Nutrition and Dietetics

Academic Program

The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400, Initial accreditation for the program at the baccalaureate level was granted October of 2005. 

Program Philosophy and Mission

The mission of the College: “To provide a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy but who are without sufficient means to procure such training” (Rev. James Forsyth, founder of the school, in 1906).

"The mission of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at College of the Ozarks is to prepare graduates of Christ-like character for acceptance into accredited internship programs and for entry-level careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.  The program will equip graduates for their roles as active citizens, ethical decision makers and servant leaders committed to empowering their communities to live healthfully".

Program Goals, and Outcome Measures

 Goal 1
The program will attract and retain well-qualified, competent and satisfied candidates.

Outcome Measures

1.  Within 1 year of DPND completion, 50% of graduates not applying to Dietetic Internships (DI) will be accepted into post-graduate programs.

2.  80% of graduates accepted to DI will be rated "satisfactory" for competence in foundation knowledge and skills by their internship directors.

3.  80% of graduates will agree with the statement that College of the Ozarks faculty provided high quality education.

4.  80% of graduates will agree with the statement that Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) faculty are attentive to each student, provide personalized instruction and care about each student.

Goal 2
The program will prepare students for entry into supervised practice, graduate programs or nutrition related employment.

Outcome Measures

1.  Over a five year period, 80% of those applying to DI programs the academic year they complete the DPND will be accepted.

2.  Alumni will achieve an 80% pass rate over a five year period for first-time test takers of the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam.

3.  Over a five year period, 70% of graduates not completing a DI will be employed in nutrition related jobs within 1 year of program completion.

4.  Over a five year period, 60% of DPND graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the academic year they complete the program.

Goal 3
The DPND will serve the College and the community by participating in nutrition related work and activities.

Outcome Measure

1.  80% of graduates will have participated in at least two college or community nutrition related activities.

2.  80% of graduates will have worked at least 1 year in a food or nutrition related job either on or off campus while attending college.



Deborah Piland Ph.D, RD/LD
Director, Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics
Assistant Professor of Family and Consumer Science

 Program Admission and Policies

Students interested in the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPND) should meet the admission criteria to the College. The founding charter commits the College to serving “especially those found worthy but who are without sufficient means to procure such training.” See the College Catalog at

Students interested in pursuing a career in nutrition and dietetics should contact the Registrar’s office to declare Nutrition and Dietetics as a major and the Program Director for advisement as soon as possible. The advisor will help plan an individual course schedule designed to meet program requirements. It is important to begin promptly on the dietetics schedule as sequencing of courses is required.

Success as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) or nutrition professional depends on having or being able to acquire certain characteristics including:

  1. Concern for people,
  2. Assertiveness and confidence,
  3. Ability to communicate well in written and verbal forms,
  4. Scientific aptitude in chemistry, biology, and math,
  5. Organizational and time management skills. 

The Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics will follow all policies of the College and utilize all student support services available at the College.

The program will follow the College calendar with the possible exception of Independent Study courses and/or 48V Internship/Practicum courses.

Dietetic students will not make nutritional assessments, plans, perform specific diet instructions or personalized education without proper supervision or co-signature of a registered dietitian or nutritionist who holds liability insurance or is employed by an organization that holds professional insurance.

Nutrition and Dietetics Handbook


While completing the Dietetics program curriculum, students will be instructed on :

  • The scientific aspects of foods,
  • The relationship of food and its components to health,
  • Food systems management,
  • Accounting and personnel administration,
  • How people make health and dietary decisions,
  • How the nutrition care process and medical nutrition therapy may assist them.

The Nutrition and Dietetics majors at College of the Ozarks have the advantage of a low student faculty ratio. This enables students to receive more individualized assistance with course work and program requirements. The faculty also provide personalized assistance in achieving  specific career goals. At College of the Ozarks, opportunities are available for Nutrition and Dietetics majors to complete practicum work for course credit at local area institutions and programs, such as a community hospital or the Woman, Infants, Children (WIC) clinic.

The suggested sequence of courses for the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at College of the Ozarks:

Freshman Year - Total Credit Hours: 33-35
1st Semester 2nd Semester
PSY 103 Introduction to Psychology or SOC 103 Introduction to Sociology SPC 103 Public Speaking
FCN 104 Introductory Food Study HST 103 The American Experience
CHE 134 General, Organic, Biochemistry I IDS 103 Patriotic Education
ART 103, DRM 103 or MUS 103 MAT 133 College Algebra
ENG 103 College Composition CHE 144 General, Organic, Biochemistry II
ART 103, DRM 103, MUS 103 PED 101 Lifetime Wellness
17 hours 17 hours

