Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

What is Dietetics?

The integration, application and communication of principles derived from food, nutrition, social, business and basic sciences, to achieve and maintain optimal nutrition status of individuals through the development, provision and management of effective food and nutrition services in a variety of settings. - Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

What careers are available with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics?

The field of nutrition is one of the most dynamic and diverse professions. Thus, career opportunities are quite varied. For example, a solid background in the science of nutrition and dietetics helps prepare you to:

  • Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)  after the completion of a Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD),  (i.e., Benedictine’s Nutrition and Dietetics major) and an accredited Dietetic  Internship experience. The RDN is an expert in food and nutrition who is  challenged to translate interdisciplinary knowledge into practical  applications. Read more about this in the Nutrition and Dietetics Major Guide.  
  • Become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered (NDTR) after  the completion of a DPD.
  • As a RDN or NDTR, counsel clients or patients on  medical nutrition therapy in health care and outpatient clinics. Or, work as a  nutritionist, health educator, coach or health promotion consultant in schools,  health care facilities, corporations, wellness facilities or the fitness  setting.
  • Work in policy planning in public health  agencies and health associations.
  • Develop and implement educational programs and  events to improve the nutritional and health status of the community.
  • Explore a career in food service as a manager of  food services, food broker or sales representative in restaurants, health care  facilities, schools or industry. Other related choices include quality control  supervision and culinary education.
  • Supervise those who deliver health promotion or  education.
  • Develop a career as an author or editor of food  and nutrition-related print media.
  • With further study in chemistry, work in food  science research for ingredient and product development.
  • Serve to educate nutrition and allied health  professionals in an academic setting after earning an appropriate  graduate-level degree.

Why Major in Nutrition and Dietetics at Benedictine University?

  • Benedictine University is a highly ranked university.
  • The Benedictine University Nutrition and  Dietetics major is accredited as a Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics  (DPD) by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120  South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400).
  • This program provides a strong focus on medical nutrition therapy.
  • Our Nutrition and Dietetics program has been  rated highly by our students and alumni, and boasts a strong pass rate for the RDN exam for the past two years.
  • You will have hands-on learning to provide  real-life immersion in topics. Nutrition courses use multiple methods of  interaction and assessment, including authentic case studies, presentations,  lesson plans, research, laboratory reports, debates and discussions. Nutrition and  Dietetics majors have the opportunity to gain real on-the-job experience,  confidence and a professional network through supervised practica.
  • You will reap the benefits of smaller class  sizes by seizing opportunities for greater engagement with faculty in the  classroom, more active learning and networking with peers and future  colleagues.

“I would describe the BenU Nutrition program as intellectually rich. I joined the program because it's one of the strongest Nutrition programs in the state of Illinois, so I knew it would provide me with the best education to help me become a RDN, and to begin my career and start making differences in people's lives.”

Hristina Tasevski, current student


Program Mission

Mission and Objectives tab – change to: The mission of the undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics major (Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, DPD) is to provide quality learning experiences to successfully prepare graduates for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. The program provides learners with a comprehensive knowledge and applications of the interrelationships of food, nutrition and health for disease prevention and medical nutrition therapy intervention.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics major, the student will successfully:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, application and integration of principles of health promotion and disease prevention with normal nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and public health nutrition for varied populations. 
  2. Demonstrate behaviors for professional practice, including:
    • Effective and professional communication skills.
    • Application of education and behavior change principles.
    • Effective counseling methods.
    • Applied knowledge of ethical principles.
  3. Apply principles of food science and techniques of food preparation and modification.
  4. Apply principles of food systems.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and strategic application of principles of management theories and systems. 
  6. Demonstrate use of scientific information and research for evidence-based practice.
  7. Develop teamwork, cultural competence, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.

