- Professor of Nutrition and Chair of the Department of Nutrition
Didactic Program in Dietetics Certificate
Our Certificate in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), prepares students to become Registered Dietitians.
You'll combine biology and chemistry with advanced food science and clinical dietetics. Our students improve the eating behaviors, health and quality of life of our culturally diverse population. You'll investigate the theories and best practices of food and health — and develop an appreciation of nutrition and dietetics' relationship to other disciplines.
This certificate, along with a verification statement signed by the DPD Director at Simmons and a previous bachelor's degree, will confirm the successful completion of this first step in the Commission for Dietetic Registration (CDR) administered credentialing process for dietetics practitioners. Students are eligible to sit for the Registered Dietitian credentialing exam after completing an accredited supervised practice program.
Our students are prepared for entry level nutrition positions, graduate school and accredited supervised practice programs.
Our Certificate in the Didactic Program in Dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995 telephone: (312) 899-5400.
Please be aware that ACEND has specified that individuals who fulfilled all eligibility requirement (DPD and supervised practice) for the RD exam on and after January 1st, 2024 will need a Master's degree (in any area) as part of the requirement to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam.
Details on the Certificate in the Didactic Program in Dietetics are provided in the Department of Nutrition Student Guide.
BIOL 113 General Biology*
BIOL 221 Microbiology*
BIOL 231 Anatomy and Physiology I
BIOL 232 Anatomy and Physiology II*
CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic* or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry
CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic*
CHEM 223 Introduction to Biochemistry
MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
Required Nutrition Courses:
NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science or NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science*
NUTR 201 Advanced Food Science*
NUTR 231 The Practice of Clinical Dietetics
NUTR 237 The Practice of Community Nutrition
NUTR 248 Food Production and Service Systems
NUTR 249 Leadership in Nutrition Management
NUTR 301 Introduction to the Dietetics Profession (staring with those entering Fall, 2017)
NUTR 311 Nutrient Metabolism*
NUTR 334 Medical Nutrition Therapy
NUTR 381 Advanced Applications in Community Nutrition
NUTR 390 Seminar: Selected Topics in Nutrition
In addition, there are two required social science courses; at least one of these should be in sociology or psychology.
Learn more in Section 8 of our Nutrition Guide.
Research, internships and clinical experience are essential to nutrition students. You’ll have opportunities to explore your interests, build your skills and develop mentoring relationships with leaders in the field. We take full advantage of our location in the heart of Boston, and more specifically the Longwood Medical Area. Our students have been placed at the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, ABCD/Head Start, Women’s Lunch Place, Community Servings, Greater Boston Food Bank, a variety of local WIC programs, and a variety of local hospitals.
Upon graduation, completing a Dietetic Internship Program and passing the registration exam are required steps in becoming a Registered Dietitian. Our students are successful in internship programs nationwide – and we have an excellent registration examination pass rate.
The mission of the Simmons University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to educate students and foster an appreciation of lifelong learning in preparation for their success in the nutrition and dietetics profession. We aim to prepare students to be effective in a profession that improves the eating behaviors and subsequent health and quality of life of a multicultural and diverse population, a profession that adds to the scientific investigation about food and health, and one that fosters an appreciation of nutrition and dietetics' relationship to other sciences.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics' goals and corresponding program outcomes (updated June, 2018) are shown below:
Goal # 1:
The Simmons University DPD will prepare graduates to become competent entry level dietetics professionals.
Corresponding program outcomes:
- At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirement within 6 years (150% of program length).
- The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- At least 75 % of graduates will assign a 4 (i.e., "agree") or a 5 (i.e., "strongly agree") to being prepared on 75% of the items (that pertain to content they learned at Simmons) on the graduate survey.
- At least 75% of Directors of Supervised Practice will rate Simmons University DPD graduates as acceptable or higher on 75% of items listed on the survey.
Goal # 2:
The DPD will prepare graduates to succeed in one or more of the following: a graduate program, an accredited dietetic internship program, or employment.
Corresponding program outcomes:
- 50% of BS/DPD, and 70% of DPD graduates apply to supervised practice programs prior to or within 12 months of graduation*.
- 55% of BS/DPD and 80% of DPD graduates are admitted to supervised practice programs prior to or within 12 months of graduation.
*Among those who applied for supervised practice programs.
Program outcome results for the Simmons University DPD are available upon request.
Ready to take the next step? We'll guide you through the requirements and deadlines — and get you started on your way.