- Two prerequisite years
- Three program years (final year in BC-based internship courses)
The curriculum includes general biological and social sciences courses and specialized dietetics courses, such as basic and applied human nutrition, food and food systems management, and professional dietetic practice.
In contrast to other nutrition-related majors offered by the faculty, the Dietetics Major has specific applicant selection procedures geared to the needs of the profession and includes courses and practicum placements to assist students to develop skills for professional dietetic practice.
Years 1 & 2 involve pre-program courses, including biology, chemistry, and general nutrition. This coursework may be completed at UBC, or at other universities or colleges.
Years 3 & 4 involve a range of courses that provide foundational knowledge to prepare students for nutrition care, population and public health, and management roles in dietetics.
Year 5 is the dietetic internship year. Students apply their academic knowledge in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, long term care facilities, and community organizations.
Due to the fixed scheduling of the internship year, students who enter the program ahead on coursework cannot typically be accommodated for reduced program length.
See Course Requirements for a more comprehensive list of the program courses.
The internship is a comprehensive 39 week experience, consisting of three courses. Under the supervision of RD preceptors, interns develop confidence and proficiency in performing professional duties and responsibilities. The UBC dietetic internship is nationally accredited, so has been designed to prepare students to achieve the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice, required for entry to practice.
Structure of the Internship Courses
The internship includes several modules: orientation (1 week), research (2 weeks and weekly project time), nutrition care (22 weeks), population and public health (4 weeks), management (8 weeks), and elective (2 weeks). Longer modules may be divided into multiple placements in different settings. During the elective weeks, students gain experience in practice settings that particularly interest them. No two students have an identical internship but all have lots of opportunities to experience different facets of practice.
Each year 5 student is placed at one of 8 BC health authority core sites. These include:
- Fraser Health
- Interior Health Authority Kelowna
- Interior Health Authority Kamloops
- Island Health
- Northern Health
- Providence Health Care
- Provincial Health Services Authority
- Vancouver Coastal Health
Although student site preferences are considered, they cannot be guaranteed. As a result, all students must be willing to relocate for some or all of the internship year.
Dietetics is a regulated health profession. Therefore, dietitians must register with a provincial regulatory body to practice. Dietetics regulatory bodies serve to protect the public, by ensuring that Registered Dietitians have required competencies to practice in a safe and ethical manner. Once students have completed academic and practical training requirements for dietetics, they are eligible to apply for temporary registration in order to practice. To become full registrants, they must pass the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE). The CDRE is a national examination that is administered by the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory bodies. The CDRE is designed to test practice-based knowledge, application, and critical thinking skills required to competently and safely practice dietetics. Students who graduate from accredited dietetics programs such as UBC’s program have a high success rate with the exam.