Nutrition and Dietetics

You'll study the practices and tools that improve the health, quality of life and eating behaviors of a multicultural and diverse population.

Students in a food lab

Our students understand that food can be the best medicine

Our students use scientific approaches to help patients design healthy lifestyles. The Simmons campus is surrounded by world-renowned medical centers. Our students work with practicing Nutrition Professionals — reviewing medical records, interviewing and assessing the nutritional status of clients and advising on healthy diets.

Our nutrition and dietetics program prepares students to enter the dietetics field. Once you have completed the major, you are eligible to apply for a Dietetic Internship. After the internship is completed, you can take the registration exam to become a Registered Dietitian. Our faculty work closely with students as they complete this process, and we have excellent internship placement rates.

Our Nutrition and Dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606 telephone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 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.

Students must formally apply for this major. Learn more about the criteria for this program in the Department of Nutrition Student Guide.

Science Requirements:

All dietetics majors must complete the following science requirements:

  • 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

Nutrition Requirements: 

Students must complete the following nutrition requirements. These requirements also fulfill the Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements:

  • NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science or NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science
  • NUTR 201 Advanced Food Science
  • NUTR 331 The Practice of Clinical Dietetics
  • NUTR 237 The Practice of Community Nutrition
  • NUTR 248 Food Production and Service Systems
  • NUTR 249 Leadership in Food Service Management
  • NUTR 311 Nutrient Metabolism
  • NUTR 334 Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • NUTR 381 Advanced Applications in Community Nutrition
  • NUTR 390 Seminar: Selected Topics in Nutrition
  • NUTR 301 Dietetics Profession

There are two required social science courses; at least one of these should be in sociology or psychology.

Capstone course(s) or Independent Learning for the Nutrition and Dietetics Majors

For those students entering as freshman the fall, 2015 or later, there are two Capstone courses that are required under the PLAN: these are Advanced Applications in Community Nutrition (NUTR 381 and Seminar: Selected Topics in Nutrition (NUTR 390). For those students entering as freshman prior to the fall 2015 semester, the All College independent learning requirement is met by these same two courses: Advanced Applications in Community Nutrition (NUTR 381), and Seminar: Selected Topics in Nutrition (NUTR 390). 

Learn more in Section 3 of our Nutrition Guide.

A minor in nutrition consists of the following courses:

  • NUTR 101 Food Science
  • NUTR 111 Fundamentals of Nutrition Science or NUTR 112 Introduction to Nutrition Science
  • NUTR 150 International Nutrition Issues or NUTR 110 Sociocultural Implications of Nutrition
  • NUTR 248 Food Production and Service
  • One additional NUTR course at the 200-level or above

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 is a crucial step in becoming a Registered Dietitian. Our students are successful in internship programs nationwide – we have an excellent placement 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:
Simmons University DPD graduates will be prepared to become competent entry level dietetics professionals.

Corresponding program outcomes:

  • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements 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:
Simmons University DPD graduates will be prepared 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 for admission to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • 55% of BS/DPD and 80% of DPD graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program 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.

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

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