Nutrition and Food Science

The Option in General Dietetics

You must complete the Option in General Dietetics if you want to follow the pathway to obtain the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the RDN credential:

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college.
  2. Earn a master's degree from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college.
    • The Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) has mandated that beginning January 1, 2024, a minimum of a graduate degree will be required to be eligible for the RDN exam. 
    • Complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) as part of the bachelor's or master's degree to obtain a DPD Verification Statement.
    • The Option in General Dietetics at CSU, Chico, meets the requirements of ACEND for a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The option is offered as part of the bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Food Science but can also be completed along with the master's degree in Nutritional Science.
  3. Complete a post-baccalaureate ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, known as a Dietetic Internship (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics > Dietetic Internships(opens in new window)) to obtain a DI Verification Statement.
  4. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website at The Commission on Dietetic Registration.(opens in new window)
  5. Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. 

*Many states have regulatory laws (licensure) for food and nutrition practitioners. All states accept the RDN credential for state licensure purposes. California does not require or offer licensure to RDNs. 

Declare the Option in General Dietetics

Students completing a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Food Science generally declare the option during the spring semester of their junior year or when they have 2-3 semesters remaining. Students are eligible to declare the option only after meeting the eligibility requirements listed below:

Eligibility Requirements

The  cumulative grade point average for all college-level work must be  a minimum of 2.75. The following  prerequisite courses must be completed  with a grade of C or higher:

  • MATH 105 (Statistics)
  • BIOL 104 (Physiology)
  • BIOL 211 (Microbiology with lab)
  • CHEM 107 (General Chemistry for Applied Sciences with lab)
  • CHEM 108 (Organic Chemistry for Applied Sciences with lab)
  • NFSC 340 (Human Nutrition) It is highly recommended that CHEM 350/L (Introductory Biochemistry) or  KINE 324 (Exercise Metabolism) be in progress or completed the semester students intend to declare the option.
NOTE: One of the pre-requisite courses listed above may be in-progress when declaring the option.

Students who have not yet met the eligibility requirements are encouraged to meet with a faculty advisor to discuss possible ways to become eligible or to consider the other major pathways in Food and Nutrition Communication or Nutrition Management.

The Process to Declare the Option in General Dietetics

Meet with a pre-dietetics advisor to review your eligibility for the option in General Dietetics. After approval from your advisor, complete and submit your Intent to Declare Dietetics (IDD) using the online form at the bottom of this page. 

  • Complete and submit your IDD by April 15th
  • The IDD submissions must include: 
    1. Student Information
    2. Dietetics Eligibility Review and Course Plan, completed in collaboration with a pre-dietetics advisor (pdf upload)
    3. Resume (pdf upload)
    4. One-page written personal statement about why you want to be a dietitian and what your goals are for a career in dietetics (pdf upload)

Students who meet the eligibility requirements will be admitted to the Option in General Dietetics for the following fall semester. Student work experience and career goals are used for advising purposes only and are not considered as eligibility requirements for the DPD program.

If you have additional questions after reading all instructions, please direct them to the Director of the Dietetics Program (Laura Curtis, in new window), HOLT 334).



Find an NFSC Academic Advisor

Prospective Students:
Transfer Students and Those with Bachelor's Degrees

Transfer students are eligible to declare the Option in General Dietetics  AFTER completing one semester at CSU, Chico AND after completing the pre-requisites. Upon transferring, an advisor can help you determine which classes to take to ensure timely completion of the program. 

Only current CSU, Chico undergraduate majors in Nutrition and Food Science may submit an IDD Packet. If you are not currently a CSU, Chico student and have a bachelor's degree already but would like to complete our accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), you must apply to the Master's Program in Nutritional Science. An application to the DPD program must be submitted along with the graduate program application. Graduate program applicants with foreign degrees or DPD coursework completed at other universities can find more information on the Pre-requisite Course Clearance Form and DPD Application (PDF).

Ready to declare your option in General Dietetics?

Submit your IDD packet March 1 - April 15. Sign in with your Chico State email and password.