Prerequisite Courses for Dietetics Programs

If you have made the decision to go back to school to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, odds are that you have a few prerequisites to take. As a career-changer, I understand the overwhelming feeling of knowing there are so many classes to take but not being quite sure where to start.

My understanding is that most dietetic programs require similar prerequisite courses. When you decide on a specific program you want to attend, make your own list of exactly what courses that school requires.

The courses that will be required for most programs:

  • Chemistry 1 (with lab)
  • Biology 1 (with lab)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Microbiology
  • Intro to Biochemistry
  • Intro to Nutrition

Other courses that may be required:

  • Chemistry 2 (with lab)
  • Medical Terminology
  • Intro to Statistics
  • Intro to Psychology
  • Research Writing 

These are the courses I had to take prior to starting my dietetics program:

  • Chemistry 1 (with lab)
  • Biology 1 (with lab)
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Intro to Nutrition
  • Medical Terminology
  • Intro to Statistics
  • Intro to Psychology

These are the courses I took while completing my didactic dietetics program:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Microbiology
  • Intro to Biochemistry
  • Research Writing 

For my experience, I completed all of these courses in other online programs through universities that were approved by my school. This allowed me to have a very flexible schedule so that I could work part time, and I could take the classes from anywhere.

Completing these courses was very convenient, but I will be honest in saying that taking courses online still had many challenges. In many cases, I felt as though I was teaching myself all of the material. There was always an instructor, and some of the courses had powerpoints and lectures, but it wasn’t the same as sitting in an actual classroom or having a conversation with classmates or the instructor about the topic. All of the courses require a lot of reading, many hours, and an ample amount of organization. Obviously, it’s not impossible to complete all of these courses online, but if I could redo my experience I would probably choose to take these courses in the classroom setting.

Here are some of the online programs I took courses through:

Wondering which courses to start with? I recommend starting with Chemistry 1 and Biology 1. These are very general classes that are necessary for completing several of the other prerequisites.

Hopefully this gives you a starting point if you are looking at going back to school to be a registered dietitian nutritionist!

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