Skip To Main Content

Why Pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics

UTSA’s Nutrition and Dietetics degree serves as the foundation for the Master of Dietetics Studies (MDS) and is the first step to becoming a registered dietitian. As you work toward earning your BS, you’ll attend classes and acquire off-site practicum hours consisting of community dietetics, clinical dietetics, and food service management. In this unique program, you’ll earn a joint degree in both the BS and MDS, which will certify you to take the national exam to become a registered dietitian.

As a dietitian, you’ll determine the appropriate nutrition interventions for all stages of the life cycle. You’ll find employment in a number of healthcare facilities like hospitals, wellness and fitness centers and food service operations.

What is the Coordinated Program in Dietetics?

Our unique program offers a three-year joint degree (or advanced option), both a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Dietetics and Nutrition and a Master of Dietetic Studies (MDS). The combined degrees offer over 1,000 clock hours of supervised experiences equivalent to an internship. Upon successful completion of the three-year professional program, students will receive a verification statement that certifies their eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration national examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN/RD).

Program Accreditation

The Coordinated Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The program was granted full accreditation by the ACEND board in February 2014.

Learn More

Degree Options

Admission Requirements

When you apply to UTSA, you select the major you'd like to study. The choice of major will not impact if you get admitted to the University (all students must meet UTSA's general admission requirements); however, some majors will require additional admission requirements to be able to declare the major your freshman year.

*First-time students, please note that you cannot declare this major as a new student (freshman or transfer)
Nutrition and Dietetics:
 All applicants who meet UTSA’s general admission requirements will be admitted into Life and Health Science Studies until all program requirements for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) can be met when enrolled at UTSA.
Coordinated Program in Dietetics: Once admitted to UTSA, applying for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) typically occurs by your junior year. The application process is conducted by the Nutrition and Dietetics department in the College for Health, Community and Policy. Please note this program is competitive, with only a limited number of seats available each year. See below in the “Enrolled Student” section for details on the requirements students will need to meet in order to advance into the CPD.
Apply on ApplyTexas Apply on CommonApp

Admission into the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

Typically by your junior year, students who were admitted into the Nutrition and Dietetics program as a Life and Health Science studies major must meet the following criteria in order to gain admission into the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD). The CPD is a joint program where students will earn both a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Dietetic Studies. Students who successfully complete the joint degree within the program receive a verification statement that certifies their eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration national examination to become a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN).

  • Must submit a program application with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, your unofficial transcript, two completed reference forms (program specific) preferably by faculty members, a resume, volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal career goals, knowledge of the profession, commitment, interests, and motivation.
  • Must complete all support courses and most of the Texas Core requirements.
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and be in good standing with the University.
  • Must complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C-” or better.
  • Must complete NDT 2043 Introduction to Nutritional Sciences or BIO 2043 Nutrition or equivalent course with a grade of “B-” or better.
  • May not repeat a prerequisite course more than twice to meet the grade criteria.
  • Must complete all support and prerequisite courses) by the end of the summer semester prior to entering the program in the Fall Semester.
  • Must have a personal interview with the program review committee members (by invitation) and receive a decision letter indicating acceptance.

Selection Process: The Dietetic Admissions Committee will review completed applications, using a rubric to score the candidates. Applicants are also ranked according to their grade point average (minimum 3.0), work/volunteer experience, and references. Students are admitted to the program for the fall semester. The department committee will then invite qualified candidates to interview for admissions in March. For students who live outside Texas and are unable to travel for an interview will be scheduled for a video or telephone conference. The formal interviews will be rated using a point system and scores will be added to the rubric used for the application packet. Acceptance into the program is based on meeting the admissions criteria, the student’s readiness for the program judged by the interview committee, and the availability of placements due to accreditation. Candidate decision letters will be sent in April.

Please note, this application is for currently enrolled and eligible transfer students only. For more information, please email dietetics@utsa.edu.

2024-2025 UTSA CPD Application 2024-2025 UTSA CPD Reference Form

Scholarships

Pro Tip: Even if you don't think you will qualify for financial aid, you should still submit the FAFSA! Information from the FAFSA could impact certain scholarships that are even merit-based.

