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College of Science & Engineering

Department of Nutritional Sciences

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Coordinated Program in Dietetics

The mission of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) is to support the missions of the University, College, and Department by providing a quality academic curriculum with a concentration in nutrition education that prepares students to be scientifically competent, accountable, and ethically responsible citizens who are prepared to be productive, self-educating leaders within the dietetics profession and the global community at large. The goals and student learning objectives of the program support the CP mission. Data collected to determine achievement of program goals is available upon request to ACEND and to the public.

The current TCU CP one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the Registration Examination for Dietitians is 88.9%. The CP’s current three-year average on the one-year pass rate on the Registration Examination for Dietitians is 93.1%. This indicator measures the percentage of graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt. The TCU CDP has neither accepted nor graduated a class of students at this time and therefore has no pass rate data to report.

In order to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN), a student must complete an ACEND-accredited program in education and supervised practice. After completing an ACEND-accredited Coordinated Program (CP) , Future Education Model Graduate Programs (FG), Foreign or International Dietitian Education Program, or a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) followed by a Dietetic Internship (DI) or Individualized Supervised Practice Program (ISPP) students that have earned verification are eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. After passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, RD/RDNs may seek state licensure, if applicable. In order to become a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR) students must complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Technician Program. Examination requirements for the RD/RDN and the NDTR are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

The two-year (junior/senior years) CP combines didactic course work with over 1,200 hours of supervised practice. The core knowledge and competencies for the Registered Dietitian (RD) emphasize the scientific and evidence base of dietetics practice (integration of scientific information and research into practice), professional practice expectations (beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the professional dietitian level of practice), clinical and customer services (development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations), practice management and the use of resources (strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations) and additional support knowledge (underlying the requirements specified above). The NTDT curriculum includes courses in human nutrition, food science, food and culture, community nutrition, food systems management, medical nutrition therapy, and nutrition research. These courses are based on a solid science, business, and math background, which include general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, marketing, management and elementary statistics.

The supervised practice component of the CP involves working with food/nutrition/dietetics professionals to demonstrate performance in nutrition therapy, community nutrition, food service systems management, business/ entrepreneurial dietetics, culinary medicine and nutrition research. The program does not grant credit or supervised practice hours for prior learning, self-organized volunteer activities, or other professionally-related activities. The TCU CP has a nutrition education concentration that builds on the core knowledge and competencies to become a Registered Dietician. This concentration is consistent with available resources and the need for nutrition education in the Fort Worth/Dallas area. Nutrition education has long been considered a focus and strength of the TCU CP, and supervised practice experiences include varied opportunities to build expertise in this area throughout the two-year program.

Admission to TCU is required for all programs; however, admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the CP. In order to assess student potential for success, the TCU CP has established admission criteria and criteria for ongoing continuation eligibility in the CP.

Eligibility for admission to the TCU Coordinated Program in Dietetics is based on successful completion of at least 60 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 for Nutrition (NTDT) and an Associated Requirements GPA of at least 2.75, no more than 3 grades below a “B-” in the Associated Requirements, 45 semester hours of required prerequisites and major courses specified in the TCU Undergraduate Catalog and in the and 200 hours of documented food or nutrition practical experience. Application packets for the Coordinated Program in Dietetics must be received by Feb. 1, and applicants are notified of provisional acceptance by April 15. Students must earn a grade of “C-“or better in all NTDT and Associated Requirement courses taken prior to program admission. Students who are accepted begin coursework and supervised practice the subsequent fall semester. Final acceptance/enrollment in the CP depends on successful completion of work in progress and required summer school prerequisites. Admission is made without regard to race, color, creed, sex, age, handicap, ethnic, religion, or national origin. Program policies and procedures shall protect student civil rights, privacy of information, and comply with institutional equal opportunity programs.

A student’s continuation in the CP is contingent upon attainment of a strong academic record and successful completion of the program sequence. In order to graduate, the student must attain a minimum Nutrition (NTDT) GPA of 3.0, earn a grade of “C-” or better in all NTDT and Associated Requirement courses, and no more than 3 grades below a “B-” in the Associated Requirements. Students who successfully complete the 128 credit hour requirement of the CP, will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree and receive verification and eligibility to take the registration examination for dietitians.

The current first-time five-year pass-rate on the registration examination for the CP is 91%. The CP’s current three-year average of the one-year pass-rate on the registration examination for the CP is 96.9%. This indicator measures the percentage of graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt. The Students who receive CP verification are eligible to apply for a state license with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Dietitians. In the state of Texas, after passing the Registration Examination to become a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN), one may become a Licensed Dietitian. For more information about Texas State Licensure visit

Direct undergraduate costs for tuition, room, board, books and supplies for this academic year may be found on the TCU Financial Aid website. Additional detailed expenses for CP students are outlined in the CP Student Handbook and include approximately $1,000-1,500 per year for travel to supervised practice sites, textbooks/school supplies, lab coats/clothing, malpractice insurance, medical exams, drug screening, current immunizations, criminal background check, food handler’s card, CPR certification, professional dues and registration for professional seminars.

The Texas Christian University Coordinated Program in Dietetics is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND):

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190,
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
P. 312.899.0040, ext. 5400.

The 2-year TCU Coordinated Program accepted the last class of applicants in spring 2019. This group of students is scheduled to complete the Coordinated Program in May, 2021. The TCU Combined BS/MS in Dietetics (CDP) is replacing the 2-year TCU Coordinated Program in Dietetics and will graduate the first class of students with their BS in Dietetics in May 2022 and their MS in Dietetics in May 2023. The first class of applicants to the CDP applied to the program in February 2020.

The CDP is a dual undergraduate and graduate level Coordinated Program in Dietetics accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The TCU Department of Nutritional Sciences offers the CDP option which is a unique opportunity for students to complete the required didactic instruction (lecture and laboratory courses) and supervised practice experience hours necessary to meet the Core Knowledge and Competencies for the RD/RDN as mandated by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetic (ACEND) in five years (two years of prerequisite courses followed by three years of combined didactic courses and supervised practice experiences in the CDP). Curriculum is based on educational standards mandated by ACEND. Graduates receive verification and establish eligibility to write the Registration Examination for Dietitians.