Does guiding people’s food and nutritional choices feel like important work? What about implementing the most up-to-date research and evidence in your practice? Advising government and industry, and driving policy decisions? Or perhaps directing nutrition programs for schools, hospitals and food services? All of this — and more — is within reach through UBC’s Dietetics major. This professional program is designed to meet national accreditation standards for the dietetics profession and will set you on the path toward a career that’s experiencing faster-than-average growth across Canada and around the world.
UBC’s Dietetics program prepares you for entry into an in-demand profession, at a level that readies you to meet national accreditation standards. Dietitians aim to improve and promote health through optimized food and nutrition choices, and fill a variety of different roles in nutrition care, management, or population and public health. Our graduates are highly employable in a diverse range of roles, many within the ever-expanding health care system.
UBC’s Dietetics major is the only dietetics program offered in British Columbia. It’s different from the other nutrition-related majors offered by LFS in that it’s a regulated training program for people entering the health profession. Admitting fewer than 40 students each year, Dietetics is a competitive-entry program that involves five years of study: two prerequisite years and three program years. During your time in the dietetics program, you will complete practice education placements in your third, fourth, and fifth year that will develop your knowledge and skills in preparation for this exciting career. Once you graduate, you’ll be eligible to practice as a registered dietitian upon application to a provincial regulatory body and successful completion of a national registration examination.
In the Dietetics program, you will take a combination of degree requirements (required of all students) and restricted electives (courses selected from a curated list of approved electives). You’ll also be able to take a limited number of unrestricted electives (courses you get to pick yourself).
The Dietetics curriculum includes general courses in both biological and social sciences, as well as courses more directly related to dietetics such as basic and applied human nutrition, food and food systems, management and professional dietetic practice. Here’s a selection of courses that gives you a sense of the learning you’ll explore through this program:
FNH 340: Food Theory and Applications
FNH 345: Counselling Skills in Dietetics
FNH 371: Human Nutrition over the Life Span
FNH 380: Professional Dietetic Practice I
FNH 440: Food Service Systems Management
FNH 470: Nutrition Care II
FNH 473: Applied Public Health Nutrition
FNH 415: Business Concepts in Food, Nutrition and Health
Dietetics is a major within the Bachelor of Science in Food, Nutrition and Health. Due to the rigour of the program and its professional-level training, there are no minors or dual-degree options offered for Dietetics.
The Dietetics major is highly competitive, which means you will need to apply if you wish to be considered. A non-academic resume of experience as well as specific academic courses are required. You can find details about admission requirements and timelines in the UBC Academic Calendar, as well as on the ‘Prospective’ student section of the Dietetics website.
Where Can a Dietetics Major Take You?
Dietetics graduates from the Faculty of Land and Food Systems have gone on to careers in the following fields:
public health nutrition
business and industry
Read a bio of author and Registered Dietitian Desiree Nielsen, an LFS alumnus. As a media personality, Desiree also maintains a personal website here.
Nicole Fetterly also graduated from LFS with a degree in Dietetics, and her career exploded right out of the gates!
And Casey Hamilton took her Dietetics degree to a whole new level by creating social innovation that’s touching lives across interior British Columbia.
Get a head start on your career-related work experience while you’re at UBC. Check out What You Can Do With a Dietetics major here, our job board for postings that relate to your field of study!
If you are a prospective or current student with questions about planning for or choosing this major, or if you have questions about how your transfer credits apply, get in touch! One of our academic advisors in LFS Student Services will be glad to help you.
If you’re already in the major, and have specific questions about program requirements and involvements, please contact one of the program advisors, Tamar Kafka or Ali Browes.
Marley Blok is an alumna of the Applied Biology program and currently volunteers with Veterinarians Without Borders in their Volunteers Engaged in Gender-Responsive Technical Solutions Program, or VETS for short. Working with local Ghanaian organizations, Blok's goal is to create sustainable socioeconomic change in rural communities through improving health in animal production systems.
Meet Jennifer Appiah, our student spotlight! Jennifer is a 2022 recipient of the Freybe Award in Nutrition and Dietetics and is currently completing her first year as part of UBC’s Master of Nutrition and Dietetics’ first ever cohort.