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Nutrition and Dietetics (NAD)

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The Nutrition and Dietetics (NAD) major is an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).

The Nutrition and Dietetics major is designed to prepare future registered dietitians nutritionists (RDNs)- health professionals who are experts in nutrition and the human diet. As part of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, our students also learn about the contributions of exercise and physical activity to human health. All students interested in the RDN credential and a career in dietetics are encouraged to choose this major. 

Students may apply to the major as prospective students or transfer into the major once at Virginia Tech. To apply to the major as a prospective student, please Apply Here. Virginia Tech students should follow the Change of Major process to apply.

The mission of the DPD is to successfully prepare graduates for a dietetics supervised practice program, graduate study, and employment through academic training in an interdisciplinary environment of human nutrition, foods, exercise, and extension. The program goals and objectives are available in the Nutrition and Dietetics Portion of the HNFE Undergraduate Student Handbook.

The curriculum is based on physical and social sciences, foods and nutrition, and emphasizes critical thinking and communication skills. Courses and diverse learning experiences are designed to meet the accreditation standards of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students in this major have the goal of becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and contributing to the future of the profession.

After completing this major, students pursuing the RDN credential must complete a graduate degree, an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (which may be independent or combined with a graduate degree), and then pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registered dietitian nutrition credentialing exam. RDN's must establish licensure as an RDN if required in locality of practice.

For more information on the educational process and licensure requirements to become an RDN, visit CDR RD Eligibility Requirements.

Courses and Requirements

Courses such as Evidence-based Practice in Health Science, Exercise and Health, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Metabolic Nutrition account for some of the required 39 departmental credits.

Required courses for the 35-credits in the NAD major include Community Nutrition, Health Counseling, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Science of Food Preparation Lab, among others. To ensure knowledge in preparation for the RDN credential, there are required elements in NAD courses that students must complete at a passing level to pass the course. These learning activities are identified on course syllabi.

To ensure DPD knowledge, the following 18 credits must be taken at Virginia Tech:

  • HNFE 2004 Professional Dietetics (1 credit)
  • HNFE 3034 Methods of Human Health Assessment (2 credits)
  • HNFE 4025 Metabolic Nutrition (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4026 Metabolic Nutrition (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4125 Medical Nutrition Therapy I OR HNFE 5125G Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4126 Medical Nutrition Therapy II OR HNFE 5126G Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 credits)
  • HNFE 4624 Community Nutrition Capstone (3 credits)

Students wishing to transfer courses into Virginia Tech must follow the university course transfer protocol.

Technology Requirements:

Graduation Requirements

Careers in Nutrition and Dietetics

This ACEND accredited major opens doors for a variety of career paths in clinical and community nutrition, research, industry, and wellness. Alumni are competitive applicants for graduate and supervised practice programs in dietetics and report success in these educational pathways to becoming an RDN.

Some RDN roles of HNFE alumni include clinical dietitian, collegiate and professional sports dietitian, program manager in community nutrition and public schools, and faculty in dietetics programs.

The alumni one-year pass rate on the RDN exam consistently ranges from 90-100%. Additional program outcome data are available upon request.

Additional Program Information

Academic Calendar

The Virginia Tech Academic Calendar is hosted by the Office of the University Registrar.

Tuition and Fees

The tuition and fees are established for undergraduate students as outlined on the Bursar’s Office website.  

Completion of the Nutrition and Dietetics major costs vary for students due to their previous learning experiences, transfer credits, plan of study, and time to degree. 

Additional Costs

  • Books, materials and supplies: Required books and printing fees for course materials are estimated to be approximately $200 to $800 per semester.
  • There are no course specific fees in the program.
  • There are no required travel expenses for students outside of normal travel to class.

For information about financial aid: Scholarships and Financial Aid website.

Apply & Visit

No matter where you are in the process of finding the best program and university for you, we're here to support you. If you're ready to join Hokie Nation, you can apply now. 

Visit us in-person! There are multiple opportunities to visit campus over the year by Virginia Tech Admissions and by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, where our department is housed. If you are visiting campus at an alternate time or date, you can reach out to schedule a tour with our department.

The Nutrition and Dietetics Major is a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext 5400. The DPD is fully accredited by ACEND through 2026 and will go through the standard accreditation review process in 2025.