Dietetics Overview

Dietetics is the high-tech science of applying food and nutrition to health. It is a vital, growing field open to creativity and opportunity and the possibilities are endless.


Employment of dietitians is expected to grow at the rate of 11% between 2018 and 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dietetics is a dynamic profession offering many different opportunities for practice.

Our Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) combines coursework from both the physical and social-science areas, preparing students to address today's complex nutrition and health issues. After graduating, completion of an accredited internship and successful passage of the registration examination for dietitians qualifies the graduate for status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Our program has a high placement rate for acceptance into Dietetic Internship (DI) programs and first time passage rate in the RDN exam. 

Sample Dietetics Curriculum See current requirements

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Accreditation Status

The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of Illinois is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995 (Phone: 800-877-1600 ext. 5400 or 312-899-0040). ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education. The DPD was fully reaccredited in 2020 and will be under review for accreditation again in 2028.

One must complete an accredited DPD program, which is a four-year classroom curriculum of learning, culminating in a B.S. Degree. It must be followed by a dietetic internship or supervised practice experience in order to qualify one to take the RDN Exam.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program and apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) has determined that our curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state of Illinois. We are unable to determine if the curriculum meets the educational requirements for any of the remaining U.S. states and jurisdictions. Based on the University of Illinois policy and your permanent address, your location has been determined to be the [STATE or TERRITORY]. Please go to to find your state’s requirements, resources, and contact information.

You are encouraged to contact the appropriate licensing agency for your location or wherever you desire to be licensed or certified to seek information and additional guidance. Please be aware that there may be licensure or certification requirements in addition to an academic program’s curriculum.

Note: This disclosure is being made in compliance with federal regulation 34 CFR §668.43 and the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreements Manual.

Additional Information

For more information about Dietetics, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
For more about Dietetics at the University of Illinois, please contact:

Justine Karduck, Ph.D., RDN, LDN, CDCES
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

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Karduck