Download a PDF of this section: The Faculty of Land and Food Systems Print this page Email this page

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. Practice education placements occur in year 3, 4 and 5 and span across British Columbia. 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 campus-based and practice education courses 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 or WRDS 150 (or WRDS 150A/B); BIOL 1121, 121, 1552 and 200; BIOL 201 (or BIOC 202); CHEM 121 (or 111), 123 (or 113),3 2054 and 233 (or 203 and 213); FNH 2005 and 2505,6; LFS 2505 and 2524,7; Social Science (3 credits8). 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).9

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.

3Or approved equivalent courses.

4Note: This course has a first-year math requirement. See UBC course guide for details.

5These courses have online sections (students planning to transfer into third-year dietetics from other institutions may enrol via non-degree studies).

6Several BC post-secondary institutions offer an equivalent course.

7Equivalent courses include BIOL 300, EPSE 482, FRST 231 (available online), STAT 200.

8Course that addresses normal human behaviour in a North American context. List of acceptable courses is posted on the Dietetics Major website.

9Math 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 enrolment 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 commitment to 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 commitment to 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) online interview with two registered dietitians. Interviews are scheduled on a designated interview day in late April or early May.

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: 30%
  • Cover letter/resume: 30%
  • References: 10%
  • 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. For further guidance, refer to the program website.


The annual application deadline is the last Friday in January 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 Dietetics Major application package, to be submitted to the Faculty.

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 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
    • the Integrated Dietetics Program Application Fee (as listed herea}}

a If you self-identify as an Indigenous applicant, please contact LFS Student Services to inquire about a fee exemption.

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.

All admission offers are considered conditional pending receipt of a satisfactory criminal record check conducted according to Criminal Record Check Review Act procedures.

Program Information

All students accepted to the program are admitted to third year.

Due to extra administrative costs associated with an integrated practice education program, an annual supplemental fee (as listed here, see Land and Food Systems section) is applied to students in each year (years three, four, and five) of the program.

Students in the program must also fulfill, and bear any costs associated with, any practice education program requirements mandated by UBC and/or placement agencies, including student accident insurance, immunizations, Food Safe certificates, and respiratory mask fitting, violence prevention training (further details are provided on the program website).

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.

The Dietetics undergraduate program incorporates practice education in years 3, 4 and 5.

Dietetics Major

Third Year
BIOC 302 3
FNH 3401 4.5
FNH 345 3
FNH 350 3
FNH 351 3
FNH 370 3
FNH 371 3
FNH 375 3
FNH 380 3
FNH 3812 3
FNH 398 4
Total Credits 35.5
Fourth Year
FNH 415 3
FNH 4403 3
FNH 470 3
FNH 473 3
FNH 475 3
FNH 480 3
FNH 4814 3
LFS 350 3
Restricted electives5 9
Total Credits 33
Fifth Year
FNH 4826 12
FNH 4837 12
Total Credits 24
Overall five-year total credits 146.5
1 FNH 340: Course registrants are required to possess a FoodSafe I certificate and show proof of completion on the first day of FNH 340.
2 FNH 381: Involves practice education placements in Term 3 of Year 3.
3 FNH 440: Course registrants are required to possess a FoodSafe II certificate and show proof of completion on the first day of FNH 440.
4 FNH 481: Involves practice education placements in Term 3 or Year 4.
5 5 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.
6 FNH 482: Involves practice education placements in Term 1 of Year 5
7 FNH 483: Involves practice education placements in Term 2 of Year 5

Page last updated: March 5, 2021

The University of British Columbia

Student Services
Vancouver Campus
1874 East Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z1

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia