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Didactic Program in Dietetics

Undergraduate Certificate


of All Higher-Ed Institutions

-Center for World University Rankings, 2022


In Best Value Among Arizona's Public Universities

- Payscale, 2022

Quick Facts

Credits Required: 23
Cost Per Credit: $500
Arizona Stadium Block A

College of Agriculture, Life & Environmental Sciences

Program Details

Take an important step towards becoming a credentialed dietetics professional and learn to translate the science of nutrition into practical applications for individuals and groups in clinical and community settings. Through this program, you will build a strong foundation in biological and chemical sciences with courses emphasizing the application of nutrition and dietetics practice. You will also develop the ability to actively contribute to the fields of nutritional sciences and dietetics through research, practice and leadership. 

This certificate allows you to earn a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement without enrolling in a full degree program. Possession of a DPD Verification Statement establishes your eligibility to sit for the Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR) examination to earn the NDTR credential. Obtaining your DPD is also an important step toward sitting for the exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). Possession of a DPD signifies eligibility to move forward in the process of earning the RDN credential. After completing this certificate program, you will be eligible to apply for ACEND-accredited supervised practice programs through a competitive admissions process.

You must hold a bachelor's degree to be eligible to complete this certificate. If you are interested in completing a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) but do not already hold a bachelor's degree, please visit our online BS in Nutritional Sciences Dietetics Emphasis, which also allows you to earn a DPD Verification Statement.

Completion of this certificate does not result in a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. In order to sit for the Registration Examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, you must complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program.

Beginning January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) has changed the degree requirement for dietitian registration eligibility from a Bachelor's degree to a Master's degree (in any field) in addition to the current requirement of a verification statement from an ACEND accredited dietetics program.  Arizona Online offers a PSM in Applied Nutrition.

Coursework for this certificate is offered 100% online, however, students will be required to fulfill some hours working onsite in their community.

*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.


To earn the DPD Verification Statement at the University of Arizona, students must complete a minimum of 88 credits, including 10 supporting sciences (34 units) and 11 supporting nutrition courses (23 units). 65 of these 88 credits may transfer from an outside institution. In order to earn this certificate, the remaining 23 credits (8 core NSC courses) must be taken through the University of Arizona.

Listed here are the 8 non-transferrable, required courses. While NSC 308 and NSC 408 are both required for the DPD verification statement, only one of the two must be completed at the University of Arizona.

NSC 308: Nutrition & Metabolism
NSC 325: Foundations of Medical Nutrition Therapy
NSC 325L: Foundations of Medical Nutrition Therapy Lab
NSC 408: Nutritional Biology
NSC 425: Medical Nutrition Therapy I
NSC 435: Medical Nutrition Therapy II
NSC 444: Community Nutrition
NSC 458: Food Service Organization & Management
NSC 495A: Dietetic Internship Prep Workshop



Earning your Undergraduate Certificate in Didactic Program in Dietetics will build core skills, including:

  • Active listening
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership
  • Organizational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Teamwork/collaboration

Graduates of the Undergraduate Certificate in Didactic Program in Dietetics program will be prepared to pursue careers in the following fields:

  • Nutritional Education
  • Health Education
  • Foodservice Management
  • School Nutrition
  • Community Nutrition
  • Food and Nutrition Sales
  • Research Coordination
  • Nutrition and Health Communication
  • Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR)