Dietitians are professionals with the training to meet today's challenges of an aging population and prevention and treatment of chronic disease. As public interest and nutrition awareness continues to grow, new opportunities will emerge for dietitians and nutritionists.

According to the Academy's 2019 Compensation and Benefits Survey of the Dietetics Profession, the median salary for RDNs with a bachelor's degree at registration and employed <5 years was $53,600. Salary level is dependent upon geographical location, education level, years of experience, employment setting, and responsibilities of the RDNs. 

Steps to become a Registered Dietitian

  1. Complete a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics at a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) such as UMD DPD

  2. Successfully complete a Dietetic Internship (DI) program or ISPP (Individualized supervised practice pathway), which are accredited by ACEND. 

  3. Pass the National Examination for Registration administrated by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). ALL U.S. states and territories with licensure and certification laws accept the RDN credential for state licensure and certification purposes.

  4. To maintain their credentials, RD or RDN must complete continuing professional educational requirements.

Note:  effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Need more information?

Please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

What is a RDN?

5 steps to become a RDN

For High School Students

Information for Students

Admission and Completion

Admission:

In order to be admitted to the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of Maryland, students must follow the admission requirements of the University of Maryland and declare their major as Dietetics. The Dietetics program code for application is 1307D.

Please review the admission requirements by clicking on the type of applicants below: 

For questions about applying to the University of Maryland:  the admission office provides you answers to commonly asked questions (click here to review the FAQs) to decrease your stress of applying to college.

 Students who are enrolled in other majors at the University of Maryland: must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to switch to Dietetics. Prior to meeting with the DPD director, a student must have completed the AGNR Change of Major Workshop. For additional instructions on changing majors, please review the Dietetic Student Handbook .

The undergraduate catalog contains information such as:

  • Admission Information
  • Fees, Expenses and Financial Aid
  • Student Resources and Services
  • Academic Policies and Procedures
  • General Education 
  • The College and Schools
  • University Policies
  • Approved Courses
  • Administration, Officials and Faculty
Completion:

To graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, students must meet the University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Dietetics Program requirements. These include:

  1. All General Education credits. For more information, refer to the Student Handbook 2020-2021 or undergraduate catalog. 

  2. All courses marked with an asterisk in the four year plan with a grade of "C-" of better.

Due to the competitive nature of the Dietetic Internship programs, students are recommended to strive for a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in science courses, DPD courses, and overall.

All graduates of the Dietetics Program receive an official verification statement from the DPD Director. This document indicates  the date B.S. Degree was conferred and that a student meets all academic and professional requirements as put forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Four copies of the verification statement will be mailed to the student within 6 weeks after graduation to the contact address provided by the student. The verification statement is an essential document for proof of achievement which will be needed for both entry into dietetic internship as well as state licensure. Students who require additional copies of their verification statements must contact the current DPD Director. Signed copies of the verification statement will be mailed. Students who did not complete all required DPD coursework will not recieve verification statements.

Program Costs and Financial Aid

Program Costs

 

Please refer to the current UMD Undergraduate Catalog for current Undergraduate fees and expenses.

General billing questions can be answered at the Financial Service Center (Room 1135 of the Lee Building), and current billing schedule can be found here.

Tuition and fee information is also published in the Registration Guide every academic year.

Membership Fees recommended for the DPD program include but are not limited to: 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ($58 annually)

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition ($50)

Some transportation expenses should be expected to attend professional development meetings, for work experience, and course-related seminars. Individual course materials such as textbooks, posters, and copying costs should be anticipated​.  


Financial Aid  


Financial Aid is provided in the form of loans, scholarships, tuition waivers, employment and awards. Current information about FAFSA, and merit and financial need based scholarships is available through the Office of Financial Aid.

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources also provides a list of dietetic ​scholarship opportunities. The University offers a Terp Payment Plan​ which allows students to spread out costs using easy monthly payments. Students may also seek employment to cover expenses.

Additionally, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers ​educational stipends or scholarships to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate dietetics or food and nutrition related areas.

 

Courses, Calendar, and Resources

Courses

To complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics, students follow a recommended sequence which corresponds to the Major Requirements. Some courses are offered in Fall or Spring only. Students are responsible for meeting prerequisites for all courses.

More information can be found on Testudo or in the Student Handbook 2020-2021.

Calendar

The Dietetics program follows all UMD Academic Calendars. For deadlines, holidays, and other important dates, visit the Office of the Provost online.

Each semester, students meet with assigned faculty advisors to review their academic goals and plans. Every advising period, reminders with specific instructions are emailed to students from AGNR Assistant Director Sara Kao and DPD Director Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RD.

To be added to the email list, please contact nfscinfo@umd.edu.

Resources

For additional support services and other resources, we invite students to utilize the Student Success Office. Here students will find tutoring services, disability services, access to health and wellness programs, financial resources, career planning, and other academic success resources.

Peer Mentoring Services

AGNR offers Peer Mentoring services. Mentors are students who have achieved good academic success while gaining work experience and pursue extracurricular activities. As fellow students, mentors interact with peers to discuss everyday campus issues, advising, scheduling classes, registration, and more.

For the Dietetics Program, Emily Hillig is available to answer your questions.

