Pre-Dietetics Preparation at UHMānoa
Text compiled from the, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics website, Commission of Dietetic Registration website, UHM FSHN website, UHM 2011-2012 Dietetics Option Handbook, and the UHM 2011-2012 Catalog
Registered Dietitians, or R.D.s, are experts in applying the science of nutrition to assessing or developing plans involving the diets of individuals and the community as a whole. R.D.s often provide nutrition counseling, develop diet plans, and educate people about nutrition. They can also work in large-scale food service operations and ensure that they are sanitary, cost effective, and capable of meeting the nutritional needs of the target population. Clinical R.D.s can specialize in areas nutrition-related diseases (such as diabetes) or the health of different age groups.
R.D.s can work in a variety of settings, including in clinics, hospitals, food service and processing, private practices, government and non-profit organizations, and education. The job of an R.D. is highly dependent on the setting they work in.
The terms “Registered Dietitian,” “Professional Dietitian,” and “Dietitian” are protected by law, and only those who have met the educational requirements and qualifications mandated by their state can use the title. The term “Nutritionist” is not protected, and can be used by people with different levels of training.
Related Professions: A related licensure is the Dietetic Technician, Registered (D.T.R.). The scope of a dietetic technician is dependent on their work setting and state. D.T.R.s usually work closely and assist R.D.s in their work, including nutritional education and counseling. Other related professions include food service manager, health educator, public health nutritionist, and nutrition researcher.
Becoming an R.D. generally requires about 4 ½ to 5 years education:
- Bachelors Degree (~4 years);
- Internship (~6-12 months)
The Bachelors degree must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND). The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa offers a major in Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), which has a track called the Dietetic Option that prepares its students to become a registered dietitian. The dietetic option is CADE accredited, and an emphasis on sports and wellness may be added to this option.
Other universities offer majors that prepare students to become an R.D. as well, with a variety of emphases (please see the Additional Information section for more information.)
R.D.s who specialize hold additional certifications awarded through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), another credentialing agency for AND. Certificates for specialization include Gerontological Nutrition, Sports Dietetics, Pediatric Nutrition, and Renal Nutrition.
Many states have their own set of additional requirements that dieticians must meet, including specific licensing requirements. In Hawaii, only an R.D. and membership with the AND and the Hawaii Dietetic Association (HDA) is required to practice as a dietitian. The list of licensure agencies by state is provided by the CDR.
Most importantly, remember that requirements vary from school to school! Students must research the individual programs at each of the institutions to which they intend to apply.
The following admission guidelines pertain only to UHM’s FSHN major, Dietetics Option:
- Incoming Freshmen – open declaration via UH Mānoa application.
- Transfers (from other majors and/or other institutions):
Must meet with the FSHN Undergraduate Advisor, have a minimum entrance GPA of 2.8, and have completed the following courses:
- FSHN 185 – The Science of Human Nutrition (with B or better)
- CHEM 161/161L – General Chemistry I and Lab (with C or better)
- CHEM 162/162L – General Chemistry II and Lab (with C or better)
- PHYL 141/141L – Human Anatomy and Physiology I and Lab (with C or better)
- PHYL 142/142L – Human Anatomy and Physiology II and Lab (with C or better)
- MATH 140 (or higher, with C or better)
Note: Transfer students must see a FSHN advisor to have their prior coursework evaluated before applying. Please refer to the Dietetics Option Student Handbook for more information regarding the program.
Programs need to be certain that the students they accept will be capable of completing the curriculum and are likely to become good dietitians.
UHM’s Dietetics Program is looking for students who have:
- Completed the prerequisites
- Satisfied admission requirements (see above)
The program would also like to see students who:
- Demonstrate compassion, empathy, and commitment to public service
- Are able to work in a variety of settings
- Are able to incorporate their knowledge into their work
- Have high ethical and moral standards
- Live a well-rounded lifestyle and are able to balance professional and humanitarian interests
- A well-rounded lifestyle that balances academics, social activities, and personal interests (hobbies, skills, sports, etc.)
For UHM Dietetics Program only:
Incoming freshmen can declare the FSHN major on their UH Mānoa application.
Transfer students need to complete all of the prerequisite courses, and must meet all admissions requirements to apply into the UHM Dietetics Program. Students must meet with the FSHN Undergraduate Advisor in order to apply for the program.
Major courses that are open to pre-FSHN dietetics students:
- FSHN 185 - The Science of Human Nutrition
- FSHN 181/L - The Chemical Nature of Food/Food Preparation Lab (must obtain an override from FSHN undergraduate advisor or instructor),
- FSHN 370 – Lifespan Nutrition (Spring Only. Pre: C or better in CHEM 161/161L, B or better in 185; or consent. Co-requisite: PHYL 142/142L, or consent)
Contact Information for FSHN/Dietetics Advising:
For UHM Dietetics Program information, transfer credit evaluations, and academic plans:
FSHN Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. Maria Stewart
1955 East West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
For information regarding the dietetic internships within the program:
Dietetics Advisor: Dr. Anne Shovic
1955 East West Road
AgSci 314 I
Honolulu, HI 96822
UHMānoa's Pre-Health/Pre-Law Advising Center (PAC) has reference books, lists of volunteer opportunities, academic planning worksheets, and one-on-one advising by peers who can help you prepare for and apply to osteopathic medical schools.
|UHM FSHN Council||http://www2.hawaii.edu/~fshnnews/|
|UHM FSHN/Dietetics Program||http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/hnfas/degrees/undergrad/FSHN.html|
|UHM Dietetics Option Student Handbook|
|Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics||http://www.eatright.org/|
|Commission on Dietetic Registration|
|Hawaii Dietetic Association||http://www.eatrighthawaii.org/|
|State Licensure Agency List|
|Dietetic Programs in the US|
|Preparing for Graduate School by the Honors Program||http://preparingforgraduateschool.weebly.com/|
Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN)
Undergraduate Advising Workshops
Want to learn more about the FSHN major? Thinking of transferring majors to FSHN? Attend one of these workshops in Agriculture Science 314 Mauka Table. Bring a copy of your transcript!
- Monday: 1:30-4:30 PM
- Tuesday: 1:30-3:00 PM
- Thursday: 1:30-3:30 PM
Questions? Contact Dr. Stewart at email@example.com