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Dietetics Major

The Dietetics Major is a professional program planned to meet the accreditation standards for the dietetics profession in Canada. Graduates are eligible to write a national exam to qualify to register with a provincial dietetic regulatory body in order to use the designation Registered Dietitian and practice dietetics. The program involves five years of study: two prerequisite years and three program years (year five is spent in internship placements at various British Columbia locations). The curriculum includes general courses in both biological and social sciences, as well as courses more directly related to dietetics such as basic and applied human nutrition, food and food systems, management, and professional dietetic practice.

The Dietetics Major differs from other nutrition-related majors offered by the Faculty, in that it is a regulated health profession training program. The Dietetics Major has specific applicant selection procedures and includes courses and internship placements to assist students to develop knowledge and skills for dietetic practice.


Admission to the Dietetics Major is to third-year and is based on:

1. Initial screening for:

  • Prerequisite Requirements
    Admission to the Dietetics Major is limited to students who will have completed a minimum of 54 credits of university or college coursework by April 30 of the year in which they are applying for admission. This must include the following prerequisites (or their equivalents): LFS 150 or ENGL 112; BIOL 1121, 121, 1552 and 200; BIOL 201 (or BIOC 202); CHEM 121 (or 111), 123 (or 113), 2053 and 233 (or 203 and 213); FNH 2004 and 2504,5; LFS 2504 and 2523,6; Social Science (3 credits7). These prerequisites can be met by following years one and two of the Food, Nutrition and Health Major, along with careful course planning (as some requirements are different).8

1Transfer students unable to access an equivalent course may take a course equivalent to MICB 201.

2BIOL 153 or CAPS 301 will also be accepted.

3Note: This course has a first year math requirement. See UBC course guide for details.

4These courses have online sections (students planning to transfer into third-year dietetics from other institutions may enroll via non-degree studies).

5Several BC post-secondary institutions offer an equivalent course.

6Equivalent courses include BIOL 300, EPSE 482, FRST 231 (available online), STAT 200.

7Course that addresses normal human behaviour in a North American context. List of acceptable courses is posted on the Dietetics Major website.

8Math courses are not required prerequisites for Dietetics and are, therefore, not used towards admission GPA. However, math courses are required for year promotion within the Food Nutrition and Health Major, and to meet prerequisite requirements for some required courses.

  • Academic Performance
    Admission is based on a minimum academic standing of 70%, calculated as a cumulative average of grades from all prerequisite (years one and two) and any program courses (years three and four) taken. Elective courses are not included in this calculation. (NOTE: In alignment with academic performance standards in place for admitted students, applicants must achieve a minimum level of academic performance (68%) in any 300 and 400 level FNH course taken prior to admission that is included in the course requirements for the Dietetics Major.) Note that due to enrollment limitations, the academic standard required for admission is typically higher than the published minimum.
  • Non-academic Application Components (cover letter, resume, and references)
    These application components are used to assess an applicant's interest in and suitability for the profession of dietetics. For more details, refer to the current Application Information Package.

Non-academic application components are assessed using the following indicators of interest in and suitability for the profession of dietetics:

  • commitment to the dietetics profession (demonstrated interest in and understanding of the profession; demonstrated effort to seek professionally-relevant experiences)
  • critical thinking skills (ability to analyze and integrate information and apply knowledge to make sound judgements)
  • decision-making skills (ability to make sound, timely decisions)
  • dependability (ability to work with minimal supervision, be consistently dependable)
  • initiative/self-directedness (ability to independently initiate activities, seek new opportunities)
  • leadership skills (ability to gain support of and lead others)
  • learning abilities (ability to learn quickly and independently, quest for knowledge)
  • organizational/planning skills (ability to develop sound plans with attention to detail)
  • perseverance (ability to function effectively despite discouragement and setbacks)
  • response to feedback (ability to accept constructive feedback, develop plans for improvement and implement these plans)
  • suitability for health care environment (potential to work in a fast-paced environment with diverse patients and clients who face health challenges)
  • team skills (ability to work cooperatively and effectively with others)
  • time management skills (ability to consistently manage time effectively and efficiently)
  • written and oral communication skills (ability to communicate clearly, concisely, accurately)

2. Interview (short-listed applicants only)

Short-listed candidates will be invited to participate in a brief (15 minute) personal interview at UBC with two admissions committee members. Interviews are scheduled on a designated interview day in late April or early May. Applicants who reside outside the Lower Mainland and are unable to come to UBC for an interview are interviewed using online technology or by telephone.

The main purpose of the interview is to assess oral communication skills (ability to convey information clearly and effectively), as strong oral communication skills are essential for dietetic practice. The interview will also be used (in addition to the cover letter, resume, and references) to assess an applicant's commitment to and suitability for dietetics as a career choice.

The interview guide varies each year. Questions are fairly broad, focusing on applicant attributes, skills, and commitment to dietetics as a profession.

A criteria-based scoring form and a consensus process are used to assess interview performance.

Admission Score

Applicants are admitted on the basis of a final admissions score, as follows:

  • Academic Performance: 40%
  • Cover letter/resume: 25%
  • References: 5%
  • Interview: 30%

Each assessment component includes minimum acceptable criteria which must be met in order for the applicant to be considered (regardless of scores obtained in other components).

Preparing to Apply:

Dietetics is a professional program and it is essential that all prospective applicants take steps to consider whether this is an appropriate career choice for them, and obtain relevant skills and experience prior to applying.

To prepare, prospective applicants should:

  • Investigate the profession thoroughly (including all areas of practice) and seek exposure to dietitians through volunteer and work roles and events dietitians are involved in.
  • Investigate the program thoroughly so they fully understand all that is required of students in the program, including review of the document Required Skills and Abilities for the Dietetics Program.
  • Undertake a process of self-reflection to consider personal suitability for this career choice.
  • Subscribe to the FNH Volunteering Listserv to learn about available volunteer and paid employment opportunity postings related to the profession and to receive program updates.
  • Seek experiences that assist in development of general skills applicable to a variety of career and academic pursuits (e.g., critical thinking, decision-making, leadership, communication).


The annual application deadline is January 31 for September admission. All application components must be received by this date.

Application to the Dietetics Major has two components:

  • Online application to enter the B.Sc. (FNH) program in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) (not applicable to students already enrolled in this program)
  • A paper Dietetics Major application package to be submitted to LFS Student Services.

Application procedures:

  • Non-UBC students must apply online through Enrolment Services to enter the B.Sc. (FNH) program in UBC's Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS). External applicants are encouraged to contact LFS Student Services in advance of applying to ensure they have met prerequisite course requirements.
  • Current UBC students who are not already enrolled in the B.Sc. (FNH) program must apply online through Enrolment Services to enter the program. In the event of an unsuccessful application, students in good standing have the ability to remain in their original program/faculty.
  • All applicants must submit a paper Dietetics Major application package to the Faculty (prepared using forms and guidelines available online). Each application package must include:
    • completed application form
    • transcripts (as required)
    • cover letter
    • resume
    • two completed reference forms in sealed envelopes
    • the Integrated Dietetics Program Application Fee (as listed here),payable by cheque or money order

Short-listed candidates are identified for the interview component based on a preliminary applicant score which considers both academic and non-academic application components.

Final applicant scores are computed once interviews are complete and final marks for the term are available (external applicants are required to submit final transcripts by the end of April). Applicants are typically informed about their admission status by late May.

Program Information

All students accepted to the program are admitted to third year. The program involves three full-time years of study, including two campus-based years (three and four) and a 39-week internship year (year five) involving placements at BC health care facilities. Relocation may be required for part or all of year five.

To cover extra administrative costs associated with an integrated dietetics program, an Annual Dietetics Internship Fee (as listed here) is applied to students in each year (years three, four, and five) of the program.

Students admitted to the Dietetics Major must also fulfill, and bear any costs associated with, the following program requirements:

  • A criminal record check conducted according to Criminal Record Check Review Act procedures (Faculty to share application procedures at the time of admission; all program offers are considered conditional pending receipt of a satisfactory criminal record check).
  • UBC student accident insurance, required for each year of program enrollment.
  • Foodsafe I certificate (prior to taking FNH 341).
  • Foodsafe II certificate (prior to taking FNH 440).
  • Proof of health authority-required immunizations, based on a review by UBC Student Health Service (prior to taking FHN 481).
  • Respiratory mask fit testing (prior to taking FNH 481).
  • Any other requirements established by placement agencies or UBC.

Advancement Requirements

Once admitted to the Dietetics Major, all students are required to abide by program-specific policies and maintain a good academic standing. Students must also meet the following program-specific advancement requirements: they must pass all courses, maintain an academic average at or above the minimum for entry into the program (70%) and achieve a minimum level of academic performance (68%) in each 300- and 400-level FNH course. The program reserves the right to require a student to change majors if they are not meeting these criteria.

Dietetics Major

Third Year
BIOC 302 3
FNH 340 3
FNH 341 3
FNH 350 3
FNH 351 3
FNH 370 3
FNH 371 3
FNH 380 3
FNH 3811 3
FNH 398 3
LFS 350 3
Social Science2 3
Total Credits 36
Fourth Year
FNH 415 3
FNH 440 3
FNH 470 3
FNH 473 3
FNH 475 3
FNH 480 3
Restricted electives3 12
Total Credits 30
Fifth Year
FNH 4813 9
FNH 4823 9
FNH 4833 6
Total Credits 24
Overall five-year total credits 144
1 FNH 381 is offered in May.
2 Course that addresses normal human behaviour in a North American context. List of acceptable courses is posted on the Dietetics Major website
3 Restricted electives are to be chosen from a list of approved electives posted on the Dietetics Major website, or by consultation with a Program Advisor.
4 FNH 481, 482, and 483 involve full-time internship placements at BC healthcare facilities between September and June.

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