Department of Nutrition

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Frequently Asked Questions


What if I complete the degree in nutrition but choose not to do a dietetic internship? What are my career options?

Our undergraduate nutrition program, like others throughout the United States, is designed to meet ADA requirements for entry into a dietetic internship program and pursuit of the RD credential. Forgoing the dietetic internship means you haven’t completed your education in dietetics/nutrition and job opportunities are extremely limited in such cases. However, it must be noted that this degree is also an excellent foundation for pursuing post-baccalaureate education in medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, other biomedical professions, as well as graduate study in nutrition and related areas leading to a research-focused career either with or without the RD credential. Recent graduates have been highly successful candidates for some of the top dietetic internships in the country as well as pharmacy and optometry school.
What if I completed a bachelor’s degree in a major other than foods and nutrition? What do I need to do to become a RD?

If your degree comes from an accredited college or university in the United States, you do not need to complete another bachelor’s degree. However, you do still need to complete ADA-approved Didactic Program requirements before applying to a dietetic internship program. In most cases, there is little additional coursework required beyond the didactic program in order to complete the second degree and degree-seeking students have the advantage of financial aid eligibility. The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Director will review your college transcripts and advise you as to the undergraduate coursework you will need to take to complete DPD requirements and become eligible to apply for dietetic internships. If you are an international student, you should contact the registrar’s office. They will need to evaluate your college transcripts and determine the equivalency to US coursework prior to review of your transcripts by the DPD Director. The ADA offers additional information for international applicants.

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.