Majoring in Nutritional Sciences—Dietetics

Students in the Didactic Training Program in Dietetics track of the Nutritional Sciences (NS-D) major are educated in the experimental biology of metabolic regulation, the impact of genetics on use of dietary constituents, and the interaction among genetics, health/chronic disease and dietary chemicals. This program prepares students to perform research into the relationship between diet and vertebrate development and well-being mechanistically, and/or for health professional careers.


The Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology Department’s Didactic Training Program in Dietetics (NS-D) combines a strong foundation in the biological and chemical sciences with specialized advance course work that focuses on nutrient/non-nutrient function and metabolism. The application of this field informs recommendations for dietary patterns to achieve optimum health and the treatment or prevention of disease conditions as well as food production and safety.

The Dietetics specialization prepares students for a career as a Registered Dietitian (RD). RDs translate the science of nutrition into practical applications for individuals and groups in clinical, food service, or community settings.

What will I study?

The curriculum for Dietetics provides an excellent foundation in the biological and chemical sciences. It also has a pre-professional focus emphasizing the application of nutrition through dietetic practice.

The mission of the Dietetics program is to prepare dietitians for positions of leadership in health care, education, industry, government, and community health, as well as in professional organizations. This didactic program fills a community need for highly trained nutrition professionals. At the same time it provides the academic background for graduate study in nutrition or related fields. The program is dedicated to excellence in intellectual development and research, to stimulation of an inquiring attitude, and to equality of opportunity.

Here are some of the projects students worked on for NST 166 - Nutrition in the Community!

How much coursework is required?

NS-D requires 54 lower division unit requirements and an additional 46 units of upper division coursework.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of free electives or courses that are only offered on a pass/no pass basis. You must receive at least a C− in all courses required for the major.

Students eligible to apply for the dietetics specialization will have completed all lower division requirements, have earned no lower than a C- in any course. Current CNR students need a minimum 2.9 GPA to apply to Dietetics. Non-CNR students must have a 3.0 minimum GPA to apply. Due to these requirements, declaring the dietetics specialization usually occurs at the end of sophomore year or the beginning of junior year.

Graduates of this program must also complete a Dietetic Internship and pass a national examination in order to become a RD.

What can I do with this major?

Graduates of this program receive a pre-professional verification and are eligible to apply to supervised practice programs, in which students will receive practical training in varied aspects of dietetic practice. Such programs are generally nine to twelve months in length. The dietetic program director provides assistance in the application process for supervised practice programs.

Upon satisfactory completion of (1) the academic course work and (2) a post-Baccalaureate program of supervised practice, the student is eligible to take the nationally administered Registration Examination. Passage of this exam results in earning the credential as a RD.

Program Accreditation

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at UC Berkeley is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606, (312) 899-0040 ext. 5400. This program meets the 2012 ACEND Accreditation Standards.

Additional program information can be found in the Dietetics Student handbook. Program outcome data are available upon request.


Please go here for the most updated drop-in hours.

For NST advising, please contact:
(510) 642-0542
260 Mulford Hall
University of California 
Berkeley, CA 94720

Dietetics Program Director:
Mikelle McCoin, MPH, RD
(510) 642-2790
223 Morgan Hall #3104
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 642-2790