Welcome to the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas! My name is Rachel Schichtl, and I am the DPD Director.  It is my pleasure to introduce you to our program.

We have several scholarship opportunities for Nutrition Majors, see the video here for more information.


Bachelor of Science in Nutrition


The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is to: 

  • Prepare graduates who have the academic preparation necessary for success in an internship in dietetics /nutrition and other career opportunities.
  • Provide students with the concepts of the interdependence of human nutrition and food in the health and behavior of individuals and with a general foundation of food service systems management.


The UCA Didactic Program in Dietetics will: 

  • Prepare graduates to be competent for entry into supervised practice or other post-graduate programs through high-quality educational offerings.
  • Prepare competent nutrition practitioners.


ACEND (Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics)

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at the University of Central Arkansas is currently accredited 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, Illinois 60606-6995 (Phone: 800/877-1600). ACEND website: Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in degree, also called the Didactic Program in Dietetics, students are eligible to apply for entry into a supervised practice program (dietetic internship) which will make them eligible to take the Registration Examination for dietitians. At the undergraduate level, this degree emphasizes the knowledge and skills essential for competent entry-level dietetics practice.

Supervised practice programs, which include dietetic internships are available across the United States. Completion of one of these programs is required to become eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. For students enrolled in a Didactic Program in Dietetics and wish to become a Registered Dietitian (RD), the pathway to the RD credential is:

  1. Earn a Bachelor of Science degree from an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics.  At that time, students are provided with a verification statement that allows them to apply for entry into a dietetic internship*.
  2. Successfully complete a ACEND accredited dietetic internship.
  3. Pass the Registration Exam for Dietitians.

Students may not apply for entry into a dietetic internship until the Didactic Program in Dietetics has been successfully completed. Likewise, students are not eligible to sit for the registration exam until they have successfully completed their supervised practice program;

2024 CDR Mandate (Standard 9, Required Element 9.3.d): Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). 

*Students should be aware that a review of the data on the demand for dietetic internships in relation to the number of available positions indicates that the supply is not keeping up with demand. The data are being provided, by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), so that students who are currently enrolled in Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) or those who are considering becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD) are aware of this situation in order to make informed career decisions.  Students should visit with their DPD Director to assess individual progress toward this goal.  Students should also visit for more information and for suggestions to improve their chances of getting into a dietetic internship

Program Requirements

Students who are seeking the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree will use the following checklists:

Nutrition Checksheet

Nutrition Pre-Req List

BS Nutrition Academic Map

Students who already have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition or a related field will use the following checklist:

DPD Checklist

Career Opportunities

Graduates enjoy a wide variety of  Career Opportunities 

DPD Student Handbook

All DPD students are required to comply with the DPD-Student-Handbook-2018-2019


The following brochures provide additional information which students may find helpful.

Student Options Brochure

BS in Nutrition Brochure

Predictors of Success 

SDA Brochure

UCA Academic Support Resources


For More Information

If you are interested in becoming a nutrition major or wanting to complete your didactic program in dietetics (DPD) requirements, Contact Rachel Schichtl, DPD Director at and provide your name, student ID (if current or former UCA student), and transcripts from other universities if applicable.  Rachel Schichtl will complete a DPD / degree evaluation and contact you regarding your specific requirements.


To Apply to UCA

Undergraduate Admissions and Enrollment Services Click here

Graduate Admission Information Click Here

Outcomes data are available on request