Pathways to Nutrition

Registered Dietician

Students interested in becoming a registered dietitian (RD) may ultimately follow either of the pathways below to fulfill their goals. Currently aspiring RD’s must complete the following:

In 2024, the field as a whole is changing to require a graduate degree – in any area – as a requirement of becoming a licensed Registered Dietitian. This means students have many options to become a registered dietitian.

Pathways to Nutrition

There are many different reasons and career interests for selecting a major in nutrition. Below are two common routes that UIC undergraduates take to fulfill their goals.

BS in Nutrition Science

The Nutrition Science program in the College of Applied Health Sciences provides an option for studying nutrition for students who are not necessarily sure that they wish to become a registered dietitian. Current UIC students may apply as intercollege transfer applicants during any semester and some students will choose to enroll as first-years. Students may complete course requirements for medical, dental, pharmacy, and other health professions while completing a nutrition sciences major.

The timeline for a Nutrition Science major is typically 4-5 years to a bachelor’s degree (2-3 years to complete prerequisite coursework + 2 years of nutrition science coursework).

For students who later wish to complete the requirements to become a Registered Dietitian, they will need to apply to the nutrition science/DPD program, which includes the one-year dietetic internship. Approximately 70% of nutrition science students elect to apply for a dietetic internship.

BS in Nutrition, Coordinated Program

The BS in Nutrition, Coordinated Program is specifically designed to prepare students to become a registered dietitian. Students complete all required coursework for the RD as well as partake in an approved one-year dietetic internship. After completing the program, students are eligible to sit for the licensing exam. Beginning in 2024, registered dietitians will also need to complete a graduate degree. Students completing the BS in Nutrition, Coordinated Program may elect to pursue a graduate degree in any field of interest to fulfill this requirement.

The BS in Nutrition, Coordinated Program is a “junior entry” program. Most students interested in this option will be undeclared majors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences with a declared educational goal of Pre-Nutrition. To be eligible to apply, UIC students must have completed at least 60 credits, all prerequisite courses, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

The timeline for a BS in Nutrition, Coordinated Program is typically 5-6 years (2-3 years to complete prerequisite coursework in LAS + 2 years of required coursework in nutrition + 1 year dietetic internship).