Didactic Program in Dietetics (B.S.)
The Henderson State University
Didactic Program in Dietetics (DP) is designed to help students build a
foundation in nutritional sciences with a strong liberal arts core. Students
are prepared for a career as Registered Dietitians (RDs) in
health and foodservice industries through the application of food and
nutritional science principles.
The program is designed to accomplish
the following goals: 1) Prepare graduates to enter an accredited dietetic
internship program and become competent RDs; 2) Prepare students for lifelong
service to the community and profession through emphasis, encouragement, and
provision of guidance in relation to community and professional service
activities relevant to the profession of dietetics.
Upon completion of
the program, students will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in
Family and Consumer Sciences with a specialization in Dietetics.
Due to its very low student-teacher ratio, the Henderson DP offers a
highly advantageous learning environment. Students can expect individualized
attention in dietetics classes, one-on-one academic advising with a Registered
Dietitian, and hands-on learning experiences at local healthcare facilities,
foodservice organizations, and other community settings.
The HSU DP Student Handbook and the student
section of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website provide
essential information for interested students.
What are the steps required to become a Registered Dietitian?
Step 1: Complete a 4-year
undergraduate (B.S.) degree in nutrition, dietetics, or another highly related
Step 2: Complete a dietetic
internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition
and Dietetics (ACEND). There are over 240 ACEND-accredited
dietetic internship programs throughout the United States, and they are
highly competitive. Most programs range from 6-12 months, but some combine the
internship with graduate school and may last 2-3 years.
3: Pass the national examination for Registered Dietitians to obtain
Step 4: In order to maintain
registration status, RDs must fulfill continuing professional education
*Upon completion of HSU's DP, students will be
issued a verification statement which allow them to apply to dietetic
internships. Note: HSU does not issue verification statements to
students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0.
first have an accepted application from the Office of University
The prerequisites for entry
into the DP include:
- FCS1023 Foods
- FCS1081 FCS
- FCS 2053 Meal Management
- FCS 2103 Nutrition
Upon successful completion (C or higher) of the
above courses and a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better,
students may be accepted into the DP and allowed to register for
Financial assistance is
available to qualified students. Please contact the Henderson Office of
Financial Aid at (870) 230-5148. Additional Scholarships are available
through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences or through various other
What can I do with a degree in dietetics?
A wide variety of career opportunities are
available for Registered Dietitians.
work in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities in
specialty areas such as cardiology, diabetes, nephrology, pediatrics,
geriatrics, oncology, and nutrition support.
Dietitians work in healthcare facilities, schools, restaurants, food
production sales, marketing, advertising, public relations, and other
Nutrition Educators work in
colleges, universities, public schools, medical facilities, and government
Research Dietitians work in pharmaceutical
companies, universities, medical centers, and government agencies.
Consultant Dietitians work in private practice, contract
services, and in physicians' offices.
work in public health agencies, government-funded programs, health
and recreational clubs, school lunch programs, and child and adult day care
Graduates not seeking a dietetic internship also have numerous career
opportunities in health-related and foodservice settings.
What jobs do some of Henderson's dietetics graduates hold?
- RD for the Arkansas Department of Health (5 students, various
- RD/Certified Lactation Consultant (Arkadelphia,
- RD at National Park Medical Center (Hot Springs, AR)
- RD for Mercy Health Center (Hot Springs, AR)
- RD for Baptist Health-Malvern (formerly Hot Spring County Medical Center) (Malvern, AR)
- RD for White
River Medical Center (Batesville, AR)
- RD for Central Arkansas
Veterans Healthcare System (Little Rock, AR)
- RD for North Central Baptist Hospital (San Antonio, TX)
- Renal dietitian for
DaVita Dialysis (2 students)
- Arkansas Department of Health
Environmental Health Specialist, Registered Professional Sanitarian (Hot
- FCS Cooperative Extension agent for Faulkner county, AR
(Child Education Services - 4H)
- FCS Cooperative Extension agent
for Mississippi county, AR (Food and Nutrition)
professor/director of didactic program in dietetics at Henderson State
University (Arkadelphia, AR)
- Online instructor for the University of
- WIC Nutritionist/Supervisor for the City of San Marcos
- Outreach Specialist for the Center on Aging (Texarkana,
- Study Coordinator/RD for Principals Research Group (Hot Springs,
- RD for Simply Fit Meals (Plano, TX)
Where have Henderson dietetics graduates gone to complete their dietetic internships and/or for graduate school?
Henderson dietetics graduates have completed
internships at the following universities or through the following
- University of Central Arkansas
of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- Benedictine University
- Louisiana Tech University
- Oklahoma State University
- Iowa State University
- Texas A & M University
- Baptist Health System (San Antonio, TX)
have earned Master's degrees in nutrition or a closely related area at the
- University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
- University of Central Arkansas
- University of Arkansas
- Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX)
- Texas A & M University (Commerce, TX)
- Texas A & M
University (College Station, TX)
- University of the Incarnate Word
(San Antonio, TX)
- Louisiana Tech University (Ruston, LA)
- Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
University (Lisle, IL)
- Oklahoma State University (Stillwater,
Areas of Study
- Basic and advanced nutrition
- Community nutrition
- Nutrition through the life
- Medical nutrition therapy
- Food economics
- Foodservice management
Watch a video
featuring interviews with HSU students and the program director and take a sneak
peek into a couple of dietetics classes!
The Henderson Dietetics Program
is currently granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for
Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995;
phone: (800) 877-1600.
The dietetics program is located in Proctor
Hall on the south side of the HSU campus. Contact the program director, Ms.
Penny Whelchel, at (870) 230-5542 or email@example.com.