Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
Learning is intimately connected with living well. Our Nutritional Science program prepares students for a vocation to serve others by providing adequate nutrition. The overall objective of our DPD is to prepare students to integrate and apply scientific principles of food, nutrition, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, physiology, management, and behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain the health of the public.
The major of Nutritional Science exists to prepare students to integrate and apply
scientific principles of food, nutrition, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology,
physiology, management, and behavioral and social sciences to achieve and maintain
the health of the public.
DPD Mission, Seaver College, Pepperdine University (ACEND, 2023)
The mission of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is to prepare students to integrate
and apply scientific principles within the fields of Dietetics, Nutritional Science,
and Public Health for success in promoting health and preventing chronic disease through
professional service in diverse settings and for supervised practice in Dietetics
leading to eligibility for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing
exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
Program Goal 1:
Graduates will be provided with the foundation, knowledge, and skills required of
didactic education in dietetics for successful participation in dietetic internships/or
post-baccalaureate programs; passing the registration examination for entry-level
dietitians; continued lifelong learning, and productive future careers in dietetics,
nutrition, and public health.
Program Objectives for Goal 1:
- 1.1 At least 80 % of students complete program requirements within 6 years (150% of planned program length). (RE 2.1.c.1.a)
- 1.2 At least 60% of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation. (RE 2.1.c.1.b.1)
- 1.3 Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least 90% are admitted within 12 months of graduation. (RE 2.1.c.1.b.2)
- 1.4 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%. (RE 2.1.c.1.c)
- 1.5 Within 12 months of completing the program, at least 80% of graduates’ employers or director of a graduate or supervised program will complete an employer satisfaction survey and performance evaluation. (RE 2.1.c.1.d)
- 1.6 Of enrolled DPD students, at least 90% will take a mock registration exam three different times.
- 1.7 Prior to deadlines, at least 90% of students will receive adequate preparation
to apply to both graduate and supervised practice programs.
Program Goal 2:
Graduates will integrate research using current technology in the advancement and
dissemination of knowledge related to nutrition as an applied science, and eventually,
assume roles in leadership, management, and policy development.
Program Objectives for Goal 2:
- 2.1 Of enrolled DPD students, at least 80% will complete a capstone research project.
- 2.2 Of enrolled DPD students, at least 50% will be members of Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored Nourish Club, LAND or CAND, or AND membership.
- 2.3 Of graduates of DPD program, at leasst 100% will have received adequate advising about the Nutritional Science major, DPD program, and preparation for employment.
- 2.4 Of DPD graduates, at least 100% will provide suggestions of academic improvement prior to graudation.
- 2.5 Of alumni surveyed, at least 70% will rate the quality of the DPD program better
as compared to peers.
Pepperdine University Nutritional Science DPD has been granted initial accreditation at the baccalaureate level until June 30, 2024 by the Accreditation Council in Nutrition and Dietetics of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois, 60606-6995, 800.877.1600, https://www.eatright.org/.
All program outcomes data is available upon request, firstname.lastname@example.org
Current ACEND news! Master's now required prior to complete Supervised Practice Program.
The Commission on Dietetic Registration has a new requirement for a minimum of a master’s degree to take the credentialing exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists beginning in 2024. According to ACEND:
“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 order to be approved for registration
examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility
requirements and be submitted into CDR’s registration Eligibility Processing System
(REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.”
For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website at https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Pepperdine University are eligible to apply to an ACEND accredited supervised practice program and apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.
Requirements for Becoming a Credentialed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Until midnight, 12/31/23, the requirements for becoming a credentialed registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) include completion of: (1) the academic coursework in a didactic program in dietetics and (2) a minimum of 1000 hours in an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. Upon satisfactory completion of these two steps, the participant is eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam. Upon passage of this exam the RDN credential is earned. In some states, graduates also must obtain licensure to practice. Licensure is not required in the state of California. ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs include Dietetic Internships (DI) and Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways (ISPP). The program at Pepperdine is an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) with an ISPP. Individuals who successfully complete the DPD program at Pepperdine University, are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. More information about the Pepperdine DPD can be found in the DPD handbook located on the Pepperdine University, Nutritional Science website: https://seaver.pepperdine.edu/natural-science/undergraduate/nutritional-science/. Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration will require a minimum of a master’s degree, in addition to the accredited coursework and supervised practice, to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. More information about becoming an RDN and the RDN exam can be found at: https://www.cdrnet.org/RDN .
Licensure for RD/RDN and Professional Certification
There are 43 states that have licensure for the RDN, California does not have state licensure.
The national Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential – This is a nationally recognized professional credential available through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Note that the CDR allows you to interchangeably use the credential titles RD (Registered Dietitian) and RDN (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) – these are the exact same thing.
State certification that allows you to practice as a dietitian – Currently there are 5 states that refer to their state-level process for granting legal permission to practice dietetics as “certification” – but don’t confuse that with national certification through the Commission of Dietetic Registration. If you live in Connecticut, Indiana, Utah, Vermont, or Wisconsin you’ll hold state-level “certification” to legally refer to yourself and market your services as a Certified Dietitian, while all other states with laws governing the practice of dietetics use the term “license” or “registration.” Regardless of the term the state uses, earning the right to practice dietetics in any state requires that you first earn the national RD credential through CDR.
To speak with someone about the program, please contact the DPD Director, Susan Helm.
Office: Rockwell Academic Center (RAC), room 111
24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263
Office Phone: 310.506.4325
Natural Science Division Phone: 310.506.4321