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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Dietetics Option

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The Dietetics Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato strives to provide students pursuing a dietetics career the highest quality advisory, academic, and interactive opportunities and to develop their confidence and competency for advancement following graduation to supervised practice, graduate studies or related employment.

Program Goals

  1. The program will prepare graduates who have completed the program in a timely manner, and who successfully advance to ACEND Accredited Supervised Practice Programs, or graduate school or employment in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
    • Objective 1: Over a 5-year period, 80% of enrolled students will complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of time expected once student enters FCS 252 and FCS 440).
    • Objective 2: Over a 5-year period, 80% of eligible students will apply for dietetic internship/supervised practice during the year in which they graduate.
    • Objective 3: Over a 5-year period, 60% of students applying for dietetic internship/supervised practice will be placed during the year in which they graduate.
    • Objective 4: Over a 5-year period, 75% of graduates choosing not to apply to supervised practice will apply to graduate school or be employed in the field of foods/nutrition.
    • Objective 5: Over a 5-year period, 80% of students taking the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists will pass within one year following first attempt.
    • Objective 6: Over a 5-year period, 80% of students taking the CDR credentialing exam for nutrition and dietetics technicians will pass within one year following first attempt.
  2. Graduates will develop competence to successfully complete Supervised Practice Programs, and their internship directors will be satisfied with the preparation for internship received at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
    • Objective 1: Over a 5-year period, 90% of surveyed dietetic internship directors will rate preparation of the MSU graduates in their program as being satisfactory or higher (scale: poor, fair, satisfactory, very good, excellent) in areas of review for the year. 
    • Objective 2: Over a 5-year period, 80% of surveyed dietetic interns graduated from MSU will rate their preparation in the program as being satisfactory or higher (scale: poor, fair, satisfactory, very good, excellent) in areas of review for the year.
  3. The program will foster critical thinking, ethical decision-making, community service, and life-long learning
    • Objective 1: Graduates will rate development of critical thinking as 3.5 (on a scale of 1=low, 5=high) or higher.
    • Objective 2: Graduates will rate development of ethical decision-making as 3.5 (on a scale of 1=low, 5=high) or higher.
    • Objective 3: Graduates will rate development of knowledge, attitudes and values reflecting a commitment to working with diverse people.

Outcomes data are available upon request.

Program Philosophy

The philosophy of the Dietetics Program at Minnesota State University, Mankato is to provide opportunities for personal growth today and professional success tomorrow.  Experienced faculty, challenging coursework, and a variety of extracurricular activities all contribute to the growth of well-rounded and grounded students.  Students are guided to develop appreciation for diversity in peoples globally and to respect the dignity and integrity of each person they encounter.

Program Expectations

Students are highly encouraged to:

  1. Maintain a GPA of at least 3.4 or higher
  2. Participate in department clubs, especially the Student Dietetic and Nutrition Organization (SDNO), and other extracurricular activities on campus and in the community.
  3. Hold part-time employment in an area related to foods, nutrition or dietetics for at least 18 months prior to applying for dietetics internships.
  4. Attend at least two professional meetings as a junior or senior.
  5. Meet with their advisor each semester.

Completion of the dietetics degree is the first step in becoming a nutrition professional, including a registered dietitian. Opportunities to interact with faculty, peers, registered dietitians (RD) and the community are abundant. All dietetic students complete an undergraduate internship with a registered dietitian (when possible), adding a valuable, real-world dimension to their experience. If they choose, students may also carry out a research project with a faculty mentor as part of the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Students receive assistance as seniors when applying to supervised practice programs (dietetic internship). The program strives to maximize the potential for acceptance into a dietetic internship for each student and prepare everyone for a smooth transition toward becoming a nutrition professional after graduation from Minnesota State Mankato.

Graduation Requirements

Students who apply for graduation must meet all of the following:

  1. Must have completed 120 semester hours (at least 30 hours from the college of your major) and meet all requirements for general education, cultural diversity, and your major (and the minor if you are taking one). Forty credits must be in 300-400 level classes.
  2. Must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.50.
  3. All transfer work needs to be verified by an official transcript sent to Minnesota State University, Mankato from the school giving the credit.
  4. All required substitution/waiver forms must be filed.
  5. All courses need to be completed by graduation date.
  6. All grades of I (Incomplete) or IP (In Progress) need to be removed before graduation date.

In addition, to be eligible to receive a Verification Statement from the Dietetics Program Director and for eligibility for application to ACEND-accredited dietetic internships, students must have a grade of C or higher in all courses required for the Dietetics major.

Opportunities Following Graduation

The undergraduate Dietetics major is as demanding as it is rewarding. Approximately 100 majors are currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree. Those who also successfully compete for and complete a dietetic internship nationally become eligible to take the national Registration Examination, ultimately becoming an RD. Minnesota State Mankato provides the first of four steps toward becoming an RD, as follows:

  1. Graduating from Minnesota State Mankato with a BS degree in Family Consumer Science, Dietetics option.
  2. Receiving a Verification Statement from the Director certifying that all requirements have been met.
  3. Successfully competing for and completing a dietetic internship nationally.
  4. Passing the national registration examination.

Dietitians are licensed in the State of Minnesota.  Graduates successfully passing the Registration Exam for Dietitians can apply for a Dietitian License from the State of Minnesota Board of Dietetics and Nutrition Practice.  

Dietetic internships, also known as supervised practice programs, are highly competitive. A list of current ACEND-accredited dietetic internships can be found on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Placement of Minnesota State Mankato graduates on their first application has exceeded the national average of dietetic programs in five of the past six years. Also in the past five years, 100% of Minnesota State Mankato graduates have passed the national registration examination within one year of their first attempt, meeting the national goal for DPD programs. Alumna of our program are employed as clinical dietitians in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, wellness counselors; school food service dietitians and directors, corporate wellness centers, and more.

Students choosing not to pursue a dietetic internship, or those who are not selected for one, may take the national examination to earn the credential of Diet Technician, Registered (DTR), without further training. Holders of the DTR are qualified for diet technician jobs in long term care facilities, hospitals and clinics, and food service organizations. Other options chosen by Dietetics majors after graduation are graduate studies or entry into the workforce as a non–RD nutritionist in community, public health, and corporate fitness settings or as members of foodservice management teams.

The Dietetics Program, a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, Telephone 1-800-877-1600.