One Degree. Endless Possibilities.
When it comes to human health, few topics create more interest or more discussion than food and nutrition. What we eat has a profound impact on health, affecting a number of the most critical issues upsetting health in this country. From the obesity epidemic to rising rates of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, nutrition plays a critical role in improving patient outcomes.
A degree in nutrition and dietetics can lead you down any number of fascinating career paths — all depending on where you feel called to serve. Our graduates provide nutrition services in many areas such as in hospitals, long term care facilities, wellness programs, schools, community programs, food and nutrition publications, sports teams, fitness clubs and private nutrition consulting.
For over 100 years, Samford University’s Nutrition and Dietetics program has been preparing students to become competent, entry-level dietitians or dietetic technicians.
The mission of the Samford University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to provide a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum that equips students with the core knowledge and experiential activities needed to develop critical thinking skills, professionalism, technical expertise, and skills needed for entrance into a graduate and/or a supervised practice program leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam as a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist. This program enables students to pursue knowledge in a distinctive Christian environment where faculty of the department are committed to the preparation of competent entry-level practitioners and dedicated servant leaders in the profession of dietetics who will contribute to the needs of their local, regional, and global communities.
"While emphasizing both research and professionalism, this program combines the importance of service with the ever-growing field of nutrition. I developed more qualities than I ever would have imagined—qualities such as leadership, time management, patience and grace. I can confidently say that I am able to use those qualities every day as a dietetic intern and will continue to use them as a dietitian in the near future." Emma Grace Benton '21
The first reason to consider Samford for nutrition and dietetics is the excellent academics. You will be challenged, but you will learn more and grow more than you can imagine. Beyond academics, there are several reasons to consider Samford’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, including:
- Low student-to-teacher ratio in the classroom
- Highly educated and experienced faculty who are always available to you.
- Robust opportunities for experiential learning and interprofessional education
- State-of-the-art facilties, including 16 workstations in two food labs, a nutrition research lab and a food science lab
- Opportunities to study abroad.
- Pre-selection application and admission for Samford’s Dietetic Internship
- Leadership opportunities through the student-led Student Dietetic Association, Samford Body Positive and Kappa Omicron Nu, the honor society for students in human sciences, including nutrition and food science.
- 100% placement rate into supervised practice programs/graduate school for DPD graduates
- 95% pass rate for graduates of supervised practice programs that have attended Samford’s DPD program
Prospective students must apply for admission to Samford University. Transfer students must have a 2.5 GPA.
Students and applicants with disabilities who seek accommodations must make a request by contacting the Section 504/Disability Access and Accommodation Coordinator, 205-726-4078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDR, the Commission on Dietetic Registration, requires that individuals complete course work and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Upon successful completion of the Bachelor of Science and DPD program requirements in Nutrition and Dietetics at Samford University, graduating students are eligible to apply for acceptance into a Dietetic Internship or Supervised Practice Program. Upon completion of a Dietetic Internship or Supervised Practice Program, students are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist.
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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.
For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.
Program outcomes data are available upon request. Please contact program leadership for this information.
The undergraduate Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a Title IV gatekeeper. This recognition affirms that ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs. ACEND is also a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) and abides by its code of good practice. The address and phone number of ACEND are: 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995, 312-0899-4876.Learn More
In the Professional Practicum class, students have the opportunity to work with Dietetic and Nutrition professionals in the community. Learning by direct observation and then by doing are hallmarks of this experience. Students are given the opportunity under the supervision of professionals in the field to use the nutrition and foods knowledge they have gained from school to begin to help others. Service Learning becomes a reality. Students come away from this opportunity more confident in their choice of major, more excited about their field of study and better equipped to work with others in a professional and community setting. This is a confidence and skill building experience.
-Donna R. Seibels, M.S., RD, LD, Assistant Professor & Clinical Coordinator, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Life in the Program
Samford's nutrition and dietetics professors continually go above and beyond as they train the next generation of registered dietitians. The strong focus on research, public speaking, and service prepared me well for my current position as a dietitian in the third highest-ranked NICU in the country. Every day, I use skills that I developed at Samford, in tasks like analyzing research studies, educating resident physicians, and creating nutrition support plans for tiny, precious babies.
The support my classmates and I received from our professors was exceptional and unrelenting. We were challenged academically, and as a result we became better dietitians. From the state-of-the-art kitchen classrooms, to supervised practice, to the chance to study abroad, there are so many opportunities for learning and growth at Samford.
I can't adequately express how grateful and proud I am to have completed my nutrition and dietetics degree at Samford. I wouldn't trade it for the world!
- Rebecca Vander Veer, ‘14, nutrition and dietetics
Program Goals and Objectives
Program Goal 1
To prepare Didactic Program in Nutrition (DPD) graduates with the core knowledge, critical thinking skills, and technical expertise and skills needed for acceptance into an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program and/or graduate school.
Objective 1: 80% of program graduates agree that the Nutrition & Dietetics curriculum provided the core knowledge and experiential activities needed to develop critical thinking skills, and technical expertise and skills needed to prepare them for an ACEND accredited supervised practice program and/or graduate program as evidenced by the reporting of a well prepared to very well prepared rating on the overall knowledge areas listed on the Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.
Objective 2: 80% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation as indicated by Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.
Objective 3: 80% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation as indicated by Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.
Objective 4: 50% of program graduates are accepted into a graduate program within two years of graduation as indicated by Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.
Objective 5: The programs’ 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%.
Objective 6: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within six years (150% of the program length) as indicated by Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.
Objective 7: At least 70% of supervised practice directors who respond to a survey will rate program graduates preparedness regarding overall core knowledge/skills needed to complete a supervised practice program as ‘prepared’ or better (very prepared) using a 5 point scale, where 4 is ‘prepared’.
Program Goal 2
To prepare program graduates who are able to communicate effectively in an inter-professional environment within the health care field and who exhibit characteristics of servant leadership in community and/or global environments.
Objective 1: 80% of program graduates responding to the Nutrition & Dietetics Alumni survey will report participation in professional and/or community service activities with diverse groups and populations over a 3-year period.
Objective 2: 80% of program graduates will indicate on the Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey that their ability to be an effective health care team member was enhanced through participation in group projects and other activities that included students from other health care programs within the College of Health Sciences.
Objective 3: 70% of program graduates will recognize the importance of professional service activities and organizations as evidenced by their participation in Nutrition and Dietetics professional local, state, and/or national groups as indicated by Nutrition & Dietetics graduate survey.