Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
855 S. New Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Dr. Christine Karpinski
Chair of Nutrition
Dr. Mary Beth Gilboy
Dr. Joanne Christaldi
Director, DPD Concentration (Undergraduate)
Dr. Kimberly Johnson
Director, Sustainable Food Systems
Management Concentration (Undergraduate)
Dr. Alessandra Sarcona
Director, Lifestyle Nutrition Concentration (Undergraduate)
The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Degree from West Chester University offers students the most flexibility in career paths within the field of nutrition by offering three concentrations:
Didactic Program in Dietetics
Sustainable Food Systems Management
The curriculum for all first-year students is the same, so ideally students will select a concentration when they are scheduling courses for their third semester. All students should work with their academic advisor to help choose which curriculum they will follow.
The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) concentration is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) so that students who complete the program are eligible to obtain a Dietetic Internship or similar supervised practice experience to pursue the Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist credential (RD/RDN). A career in Dietetics includes the practice of medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, or food service management.
The mission of the Didactic Program at West Chester University is to provide quality education that prepares students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. The learning environment is structured to promote an appreciation for life-long learning, purposeful self-reflection, effective problem solving, and teamwork.
The three goals for the ACEND accredited BS in Nutrition and Dietetics (DPD Program) are:
Goal 1: Graduate individuals who are well-prepared in foods and nutrition, clinical and community nutrition, education and research, and foodservice and nutrition systems management.
Objective 1.1: A minimum 90% of students will complete the program/degree requirements within 150% (6 years) of the program’s length.
Objective 1.2: A minimum overall mean score of 3.0 on senior satisfaction with courses and instruction.
Objective 1.3: A minimum of 70% of DI directors surveyed will record that the program prepared interns “extremely well” or “very well” for the supervised practice program.
Goal 2: To prepare students to be eligible for supervised practice programs, graduate school, or employment.
Objective 2.1: A minimum of 30% of students in the program will apply for supervised practice within one year (12 months) of graduation.
Objective 2.2: A minimum of 50% of students applying for supervised practice will obtain them within one year (12 months) of graduation.
Objective 2.3: A minimum 80% RD exam first-time pass rate.
Objective 2.4: A minimum of 75% of alumni will record that the program was "extremely effective" or "very effective" in preparing them for employment.
Objective 2.5: A minimum of 70% of alumni will be employed in foodservice, nutrition, dietetics or another health-related field.
Goal 3: Provide a strong education in the basic sciences to enable graduates to work effectively with other health professionals and form the basis for graduate study.
Objective 3.1: A minimum of 80% of alumni will answer that they felt “excellent” or “good” for the degree to which the program educated and prepared them for the science of nutrition.
Objective 3.2: A minimum of 60% of alumni will indicate that their basic science background was "excellent" or "good" for the degree to which the program helped them work with other health professionals.
This program is currently granted accreditation with the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600, ext 5400, https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Additional Courses: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Advanced Human Nutrition, Community Nutrition, Strategies in Dietetics Education, Professional Skills in Dietetics, Food Science, Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Foodservice and Nutrition Management.
Note: This is the only concentration that leads to RDN or DTR credentials.
The Lifestyle Nutrition concentration combines nutrition with business, management, and exercise science. Students learn best practices for promoting healthy lifestyles to diverse individuals and groups for positions in non-profit organizations, fitness centers, government health agencies, and health-related business. As a compliment to this concentration, students may pursue certification as a health coach or personal trainer.
Additional Courses: Nutrition Disease and Health Promotion, Entrepreneurial, Sports Nutrition, Perspectives on Obesity, Lifestyle Practicum, Lifetime Fitness Concepts, Exercise Science/Lab - and 4 business and marketing courses.
The Sustainable Food Systems Management concentration emphasizes ecological approaches and systems-based thinking for students to develop understanding of local, regional, and international food systems. Students are prepared for positions in food management and careers focused on sustainable food systems in businesses, healthcare, and community-based organizations.
Additional Courses: Sustainable Food Systems, The Food Chain, Sustainable Community Food Systems, Entrepreneurial, Nutrition, Disease, Health Promotion, Local Product Development, Food-to-Fork Practicum, Geography of Agriculture, Food & Sustainability - and 4 business and marketing courses.
Second Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is tailored toward the student who has completed a bachelor’s degree and wants to pursue a career as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). The second degree option provides the student with all of the didactic courses necessary to pursue a dietetics supervised practice (internship).
The Nutrition minor at West Chester University is designed to impart fundamental nutrition knowledge and an interdisciplinary understanding of the relationship among nutrition, health, physical fitness, and well-being. The minor will provide learning experiences that build upon and integrate knowledge from supporting disciplines. The curriculum focuses on nutrition with an emphasis on the application of knowledge regarding the maintenance of human health and well being throughout the life cycle. A minor in Nutrition requires students to complete two required courses, NTD 303 and NTD309. Four additional “NTD” courses must be completed for a total of 18 credit hours. A “C” grade or better must be earned in each of these courses before clearance for graduation with the minor will be granted
Each student is assigned an academic advisor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. Advisors play an integral role in assisting students through their college years; they aid students in:
Students have the option to request a specific adviser and/or change advisers at any time. In order to request the change, talk to the Department of Health Chair, Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, Room 207. Students should plan to meet with their advisor at least once each semester before the self scheduling period begins.
Undergraduate degree students are able to self-schedule on the web using the My WCU Web Portal. Students MUST see their advisor in order to gain access to schedule on the web portal.