Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. Appalachian State University’s Nutrition and Foods (BS) - Dietetics degree prepares entry-level professionals to serve as competent experts in translating the science of food and nutrition to the enhancement of the health and well-being of individuals and groups and to the development of food consumer products and services for the public.
The dietetics concentration meets the requirements to prepare students for entrance into a Dietetic Internship, which is a major step toward becoming a Registered Dietitian.
The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment in this career field to grow 15% by 2026, faster than average for all occupations.
According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), as of January 1, 2024, to sit for the Registered Dietitian credentialing exam one will have to have completed a Dietetic Internship and hold a Master’s degree. While there are a variety of programs available across the country, Appalachian offers a convenient combined Masters/Dietetic Internship program.
Employment: Most students will pursue their Registered Dietitian license and go to work in hospitals, private medical practices or health departments. Some may choose to specialize in particular medical issues, such as cancer or diabetes, and align themselves with clinics focused on those areas.
Students not choosing to pursue the Registered Dietitian credential find work in public health, such as WIC or SNAP programs, or in community organizations such as the YMCA. The Dietetic Technician Registered (DTR) is a credential that all graduates are eligible to obtain and may be of interest for these areas of practice. Appalachian dietetics graduates have also worked for many third-party companies that provide nutrition and dietetics services to hospital systems, such as Morrison or Sodexo. Many students have also been interested in sustainability and whole foods, which has led to employment with local food cooperatives and sustainable “farm to table” organizations.
Graduate School: Graduates with this major may choose to pursue advanced study to become a registered dietitian or obtain a graduate degree in business or hospitality management. Many undergraduates also pursue master’s degrees in related fields, such as public health, nursing or physician assistant programs. Appalachian offers a master’s degree in Nutrition.
This is a program that can lead to licensure or certification in North Carolina. Appalachian State University cannot confirm whether this program will meet the requirements for professional licensure in other states or territories.
If this applies to you, check the Professional Licensure webpage for information on licensure requirements and licensing agencies in other states. Or, you may address questions to State Authorization at App State at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7559.
A minor is not required.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
Appalachian Student Dietetics Association (ASDA) - an active professional and academic organization that focuses on promoting nutrition and health within the community and on campus.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
A 2.8 cumulative GPA is required for declaration and retention. A 2.5 cumulative GPA and 2.0 major GPA is required for graduation.
- Since the beginning of the dietetics program at Appalachian, the emphasis has been on general dietetics in order to meet the needs of the region.
- Appalachian’s program requires a 200 hour undergraduate internship, depending on plan of study, in dietetics before graduation.
- The average match rate for students wishing to pursue a Dietetic Internship in 2018 was 79% (well above the national average). The first-time pass rate for the Registered Dietitian exam is 92% for Appalachian graduates.
- The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Alumni support the program by providing training opportunities for students in the undergraduate internship and serving as guest speakers on campus. In fact, nearly every Registered Dietitian in the local district has a relationship or connection with the Nutrition and Foods program at Appalachian.
- This program is housed in the Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management.
Boone and Hickory*
*The Hickory Campus location is pending accreditation from SACSCOC for this program. Accreditation is expected in summer 2023.
Beaver College of Health Sciences
Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management