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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.
  2. The program will develop confidence and competence in graduates for successful completion of Supervised Practice Programs, and their internship directors, will be satisfied with the preparation for internship received at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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.

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; 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, 80% of Minnesota State Mankato graduates have passed the national registration examination on 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).