UTSA Scholarship Hub

Through one general scholarship application, you can automatically be considered for dozens of scholarships at UTSA, including scholarships that are available for this major. In order to access all available scholarship applications on the UTSA Scholarship Hub, you must be an admitted student. If you are a student applying for admission, but have not yet been admitted, you may sign in and complete the Scholarship Hub’s General Application as long as you have authenticated your myUTSA ID and Passphrase. Once you are admitted to UTSA, please sign back in to the Scholarship Hub to see if there are any additional scholarship opportunities available for you to pursue.

UTSA Scholarship Hub Nutrition and Dietetics Scholarship Opportunities

Distinguished Scholarship

UTSA offers an automatic merit-based scholarship to incoming new freshman and transfer students who display exceptional scholastic achievement in high school by the priority deadline. Non-resident and international students awarded a Distinguished Scholarship for a minimum of $1,000 for the academic year will be granted a waiver for non-resident tuition if scholarship eligibility is maintained. This means out-of-state and international students could pay in-state tuition! For fall admitted freshmen, this scholarship is valued up to $20,000 for up to four years. For fall or spring admitted transfer students, this scholarship is valued up to $6,000 for up to two years. Renewal eligibility must be maintained and funding must be available.

Distinguished Scholarships

UTSA Bold Promise

Although not a scholarship, UTSA is committed to cover tuition and mandatory fees 100% for eligible students who come from low and middle-income Texas families.

UTSA Bold Promise

Dietitians are employed by healthcare facilities such as hospitals, long-­term care facilities, and clinics; sports, wellness and fitness centers; food service operations, industry, pharmaceutical and food companies; community programs; government agencies, private practice, and professional health organizations. Their jobs may include offering one-on-­one counseling, group education, and assessment of the nutritional needs in an effort to promote health, prevent diseases and treat diseases using medical nutrition therapy. Some dietitians focus on the business aspects of the profession working in food service operations and management at schools, colleges, hospitals, or day-­care facilities. Others become entrepreneurs redefining their roles in the media, marketing, consumer affairs, and product development. You will also see nutrition and dietetics professionals teaching in culinary schools, community colleges, universities, and conducting research with food and pharmaceutical companies and other organizations.

Careers, Salary & Skills

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. See possible careers below. This data is pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls data from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program. On top of the resources your college will provide, the University Career Center offers several resources to help students identify and develop the global skills necessary to successfully pursue and achieve lifelong career goals.

Application Pathways for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

If you are a new student applying to college for the first time, follow these steps:

  1. Apply to UTSA using ApplyTexas or CommonApp. Apply as an undergraduate student, and select Nutrition and Dietetics.
  2. All applicants accepted to UTSA will be admitted into Life and Health Science Studies until all program requirements for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) can be met when enrolled at UTSA.
  3. Keep in touch with your advisor during your first two years to ensure you are meeting all the program requirements.
    • By your junior year, or when you have satisfied all the pre-requisites and meet program requirements (GPA, etc.), submit a program application with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics.
    • Applying to the Dietetic Program requires submitting a program application and completing a personal interview. The application includes submitting your unofficial transcripts, two completed reference letters, a resume, a volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal statement with career goals. Eligible applicants will be invited to have a personal interview with the program review committee members

If you are transferring from another institution but have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree, follow these steps:

  1. Apply to UTSA using ApplyTexas or CommonApp. Apply as an undergraduate transfer student, and select Nutrition and Dietetics as your major of choice.
  2. All applicants accepted to UTSA will be admitted into Life and Health Science Studies until all program requirements for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) can be met when enrolled at UTSA. Transfer all higher-education transcripts.
  3. Meet with your advisor to ensure you are meeting all the pre-requisite courses and program requirements. You can apply to the Dietetics program once all pre-requisite courses and program requirements (GPA, etc.) are met.
    • Applying to the Dietetic Program requires submitting a program application and completing a personal interview. The application includes submitting your unofficial transcripts, two completed reference letters, a resume, a volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal statement with career goals. Eligible applicants will be invited to have a personal interview with the program review committee members.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue a Master of Dietetic Studies (MDS), follow these steps:

  1. Students must apply as an undergraduate transfer student. Apply to UTSA using CommonApp, and select Nutrition and Dietetics as your major of choice. Be sure to transfer all your transcripts from your previous universities and colleges.
  2. All applicants accepted to UTSA will be admitted into Life and Health Science Studies until all program requirements for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) can be met when enrolled at UTSA.

