Didactic Program in Dietetics

2019 – 2024 YSU DPD Mission: The mission of the YSU-Didactic Program in Dietetics is to prepare graduates for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, and for serving communities in a manner that is consistent with equity, inclusivity and cultural sensitivity..

YSU-DPD Program Goals & Objectives 2021 – 2024
Goal 1.
The program will prepare graduates for supervised practice programs, advanced degrees or employment.

  • O1: At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years (150% of the program length).
  • O2: At least  35 percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation 
  • O3: Of program graduates who apply to a supervised practice program, at least  50 percent are admitted within 12 months of graduation 
  • O4: 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%.
  • O5: At least 70% of program graduates who do not complete supervised practice programs will report employment in a nutrition-related field. (Program Specific Goal)

Accreditation Information

The YSU Didactic Program in Dietetics is currently accredited by ACEND through June 2028.
ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics), may be contacted as follows:
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606-6995

Goal 2. The program will prepare graduates perform adequately in a supervised practice program.

  • O1: At least 80% of graduates admitted to supervised practice will rate their preparation by the program to be satisfactory or better.
  • O2: At least 80% of graduates will receive “satisfactory” ratings or better on their preparation and performance from their supervised practice program (DI) director and/or preceptors. 
  • O3: At least 80% of program graduates will rate program quality as satisfactory or better in preparing them for advanced studies or employment. (Program Specific Goal)

DPD Educational Philosophy

The YSU-Didactic Program in Dietetics is purposed with providing a strong educational foundation in foodservice, medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition and research to prepare future dietetics practitioners, producing graduates who engage in lifelong learning, professionalism, and competence in serving diverse populations in dietetics practice settings.

The YSU-DPD Student Handbook

The YSU-Didactic Program in Dietetics Student Handbook provides detailed information about the program including the curriculum, dietetics faculty and the courses they teach, program policies and other useful information on resources available to promote academic success.

YSU-DPD Student Handbook*

Program Outcome Data

The YSU-DPD program outcomes data are available upon request. Data is collected and analyzed annually to determine achievement of Program goals, and to plan and implement continuous program improvement. Data also includes feedback from program students, faculty and other program stakeholders (employers and supervisors).

RDN Requirement Information

The DPD prepares graduates for entry into a supervised practice experience through a Dietetic Internship or Individualized Supervised Practice Program. Upon completion of the DPD, graduates will receive a DPD Verification Statement which will certify their eligibility for Supervised Practice. Application for “matching” to ACEND accredited Supervised Practice programs is completed via the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS), the online system that warehouses all accredited internships across the country. Completing Supervised Practice leads to eligibility to take the Registered Dietitian Credentialing Exam and earn Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) status.

DPD graduates are eligible to earn the NDTR (Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered) credential. Graduates are verified as eligible by the Program Director in the Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) managed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The CDR then contacts the student to provide instructions for completing the process.

Graduates may also apply for admission to Graduate School for advanced degrees. Some graduate programs require completion of Graduate Admissions Tests (GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT, etc.), and some require a minimum score on a specified exam.

Dietetic Registration and State Dietetic Licensure

The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Credential is earned by passing the credentialing exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).  Starting January 1, 2024, the CDR requires a minimum of a master’s degree and 1000 hours of Supervised Practice to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). For more information visit CDR's website.

Accredited Dietetics education programs must report to ACEND on the RD Exam Pass Rate for students graduating from each program.  Students passing the exam on their first try is the desired goal.  The exam covers all domains of the dietetics core curriculum and is computer-based.  Study guides may be purchased from AND or from private RD Exam prep providers.  YSU has purchased Visual Veggies RD and DTR Exam Prep software so that graduates of our programs may use to study and practice taking the exam.  Contact the program director for access.

The requirements for Licensure as a Dietitian in Ohio are described in Section 4759.06 to 4759.061 of the Ohio Revised Code.  Graduates who have passed the Dietetic Registration exam administered by CDR may apply for licensure in the state of Ohio.  A Limited Permit license is available for individuals who have met academic and pre-professional requirements and are planning to sit for the next available examination.  For more detailed information on applying for dietetic licensure in the State of Ohio, please visit: https://med.ohio.gov/Apply/Dietitian-LD.

Estimated Program Costs

In-State Tuition is estimated at ~ $8,600 for 12-18 (full-time) semester hour. Tuition and fees are assessed based on the number of credit hours of enrollment, residency, course and/or program. It is intended by the Board of trustees for Youngstown State University that fees will not be adjusted more often than annually and that fee changes be announced in the spring or early summer, however, reserve the right to change any fee, charge, or fine without notice if conditions warrant.

The YSU Penguin Tuition Promise uses a fee guarantee model that assures a student and his/her family a set of fixed rates for the pursuit of an undergraduate degree at Youngstown State University. Current Full-time Tuition is estimated at $9952.  For additional information visit the YSU Penguin Tuition Promise page.

