Program Overview

Foods and nutrition majors study the role of foods and their nutritional components in promoting health and wellness for life. Referred to as the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), coursework and field experiences prepare you for an extensive variety of career paths. The program is grounded in a strong Christian liberal arts education, and faculty advisors help you tailor the program to their unique interests and goals. 

Service-learning opportunities and off-site experiences are built in throughout the curriculum. Recent examples include food service management in regional hospitals, nutrition education in public health departments, dialysis clinics, university sports nutrition departments, consumer scientist department in a major appliance company, county extension offices, and behavioral health and eating disorder outpatient and inpatient facilities. Our low student-faculty ratio means that learning is customized in and out of the classroom. 

C-N students have two options for foods and nutrition tracks:

Foods and Nutrition (FN) 
Emphasizes foods and nutrition education for individuals, families and the community in public health settings, and managerial or entrepreneurial roles within the field that do not require licensure

Foods and Nutrition with Dietetics (FND) 
Includes additional coursework in biochemistry, advanced human nutrition, medical nutrition therapy and focused nutrition assessment so the graduate is qualified to secure a dietetic internship and sit for the registration examination to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist

The C-N DPD program is accredited through 2024 with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312- 899-0040 Ext. 5400.

Emphasis Area


  • The nutrition program at Carson-Newman University adequately prepared me to work as a Registered Dietitian. The academic rigor coupled with professional development opportunities helped me succeed in the field, and the professors went above and beyond to help me reach my career goals. I would not be where I am in my career without the nutrition program at Carson-Newman University.
    Sarah Sofia, RDN / Food Service Coordinator / Warrior Run School District
Food and Nutrition Careers

• Clinical dietitian (RDN)
• Consumer scientist or product development
• County extension service agent
• Chef, restaurant owner or manager
• Diabetes educator or diatetic technician
• Hospital, long-term care or assisted living dietitian or food service director
• Nonprofit agency administrator
• Nutrition educator
• Pharmaceutical sales representative
• Public health nutrition educator or researcher
• Sports nutritionist (RDN)

Food and Nutrition Field Experiences

The 150-hour undergraduate field experience is an invaluable time of learning and career exploration. Recent placements include:
• East Tennessee Children's Hospital Food Service and Clinical Nutrition Services
• Tennessee Department of Health
• Jefferson County Memorial Hospital
• Morristown Hamblen Healthcare System
• UT Athletic Department & Medical Center
• Appalachian Agency for Aging (Virginia)
• Clemson University Athletic Department
• DaVita Kidney Care (Florida)

Accreditation Details

  • Registered Dietitian (RDN) Examination

    Three year pass rate on first attempt for 5 Didactic Program in Dietetics graduates sitting for the RDN examination (2017-2019) is 80%. For testers within one year of the first attempt, the pass rate is 100% for the same period.

  • Accreditation Status of the DPD

    The current Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) was accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) in 2006 and reaffirmed in 2016. ACEND is located at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) headquarters at 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; 312-899-0040, ext. 5400; ACEND establishes a complete set of standards, knowledge and competency statements that must be met by all accredited dietetics programs. Completion of the DPD permits students to be eligible to apply for an accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) during their senior year if they have met the required cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher and have completed (or in progress) all required coursework to receive the degree in Foods and Nutrition with an emphasis in Dietetics.

    The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences also offers a non-dietetics track in the Foods and Nutrition program area of study. This program does not require ACEND accreditation and, therefore, allows the student to have a more flexible course of study that can prepare one for a variety of career paths in foods and nutrition.

    All foods and nutrition majors (DPD track and non-dietetics track) are one of seven specialty areas of study within the Family and Consumer Sciences discipline. Therefore, all FND students are afforded the opportunity to become Certified in Family and Consumer Sciences (CFCS) during the last semester of their senior year as Carson-Newman’s American Association of Family and Consumers Sciences (AAFCS) accredited Department offers curricula in each program area which meet the required standards and a core body of knowledge for FCS graduates. FCS faculty can assist any student interested in earning the CFCS credential during their senior year.

  • Goals and Measurable Outcomes of the DPD 2016-2023 Cycle

    The DPD program/faculty at C-N strives to meet or exceed the following goals and objectives that are important for success of our graduates:

    Goal 1
    Graduates will have attained a mastery of the knowledge, skills, and competencies required of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists upon completion of the accredited Bachelor of Science program in foods, nutrition and dietetics.


    1.a. At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 4.5 years (150% of the program length)

    1.b. 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%.

    1.c. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of supervised practice program directors will indicate positive satisfaction with DPD graduates.

    1.d. Over a five-year period, 80% of graduates surveyed will evaluate their knowledge and skills as good or excellent preparation for professional work in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.

    Goal 2
    Graduates will aspire to professional growth and development seeking supervised practice programs, graduate programs, and a variety of career opportunities in foods, nutrition, and dietetics.


    2.a. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of DPD graduates will apply to supervised practice programs the same academic year they complete the program.

    2.b. Over a five-year period, at least 70% of those applying to supervised practice programs will be accepted within 12 months of completion of the DPD program.

