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Medical Dietetics

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

School: Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Registered dietitians are food and nutrition experts who play an important role in fitness, health and nutritional treatment of diseases. The field of dietetics combines practice and research in food, nutrition and health with education about diet and food choices.

Upon admission to Ohio State, students who wish to apply to the dietetics undergraduate professional program must have completed the following courses (or their equivalents) with a grade of C- or higher by the end of summer term prior to enrollment in the professional program:

  • First-year English composition 
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • General biology 
  • Chemistry (two semesters with labs)
  • College algebra 
  • Organic chemistry (not required if molecular biochemistry sequence is selected)
  • Biochemistry or molecular biochemistry
  • General microbiology (including lab component)
  • Human anatomy (including lab component) 
  • Human physiology
  • Statistics 
  • Fundamentals of Human Nutrition
  • Medical terminology
  • Human Nutrition and Metabolism
  • Health Promotion and Community Nutrition

There are two years of schooling once a student is admitted to the program.

Students in this program are part of a small cohort that takes courses together and receive individualized attention from faculty.

The medical dietetics curriculum includes professional courses in nutrition and human metabolism, medical dietetics, management of hospital food services, nutrition counseling and education, health promotion and community nutrition, and clinical nutrition.

Students in the medical dietetics major are encouraged to contact the Office of International Affairs to find study abroad experiences related to health care that can strengthen their applications to majors and graduate study programs.

Supervised practice (an internship) begins in the summer before the senior year and continues until graduation. During these internships, students participate in a variety of activities in different health care settings. These include acute care in major medical centers, nursing homes, health promotion programs and public health. The program includes clinical placements that provide extensive supervised practice in medical facilities both on and off campus.

Medical dietetics students may apply to any of the Ohio State Scholars programs. Students in the Ohio State Scholars programs live together, attend classes together and have the opportunity to be a part of a close-knit community. 

The Health Sciences Scholars Program and the Dunn Sport and Wellness Scholars Program may be of particular interest to medical dietetics students because they bring together students with interests in the many health programs offered at Ohio State.

Learn more about the Honors and Scholars Programs at

Throughout the medical dietetics curriculum, students are exposed to research projects and researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

In the past five years, six undergraduate student researchers partnered with medical dietetics faculty have won at the annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum.

Students studying medical dietetics can live in the Future Health Professionals Learning Community, join the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Student Council or become members of the Student Dietetics Association. Students may also be nominated by faculty to participate in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Ambassadors program.

Various organizations also offer students affiliate membership opportunities, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Ohio Dietetic Association.

Most graduates start off as dietitians in hospitals, nursing homes or community agencies. Several graduates have gone to medical school; some have been admitted to graduate programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy. Others have become sales representatives for medical nutrition products. A few graduates go into private practice or consultation, some have government or military careers, and many distinguish themselves in hospital management or food services operations. 

Students who complete the medical dietetics program are eligible to sit for the Registered Dietitian certification exam upon graduation.

Median annual wages of dietitians and nutritionists were $57,910 in 2016 according to the U.S. Labor and Statistics Report. Salaries for advanced practitioners may exceed $100,000. 

The medical dietetics field is expected to grow much faster than average, with 16,000 projected job openings from 2014 to 2024.

Student Services Office
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
206 Atwell Hall
453 W. 10th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

The medical dietetics program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Three scholarships are offered through the Division of Medical Dietetics.

Interested in a career in health care?

Check out the Health Care Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a health care career.