About Opportunities in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics

Your Career Your Choice! Which one is right for you?

Dietetics is a diverse field, with practitioners employed in a variety of settings.  The primary areas of practice include clinical dietetics, community nutrition, nutrition and foodservice management, and education and research.  Current information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates growth in all areas of nutrition and dietetics.  The Workforce Demand Study completed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration indicates an increase in need for credentialed Registered Dietitians from 2010-2020.  The report projects an annual increase in demand for all dietetics services.

Students can chose which emphasis with a degree in Nutrition and Food Systems based on their career interest. Below is a chart containing the four emphasis areas with highlights of the degree and possible career opportunities.





Designed to provide the knowledge and skills required for students who want to pursue a dietetic internship resulting in the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, course requirements are designed to meet ACEND accreditation requirements.

To become an RD, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and  complete requirements for an accredited dietetics program; complete an accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship; and pass the national registration examination for dietitians.

This is the only emphasis that has the potential for a student to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).

Career Opportunities

  • Clinical dietitian in hospital or other health care facility
  • Consultant dietitian
  • Community dietitian with the Women, Infants & Children Program
  • Public health dietitian
  • Dietetics educator
  • Researcher with food or pharmaceutical companies
  • or university
  • Sports nutritionist for college and professional teams
  • Corporate wellness dietitian
  • Cooperative extension agent
  • Public relations and marketing in food and nutrition related businesses
  • Product development in food and nutrition-related businesses
  • Food service director in a hospital, school district, day care, etc.
  • Caterer
  • Food buyer or distributor
  • Food and drug inspector

Nutrition science is designed for students who wish to study nutrition, but do not intend to enter into dietetics practice or pursue registered dietitian credentialing.

This route is appropriate for students who wish to pursue post-baccalaureate professional or graduate education in nutrition or the health sciences.

Career Opportunities

  • Teach science in primary schools (additional courses required)
  • Researcher/educator in a variety of areas
  • Biochemist
  • Food and nutrition scientist
  • Manage or assist with clinical protocols,
  • interventions or clinical trials
  • For any of these health-related professions, additional courses may be required:
    • Chiropractor (DC)
    • Dentist (DDS)
    • Physical Therapist (PT)
    • Physician (MD or DO)
    • Physician Assistant (PA)
    • Podiatrist (DP)
    • Veterinarian (DVM)




This route is designed to meet the needs of students who want training in health promotion, disease prevention, program development, and nutrition interventions.

This track allows for a minor in public health.

Career Opportunities

  • Community nutrition/ wellness educator
  • Health promotion
  • Nutrition non-profit
  • Health food store management
  • Marketing specialist for food or nutrition
  • Nutrition writer
  • Community health worker
  • Public health official
  • Cooperative extension agent
  • Public relations for food companies, nutrition publications or organizations
  • Social media writer
  • Consumer advocate

NFS management is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in food, nutrition, and getting the food to the customer in a variety of settings.

Students enrolled in this emphasis will have a background in nutrition, but they will have a broad knowledge base in food, food delivery systems, and management and business skills needed in a variety of settings.

Completion of this track makes students eligible to sit for the exam to become a Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional (CDM, CFPP).

Career Opportunities

  • Food service administrator
  • Restaurant owner or manager
  • Caterer
  • Food labeling or menu analysis
  • Dietary supervisor
  • Health food store management
  • Health inspector
  • Food/foodservice sales representative
  • Quality control manager
  • Food buyer
  • Food distributor
  • Food and drug inspector
  • Food technologist
  • Marketing/sales manager for food and equipment vendors