    2.c. Over a five-year period, at least 75% of DPD graduates not continuing on to supervised practice will be employed in a food service or a nutrition-related career or have enrolled in an advanced education program within 12 months of graduation.

    2.d. Over a five-year period, at least 80% of the DPD graduates completing supervised practice program/graduate programs will be employed in dietetics or related fields within 12 months of completion.

    2.e. Over a five-year period, at least 90% of DPD students will become members of the Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) and student members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) by the end of their junior year.

    Outcome data for the goals and objectives of the Didactic Program in Dietetics is available upon request by contacting Jennifer Finley, MS, RDN, LDN at or (865) 471-3298.

  • Admission Requirements

    The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences offers two tracks for Foods and Nutrition majors:

     1) Foods and Nutrition major with Dietetics emphasis (DPD track):

    This is the program as described above that a student would select if s/he seeks to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN). Once the student meets university admission requirements, there are no additional requirements for admission to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. College admission requirements are listed in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Currently three requirements must be met for Admission to the Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics upper division courses:

    1. C or higher is required in all FN courses; BIOL 207/208, 305/306, 316; CFS 206; CHEM 103/104, 301, 310; COMM 135/230; CS 135, 432; ENG 101, 201, 301; FCS 121; FCS 421; FCSE 424; MATH 201;
    2. Cumulative GPA 2.8* or higher; and
    3. B or higher in FN 114, FN 214, FN 310.

    The student will need to complete and submit an official application by August 30 of their junior year to the DPD Director in person or mailed to: DPD Director, CN Box 71881, Jefferson City, TN 37760. See FND Student Handbook.

    *Please be aware that GPA’s above 3.4 improve the student’s likelihood of securing a supervised practice program after graduation, which is required to earn the RDN credential.

    2) Foods and Nutrition major (non-dietetics emphasis):

    Students may select this major if s/he has an interest in the foods and nutrition discipline and seeks career opportunities in culinary, food industry, food sales, food service management, public health, family and consumer sciences, and extension service. Many of these positions and career paths do not require the RDN credential but may require graduate study or other training. Food and Nutrition faculty are available to discuss this curriculum option which is presented in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Admission requirements are the same as those for the University which are also listed in the current catalog.

  • Program Costs

    Family and consumer sciences majors will be responsible for tuition, room and board, and meal costs listed in the current Carson-Newman Undergraduate Catalog. Foods, nutrition, and dietetics majors at Carson-Newman University will be responsible for the following additional estimated costs:

    • Laboratory Coat $25.00-$40.00
    • Student Membership fee to Academy $60.00/year (join junior year at latest) and optional local chapters, Knoxville District Dietetic Association (KAND) ($10.00/year)
    • Student chapter of Academy (SAND) may require nominal membership and activity fees ($5.00-$10.00)
    • Laboratory Fees for FN 310, FN 313, FN 316, CS 432 will each have a fee ranging from $50.00 to $150.00
    • Honors Banquet attendance every Spring if you apply for departmental scholarships ~ $25.00/Spring Semester
  • Student Handbooks for FND Majors

    The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences has published a Student Handbook for use by all FCS students. DPD students will need to also refer to the DPD Student Handbook for additional information pertinent to their success in the dietetics program. These handbooks provide reference information about the FCS program and DPD programs, goals and objectives of each program, curriculum and suggested four-year course of study, scholarship and award information, and career guidance.

    FCS Student Handbook 

    DPD Student Handbook

  • Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND)

    The chartered Student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (SAND) is recognized as Carson-Newman University’s student chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All FND students are granted membership into this professional club which seeks to provide opportunities for students to network professionally, serve the local and campus community, and share their knowledge and passion for the field with each other. Students can serve on the board for this organization which helps students develop their leadership and advocacy skills. As an organization, students have attended dietetic internship forums; local, state, and national meetings and conferences; and have organized community health fairs, wellness seminars, and cooking demonstrations.

  • Curriculum Map

    The Curriculum Map for the Foods & Nutrition Major can be found here.

    The Curriculum Map for the Foods & Nutrition Major with an Emphasis in Dietetics can be found here.

  • Foods, Nutrition, and Dietetics Graduates of Carson-Newman

    Carson-Newman University is proud of its graduates in the FND program areas. Many of our alumni are working as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists in acute care clinical dietetics settings practicing medical nutrition therapy. Some graduates are even in subspecialties of oncology, eating disorders, metabolic support, holistic health, and bariatrics. Graduates also are working in long-term care, in both clinical and food-service management roles. Other graduates - with and without the RDN credential - have pursued careers in public health as WIC nutritionists, school food service management, eating disorders and behavioral therapy, sports nutrition and wellness, the mission field, and as a consumer scientist with a premier home appliances manufacturer.

  • DPD Faculty

    Jennifer Finley, MS, RDN, LDN
    Assistant Professor & Director of Didactic Program in Dietetics
    Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
    Carson-Newman University
    Jefferson City, TN 37760


    Dr. Karen Gibson, RDN, CSSD, CD
    Associate Professor
    Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
    Carson-Newman University
    Jefferson City, TN 37760

you’re gonna
love it here

Apply Visit Campus Request Info