Human Nutrition and Dietetics Major, B.S.
Bachelor of Science
With an increased focus in health care on disease prevention and management, the need for dietitians and nutritionists is on the rise. Nutritionists and dietitians are experts in the use of food and what to eat in order to achieve specific health-related goals and improve overall health. The Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition – Dietetics prepares you for an impactful, service-oriented career in Human Nutrition to help individuals and groups lead healthier, disease-free lives.
In MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition undergraduate degree program in Dietetics, you don’t just learn theory but also how Human Nutrition is applied in everyday life. Other Human Nutrition bachelor’s degree programs focus on preparing students to be researchers or chefs. At MSU Denver, you will complete a comprehensive curriculum that fully prepares you for a variety of careers in nutrition and dietetics. Plus, you can work toward becoming a registered dietitian and increase your job opportunities by completing these five steps:
- Successfully earn a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition from MSU Denver.
- Complete a didactic program in dietetics (DPD). MSU Denver’s Bachelor of Science degree in Human Nutrition is designed so you simultaneously earn a didactic degree in dietetics.
- Apply for and complete an accredited dietetic internship program. Advisors in MSU Denver’s Department of Nutrition can help.
- Successfully earn a master’s degree in Nutrition. As of 2024, students will be required to complete a graduate program in Nutrition in order to take the exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
- Sit for and pass the national registered dietitian examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
At MSU Denver, you can major or minor in Human Nutrition – Dietetics. The Human Nutrition minor in Dietetics provides valuable information you can apply to your lifelong health and well-being. Although the Human Nutrition minor in Dietetics doesn’t qualify you to sit for the registered dietitian exam, it complements a variety of other majors at MSU Denver, including:
- Health Care Management
- Tourism and Events
- Human Performance and Sport
- Integrative Health Care
Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver
The Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP), approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, helps Human Nutrition graduates fulfill internship requirements that qualify them for taking the registered dietitian national exam. Graduates of MSU Denver and Johnson and Wales University are placed in 11 supervised sites around Denver for 1,200 hours of practical experience in clinical and community nutrition and food service management internships. You could have the opportunity to work at sites such as Englewood Public Schools, Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, Swedish Medical Center, and Women, Infant and Children clinics – just to name a few.
Program Advisors in MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition undergraduate degree program in Dietetics help you stay on track to complete the undergraduate program on time, prepare to be the best candidate for a dietetic internship and develop professional skills.
The unique program design, including a didactic program in dietetics, creates a variety of options for your future. If you don’t get matched with a Human Nutrition internship right after graduation, you still qualify to take the Registered Diet Technician Exam, the Certified Food Protection Professional Exam and the Certified Dietary Manager Exam. As a Registered Diet Technician, you can gain a year or two of experience, then reapply for an internship.
Opportunities to learn outside of the classroom in the metropolitan city of Denver are abundant – and encouraged. Some of MSU Denver’s senior-level courses in Human Nutrition partner with MetroCaring – a hunger-relief agency– to evaluate various aspects of their service to the community. Human Nutrition undergraduate degree program students in Dietetics also work directly with faculty on research projects. And students have been able to present on important topics in nutrition and diet at local, regional, state and national conferences.
Human Nutrition majors are urged to get involved early and often. MSU Denver is connected with the Auraria Campus Student Dietetic Association, which leads monthly meetings to support education in Human Nutrition, offer ways to get more involved in the Human Nutrition community and provide experiences that improve internship opportunities and career outlooks.
