Dietetics

What’s it about?

Dietetics is the science or art of applying the principles of nutrition to the diet (Merriam Webster 2019). Dietetics is a dynamic profession offering many diverse opportunities for practice in clinical, community, sports, food systems, management, and research settings. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) provide nutritional care and counseling to hospitals, clinics, long-term care centers, schools, in the community, public health programs, fitness, and sports centers, as well as in the government and food industry. Graduates may become sports dietitians/nutritionists, food-service managers, wellness coordinators, senior research technicians, marketing consultants or even social media experts. Regardless of career choice, RDNs are recognized as the link to nutrition and health.

Dietetics is one concentration area within the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) at the University of Illinois. The FSHN Dietetics concentration area prepares graduates to become future Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), who are recognized and credentialed food and nutrition experts. The Dietetics Program at the University of Illinois is recognized as one of the top dietetic programs in the nation. This program provides a distinct curriculum to meet the education standards set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The mission of the University of Illinois Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to provide high quality, innovative food and nutrition education along with the necessary communication skills to prepare future entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists to become leaders in the field promoting healthy food and nutrition practices across the United States and globally.

Graduates of the University of Illinois DPD have a high placement rate (85%) into dietetic internships, and excellent (99%) first-year pass rate on the national Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Exam.

The coursework is challenging, and DPD students take classes across a wide variety of disciplines including Chemistry, Molecular, and Cellular Biology, Nutrition, Food Science and in Hospitality Management.

Please visit FSHN’s main website for more detail on the undergraduate dietetics program.

What kind of classes would I take?

What about getting a job after my degree?

The statistics below are from the U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for dietitians and nutritionists:

  • 2017 Median Pay: $59,410 per year; $28.56 per hour
  • Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Number of Jobs, 2016: 68,000
  • Job Outlook, 2016-26: 15% (Much faster than average)
  • Employment Change, 2016-26: 9,900

Who can I ask more questions?


Justine Karduck, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE
Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics
University of Illinois
Food Science & Human Nutrition
345 Bevier Hall
905 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
217-300-0181 phone
217-265-0925 fax
karduck@illinois.edu