• Didactic Program in Dietetics

Didactic Program in Dietetics


Effective January 1st, 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 31st, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website (https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree).



The mission of the DPD program at CSUN is to prepare competent dietetic students for acceptance into a supervised practice, an accredited dietetic internship program leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and for entry-level positions in clinical, food service or community nutrition and research. The DPD program mission is also to prepare dedicated dietetic students who demonstrate a life-long learning and have the ability to effectively communicate, analyze, problem-solve, and perform high quality teamwork, and also have an understanding and appreciation of a diverse and multicultural society. 

DPD Program Goal 1:

Graduates will be well prepared as dietetic interns for accredited dietetics internship programs and supervised practices and dietetic-related careers as entry level dietitians in different areas such as clinical, food service, community nutrition, and research. 

Program Objectives for Goal 1:


  1. The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  2. DPD Student Satisfaction: 80% of the DPD graduates will report “satisfactory” ratings or higher regarding their perceived ability to perform successfully in a supervised practice, entry-level nutrition-related position, graduate program, or a pre-professional program with the DPD program at CSUN
  1. Program Completion: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 6 years (150% of the program length)
  2. Applying for DI, CP or ISPP programs:  60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice programs prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
  3. Acceptance rate to DI, CP or ISPP programs: 50% of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  4. Satisfaction of DI, CP or ISPP Director: 80% of DI, CP or ISPP directors who respond to the survey rate (on a 5 point scale) the overall performance of dietetic interns from CSUN’s DPD as not less than 3 where 3 = meets expectations; 5 = greatly exceeds expectations


DPD Program Goal 2:

Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of practice settings and diverse and multicultural environment and be able to effectively communicate, analyze, problem solve, think critically, perform high quality ream-work, and continue life-long learning. 

Program Objectives for Goal 2:

1.      Graduate School acceptance and completion: 30% of graduates (verified), neither entered nor applied for DI, who respond to the alumni survey indicate they have enrolled in graduate school or earned a graduate degree.

2.      Satisfaction of DI, CP or ISPP Director: 75% of DI, CP or ISPP Director who respond to the survey  rate the preparation of program graduates as good to excellent in teamwork, problem solving and effective communication skills

3.      Satisfaction of DI, CP or ISPP Director: 80% of DI, CP or ISPP Director who respond to the survey  rate the preparation of program graduates as excellent for working in a very diverse and multicultural environment who have an excellent understanding and appreciation of individual, community and society.

Program outcomes date are available upon request.

Updated September 23, 2020

DPD Meetings in Fall 2023

DPD Meetings in Spring 2024

DPD Orientation Meetings

  • Tuesday, February 6, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (in person, room TBD)
  • Thursday, February 28, 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm (via Zoom)
  • Monday, April 15, 10:00 am - 11:00 am (via Zoom)

Final Transcript Evaluation Meetings

  • Thursday, February 1, 9:30 am - 10:30 am
  • Tuesday, February 13, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm (via Zoom)

DPD Student Handbook and Policies

CSUN Admission, Policies and Services

Prospective Students

For any DPD related questions, please contact the DPD Director, email Dr. Elizabeth Dabach or Dr. Dena Herman-Mendes

Current DPD Students: Freshman, Sophomore, Junior

Current DPD Students: Senior DPD Students (Enrolled in FCS 402 or FCS 403)

DPD Graduates Applying for DI

DPD Graduates Applying for DTR

Post-Bac Admission to DPD Program


This pathway is tentative and has not been finalized nor approved. Please contact Dr. Setareh Torabian, DPD Director, at in April 2020 for an update. 

In order to receive a DPD verification statement from CSUN, post-bac students must:

  1. Have a Bachelor's Degree either in Nutrition or any other Bachelor's degree,
  2. Admission to our MS in Human Nutrition program
  3. Passing of prerequisite courses listed below. Program prerequisites may be completed at CSUN through Tseng college of extended learning or other institutions or community colleges. Students will need to have achieved a grade of C or better in all prerequisite course. 


Prerequisite Course to MS in Human Nutrition for Non-Nutrition Undergrad Majors
Course NumberCourse Title
Chem 103/L or Chem 101/LGeneral Chemistry I and Lab
Chem 104/L or Chem 102/LGeneral Chemistry II and Lab
Bio 101/Lgeneral Biology and Lab
FCS 207Introduction to Nutrition
Bio 281Human Physiology
Bio 215/LMicrobiology
Chem 235/LOrganic Chemistry and Lab
Chem 365/L*Biochemistry and Lab
FCS 307**Advanced Nutrition, Macronutrients
FCS 308**Advanced Nutrition, Micronutrients

* Not offered at a community college, must complete at CSUN or one of the four pre-approved Universities.

**Must be complete at CSUN at Tseng College of Extended Learning.


Major DPD courses taken and completed at Tseng College of Extended Learning at CSUN

(The following  courses are not financial aid eligible and can be taken concurrent with graduate courses after admission into MS in Human Nutrition program)

Course NumberCourse Title
FCS 201Intro to Food Science
FCS 301Food Science and Technology
FCS 304Food Service Production
FCS 321/LContemporary Issues of Food and Nutrition
FCS 402Medical Nutrition Therapy I
FCS 403Medical Nutrition Therapy II
FCS 404/LFood Service Systems Management and Lab
FCS 408Community Nutrition
FCS 494/IPeer Nutrition Counseling

International Students with Foreign Degrees

RD Exam

Who is RD or RDN?

Registered Dietitians (RD)* or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)* are individuals who have:

  • completed the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent;
  • met current minimum academic requirements (Didactic Program in Dietetics) as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • completed a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • successfully completed the Registration Examination for Dietitians;
  • remitted the annual registration fee;
  • complied with the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) re-certification requirements