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 with a nutrition and dietetics major leading to a post-baccalaureate internship and licensure as an RDN.
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 nutrition and dietetics major.
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
Haley’s story >
- 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.
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
- Ohio State University Extension office
Nutrition and dietetics major
Being a dietetics student at Bluffton University means taking a challenging curriculum in which you'll learn the scientific foundation knowledge and skills that prepare you for a dietetic internship. 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. A registered dietitian nutritionist (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 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.”
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.
After graduation, a dietetic internship is required. You are eligible to apply for an accredited internship program during your senior year.
Following completion of this 10-12 month internship, you are eligible to take the national registration examination, which in Ohio is also the state licensure exam. Upon passing this exam, you are a registered and licensed dietitian.
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 a RDN. Bluffton is in the process of developing this 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).
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)
Bluffton students learn from experience. Bluffton Bread Company is an example of the great things happening under the guidance of our expert professors.