Program Overview


FNH buildingThe Dietetics Major involves five total years of study for all admitted students:

  • Two prerequisite years
  • Three program years (final year in BC-based practice education 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 dietetics profession and includes courses and practicum placements to assist students to develop skills for professional dietetic practice.

Pre-requisite Years

Years 1 & 2 involve pre-program foundational courses, including biology, chemistry, and general nutrition. This coursework may be completed at UBC, or at other universities or colleges.

See the prospective students tab for a more comprehensive list of the prerequisite course requirements and where they can be completed.

Program Years

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. This coursework must be completed at UBC.

Year 5 is the dietetic practice education year. Students apply their academic knowledge in a variety of practice settings, including hospitals, long term care facilities, and community organizations.

See  Year 3 & 4 Course Requirements for a more comprehensive list of the program courses.

About Practice Education (Year 5)

The practice education year consists of 3 courses, involving 39 weeks of full time experience in varied practice settings. Under the supervision of preceptors, students develop confidence and proficiency in performing professional duties and responsibilities. The UBC dietetic practice education year is nationally accredited, so has been designed to prepare students to achieve the entry to practice requirements of the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice.

See Year 5 Course Requirements to view the list of required practice education courses.

Structure of the Practice Education Courses

Practice education 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. No two students have an identical practice education year but all have multiple opportunities to experience different facets of practice.

Practice Education Sites

Each year 5 student is placed at one of 8 BC health authority core sites. These include:

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 practice education year.

Post-Program Completion

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 a multiple choice exam 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.