Sophomore Year - Total Credit Hours: 32-34
1st Semester 2nd Semester
BIO 164 Human Anatomy and Physiology I FCN 203 Contemporary Nutrition or FCN 303 Fundamentals of Nutrition
FCN 201 Food Safety and Sanitation BUS 213 Principles of Management
ENG 153 Readings in the Western Tradition HST 233 Western Civilization II
BTS 103 Christian Worldview I ENG 233 Writing in the Western Tradition
HST  153 Western Civilization I BIO 174 Human Anatomy and Physiology II
CSC 253 Informatics or LSC 213 Information Literacy  
17 hours 16 hours

Junior Year - Total Credit Hours: 32-35 hours
1st semester 2nd Semester
FCN 374 Food Systems Management FCN 323 Nutrition Care Process/Education/Counseling
FCN 263 Child Nutrition ACC 203 Elementary Accounting I
BIO 214 Medical Microbiology FCN 311 Medical Terminology
MAT 143 Statistics FCN 404 Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism
BTE 383 Christian World View II PED Activities Course Elective (1 cr)
  Electives 3-6 hours
17 hours 15-18 hours

Senior Year - Total Credit Hours: 30-36
1st semester 2nd semester
FCN 384 Medical Nutrition Therapy FCN 393 Community Nutrition
FCN 412 Senior Seminar in Dietetics FCN 383 Practicum
ENG 333 Technical Writing FCN 363 Food Science
Electives 6-9 hours Fine Arts General Education course 3 hours
  Electives 3-6 hours
15-18 hours 15- 18 hours

Graduation requirements for the Nutrition and Dietetics Program are identical with the requirements for a baccalaureate degree which includes the completion of a minimum of 125 semester hours of credit, of which 36 hours are upper division credit, with a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade point average. Students shall satisfy the general education requirements and the degree requirements in effect at the time of admission.

In order to receive a Verification Statement, which is required for application to Dietetic Internships and Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR) registration exam eligibility, the student must earn at least a 3.0 overall GPA in courses required for the major. Students wishing to receive Verification Statements are required to complete a Verification Statement Request Form and complete a Program Assessment Exit Survey.  Both of these documents are availale from the DPND director.  Verification Statements will be completed after a B.S. in Dietetics or program completion is recorded on the final transcript. For those students participating in the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS), the Verification Statement will be completed electronically.

A Verification Statement which includes the original signature of the DPND director should be submitted with applications to dietetic internships, to the AND as a part of the active membership status application and may be requested by employers or graduate schools.

A Declaration of Intent form will be provided to students by the program director for those who apply to a dietetic internship before required coursework is completed.  This form substitutes for the Verification Statement and lists coursework in progress which fulfills didactic program requirements.  Upon completion of the DPND course requirements, a final Verification Statement will be awarded upon written request by the student.  For those students participating in the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS), the intent form will be completed electronically.

DPND graduates who receive Verification Statements are eligible to sit for the Dietetic Technician, Registerd (DTR) Exam.  See for more information on the option.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Credentialing Process

Nutrition and Dietetics is a very challenging and diverse field. There are a wide range of career opportunities in this ever-changing profession. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, there are an impressive array of options and exciting opportunities in a variety of settings. There are opportunities to work in a health care position providing nutritional services for patients. There are RDNs who work in the community, counseling individuals and groups on nutrition practices to prevent disease and promote good health. Food companies hire RDNs to help develop or market healthier food products and many businesses hire RDNs to help their employees and customers live healthfully.  Additional opportunities include working in food service management, supervising the planning, preparation, and service of meals, along with other management tasks, in settings such as universities, schools, and hospitals.

The credentialing process:

To become a registered dietitian (RDN), specific requirements must be met. Current requirements include completion of a Bachelor's degree academic preparation, supervised practice, and passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians to become credentialed as an RDN. These requirements are periodically reviewed by the AND and are subject to change. The College of the Ozarks Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is accredited by ACEND and upon successful completion of the program, a Bachelors of Science in Dietetics and a verification statement stating current DPND requirements have been met, will be granted. Students are eligible to apply to accredited supervised practice programs during their last semester.

An accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program provides opportunites and experiences for the achievement of performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice. The DI follows completion of the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics and a baccalaureate degree. Some programs may be combined with graduate degrees and some may be completed part-time. For more information and listing of accredited supervised practice programs see

In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners.  Licensure for dietitians in Missouri has been required since August, 2004.  Information for Missouri licensure of dietitians may be viewed at

 During FCN 412 Senior Seminar in Dietetics, students receive information on the application process for dietetic internships.  Many programs now use the Dietetic Internship Central Application Service (DICAS) online for this process.  In addition, students register with D & D Digital in order to participate in the computer matching process.  This process is used to match internships top choices with the student's top choices.  The student must rank the internships in order of preference.  There is a $50 fee for the matching process.  Postmark dates are in February and September and notifications are made in April and November. Students will receive their match by email on the match date.  If the student is matched with an internship, the student must contact the internship director within two days to accept the position.  If the student is not matched, the students can access the D & D Digital website two days after the matching date to view a list of internships with space available.  Students who are not matched are encouraged to contact the program director as soon as possible.  The D & D digital website can be found at and the DICAS Online site at for more information.

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