Sample Curriculum Plan

First Year (Freshman)
Fall Term
  • WRIT 101 Writing Colloquium (3)
  • SPCH 110 Basic Speech (3)
  • MATH Basic Math Skills (3)
  • CHEM 101, 102 Intro to Chemistry and Lab (4)
  • BIOL 197 Principles of Organismal Biology (3)
Spring Term
  • WRIT 102 Research Writing (3)
  • NUTR 241 Nutrition Through the Life Cycle (3)
  • HLED 242 Intro to Professions (1)
  • CHEM 103, 104 Intro. Organic and Lab (2)
  • CHEM 109, Intro to Biochemistry (2)
  • BIOL 198 Principles of Biology (3)
  • BIOL 199 Principles of Biology Lab (1)
Second Year (Sophomore)
Fall Term
  • NUTR 315 Nutritional Biochemistry (3)
  • HLED 271 Health Education (3)
  • PSYC 100 Intro to Psychology (3)
  • BIOL 258 Physiology (4)
Spring Term
  • NUTR 150 Sanitation (1)
  • NUTR 244 Food Science (3)
  • NUTR 245 Food Science Lab (1)
  • NUTR 298 Cultural Foods Lab (2)
  • PSYC 250 or BIOL 229 Statistics (3)
  • MGT 300 Management (3)
  • IDS Catholic & Benedictine Intellectual Trad (3)
Third Year (Junior)
Fall Term
  • NUTR 250 Food Service Operations (3)
  • NUTR 371 Medical Nutrition I (4)
  • NUTR 373 Advanced Menu Planning (1)
  • BIOL 203 Anatomy (4)
  • PHIL Ethics (3)
Spring Term
  • NUTR 246 Experimental Foods Lab (1)
  • NUTR 280 Community Health and Nutrition Programs (3)
  • NUTR 350 Food and Nutr Services Mgt (2)
  • NUTR 374 Medical Nutrition II (3)
  • Political/Global/Economic (QPE) (3)
  • Religions/Theological (QRT) (3)
Fourth Year (Senior)
Fall Term
  • NUTR 372 Clinical Case Studies Lab (3)
  • HLED 391 Health Risk Assessment (2)
  • IDS Human Dignity or Common Good (3)
  • Literary/Rhetorical (QLR) (3)
  • Historical (QHT) (3)
Spring Term
  • HLED 392 Health Research and Prof Writing (2)
  • NUTR 395 Nutrition Counseling (2)
  • NUTR 375 Mentoring in Dietetics LC (0)
  • BIOL 208 Microbiology (4)
  • Artistic/Creative (QCA) (3)
  • Electives (5)

Major Specific Notes

Students interested in pursuing a major in Nutrition and Dietetics initially enter the University as either pre-Dietetics or another major in the Nutrition department, such as Health Education and Promotion major.

Interested students then apply for acceptance into the Nutrition and Dietetics major once the following program prerequisites are completed with a grade of C or better: CHEM 101, 103, and 109, BIOL 197, 198, and 199, NUTR 241, and the University skills courses. It normally takes a minimum of two years to complete the degree after the program prerequisite courses are completed. Students in this program must maintain a GPA of 3.000/4.000. Application to the major is typically at the end of freshman year for those who start their academic career at our University. Refer to the Nutrition and Dietetics Major Guide available online for additional details.

Second Degree Program

A Second Degree is available to those who enter the program following completion of bachelor’s degree elsewhere. As a minimum, all nutrition, cognate and skills courses required for the Nutrition and Dietetics major must be completed in order to complete a Second Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for additional details.

Many opportunities exist for nutrition students in need of financial assistance. Grants, low interest bank loans, or scholarships may be available from the government, corporations, community or civic groups, philanthropic and religious organizations, and Benedictine University.

Contact a representative in the University Financial Aid Office and refer to the university website for scholarship information. A student should always ask, even if he/she does not believe him/herself to be eligible for financial aid, as there often are Merit Scholarships based on academic performance available as well.

Sodexo has established a scholarship/award open to students who major in Nutrition and Dietetics, Nutritional Sciences or Food and Nutrition Management. The Dr. Scholl Scholarship fund is open to students who major in Nutrition and Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. There are also several endowed scholarships not designated to a specific major, but based on financial need, achievement, and sometimes leadership. More information for all of these are posted on the scholarship page of the Benedictine University website.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) offers students the opportunity to apply for scholarships. To qualify, students must be at least junior standing and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics program, Dietetic Internship program, or master degree program, depending upon the scholarship. Due to the limited number of available scholarships, these are quite competitive and thus prestigious to receive. Refer to the September Supplement of the Journal of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or the Academy website for more information. Generally, you must be a member of the Academy to receive an Academy or local dietetic association scholarship. Membership information is available on the Academy website or through the Nutrition Department.

Tuition and Fees Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Benedictine accept transfer credit?

Yes, we accept course credit from other colleges and universities with accreditation. Credits are examined on a case-by-case basis. For those who took courses in Illinois, all courses successfully completed with IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) designations are transferable. Only courses with grades of a "C" or better, within a specified time frame, can count towards meeting the nutrition Major requirements. Refer to our Course Acceptance and Validation Policy Guidelines for details of the timeline.

