Why become a Registered Dietitian?

Canadians recognize dietitians as a trustworthy and credible source of nutrition advice.  Dietitians are regulated health professionals who are passionate about the potential of food to enhance lives and improve health. Becoming a dietitian will allow you to combine your love of science, food and helping others.

The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Food Science, Dietetics Specialization is accredited and prepares students for eligibility to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Nutritionist in Alberta. RD's are experts in food and human nutrition and as essential members of interprofessional health care teams, they translate scientific, medical and nutrition information into practical, individualized therapeutic diets and meal plans for people.

Collaboration with clients, caregivers, health professionals and/or other stakeholders is central to the dietetic practice. Being a RD involves:

  • Working with health professionals such as nurses, physicians, social workers and speech language pathologists to manage nutrition for health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases with a variety of client populations in a variety of settings.
  • Delivering information through formal and informal presentations, counseling and coaching that enables individuals to make informed decisions about food choices and nutrition services.
  • Influencing the development and promotion of consumer products, managing quality food service in health care institutions and influencing food, nutrition and public health policy.

For the latest information and statistics regarding the occupation of a RD in Alberta, please visit the following Government of Alberta website: Dietitian: Occupations in Alberta - alis

College of Dietitians of Alberta is the regulatory body for the profession of dietetics in Alberta. 

Becoming a Registered Dietitian...
Why study at the University of Alberta?

In Alberta, the University of Alberta’s Dietetics Specialization is the only approved and accredited program in the province. Applicants compete to enter the Dietetics Specialization following a pre-professional year. Internship is a professional placement or practicum. It takes place at approved sites across Alberta during a student’s final year of specialization.

The Dietetics Specialization is 4-years in length and admits 50 student co-horts annually.  Applicants must apply to the Dietetics Specialization and it has a minimum admission & maintenance GPA of 3.0 (see the Dietetics Admission Requirements for more info).  

Students will have a specific course pattern, the same as their co-hort classmates, and will not deviate from that pattern for the 4 years in the program. Years 1, 2 & 3 is academic course study and the final year 4 is internship training*. Student's will gain hands-on, lab-clinical training during internship placements and will have access to train in the world-class Human Nutrition Research Unit which houses the equipment required to preform comprehensive nutritional assessments, including a DEXA scan machine and Bod Pod.  

*note:  Rural Placement Requirement:  All interns are required to relocate to communities outside of the metro Edmonton and Calgary areas during their time in the internship.  
Requests for waivers of the relocation requirement will only be considered in cases where there is a duty to accommodate and the intern is registered for accommodations.

Pre-Professional Course Requirements
To be considered for admission, students must complete ALL of the following courses by the end of Winter semester immediately prior to admission:
  • BIOL 107 - Introduction to Cell Biology
  • CHEM 101 - Introductory University Chemistry I
  • CHEM 102 - Introductory University Chemistry II
  • CHEM 164 OR CHEM 261 - Organic Chemistry I
  • *6 units in ENGL OR 3 units in ENGL and 3 units in WRS 
  • NUTR 100 - Nutrition and Well-being
  • STAT 151 - Introduction to Applied Statistics I

See the Dietetics Specialization admission requirements for complete information.  

Note: If students are granted transfer credit from a previous study, it will NOT accelerate the student's degree progress. For detailed information on these pre-professional courses, please refer to the current calendar.

Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) 

The Dietetics Specialization MMIs are designed to identify those applicants who best demonstrate the personal characteristics, attitudes, and behaviours needed to become competent, caring dietitians.  

The MMI format is an evidence-based approach that is commonly used to select individuals who wish to pursue degree programs in the health sciences.

  •  The MMI process consists of:
    • Seven, one-on-one, oral interviews, plus
    • One, written MMI response

Licensing Exam & Registration to Practice 

Once students complete their Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Food Science, Dietetics Specialization, they can write the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) managed by the College of Dietitians of Alberta. For more information visit: College of Dietitians of Alberta.

Accreditation Disclaimer

This Dietetics Specialization is accredited and recognized by the EQual Accreditation Canada and prepares students for eligibility for registration with a provincial dietetics regulatory body. 

Dietetics Admission Requirements
Approved Program Electives
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