Do you think that what you eat affects your health? Would you enjoy a career in educating others on the importance of healthy and wholesome eating habits?

Students who choose to major in nutrition and dietetics will complete an undergraduate didactic program in dietetics (DPD) while studying at East Carolina. This program is primarily completed on campus in face-to-face classes and can provide numerous career opportunities for you upon graduation. Our courses are very interactive, requiring students to interact to complete case studies, projects, undergraduate research and service learning.

All students hoping to become a registered dietitian must complete an internship before they are eligible. Career opportunities in nutrition and dietetics include working in hospitals, physicians' offices, school food service, nursing homes and wellness facilities. Nutrition science is also a great pre-professional degree if you are interested in going into medicine or dentistry.

ECU Advantage

The Department of Nutrition Science at ECU is focused on helping you achieve your goals of becoming a registered dietitian. Our program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. More than 85 percent of all registered dietitians in eastern North Carolina have been trained at ECU.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinators:

Nutrition is an integrative discipline that involves chemistry, biology, physiology, pharmacology, medicine, behavior science and other disciplines. In addition to preparing graduates to become registered, licensed dietitians, nutrition science is a great pre-professional major for careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and the allied health professions. There are two concentrations within the bachelor of science in nutrition and dietetics: the didactic program (DP) in dietetics concentration and the nutrition with science (NS) concentration. Both options are primarily on-campus, face-to-face programs that provide many opportunities for students throughout their course of study.

Minimum degree requirement is 120 s.h. of credit as follows:

1. General education requirements including those listed below - 40 s.h.

(For information about courses that carry general education credit see General Education Program.)

  • ANTH 1050 - Global Understanding or
  • ANTH 2200 - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • space
  • CHEM 1150 - General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 1151 - General Chemistry Laboratory I
  • CHEM 1160 - General Chemistry II

  • COMM 2020 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication or
  • COMM 2410 - Public Speaking

  • MATH 1065 - College Algebra
  • PSYC 1000 - Introductory Psychology
  • SOCI 2110 - Introduction to Sociology
2. Core - 14 s.h.
  • NUTR 1010 - Cultural Foods
  • NUTR 1300 - Orientation to Nutrition and Dietetics Profession
  • NUTR 1330 - Food Safety and Sanitation
  • NUTR 2105 - Nutrition Science
  • NUTR 2330 - Food Science
  • NUTR 2400 - Nutrition Assessment
3. Cognates - 21-26 s.h.
  • BIOL 1100 - Principles of Biology I
  • BIOL 1101 - Principles of Biology Laboratory I
  • and
  • BIOL 1200 - Principles of Biology II
  • BIOL 1201 - Principles of Biology Laboratory II
  • or
  • BIOL 1150 - Principles of Biology: A Human Approach
  • BIOL 1151 - Principles of Biology: A Human Approach Discussion

  • BIOL 2110 - Fundamentals of Microbiology
  • BIOL 2111 - Fundamentals of Microbiology Laboratory
  • BIOL 2130 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • BIOL 2131 - Survey of Human Physiology and Anatomy Laboratory
  • linebreak
  • BIOS 1500 - Introduction to Biostatistics
  • or
  • MATH 2228 - Elementary Statistical Methods I
  • or
  • MATH 2283 - Statistics for Business
  • or
  • PSYC 2101 - Psychological Statistics

  • CHEM 1161 - General Chemistry Laboratory II
  • CHEM 2750 - Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 2753 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
4. Concentrations - 21-40 s.h.
    Didactic program in dietetics concentration (40 s.h.)

    The dietetics program (DP) in dietetics is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Admission requires a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA) and a submitted application after all prerequisites have been completed. The application can be found on the Department of Nutrition Science website. Students in the DP must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Graduates of the DP will be eligible to apply for a supervised practice/dietetic internship. Completion of the DP does not guarantee admission into a supervised practice/dietetic internship. Students who complete this concentration and a supervised practice/dietetic internship can take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians and become a registered dietitian.

    • NUTR 2331 - Food Science Laboratory
    • NUTR 3104 - Advanced Vitamins and Minerals
    • NUTR 3105 - Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
    • NUTR 3311 - Life Cycle Nutrition
    • NUTR 3330 - Financial Management in Dietetics
    • NUTR 3535 - Nutrition Education and Counseling
    • NUTR 3700 - Nutrition and Disease
    • NUTR 4300 - Professional Preparation in Dietetics
    • NUTR 4312 - Medical Nutrition Therapy I
    • NUTR 4313 - Medical Nutrition Therapy II
    • NUTR 4330 - Food Production Principles of Dietetics
    • NUTR 4331 - Food Production in Dietetics Lab
    • NUTR 4500 - Community Nutrition
    • NUTR 4600 - Senior Seminar
    Nutrition with science concentration (21 s.h.)

    This concentration allows flexibility to support a variety of professional goals and is well suited for pre-professional programs in occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. Students should consider minors in areas that complement their career goals. Suggested minors include public health, business, psychology, exercise science, or health promotion. A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for admission to the nutrition with science concentration, which consists of NUTR 3000 and 4000 level classes. A student earning less than a 3.0 cumulative GPA while taking NUTR 3000 and/or 4000 level courses must petition the Department of Nutrition Science for probationary continuation.

    • HLTH 3010 - Health Problems or
    • HLTH 3050 - Public Health Systems and Policy
    • space
    • NUTR 3104 - Advanced Vitamins and Minerals
    • NUTR 3105 - Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism
    • NUTR 3311 - Life Cycle Nutrition
    • NUTR 3700 - Nutrition and Disease
    • NUTR 4901 - Topics in Nutrition (Must be taken twice.)
5. Electives to complete requirements for graduation.
    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Dietetics/Dietician (RD)
    • Dietitians and Nutritionists
    • Dietetic Technicians
    • Dietetics/Dietician (RD)

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.