What is Dietetics?

Dietetics is the practice of integrating biochemical, physiological, social, and managerial concepts into the science of nutrition to achieve a healthy lifestyle. A degree in dietetics offers challenging and rewarding employment opportunities working in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health agencies, food industry, research labs and more. Whether administering medical nutrition therapy in a health-care setting or directing food service operations, registered dietitians work toward the prevention and treatment of disease.

Is Dietetics for me?dnc_meal_web

The Dietetics degree provides the coursework needed for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree leading to a career in Dietetics and Nutrition. If you are concerned with the nutrition and health of individuals and communities you should consider pursuing a degree in dietetics. An interest in science and enjoyment in working with people will also be beneficial for those considering this degree. In many cases those with a degree in Dietetics spend much of their time working with people as patients, clients, consumers or employees. For more information see the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’s Career Video and Intro to Dietetics Presentation.

Why Dietetics at UW-Madison?

The Dietetics program at UW-Madison is consistently ranked among the highest in the nation. The program is offered through the Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Within the past 10 years, over 400 students have received their B.S. in Dietetics from U.W. Madison.

What can I do with a Dietetics degree?

Depending upon your interests, you may choose to apply for a  Dietetic Internship (DI) which will allow you to pursue certification as a Registered Dietitian (RD). A Registered Dietitian is the most widely recognized nutrition professional. Although it is possible to specialize in nutrition without being an RD, many nutrition-related jobs require the RD credential because it signifies professional competence. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the professional association that establishes the criteria for becoming registered and administers the process.

What does the job outlook look like for graduates of a Dietetics program?

Increased emphasis on disease prevention, a growing and aging population and public interest in nutrition are factors that are influencing the demand for dietitians. The employment rate for dietitians is expected to increase 9% by 2018. Full-time salaries for dietitians can range from ~$40,000 to >$98,000*. Variability in salary is based on many factors including scope of responsibility. For more information on employment and salary projections visit the 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Upon completion of a Dietetics Degree, you will be eligible to apply for a Dietetic Internship (DI). Once you have successfully completed your Dietetic Internship, you are then eligible to take the American Dietetic Association (ADA) examination leading to certification as a Registered Dietitian (RD). Admission to post-baccalaureate Dietetic Internship program is very competitive. Nationally, only 50% of applicants are admitted to Dietetic Internships. Selection criteria include GPA, work experience, and references. For more information schedule an appointment with academic advisor, Erika Anna (

How do I apply for the Dietetics Program?

Once you have decided you want to pursue a degree in Dietetics, you will need to:

  • Determine if you meet the requirements for entry into the program
  • Declare the major (Pre-Dietetics)
  • apply to the program (Dietetics)

Please see the Application Process page for complete details.

Please note that admission to the ‘Pre-Dietetics’ Program does not guarantee admission to the B.S. Degree in Dietetics Program (ADI Classification).