Concentrations in Human Nutrition & Food

Concentrations in Human Nutrition and Food


Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is the first of the three required components in the education and training of dietetics professionals.  Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is a term used by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to describe the program approved under the standards of education as meeting academic requirements leading to at least a bachelor's degree. ACEND is the accreditation body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Dietetics professionals translate the science of food and nutrition to achieve and maintain optimal human health. The DPD provides the foundation and prepares students for the second educational requirement that of the supervised practice experience. The program includes courses in food, nutrition, nutrition therapy, foodservice systems management, business, economics, computer science, culinary arts, sociology and communication and science courses such as biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, anatomy and chemistry. Mastering these foundational knowledge courses prepares students to receive a verification statement and enter a supervised practice experience (dietetic internship), and helps prepare students as entry level dietitians.

DPD follows Knowledge Requirements for Registered Dietitian delineated by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates are prepared to competitively seek, receive, and successfully complete an accredited supervised practice program.

Students who successfully complete the knowledge requirements of the dietetics concentration, as outlined by ACEND, but do not enter and complete a dietetic internship are qualified to complete the examination to become a dietetic technician, registered (DTR).

The DPD is one of the four concentrations in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Students receive a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics.



The philosophy of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to offer a broad-based program for diverse students which stimulates intellectual curiosity, promotes academic excellence and equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to compete effectively in evolving job markets. The DPD program provides the foundation knowledge and skills necessary for graduates to function in society as competent dietetics professionals. The program provides an educational base for achieving practitioner competencies. Communication and collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking and diversity are fundamental to the program.



The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is to prepare graduates to enter dietetic internships, assume careers in food and nutrition and related areas, and to engage in graduate study.



A broad-based Didactic Program in Dietetics supported by innovative faculty and sought after by ethnically diverse and academically talented students. The program will:

  • Prepare culturally diverse students for supervised practice, employment and graduate study.
  • Use innovative and effective instructional methods to prepare graduates to make meaningful contributions in a dynamic competitive global society.
  • Provide opportunities for students to succeed and develop to full potential through proper support, mentoring, social interaction, leadership, and career development counseling
  • Embrace new technology and standards in modeling professional practice to enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, and the larger community.



The goals of the Didactic Program in Dietetics are to:

1.    Prepare students with the knowledge and skills for successful completion of supervised practice programs.

2.    Prepare students with the knowledge and skills to be successful in obtaining careers in food, nutrition and dietetics or pursuing post-graduate study.

3.    Encourage student participation in professional activities.


Accreditation of the Didactic Program in Dietetics

The Didactic Program in Dietetics currently holds probationary accreditation status by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)  The address and phone number of ACEND are 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000 Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-4876.  ACEND sets the eligibility requirements, the accreditation standards for didactic programs in dietetics, and the curricula for dietetics education.


Food Management

The Food Management concentration provides students with extensive education, training and experience in all aspects of food and beverage management including financial/resource, operations, quality and staff management. The Food Management program aspires to excellence in professional and leadership development, economic development, and food safety for the foodservice industry with a mission of developing leaders for the hospitality industry. 

Coursework is planned to provide students with a general education plus professional preparation for supervisory and executive positions in foodservice organizations. Elective courses include advertising or journalism and mass communication. This program helps to prepare students to compete in the retail food market which ranges from healthcare to lodging organizations and develops students as leaders for the foodservice and lodging professions.

The program incorporates practical internships in addition to the required course work. The practical experiences ensure that students graduate from the program with experience in the field as well as relevant knowledge in the field.

Graduates are prepared to assume a variety of careers in food systems management and hold positions as managers with airlines, cruise ships, retirement communities, hospitals, universities, correctional facilities, delis and catering operations, retail sales in hospitality; marketing, advertising; and self-employed managers.

Food Management is one of the four concentrations in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. The Food Management concentration does not prepare students to obtain professional credentials in dietetics. Students receive a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Food Management.



Both males and females are successful Food and Nutritional Sciences students. The ideal food and nutrition professional should be physically fit, curious, imaginative, sensitive, creative, flexible, a risk-taker, assertive, self-confident, achievement-oriented, a self-initiator and enthusiastic with a positive attitude. High school and other students interested in preparing for a career in food and nutrition should emphasize science courses in their academic studies. Biology and chemistry are important foundations for further study as are courses in mathematics, English, sociology, psychology and business.