Application procedures, transfer FAQ, transfer guides, and other pertinent information can be found online at: Benedictine University Transfer.

I am a transfer (or second degree) student. Can I just come in and show you my transcript for an evaluation?

We want to make certain that you have the most accurate and complete articulation possible, so we require that you submit your completed application, including official transcripts, directly to the Enrollment Center so a representative of the Center can begin the articulation process. They are the "articulation experts." Only through an official articulation can we tell you the answers to the questions: "How many courses do I have left?" and "How long will it take me to complete the program?"

Second Degree Program Applicants: Those students seeking DPD Verification coursework after completing a baccalaureate degree elsewhere must have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.000/4.000 on all undergraduate college/university coursework. To initiate the articulation process you should submit your completed application as a second-degree seeking student directly to the Enrollment Center. Refer to the Nutrition and Dietetics Major Guide for additional details.

While your articulation is in progress, you may receive a request for further information, such as a more complete course description or syllabus of a cognate (e.g., science course). If you completed any nutrition courses within the accepted Course Acceptance and Validation Policy Guidelines, you will need to provide syllabi and course projects to the Nutrition Department Chair (on the Lisle campus) after the rest of the articulation process is completed by the Enrollment Center representative. Acceptance of a course towards graduation credit requirements is not the same as towards specific DPD (Dietetics) requirements; only the Lisle campus DPD Director determines these.  The Transfer Counselor (from the Enrollment Center) will assist you throughout the transfer process and your first term of registration. Your advising file is then sent to the Nutrition Department.

If you only want a quick "estimate" via an informal evaluation, you are encouraged to utilize the checklists and course descriptions available in the Program Guide. Transcript evaluations do not occur at our department or college level for the nutrition programs. We do not accept requests for transcript reviews.

I am an international student. Can I just show you my transcript for an evaluation?

The general articulation process for an international student is similar to that of a transfer student. Please read the response to the previous question.

In addition to submitting official transcripts, the international student must also submit official translations, and the foreign degree evaluation. Visit the university International website for information about the Admissions Process, deadlines, the required documents, etc. Submit these documents directly to the Enrollment Center.

While your articulation is in progress, expect to receive a request for further information if any of your coursework includes nutrition or science courses. However, note that the Course Acceptance and Validation Policy Guidelines apply. Normally international students are asked to provide a copy of the entire course syllabus per degree (original, and translated to English, if needed), a copy of your original transcripts, and course assignments and projects you believe related to the Benedictine University Nutrition Major to the Nutrition Department Chair (Lisle campus). The Department Chair cannot fully articulate (i.e., give you the most credit possible) the international courses without all the requested pieces. Allow several weeks for the process once you submit all the required documents to the Enrollment Center.

A Transfer Counselor will assist you throughout the transfer process and your first term of registration. Your advising file is then sent to the Nutrition Department.

Am I guaranteed to be eligible for the Nutrition and Dietetics Major (DPD) if I am accepted to the University?

No. Refer to the Nutrition and Dietetics Major Guide for eligibility and application procedures for the DPD.

Once I complete the Nutrition and Dietetics Major (Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics), am I guaranteed a placement in a Dietetic Internship program?

No. Students must apply to Dietetic Internship programs of interest. Consistent with 'match' procedures, neither the university or faculty place undergraduate students into Dietetic Internship programs. Acceptance and match into Dietetic Internship programs are competitive; the national computer match rate for Dietetic Internships is approximately 50% (of those who apply to those who are matched in April). You must make yourself a competitive candidate. Refer to the Nutrition and Dietetics Major Guide for more information about the process and suggestions to enhance your competitiveness.


Renee Colton
Nutrition, Class of 2013

"There are several positive aspects regarding the Nutrition Program at BenU. I love the quick responses from the teachers in the department whenever there is a question from any student. Also, Mrs. Eaton-Wright, Mrs. Dowell, Mrs. Baranoski, and Dr. Beezhold always responded to questions, email, and phone calls quickly and courteously. I also appreciate the way my advisor, Dr. Arnold, takes her time in assisting me with my enrollment in my required classes. She ensures that I am taking the correct courses to complete my degree in a timely manner."

"Benedictine University has a 30 year history of excellence in preparing nutrition professionals."

Need More Information?
Vision (Nutrition Department)

The Benedictine University Nutrition Programs will be recognized at the community, state, national, and international level for their leadership in developing optimal teaching and learning. The programs will prepare future Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, health educators, community nutritionists, and nutrition managers to address important food and nutrition issues that impact the quality of life of people.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair


Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595