Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Certificate

Our Certificate in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) prepares students to become Registered Dietitians. 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 credentialing process for dietetics practitioners. Learn more about the DPD program

How to Apply

Fall 2024

To get started on your application, click the link below:

Priority application deadline: May 1

Students applying for the priority deadline will get an automatic application fee waiver.

Final application deadline: June 1

Scholarships ranging from $6,000 - $20,000 are available for qualified applicants.

Spring 2025

To get started on your application, click the link below:

Please note that the DPD program requires that students be on campus in Boston. Online coursework for the DPD is not available at this time.

Priority application deadline: October 15

Students applying for the priority deadline will get an automatic application fee waiver.

Final application deadline: December 1

Simmons is accepting applications on a case-by-case basis after December 1. If you are interested in applying, please email [email protected] to discuss options.

Scholarships ranging from $6,000 - $20,000 are available for qualified applicants.

Application Requirements

An applicant must hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution or university abroad which is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. No prerequisite courses or GREs are required. Applicants to all Simmons programs represent a varied range of academic and experiential backgrounds.

An applicant will be considered for review if the following requirements are submitted and completed by the deadline:

  1. Complete application
    *If you are also applying to the MS and/or CSN, you will still use just one application. There will be an option for you to select which programs you are applying to.
  2. Personal statement
  3. Current resume
  4. Three letters of recommendation
  5. Official college transcripts from all institutions attended, whether or not a degree was earned
  6. If applicable, additional requirements for international students

Academic Records: Transcripts

Official transcripts are required for all courses completed (undergraduate and graduate) at regionally accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions, whether or not a degree was awarded or regardless of when the courses were taken or if the courses are specific to the program to which you are applying. This requirement includes courses which appear on another transcript as transfer or study abroad credit. If you attended a study abroad program and the grades appear on the transcript of your home institution, you do not need to submit a separate transcript. Check with the Registrar's Office of your undergraduate institution to confirm this. If there are no grades listed on your home institution's transcript, and a separate transcript exists, we require an official copy. 

If you have earned a degree abroad, academic records must include end of year marks sheets for each year of attendance, not just final exam results or a copy of the degree. Educational documents should clearly indicate the degree and date awarded. Overseas post-secondary institutions must be recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Academic records in the native language and an official English translation (if needed) are required.

The Office of Admission also accepts electronic transcripts from certain vendors including eSCRIP-SAFE, Parchment and National Student Clearinghouse.

Standardized Tests

The GRE is not required for any of our graduate nutrition programs at Simmons University.

Applicants whose first language is not English must submit official English language test scores taken within two years prior to the application deadline. These include the TOEFL, Duolingo English Test, Pearson Test of English and IELTS. Other English proficiency exams can be considered on a case by case basis. This requirement is based on native language, not citizenship.

This requirement is waived for applicants who have graduated at the bachelor's or master's level from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or a post -secondary institution abroad that is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the host country in English-speaking countries only.

Official scores are required; copies of student score reports are not acceptable. The TOEFL code is 3761. We are unable to accept electronic scores. It takes 5-6 weeks for the office to receive scores from ETS. A minimum score of 570 (paper-based), 230 (computer-based,) or 88 (internet-based) is required. Further information about TOEFL can be obtained by contacting Educational Testing Service (ETS) by telephone at 609-771-7670 or by visiting the ETS website.

Information about the Duolingo English Test can be found by visiting the Duolingo website.


Three recommendations, written within six months of the deadline, are required. For the DPD, two letters must be from current or recent instructors and one from a recent professional reference. Instructions for the recommendation process can be found within the application. 

Enrollment Deposit

Accepted applicants to the DPD program are required to submit a non-refundable $750 enrollment deposit. This deposit is applied to the first term bill. 

Deferred Entrance for Nutrition Programs

An accepted student may request, in writing, to the Director of Admission of the Office of Admission a deferral of the entrance date for a maximum of one year. The student must indicate what they will do in the interim. Deferrals cannot be granted if an accepted student to Simmons wants to take classes at another institution in the interim. If granted a deferral, a non-refundable enrollment deposit is required by the date stated in the letter of admission to ensure enrollment. 

Re-application Procedure

An individual who wishes to re-apply must submit a new electronic application, transcripts for courses completed since the original application, an updated resume, recent recommendations and another application processing fee. Contact the Office of Admission at 617-521-2605 for further information.


As indicated above, no prerequisites are required to apply to the DPD program. However, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) which is the accrediting body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics requires the completion of specific courses to fulfill the didactic requirements to apply for a Dietetic Internship program. The Simmons DPD is accredited by ACEND and meets this requirement.

You may have already completed some of these courses that comprise the DPD program in previous programs or at other institutions. To determine if previous courses taken meet the criteria for the Simmons DPD program, please request approval in writing via email to [email protected] and provide the name and number of the course, where it was offered and when. All course approval decisions are made by the academic department based on course content, program curriculum requirements and applicable professional certification requirements. The approval decision will be communicated to the student via email. If additional information is needed before a decision can be made, you may be asked to complete the Prerequisite/Syllabus Review Process.

If applicants are/were enrolled in institutions which used quarter or trimester systems, two or three quarters/trimesters may be required to equal one semester. This will be determined on such aspects, but not only, course content, frequency of class meetings per week and length of the course.

