BS in Nutrition

BS in Nutrition

BS in Nutrition

Maria Ferreira, PhD, RD
Nutrition Program Coordinator
(856) 256-4785
ferreira@rowan.edu

Mrs. Laurie Dwyer
Nutrition Program Advisor
(856) 256-5835
dwyerl@rowan.edu

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nutrition features two specializations for students: 1) Exercise Science and 2) Dietetics. Both specializations share a common core, but each has its own unique specialization requirements.

Nutrition Program Overview and FAQs

In the fall 2015, Rowan University started to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition through the Department of Health and Exercise Science in the School of Biomedical Science and Health Professions. The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nutrition will feature two specializations for students: 1) Exercise Science and 2) Dietetics. Both specializations share a common core, but each has its own unique specialization requirements.

The B.S. in Nutrition with an Exercise Science specialization will prepare graduates to work as nutrition educators, counselors and exercise specialists, combining two essential areas of expertise as they serve clients in hospital, worksite, community and school-based wellness and fitness programs. Graduates are also prepared to enter graduate programs in several health-related fields, such as public health, nutrition, and health promotion/wellness. The B.S. in Nutrition with an Exercise Science specialization accommodates the many students who will want to study nutrition and graduate with an employable degree in the fitness profession. The Exercise Science specialization is not a pathway to becoming a Registered Dietitian (R.D.).

The B.S. in Nutrition with a specialization in Dietetics will provide the foundation for students to pursue a Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition and Dietetics to become Registered Dietitians. By 2024, a master's degree will be required to sit for the Registered Dietitian certification exam. This program is designed to meet the changing criteria of the national accrediting and credentialing agencies in nutrition and dietetics. The University will be introducing a M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics to coincide with the first graduating class of the B.S. in Nutrition with the Dietetics specialization. These two programs are designed to allow students an accelerated path to a Master's degree and to certification as a Registered Dietitian. The Master's-level courses will be offered beginning in the spring of 2019 in time for the first graduates of the B.S. in Nutrition/Dietetics specialization to take these courses. The accelerated M.S. path will prepare graduates with a M.S. degree and the eligibility to take the Dietitian Registration Exam.

1. What is Nutrition and Dietetics?
Nutrition studies the metabolic aspects of how organisms utilize food. Nutrition also refers to the process of providing or obtaining the right amount of nutrients from food for health and growth.

Dietetics focuses on the interaction between nutrition and health, and the application of food and nutrition strategies to promote health; prevent disease and minimize disability. Therefore, Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians design and prescribe "nutrition therapies" to help the body utilize the appropriate nutrients to protect against disease and maintain and promote health.

2. What are the goals of the Nutrition Program?
The goal of the B.S. in Nutrition: Through completion of the program in Nutrition with an Exercise Science Specialization, the combination of two essential areas of expertise will prepare graduates to enter graduate school in several health related fields or seek employment as nutrition educators, counselors and exercise specialists to serve clients in fitness center, hospital, worksite, community and school-based wellness and fitness programs.
The goal of the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics: Through completion of the coursework and supervised practice, graduates will be prepared to take the Dietitian Registration Exam and pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian to work in the fields of community health, clinical care, and health promotion or to continue research in Nutrition and Dietetics related areas by focusing upon the physiological, social science, and community principles.

3. Who is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (R.D.N.)?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) announced that Registered Dietitians (R.D.) now have the option to use "Registered Dietitian Nutritionist", or R.D.N., as their credential in 2013. RD or RDN is a professional credential used by individuals who have completed the following steps according to Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR):

Step 1 - met current minimum academic requirements as approved by ACEND and completed the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent (before 2024); completed a Master degree after January 1, 2024
Step 2 - completed a supervised practice program accredited ACEND
Step 3 - successfully pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians
Step 4 - maintain the registration with CDR and comply with the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) recertification requirements

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) has prepared a video describing the work of a RD or RDN. Please visit this link at eatright.org to watch the video: "What a RDN can do for you". http://www.eatright.org/resource/food/resources/learn-more-about-rdns/what-an-rdn-can-do-for-you

4. What should I consider in deciding if I want to be a Registered Dietitian and pursue the Dietetics specialization?
Different curriculums are developed for each of the two specializations. Students will need to start the freshmen year in the Dietetics specialization courses to complete the undergraduate program within four years. Students are highly encouraged to keep up with the high academic requirements and to be accepted to the M.S. program to pursue the M.S. degree. An overall GPA of 3.0 is required to apply for the M.S. program in the sophomore year and maintain good standing within the program. Students who are not selected for the M.S. program are highly encouraged to switch to the Exercise Science specialization. The completion of the B.S. degree will prepare graduates to enter graduate school in health related fields or work in nutrition and fitness professions.