If your bachelor’s degree in is another field (not in nutrition or dietetics):

  • Once enrolled, meet with your advisor to ensure you are meeting all the pre-requisite courses and program requirements. You can apply to the Dietetics program once all pre-requisite courses and program requirements are met.
    • Applying to the Dietetics Program requires submitting a program application and completing a personal interview. The application includes submitting your unofficial transcripts, two completed reference letters, a resume, a volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal statement with career goals. Eligible applicants will be invited to have a personal interview with the program review committee members.
  • Students will be expected to complete the Nutrition and Dietetics bachelor’s degree coursework and practicums and meet the program’s requirements. Upon successful completion, students will transition to the master’s degree.

If your bachelor’s degree in is Nutrition, Dietetics or a related field from an ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics) accredited University

  • Once enrolled, meet with your advisor to ensure you are meeting all the pre-requisite courses and program requirements. You can apply to the Dietetics program once all pre-requisite courses and program requirements are met.
    • Applicants must have a verification statement (official document signed by the Dietetic director certifying a student has successfully completed both a baccalaureate degree and the program’s accredited dietetics coursework requirements) from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), OR an equivalent baccalaureate degree in nutrition and dietetics from an accredited college or university in the United States OR have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
    • Applying to the Dietetics Program requires submitting a program application and completing a personal interview. The application includes submitting your verification statement, unofficial transcripts, two completed reference letters, a resume, a volunteer summary and a statement indicating personal statement with career goals. Eligible applicants will be invited to have a personal interview with the program review committee members.
  • Advanced Standing option admission is reviewed case-by-case and is contingent on accreditation requirements and the number of placements available for the advanced practicum. Students will be expected to complete select undergraduate courses and practicums to meet the program’s requirements.
    • Select undergraduate advanced courses (4000 level), not earned at the previous institution, generally includes Medical Nutrition Therapy II, Production and Foodservice Management II and Community Nutrition or Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (or similar type course that meets ACEND competencies). Select undergraduate practicums, not earned at the previous institution, generally includes Applied Food Science, Food Production; Community Nutrition and Nutritional Care Process (Simulation).  Students admitted to the CPD can complete all select undergraduate advanced courses and practicums within the first year of the program.
    • Please note: The Individual Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) is not available.

More Information on the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

  • The program is demanding and will require students to manage their time effectively. Undergraduate students in their junior and senior year will attend daily classes and will begin to obtain practicum hours off-site.
  • Graduate students in their final year will take graduate level courses on Monday and will work in off-site facilities Tuesday through Friday (32 hours per week). The length of the internship (graduate year) is two academic semesters: Fall (August through mid-December) and Spring (mid-January through end of May).
    • Practicum/Internship components mainly consist of community dietetics, clinical dietetics, and food service management; however, interns will also gain experience in child nutrition, diabetes, obesity, pediatric nutrition, cancer therapy, bariatrics and culinary medicine.
  • The program follows the UTSA Academic Calendar; the University-designated holidays and semester breaks, when scheduling classes and practicums. Program-specific course schedule and practicums will be made available through the UTSA Website.
  • The schedule for the advanced practicum is planned by the Dietetic Director following, as closely as possible, the academic calendar to fulfill the required contact hours of supervised experiences.
    • Occasionally, a student may be expected at a supervised practice during a weekend, and given time off during the week. At times, it may be necessary to adjust a rotation schedule to accommodate the calendar and operations of the facilities (i.e., school district, WIC or Head Start calendar needs).
  • Note: A criminal background check is a requirement during the semesters in which a student enrolls in field-based practicums. Students will be required to submit a Criminal Record Check for practicums associated with schools, health care facilities, hospitals, and clinics.
    • It is the responsibility of the student to determine if his or her criminal history background will present a problem before applying for admission to the program.
    • Students with problematic criminal history will not be able to complete most of the field-experiences that are required by the program. Acknowledgment of Criminal Background Check

