Department of Human Ecology Didactic Program in Dietetics

    University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Didactic 
    Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the 
    Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition 
    and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition 
    and Dietetics (AND)

    120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
    Chicago, IL 60606-6995
    Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400 


    UMES DPD Handbook 2016-17

    Dietetics Recommended Course Sequence 2017-2019
    Dietetics Recommended Course Sequence 2015-2017
    Dietetics Recommended Course Sequence 2013-2015
    Dietetics Recommended Course Sequence 2011-2013

    DPD Program Mission, Goals and Objectives

    DPD Mission:  To offer educational training for students to develop mastery of food and nutrition principles and to acquire skills and competencies necessary to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), future leaders, and professionals in the nutrition and dietetics professions.

    Goal One: To provide a program of study that prepares qualified students to become entry-level RDNs.

    Objective:  Students will meet professional standards for entry into the dietetics profession.

    Outcome Measures:

    1. 80 percent of students admitted to the DPD program, after successful completion of 56 credit hours, will complete the program within three years with a GPA of at least 2.75.
    2. Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will apply to a dietetic internship within one year of graduation.
    3. Over a five year period, 50 percent of applicants will be accepted into a dietetic internship within one year of graduation.
    4. Over a five year period, 80 percent of graduates who sit for the Dietetic Registration Examination will successfully pass it on the first attempt.
    5. 80 percent of graduates will rate themselves on an exit survey as well prepared or very well prepared for entry into the nutrition and dietetics professions. 
    6. Over a five year period, 80 percent of DI program directors surveyed will rate graduates' program preparation as well prepared or very well prepared on the UMES DPD core knowledge and skills survey.

    Goal Two:  To promote lifelong learning, diversity, and leadership skills in graduates within the field of nutrition and dietetics.

    Objective: Students will become lifelong learners, embrace diversity, and display leadership skills. 

    Outcome Measures:

    1. Over a five year period, 75 percent of graduates will have attended two or more nutrition related continuing education workshops.
    2. Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will be pursuing a graduate degree
    3. Over a five year period, 75 percent of graduates will be employed in a dietetic related position that serves diverse populations
    4. Over a five year period, 50 percent of graduates will be engaged in at least one nutrition related leadership or community service activity.

    DPD Outcome Assessment

    Program outcomes and appropriate measures to assess achievement of goals and program effectiveness have been established for the dietetic program.  Outcome data for the program is available upon request from the Department of Human Ecology dietetics Program Director, Dr. April J. Stull at

    Dietetics Concentration - Didactic Program in Dietetics

    The Dietetics concentration curriculum is based on accreditation requirements outlined by ACEND.  The course offerings are periodically revised by the Department and University curriculum committees and are sequenced to provide experiences that become increasingly complex and build upon previous knowledge and experiences. Supporting courses are selected to provide prerequisite knowledge for professional courses. Students combine classroom experiences with field experiences in clinical, foodservice and community settings.  Additional related field experience is recommended. Program graduates with a 2.5 GPA or higher are eligible to obtain a Verification Statement that provides eligibility to apply for an ACEND accredited supervised practice program, which is referred to as a dietetic internship. Once graduates successfully complete a dietetic internship, they are eligible to sit for the national dietetic registration examination and the examination requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). After the individual passes the national examination, they will become a RDN. Some states may require you to become licensed (Maryland requires licensure).

    It is important to note that successful completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics and receipt of a Verification Statement does not guarantee acceptance into a dietetic internship.  Students who successfully complete the knowledge requirements, as outlined by ACEND, but DO NOT enter and complete a dietetic internship are qualified to sit for the Registration Examination to become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR).

    For more information about becoming an RDN and/or NDTR, please visit:

    RDNs work in: Hospitals, clinics or other health-care facilities; sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs; food and nutrition-related business and industries; private practice; community and public health settings; universities and medical centers teaching about food and nutrition; research areas in food and pharmaceutical companies, universities and hospitals.