For student who qualify for the Affordable Tuition Advantage (Affordable Tuition Advantage rate is offered to students from the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania; Chautauqua County in New York; and Brooke, Hancock, Marshall and Ohio counties in West Virginia), tuition is estimated at $9,259, and for Out-of-State students, the annual cost is estimated at $14,899.

Books* 300
AND membership - Annual (June to May) (Optional) 58
Uniform & Shoes - Food Service/Safety apparel for food labs 80
Student in Dietetics Membership (optional)  10
Mahoning Valley Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (optional) 5
Books* 300
AND membership - Annual (June to May) (Optional) 58
Student in Dietetics Membership (optional)  10
Mahoning Valley Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (optional) 5
Dietetics Internship (DICAS) Application Fees - $50 for the initial program and $25 for each additional program.  Some programs have supplemental fees. 50+

Official transcripts – YSU partners with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) for ordering, payment, and processing of official YSU transcripts. 



Application and Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the YSU Didactic Program in Dietetics are required to earn and maintain a GPA ≥ 2.0, and a grade of “C or better” in FNUT 1551 (Normal Nutrition), and FNUT 2600 (Orientation to Dietetics).  A “C or better” grade is required for all Core Courses in the major.

Academic Calendar

Graduation - Program Completion Requirements

  1. Seeing your faculty/program advisor regularly can help keep you on the efficient path to course completion and timely graduation. It can help make sure you complete course pre-requisites as well as General Education coursework given the patterns of course offerings at the university and the student’s ability to enroll in summer semesters.

  2. Students are advised to complete a graduation evaluation up to a year ahead of anticipated graduation semester. This allows you to identify any obstacles in your planned path to graduation and determine ways to remove them. Program changes sometimes occur in response to accreditation, State and/or University educational mandates, and these can affect your degree completion. You may complete your College graduation Evaluation online at the following link: Graduation Evaluation

  3. DPD students are required to complete a DPD Program Exit Interview with the Program Director. More information about this is provided in the DPD Capstone course offered every Fall semester - FNUT 4895

  4. Also provided in the DPD Capstone – FNUT 4895 course is information about “Next Steps”. This includes the process for applying for Supervised Practice, Graduate Program admission, NDTR-Eligibility, and National and State-related Credentialing are discussed and printed instructions provided.

Financial Aid Availability 

Information about Financial Aid and Loans can be found here.

Scholarships are available at the University, College and Departmental levels. Students are eligible for several scholarships at the university level, sponsored by special interest groups such as the YSU Women’s Club, the Faculty Union, etc. The College and Department of Human Ecology scholarships are funded by endowments. Scholarship applications are published annually on the College and Department websites in November and applications are due the following February.

Students in Dietetics Organization

The Students in Dietetics organization is a student-run organization that promotes volunteering and activities that bring attention to the Dietetics profession. They engage in community service, providing financial and physical aid to community organizations serving the underserved and those in need. They also provide opportunities for socializing to facilitate the development of peer mentoring relationships and raise funds for supporting profession-related conference attendance. YSU Dietetics Majors may join our Facebook group.

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Dietetics Curriculum Sheet 2022-2024

Alumni Success Stories


Mary Akpadock

Mary Akpadock, RDN, LDN, Renal Dietitian

BSAS, Didactic Program in Dietetics, 2014

BSAS, Coordinated Program in Dietetics, 2017

“My dietetics journey began in 2010 when I majored in the BSAS Didactic Program in Dietetics with my goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). Approaching graduation in 2014, I applied to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics at YSU and was graciously accepted into the program. I chose the Coordinated Program because I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a Supervised Practice/Dietetic Internship that was a step closer to my goal of becoming an RD in only two more years. My dietetics education and internship enabled me to pass the RD exam on the first attempt! The network that I built during my time at YSU greatly influenced my career and was integral in landing me my current role as a renal dietitian. Choosing my dietetics degree with YSU is one the best decisions I ever made!”


Mary Akpadock

Susan Payton

BSAS Didactic Program in Dietetics, 2014

Master’s Health & Human Services, 2000

“As I always like to tell students, you never know where you will end up. Find what drives your passion and go for it! For several years I worked as an adjunct at YSU, never really knowing what I wanted to do, but knew it would be with the Youngstown community. Opportunities with Mercy Health’s Nutrition Prescription program got me excited about working in nutrition education and healthy cooking. Seeing clients try new foods and then getting the groceries to make the recipes proved to be quite fulfilling. When the “right” opportunity came along, I was very excited to have gotten the call. I am currently the Market Manager at the Glenwood Fresh Market located on the Southside of Youngstown. We are a Nutrition Prescription Program serving almost 2000 low-income clients in the tri-county area. Our goal is to provide free fresh fruits and vegetables in the hope that client health will improve. I work with clients offering education on nutrition, food safety, and healthy cooking. This is my passion and I am proud to be a part of it!”