All science courses, with the exception of Biochemistry, must include labs and must have been completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, see below for recency requirements. These courses must be graded and may not be completed on a pass/fail basis or audited. CLEP or IB scores are not accepted for such required courses. The labs must be hands on labs (not online).

  • General Biology *
  • Microbiology *
  • Anatomy and Physiology I *
  • Anatomy and Physiology II *
  • Inorganic Chemistry *
  • Organic Chemistry *
  • Biochemistry
  • Introductory Statistics

* With Lab

All of the nutrition courses must be taken at Simmons:

  • Introduction to Nutrition Science
  • Advanced Food Science
  • The Practice of Clinical Dietetics
  • The Practice of Community Nutrition
  • Food Production and Service Systems
  • Leadership in Nutrition Management
  • Nutrient Metabolism
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Advanced Practice in Community Nutrition
  • Seminar-Selected Topics in Nutrition

Other required courses:

  • Two courses in social sciences. One of these must be in either sociology or psychology.

For the DPD program, (BS or DPD Certificate) there is a recency requirement for courses. If the student has been working in a field that uses the skills and knowledge taught in a specific course that was taken more than the recency limit prior to beginning the program, the DPD director may waive this recency requirement for that specific course.

Recency limits for courses:

  • 5 years: All nutrition courses, Anatomy and Physiology I & II, and Biochemistry.  However, if a student took Anatomy and Physiology I & II, Biochemistry, or NUTR 111/112 greater than 5 years but less than 10 years prior to beginning the DPD program, the student may choose to take a competency examination to place out of those courses.
  • 10 years: All other courses

You'll have a network of current students and alumni to help you throughout the exploration of your program of study by answering program specific questions, helping host informational sessions and panels, in addition to being your personal cheerleader throughout your Simmons journey.

Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)

Adi AdichieAdi Adichie

DPD Alumni
[email protected]

Why Simmons?

I chose to go to Simmons because I was interested in their DPD program. Further, I was very interested in learning in an accepting, female focused environment. As a woman of color, I feel it is important to be comfortable and feel supported where I am trying to become the person that I want to be. Simmons had a more tight knit community in which I feel supported as a student, and as a woman of color. In addition to that, I am very interested in science for fun and make homemade vegan soaps from scratch. I also have a pet rabbit named Jack, who I basically eat the same as.

Dietetic Internship and Master of Science in Nutrition

Suzanne ReasenbergSuzanne Reasenberg

Dietetic Internship, DPD, and Master of Science in Nutrition Alumni
[email protected]

Why Simmons?

First, Simmons offers an excellent and highly respected program for the study of nutrition. The program is academically rigorous, and students are well prepared for their next step (a Dietetic Internship for those who wish to become Registered Dietitians or a professional job for those who are seeking other types of employment in the nutrition field).

Second, Simmons is located close to the Longwood medical area and is within walking distance of world-class hospitals. Easy access to these hospitals is great for part-time or full-time jobs, volunteer work, or internships to get experience in the field while a student.

Third, Simmons is highly supportive of older women returning to school. I was a career changer and had already worked for 20+ years in another field before I decided to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Although many of the students in my classes were 18 to mid-20s, there were also students in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, so I never felt out of place due to my age. Simmons is a highly diverse community of faculty, staff, and students, and the University actively works to create a culture of openness, welcoming, and respect for all.

Alexa CosgroveAlexa Cosgrove

MSDI Alumni
[email protected]

Why Simmons?

During the fall semester of my senior year at Rutgers University I was preparing to apply to dietetic internships. I grew up in New Jersey and spent all of college in New Jersey, so I was looking for a change. I looked into applying to schools in Boston because it was far enough away from home, but still close enough to visit on the weekends. I came across Simmons University’s Dietetic Internship in the Fall of 2019 at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition, so it had been on my radar since. Simmons University’s Dietetic Internship offers a combined program to complete a Master’s degree, which is what I was looking for. After attending some informational sessions and talking with the director of the program I knew Simmons was my number one choice. I had a gut feeling that Simmons would lead and prepare me for all future opportunities and endeavors.

Sarah CriscuoloSarah Criscuolo

MSDI Alumni
[email protected]

Why Simmons?

I chose to come to Simmons because I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and was very interested in experiencing city life for a change. After doing a lot of research, I thought that Simmons’ MSDI program would be the best fit for me. I only applied to one other program through DICAS, as I really only wanted to go to Simmons, so I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I was matched with this program! A Master’s degree isn’t currently required to become a registered dietitian, but as it will be required beginning in 2024, I really wanted to get it done early while I was still in "school mode". What I love about Simmons is that it offers an MSDI (masters of science paired with a dietetic internship), so I was able to complete both my Master’s and my internship in a 2 year period. This program is very individualized - we were able to fill out a detailed survey about what types of rotations we’d prefer to be placed at (or to not be placed at), and I got basically exactly what I wanted.

International students requiring an F-1 visa to study in the U.S. must be accepted to and enrolled full-time in a degree granting program. The DPD certificate is not a degree granting program; F-1 visa holders are not eligible to apply to this program.

However, F-1 visa holders are eligible to apply to the MSDPD option as this would provide full time status.


Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees at Simmons are updated annually each spring. They are assessed each semester based on the number of credits enrolled, the level of degree, and the particular program of study.

Merit scholarships and funding options

We believe that your exceptional academic preparation and hard work should be rewarded.

Health insurance

All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage.

Contact us

Questions? Contact us via email or at 617-521-2605. We're happy to schedule visits and campus tours.