The employment of food and nutrition professionals is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2020. This demand increases in response to the expanding needs of health care, the hospitality industry, education and research. Food and nutrition professionals work in sales, marketing and public relations, government, food service management, fitness, food companies, and in private practice. Salaries compare favorably with those related professions requiring similar educational preparation. Salary levels may vary with geographical location, scope of responsibility and supply of applicants.  The role of food in preventing and treating illnesses, such as diabetes, is now well known. More dietitians and nutritionists will be needed to provide care for patients with various medical conditions and to advise people who want to improve their overall health.



Students are referred to the current University Catalog for specific requirements for admission and graduation for all students.  Admission to the Department is open to all students who have successfully completed a minimum of 24 semester hours in University College with a minimum grade point average of 2.00. Transfer students from other degree-granting areas of the University, and transfer students from other approved colleges and universities are accepted.



A cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for graduation at Southern University. Because of the highly competitive status of internship and graduate program appointments, students should strive to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA or above. Maintenance of a high GPA is important in the Dietetics curriculum. Typically a GPA of 3.0 or higher will benefit you in your application to a Dietetic Internship. In addition to a high GPA, related work experience and involvement in extracurricular activities are needed when applying to a Dietetic Internship.

General Human Nutrition and Food and DPD requirements include:

1.    Achieve a grade of "B" or better in all Human Nutrition and Food courses; and

2.    Achieve a grade of a "C" or better in all Other Required DPD courses.

3.    Maintain a minimum curriculum GPA of 3.0 or above;

4.    Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) students who wish to receive a Letter of Intent and/or Accreditation Council for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Verification Statement from the Southern University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) must meet the following requirements:

  • Achieve a grade of "B" or better in all Human Nutrition and Food courses
  • Achieve a minimum grade of a "C" or better in all Other Required DPD courses
  • Maintain a minimum curriculum GPA of 3.0 or above


Students are responsible for knowing their chosen curricula and for adhering to all published University regulations. It is the responsibility of each student to meet with his/her advisor during the regular advisement period prior to registration each semester.  Using the Curriculum Advisement Worksheet students should develop a tentative schedule prior to advisement.  This allows the time spent with the advisor to be more effective and productive for the student.

New Dietetics students should contact the DPD Director to set up an appointment for a student assessment interview. The advisor compiles an academic file on each DPD student to include current student transcripts and curriculum worksheets. This student file will be used to advise students each semester and updated accordingly so that the student and the advisor will be aware of academic status.

Students will be assessed initially and assigned to an advisor.  At the initial session, students are counseled on their probability of success in the program and the dietetics profession. Students who have not attained the required academic benchmarks (Overall GPA of 3.00 or and the grade of "C" on all science-based courses) will be advised by the DPD Director to improve their GPA and/or retake food and nutrition and science-based courses; or continue in the Dietetics Program (with no expectation of receipt of a verification statement) and explore related career options that do not require dietetic registration.

Student performance is continuously monitored. All DPD students must contact their advisors each semester for academic counseling before they can be cleared for registration. If academic difficulties are observed, DPD students will be provided with information regarding the Repeat/Delete grade procedure and/or tutoring options.



Opportunities exist for students to participate in cooperative education, internships and summer job opportunities. Eligible students are encouraged to incorporate these into their program of study.



The curriculum provides a basis for graduate study and research. The College has a graduate school linkage program with a variety of institutions throughout the United States. Eligible students are encouraged to apply and participate.



Financial aid assistance, in the form of scholarships, loans, grants, and employment, is available to all students who complete the necessary application process and qualify prior to established deadline date. Special scholarships and assistantships are available to eligible students through the College of Sciences and Agriculture and the Department  of Family and Consumer Sciences.



Food, Nutrition and Dietetic Association

Human Nutrition and Food majors are expected to become active member of the Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Association (FNDA). DPD students are expected to become Associate members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by paying the current Associate member dues. The FNDA allows student to enhance their professional growth and to develop leadership skills. The FNDA participates in University and community projects designed to enhance the nutritional well-being of individuals. FNDA members participate in professional meetings and activities at the local, state and national levels.

Other Organizations/Clubs

Students may become members of the Student Member Section of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences and other organizations at the University.

Honor Societies

Students with a 3.0 and above grade point average are invited to join Phi Upsilon Omicron National Honor Society. Students with a 3.0 and above average may also be invited to join other honor societies at the University.



Bernestine B. McGee, Ph.D., RD, LDN
Professor and Program Leader
Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
Human Nutrition and Food Program
Southern University and A & M College
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
(P) 225-771-4289 (F) 225-771-3107



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