 Emily Hillig is majoring in Dietetics. She is from Northern Virginia and wants to become a registered dietitian in a clinical or community health setting. She is currently working on creating a RD2BE Mentorship Program to help dietetic students have the ability to talk to RD's early in their dietetic career as well as helping with the Community THRIVES Lab over in the School of Public Health at UMD. Emily is currently the Vice President of Operations of our Student Dietetic Association, Secretary for Sigma Alpha Lambda, and the Communications Chair for AGNR's Dean Student Advisory Council. 

Emily Hillig

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit AGNR Peer Mentors

 

Second Career in Dietetics

If you already have an undergraduate degree and are interested in pursuing a career in Dietetics, please read these FAQs for Career Changers from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Dietetics Program Director can evaluate your previous coursework and advise you on completing the coursework necessary to pursue the RD credential. You will also need to apply for admission at the University of Maryland.

There is a charge for this service of $65.00 for the first US transcript and $75 for the first foreign transcript. There is an additional charge of $5 each for each additional transcript (US or foreign). You will be sending only official transcript(s) and a check addressed to UMD to the Dietetic Program Director at 0112 Skinner Building, College Park MD, 20742.

In case you have additional questions, please call the Dietetics Program Director, Margaret Udahogora Ph.D at 301-405-1018 for more information on having your transcripts evaluated.

 

For more information on Dietetics and the process of becoming a Registered Dietitian, please read our FAQs.

Healthy Eating Discovery Summer Camp

Healthy Eating Discovery Summer Camp

We are sorry to inform you that Summer Camp was canceled for 2020.

See you next year!

On behalf of the Dietetics program at the University of Maryland, we would like to share with you an exciting opportunity for your child to participate in an educational and interactive summer camp. For our fifth year, we are offering The Healthy Eating Discovery Summer Camp. This summer camp is science-based curriculum coordinated by Dietetics students under the guidance of Dietetic Program Director, Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RD. 

We will be accommodating 3rd-8th grade students in a 1-week session beginning July 29th through August 2nd. The day camp will be held on campus. Campers will spend the week learning about healthy eating, the science behind how your body utilizes food, and how to create a healthy meal with this knowledge! They will have access to a working kitchen laboratory and the materials to be creative with cooking and explore creating nutritious and delicious meals. Your camper will enjoy mini-cooking competitions, plating and preparing healthy food, scavenger hunts, growing their own herbs, and much more!

 

Healthy Eating Discovery summer camp 2019 flyer  

Healthy Eating Discovery Summer Camp Website 

 

When?

July 29th - August 2nd 2019

9 AM - 3:30 PM (before and after care available upon request)

 

Who?

Rising 3rd - 8th graders

 

Where?

Marie Mount Hall, 7814 Regents Dr, College Park, MD 20742

 

Fee: $285 per child before May 1st and after May 1st $315 per child

Check payable to University of Maryland

Mail fee to:

Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RD

0112 Skinner Building

College Park, MD 20742

 

Questions:

Email healthyterpscamp@gmail.com 

Or call: 301-405-1018

Dietetic Program Activity Highlights

2020 Highlights

Spring 2020 Graduates of the Dietics Program are in a class by themselves! We are proud to celebrate our grads, as they move on to exciting adventures ahead. University of Maryland's unprecedented migration to all-virtual classes did not deter these Terps on their way to success. A virtual commencement was held May 22, 2020, as our graduates celebrated with their family and close friends. The Dietetics Program is pleased to present the the historic and fearless Class of Spring 2020. 

Testudo

2019 Highlights

Terps vs. Pros Sustainable Food Challenge is a YouTube series created by dietetic student Patrick Keenan ‘19 with the support of the Dietetic Program Director Dr. Margaret Udahogora, RDN and her Assistant Faculty, Ashley Lewis (B.Sc. in Dietetics). The series emphasize practical ways to prepare quick and healthy meals while helping to solve the low food security, which has been estimated at 20% through Dietetics Program GetFruved research project sponsored by USDA/University of Tennessee. The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences along with Dining Services funded the first episode featuring a cooking challenge between a student (dietetic intern Emma Slattery ) and a professional sous chef (David Gonzalez). The contestants only had access to limited equipment that our students have on campus: a microwave, few utensils and a mini fridge.  The dishes were judged by Chef Rob Fahey, Executive Chef UMD Dining Services, and Dr. Udahogora based on creativity, taste, texture, and innovative techniques.

To access recipes for Episode 1, please click here.

To access recipes for episodes 2 through 4, please click here.

terps v pros logo

2018 Highlights

Dietetic students and Alumni have done some amazing work in the year of 2018 which includes mentoring programs, Public policy, FNCE 2018 and making an entertaining educational video on solving the low food security on campus. Please check out 2018 Highlights for more information. 

Mar. 11/2019

2017 Highlights

Dietetic Students and Alumni have done amazing things in 2017 from presenting posters at national conferences, empowering the community through Food for Fighters, completing an USDA mini-grant intervention project to promote healthy lifestyles on campus and more. Check out the 2017 Highlights to learn more!

Jan.9/2016

End of 2016 highlights

Dietetics Students are dedicated to apply their knowledge to make a difference  in the lives of members of the global community. The Dietetics Empowering Our Local and International Communities 2016 summarizes some of the creative activities students have been involved in.

—From Dr. Udahogora