Career Opportunities for Our Graduates
From traditional to non-traditional to entrepreneurial, career opportunities for graduates from MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition undergraduate degree program in Dietetics are as interesting as they are diverse. They include:
- Clinical work that protects health and changes nutrition behaviors in settings such as hospitals and clinics, nursing homes and extended-care centers, diabetes care clinics and fitness centers and health clubs
- Consulting on nutrition and diet issues as they relate to nutritional counseling, educational programming or written communications
- Food service management as a leader in hospitals, schools and restaurants, making menu-planning, budgeting and purchasing decisions
- Industry settings, working with food and nutrition-oriented companies to formulate new products, create and execute marketing campaigns and implement health programs
- Public health positions with private and government agencies, such as Peace Corps and WIC clinics, that protect groups of people
- Teaching positions to educate communities on nutrition and wellness in school and healthcare settings.
These are just some of the job positions Human Nutrition – Dietetics alumni have found success in:
- Diet clerk
- Dietary aide
- Dietary supplement product developer
- Dietary technician
- Food and nutrition product developer
- Food and nutrition quality control technician
- Food and nutrition regulatory affairs specialist
- Food safety specialist
- Nutrition assistant
- Nutrition coach
- Nutrition-related food scientist
- Registered dietician
- Sanitation or health inspector
Undergraduate students in the Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) program at MSU Denver can take Advanced Practicum in Dietetics, a graduate-level nutrition course that helps fulfill the experiential requirements for taking the national registered dietitian examination. 100 percent of ISPP graduates from MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition bachelor’s degree program who have attempted the exam passed in the first year of completing the ISPP.
With limited availability, dietetic internships are highly sought after and competitive. In line with the national average, about half of MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition graduates who apply for an internship are matched with one.
In the past three years, 98 percent of MSU Denver graduates who completed their nutrition internship have passed the national registered dietitian exam.
MSU Denver graduates are also highly successful on the national Dietetic Nutritionist Technician (DTR) exam. In 2016, 86 percent of Human Nutrition graduates who attempted the exam passed to become Registered DTRs.
Ann Diker has been a professor in MSU Denver’s Nutrition Department for more than 15 years. Earning her doctoral and master’s degrees in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University, Diker is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with experience in breast cancer research and nutrition education with low-income populations.
Bruce Rengers has extensive experience as a clinical and administrative hospital dietitian nutritionist, consultant for nursing homes and state juvenile prison, manager of meals-on-wheels at a local agency, employee in a diabetes camp, outpatient nutrition counselor for diabetic children and for children who have inborn errors of metabolism, volunteer with an HIV agency, WIC director and chief nutritionist for the Colorado WIC Program and a zoo animal nutritionist who used zoo animals to teach inner-city kids about nutrition. Currently, Rengers is researching nutrition at a local food pantry.
MSU Denver ’15
Executive Director and Founder.
The H.O.N.E.Y. Project.
Alumni at Work
Human Nutrition alumni are impacting lives in a big way by sharing their knowledge and passion for nutrition and dietetics. Here are some of the employers of MSU Denver Human Nutrition alumni:
- Children’s Hospital Colorado
- Centura Health
- Boulder Community Health
- Coram CVS, Specialty Infusion Services
- Denver Health
- Tri-County Health Department
- 24 Hour Fitness
- Rose Medical Center
- Whole Foods Market
- Cherry Creek School District
- Swedish Medical Center
Graduates from MSU Denver’s Human Nutrition undergraduate program work in a variety of industries and roles, including the following:
- Healthcare services
- Community and social services
- Business development
- Arts and design
- Information technology
- Human resources
- Media and communication
The MSU Denver bachelor’s degree program in Human Nutrition – Dietetics is practical in its approach. You will take comprehensive courses in nutrition and dietetics, but you also have opportunities to take classes not offered by other Human Nutrition programs. The curriculum includes a unique focus on weight management and cultural nutrition, with course requirements in both topic areas.
Here are some of the classes you could take as a Human Nutrition major:
Nutrition Concepts and Controversies
Nutrition and Sports Performance
Lifecycle Nutrition for Majors
Cultural Aspects of Nutrition
Nutrition and Weight Management
Nutrition Education and Counseling
Medical Nutrition Therapy
The Human Nutrition – Dietetics major at MSU Denver includes a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).