Nutrition and dietetics

Nutrition and dietetics

Devoted to a Healthier World

Bluffton’s nationally accredited nutrition and dietetics program prepares students to extend life through both clinical practice and nutrition education.  With faculty who care about developing students into professionals, our graduates have the confidence and skills to succeed in life.

We are one of two private, liberal arts colleges in Ohio offering a nutrition and dietetics major as the first step toward licensure as an RDN. 





Food and nutrition major

The study of food and nutrition includes courses in science, behavioral sciences and management strategies, with a solid foundation in liberal studies. This major is for those who do not plan to become a registered dietitian. If you are interested in becoming a registered dietitian, see our pre-dietetics major.

Nutrition and dietetics major Haley Gill

A sophomore nutrition and dietetics major, Gill chose her future career path in high school because she enjoyed chemistry but didn’t want to study the subject as a major. Instead, a high school teacher suggested dietetics.

“I love my classes,” said Gill. “They’re so interesting and the classes for my major are always my favorite which is a pretty good indication I’m in the right area of study.”
Haley’s story >

The food and nutrition major offers two concentrations, both combine coursework emphasizing the foundations of nutritional sciences with the physical and biological sciences necessary for professional practice.
  • WELLNESS works with people, families and communities to enhance their quality of life. Career options include corporate wellness programs, health/fitness clubs, educational institutions, community agencies and personal training/consulting.
  • FOOD AND NUTRITION IN BUSINESS: There is considerable demand in the global food industry for persons who understand food and nutrition. Career opportunities include managing food service organizations, food production, food product development and marketing, culinary arts and food sales. A variety of business courses are included in this major and a hands-on internship is required as part of the curriculum. 

Nutrition and dietetics
Explore the courses required for a

Four-year plans are provided as guidelines for course selection leading to a food and nutrition major with a business concentration or a food and nutrition major with a wellness concentration. 

Food and Nutrition students with concentrations in business or wellness have interned at:

  • Honda of America
  • Food manufacturing facilities
  • Cracker Barrel Corporate Headquarters
  • Bluffton Fitness and Recreation Center
  • YMCA
  • Ohio State University Extension office


Pre-dietetics major

Being a pre-dietetics student at Bluffton University means taking a challenging curriculum in which you’ll learn the scientific knowledge and gain skills in preparation to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). All of our students receive practical experience in hospitals and the community while at Bluffton. 

Dietetics is a profession concerned with the science and practice of human nutritional care. An RDN is an allied medical professional who puts into practice the science and art of food and nutrition in the service of people, individuals, families and communities. In Ohio, a registered dietitian must also be a licensed dietitian (LD).

Nutrition and dietetics major-Laura Galley

“Nutrition impacts everyone, everyone eats. And eating is not only a social thing that we do but also a metabolic processes that affects your health. So I really hope that somehow the research that I love doing will positively impact people’s health.”

Laura's story>

The first step in becoming a registered and licensed dietitian nutritionist is to complete a baccalaureate degree in an accredited dietetics curriculum, which Bluffton provides.

As of Jan. 1, 2024, students will need a master’s degree in order to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration credentialing exam to become an RDN.

Bluffton has developing a 4+1 year RDN Integrated Master’s Program.

Following completion of a bachelor’s degree in pre-dietetics and this 12 month master’s program, you are eligible to take the national registration examination. In Ohio this is also the state licensure exam. Upon passing, you are a registered and licensed dietitian.

Bluffton has obtained Candidacy Accreditation from ACEND for its master’s program.

The Bluffton University dietetics program has maintained a high success rate. 

  • 85% of our graduates have been placed in ADA internship positions within a year of graduation.
  • 95% of our graduates have passed the registration examination on their first attempt (100% on second attempt).

Guide to the dietetic internship application process >

Nutrition and dietetics-lunch and learn

Explore the courses required for a

A four year course plan is provided as a guideline for course selection leading to a pre- dietetics major.


Wellness minor

Are you interested in wellness issues but leaning toward a major in another department? Consider a minor in wellness.

The main concern of nutrition and dietetics major is the health promotion and disease prevention for the general public. The wellness minor offers the student studies in food, nutrition, fitness, exercise and wellness concepts for the general public. Employment opportunities for graduates include the fitness industry, corporate wellness programs, resorts and spas, and community and public health settings.

Explore courses for a minor in:

  • Wellness (not available to food & nutrition majors) 

Find your greater purpose