5. What is the procedure and criteria to apply for the M.S. Nutrition Program?
Students in specialization of Dietetics will apply for the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program in the 4th semester, which is the Spring semester of their sophomore year. To qualify for acceptance into M.S. program, a student must first meet with the Academic Advisor to discuss his/her intentions to declare to continue with this specialization. Application to the program consists of five components. These components are:

  1. Completion of meeting with the Academic Advisor prior to the application
  2. Submission of a resume, unofficial transcripts of the coursework completed in the first 3 semesters (over all GPA of 3.0 required, and the written Self-Assessment application form; These may all be uploaded into the Nutrition Majors Blackboard course in the designated module for applications
  3. Completion of an interview with Dr. Jia and other faculty members before April 1.

If accepted into the upper-level phase of the Dietetics program, the student will continue in Dietetics specialization through graduation and into the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program. If a student is not accepted into the upper-level phase, s/he will have to change his or her specialization (or major). The Exercise Science specialization of the B.S. in Nutrition program is recommended.

6. May I apply for the M.S. program if I am a transfer student?
Yes. Transfer students may apply to the Dietetics specialization and go through the same application process after they have completed the course work required of freshman and sophomore Nutrition major years. Please contact the academic advisor to evaluate your course work. Please be aware that the first priority of the limited spots in the program go to the students completing the undergraduate B.S. in Nutrition/Dietetics program at Rowan.

7. How many students are accepted into each of the two Nutrition specializations?
The Exercise Science specialization is a non-restricted major at the University. This means that any student at the University may choose to major in Nutrition with this specialization. The Dietetics specialization is a competitive program to which students must apply and be accepted to complete the upper-level of the Dietetics specialization and then the M.S. program to continue with this track. Each year, 15 students will be accepted into the M.S. program in dietetic track.

8. Why are only 15 students selected for the Dietetics specialization each year?
It is becoming increasingly difficult to become a Registered Dietitian, particularly the fulfillment of the 1,200-hour internship at a nationally-approved site. To ensure that we are able to place all of the students accepted into the Dietetics specialization (and subsequent M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics) in an approved internship, it is necessary to limit the number of students in this specialization.

9. If I am accepted into the Dietetics specialization as an undergraduate, does this mean I am accepted into the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics as well?
You will apply in the second semester of your sophomore year and be accepted and maintained in the M.S. program with an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher. Many dietetic internship sites will not accept students who earn less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

10. If I am not selected for the Dietetics specialization the first time I apply, may I apply again the following year?
You may apply again and your application will be considered, but most of the 15 slots will be given to the current sophomores who are applying. You should also be aware that your graduation might be delayed if you are accepted into the program later than your sophomore year.

11. What is the sequence of courses required for each of the two specializations in Nutrition?
There are separate documents that clearly outline the course sequence for each specialization. Please request the curriculum from your academic advisor. The difference starts in the first semester. You will need to start with dietetics specialization if you plan to apply for the M.S. program.

12. Who can I talk to for more information about the B.S. in Nutrition program?
The Faculty Program Coordinator is Dr. Qian Jia (jia@rowan.edu).
The academic advisor for this program is Mrs. Laurie Dwyer (dwyer@rowan.edu). She will assist you in planning your course schedule.

13. What is required to graduate with a B.S. in Nutrition in each of the specializations?
Exercise Science specialization students must earn a D or higher in all major courses (unless a specific course requires a C- or higher) and must have an overall GPA of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.0 prior to completing the Senior Internship in the final semester.
Dietetics specialization students must earn a C- or higher in all major courses and a 3.0 overall GPA to maintain their acceptance into the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program. Dietetics students must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 and a major GPA of 2.0, with no less than a D in all major courses, to earn the B.S. degree. An overall GPA of 3.0 with no less than a B in all major courses is required to earn the M.S. degree.

14. Do Exercise Science specialization students complete an internship?
Yes, they complete a 9-credit, 400-hour internship in their final semester at an approved, professional site that offers them an opportunity to use their knowledge and skills in the combined disciplines of nutrition and exercise science.

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