Requirements for students to receive the verification statement. The dietetic student will be expected to demonstrate core knowledge and entry-level competency (see definition below) in nutrition and dietetics by successfully fulfilling the course and experiential requirements defined by the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, in accordance to UTSA, CDR and ACEND policies.

Entry-level competence is defined as: a set of specific knowledge, ability, skills, and values; behaviors expected of a practitioner (during the first 3 years of practice); and the minimum level of performance requiring speed and accuracy consistent with providing optima service or care to patients or clients. (Ref. 2012 ACEND DE Standards, pgs. 75, 78)

Eligibility for the Registration Examination, the Student Must Have:

  • met the learning outcomes for the courses (or equivalents) in the curriculum, by earning a grade of “C” or above
  • attained the competencies outlined for the supervised practice with average scores of 2 or above
  • graduated with a 3.0 GPA
  • earned a Master of Dietetics Studies

When Do Eligible Students Receive the Verification Statement?

Upon successful fulfillment of all program requirements described above, the student will receive a verification statement upon completion of the MDS degree. Students will be recommended to CDR to write the registration examination in dietetics. The verification statement will be presented to the student immediately after graduation. Students may request mailing of the statement if not present at graduation. Copies of verification records will be kept on file in the Dietetics Director’s office indefinitely and will be available to former students upon request.

CPD Student Handbook 2023-2024

This handbook is designed to guide enrolled students on issues related to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD). The information, as well as the policies and procedures are in accordance with those of the University of Texas at San Antonio, the College for Health, Community and Policy and the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Standards.

CPD Student Handbook 2023-2024

Vanessa Tilton
“CPD (the Coordinated Program in Dietetics) sets you up for success. I love how close I am to the rest of my cohort. I also enjoy the challenges this program brings..."
Vanessa Tilton ‘21 • Kinesiology and Nutrition and Dietetics

Why UTSA?

HCAP
Health, Community and Policy

The College for Health, Community and Policy (HCAP) is a diverse college that provides real world experiences and engages directly in our community. The college contains nine academic disciplines, and these important areas of study directly affect one another. For example, you can’t examine public policy without considering public health, criminology and criminal justice, psychology, nutrition, sociology and more. When you join HCAP, you will choose a degree program that complements your interests, conduct research and study with faculty who are experts in their field and engage with peers that will become lifetime friends.

HCAP Research Opportunities
Research Opportunities

Research is very important in the field of Health, Community and Policy. As early as your freshman year at UTSA, you will be involved in conducting research studies that will let you act upon your curiosity, learn experientially and make a difference in people’s lives. Some of the areas of research include vaccine access, preventing substance abuse, violence prevention, understanding demographic trends and health impacts, diabetes prevention and improving resources for underserved populations.

HCAP Career Preparedness
Career Preparedness

Ensuring our HCAP students are ready for the world of work is a top priority. HCAP has a dedicated internship director who coordinates with employers to provide internship opportunities and advice for students. There have been over 140,000 internships hours completed by HCAP students. Courses offer career-engaged learning experiences such as opportunities in undergraduate research, internships and field experiences. The HCAP Student Success Center provides additional outside classroom support in professional development and leadership.

HCAP Student Success

Student Success

UTSA is all about your success. Our experiential learning initiative takes what you learn in the classroom and helps you apply it to real life. As a student in the College for Health, Community and Policy (HCAP), you will explore, engage and reflect on your experiences to launch your career in a global society. The HCAP Student Success Center is a one-stop resource to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional goals. Receive tutoring, find internships, connect with industry professionals for job opportunities, and enhance your professional development skills through the center’s comprehensive programming.