A Closer Look at
The Dietetics MajorOffered by: CALS Nutrition and Food Sciences Department
Eating right to live better has become a top priority for many Americans. As highly trained professionals, dietitians specialize in teaching about the relationship between food, nutrition and health. The study of health and nutrition is rooted in the physical and biochemical sciences. It is comprehensive in scope, integrating knowledge of the psychological and social sciences. Dietetics is the integration and application of principles derived from the sciences of food, nutrition, management, communication, and biological, physiological, behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain optimal human health.
A Look at Our Program
Our curriculum provides a solid background in basic science, preventive and therapeutic nutrition, food safety and quantity food management. It will provide you with the academic credibility needed to counsel people about nutrition and health.
The program is designed to meet or exceed the didactic requirements prescribed by the American Dietetic Association. The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of Vermont is currently granted developmental accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association. UVM is the only school in Vermont to offer this coursework. In 2003, 100% of UVM graduates were accepted into highly competitive dietetic internships, which are offered around the country and are required for registration eligibility. The national acceptance rate into dietetic internships is 72%. Our graduates have interned at such sites as Beth Israel and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and NY Presbyterian.
Graduates must also pass the national registration exam to become a registered dietitian. Since 1990, nearly 100 percent of all UVM graduates have passed the exam on the first try compared to 78 percent nationally since 1990.
What Will I Study?
All students are required to complete the basic distribution requirements for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences which includes courses in communications, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. In addition, you'll take specified courses in nutrition and food sciences.
Exciting Field Experience
Students have many opportunities to gain practical experience while at UVM. Dietetics majors can engage in laboratory or field research with a faculty member for academic credit, or, in some cases, as employees. One of our students is currently the 2003 Bickford Keystone Award winner and is doing independent research on the role of dairy foods in weight loss diets. Additionally, through a USDA grant, Dr. Stephen Pintauro will be able to offer undergraduate students a research and outreach experience working in middle schools on an Internet food safety project.
Others students have been placed in clinical, community or industry field experiences for credit during the academic year or summer. Students have been placed in clinical positions in hospitals and nursing homes; in community public health or non-profit organization such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Headstart and the Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger; or food industries including Ben & Jerry's. Additionally, students can take advantage of an international development experience offered over the summer in Latin America or the Caribbean through the Community Development and Applied Economics Department.
A Look at Your Future
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dietitians is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations through the year 2005 because of increased emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population, and public interest in nutrition. Career opportunities include food and nutrition management, community or public health nutrition (WIC programs, public health departments, Headstart, education and research (worksite wellness, health clubs/spas, Cooperative Extension, research assistant), consultant/private practice, business and industry (pharmaceutical, food industry, food service, trade associations), media, international food organizations (US AID, Care, Peace Corps), and public policy/government organizations (USDA, NIH). Additionally, many of our students go on to graduate or professional schools to be physicians, physical therapists, physician's assistants or dentists.
According to ADA's 2002 Dietetics Compensation and Benefits Survey, half of all RDs in the U.S. who have been working in the field for four years or less earn between $33,000 and $42,000 per year. As with any profession, salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility, and supply of RDs. Salaries increase with years of experience and many RDs, particularly those in management, business, and consulting earn incomes above $50,000.
Careers in Dietetics/Nutrition and Food Sciences
Faculty and Area of Expertise
Last modified September 10 2007 04:11 PM