Pre-Nutrition

Pre-Nutrition
PreProf

Introduction

Pre-Professional Pathways are not offered as majors at Western, nor are they at most other universities, but they can be incorporated into or taken alongside any degree-granting major offered at Western.

Pre-Nutrition is not a major at Western. A student completing an undergraduate degree at Western has the option of either going to a masters nutrition program or an undergraduate nutrition program to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). In the former case, the school will list their prerequisite courses required for admission, which you must complete in your undergraduate degree. In the latter case, you must contact the undergraduate school to determine if they accept students who have already completed a degree into their program, and what course preparation they recommend. 

Examples of Western majors that fulfill some or all of the prerequisite coursework for nutrition programs include: Biology-Anthropology, and Community Health. 

Beyond the Classroom

Western's Pre-Healthcare Professions Advising Office provides mentoring and advising to students interested in pursuing careers in healthcare professions. The office works with students to enhance their chances of gaining successful admission to the professional school of their choice. Services range from individual academic advisement to preparing students for the final application process.

Western's Associated Students is home to 200+ clubs, including those for students pursuing healthcare professions.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) is the American Dietetic Association (ADA) accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered. Only graduates of CADE-accredited programs are eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. Individuals who only have degrees in nutrition, dietetics or other related areas from programs that are not CADE-accredited are not eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. If a person is not a RD, they are not eligible for many jobs in the nutrition field. Western is not CADE-accredited.

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Sample Jobs

  • Registered Dietitian
  • Dietetic Technician, Registered

Requirements and Course Details

Pre-Nutrition Advising

Many people call themselves a "nutritionist" and work providing nutrition information on topics such as weight loss, healthy living, or sports performance. Not all of these people, however, are registered dietitians. The Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) is the American Dietetic Association (ADA) accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered. Only graduates of CADE-accredited programs are eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. Individuals who only have degrees in nutrition, dietetics or other related areas from programs that are not CADE-accredited are NOT ELIGIBLE to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) or Dietetic Technician, Registered. If a person is not a RD, they are not eligible for many jobs in the nutrition field. WWU is not CADE-accredited. WWU students wishing to become nutritionist must continue their education at a CADE-accredited program at another school.

CADE accredited programs, and other information on becoming a RD can be obtained at: www.eatright.org/students/education/accreditedprograms.aspx

Programs exist at both the bachelor's or graduate level, and are either a:

Coordinated Program in Dietetics , in which dietitian coursework and supervised practice for RD eligibility are combined in the degree program

OR

Didactic Programs in Dietetics, in which dietitian coursework only is offered by the school granting the degree followed by Dietetic Internship, which is supervised practice only for RD eligibility.

A student completing an undergraduate degree at WWU has the option of either going to a masters nutrition program or an undergraduate nutrition program to become a RD. In the former case, the school will list their prerequisite courses required for admission, which you must complete in your undergraduate degree (see example below). In the latter case, you must contact the undergraduate school to determine if they accept students who have already completed a degree into their program, and what course preparation they recommend. A third option for a WWU student is to not complete a degree at WWU and to transfer to a CADE-accredited undergraduate program to obtain their bachelor’s degree.

Students are encouraged to review prerequisite courses early in their academic planning and to develop a plan of study within the first quarter of entry to Western.

Pre-Nutrition is not a major at WWU. Examples of Western majors that cover some or all of the prerequisites include: Biology-Anthropology, and Community Health.

Program Checkpoints

Freshman/Sophomore Years

Meet with a Pre-Nutrition advisor to complete a plan of study. Complete (see note 1) :

  • Intermediate algebra, Math 112. Note: MATH 114 is the pre-requisite for Chem 161. (see GUR note 2).
  • Chemistry: Chem 161, 162, (163), Chem 251 Elem Organic Chem, Chem 375 Elements of Biochemistry (see note 3) (see GUR note 4), BIOL 245 Microbiology.
  • PSY 101 (see GUR note 5).
  • BIOL 204, 205 (or BIOL 101) (taken as a pre-requisite for Biol 348 and HLED 350) (See GUR note 6).
  • HLED 350 (3) Nutrition (see note 7)
  • GURs.

Junior Year

Work on completing:

  • BIOL 348, BIOL 349 (see warning below 8).
  • Other nutrition school prerequisites (see note 9).
  • Volunteer experience hours. See your pre-nutrition advisor for assistance setting up volunteer experience hours.
  • Major requirements.
  • Prepare for the Graduate Records Examination (GRE), if needed for schools you are preparing for.

Senior Year

  • Take the GRE in the fall, if needed for schools you are preparing for.
  • Request letters of recommendation from professors, administrators and professionals.
  • Complete remaining nutrition school prerequisites.
  • Complete major requirements.
  • Two quarters before graduation, meet with major faculty advisor for major evaluation and apply for graduation.

GUR Notes

  1. This example of courses to take is based on the requirements for Bastyr Masters Degree Didactic Program in Dietetics, and the UW interdisciplinary graduate program in nutritional sciences. Other programs will have different pre-requisites. You must examine the requirements of nutrition schools you wish to qualify to apply to, and ensure you complete their requirements by discussing these requirements with your advisor so they can be included in your plan of study
  2. Math 112 contributes one course of two needed to fulfill QSR GUR requirement, Math 114 fulfills QSR GUR requirement.
  3. The UW interdisciplinary graduate program in nutritional sciences requires two courses in biochemistry, which would be Chem 471 biochemistry I, and Chem 472 biochemistry II, and this requires the organic chem three-course sequence (351, 352, 353), biology 205, and chemistry 333 recommended (and means that chem 251 would not be taken).
  4. Completion of Chemistry 161, 162, 251 fulfills Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
  5. PSY 101 contributes to fulfillment of SSC GUR requirement.
  6. BIOL 101, 204, 205 contribute towards fulfilling the Natural Sciences GUR requirement.
  7. 5 quarter credits of nutrition needed for Bastyr, see your advisor for recommendations on how to obtain the additional credits (e.g. KIN 414 - Physical Activity and Nutrition or ANTH 422 - Nutritional Anthropology).
  8. Only HHD and Biology/Anthropology majors are allowed to resister for Biol 348 at WWU. Students in other majors requiring Biol 348 for professional school may be granted an override if they request one from the instructor at least three weeks prior to phase I of registration.
  9. You must examine the requirements of nutrition schools you wish to qualify to apply to, and ensure you complete their requirements by discussing these requirements with your advisor so they can be included in your plan of study.