Dietitians are nutrition experts who strive for optimal health and nutrition of individuals and the population. The curriculum for the dietetics program as well as the diet and exercise program meet the academic requirements of the didactic program in dietetics and prepares students for a career in the field of dietetics. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Applying to the didactic program

Students enter the university designated as pre-dietetics students. During spring semester of the second year, interested students apply to the didactic program in dietetics. Admission to the program is based on overall GPA (3.0 or above required), completion of required coursework, and completion of the application with interest in becoming a registered dietitian. Students then progress toward earning a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics and receive a verification statement upon graduation, which is needed to apply to an accredited supervised practice program as the next step to becoming credentialed as a registered dietitian.

Program information


Curriculum requirements
2020-21 catalog requirements (PDF)

4-Year plan
2020-21 sample 4-year plan (PDF)

Course sequences
Course sequence flow sheet (PDF)

Accelerated degree option
An accelerated degree option is available for the dietetics program.

Careers and internships

Read about career opportunities and salary information for registered dietitian nutritionists.

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 addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited didactic program in dietetics at Iowa State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please click here.


Iowa State University's Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by ACEND, the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190; Chicago, IL 60606-6995 | 312-899-0040, ext 5400 |

Get involved

Students are encouraged to develop leadership and professional skills and abilities through involvement in student organizations and other extra-curricular experiences. Work and volunteer hours are valuable for enhancing professional potential as well as study abroad experiences and Honors Program membership.