    Maintenance of RDN credential: In order to maintain the credential, an RDN must complete continuing professional education requirements (75 credits per 5 year cycle).

    Graduation and Program Completion Requirements (Issuance of a DPD Verification Statement)

    The signed Verification Statement from the Program Director documents that an individual has successfully completed the requirements of the DPD. At UMES, issuance of a DPD Verification Statement is currently based upon maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in the UMES dietetics concentration. Students must earn a grade “C” or better in all required NUDT courses, as well as, the BIOL and CHEM courses. Additionally, the student must meet all the UMES graduation requirements (minimum of 120 credits). Upon successful completion of the program, the student will also have a minor in chemistry (20 credit hours in chemistry).

    Admission to the Didactic Program in Dietetics

    Admission to UMES: Students must first apply to UMES and receive acceptance before starting the Dietetic Concentration in the Department of Human Ecology.

    Undergraduate Students:

    Transfer Students:

    Enrollment in the DPD: Students admitted to UMES must select a major and those enrolled in the Department of Human Ecology must also designate a concentration. Those students who designate dietetics as their concentration are required to follow the recommended course sequence for the DPD program.   

    Student Advising Procedures

    Beginning in the students' freshman year or the semester in which they transfer, students will be formerly advised at least once each semester and given a copy of the DPD course sequence. This document will be used to inform the student of their academic requirements and will be a roadmap for their progression through the Dietetics concentration. Students also will have the opportunity to contact their advisor at any time during their tenure at UMES to schedule a meeting.

    Program Retention and Remediation Procedures

    Students are encouraged to become involved in the Human Ecology Club and Department service learning projects. They are also encouraged to become a student member in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and participate in local, state, and national meetings when possible. Students who do not maintain the required GPA are counseled and referred to the UMES Center for Access and Academic Success (academic support service).  Students must repeat courses in which they have received a "D" or lower.  If a student continues to have difficulty maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75, they may be advised to consider transferring into other concentrations within the Department of Human Ecology such as Nutrition or Family and Consumer Sciences. 

    Transfer Students

    Students desiring to transfer into the Department of Human Ecology from another program on campus or outside the University must have a 2.5 GPA (C+).  Completion of the "Request for Change of Major" must be signed by the transferring Department Chair prior to approval by the Department for which transfer is being sought. The Department of Human Ecology Programs require that all students maintain a "C" in each course of their Program Core and Program Electives and a "C" average in General Education and Supportive Course Requirements. 

    Transcript Evaluation

    Students who have attained a Baccalaureate degree or Master's Degree and wish to pursue a career in dietetics may contact the dietetic Program Director, April J. Stull, Ph.D, RDN at to inquire about transcript evaluations to assess educational requirements.

    Grievance Procedures 

    Students with grievances, complaints, concerns, or problems are encouraged to speak with the Program Director. If the problem cannot be resolved at this level, the student should put the grievance in writing and make an appointment with the Department Chair to discuss the problem. To reach the Department Chair, please dial 410-651-6055. When possible, student concerns are handled at the Department level. However, the student may pursue progressive recourse through the Office of the Dean (School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences), Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Office of the President.  All decisions are made in accordance with the policies and procedures outlined by the Board of Regents and the laws of the State of Maryland.  Some discretionary powers may rest with the president's office, as prescribed by policies of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland. 

    The student can also contact ACEND for matters associated with accreditation grievances (phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400).  For more information on filing complaint with ACEND, please visit the following website:

    UMES Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid

    Tuition and Fees:

    Financial Aid:

    UMES Academic Calendar

    Didactic Program in Dietetics Student Handbook

    **Effective January 1, 2024, CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing examination to become a RDN. For more information, please visit:

    For more information contact:

    April J. Stull, Ph.D, RDN
    Associate Professor of Nutrition
    Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics
    University of Maryland Eastern Shore
    Department of Human Ecology
    2109 Henson Center
    Princess Anne, MD 21853
    Phone: 410-651-6060