Feb 25, 2024  
University of Alberta Calendar 2019-2020 
University of Alberta Calendar 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

BSc Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization

Note: Interested students should apply to the BSc Nutrition and Food Science, Nutrition Major for Fall 2015. Applications for the Dietetics Specialization will open for Fall 2016.

The BSc Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization prepares students for a career as a Registered Dietitian. The Dietetics Specialization enables students to acquire both the knowledge and practical skills needed to be eligible to practice as a Registered Dietitian or Registered Nutritionist.

Registered Dietitians/Registered Nutritionists are uniquely trained food and nutrition experts. As essential members of the interprofessional healthcare team, they contribute to health and well-being by translating scientific, medical and nutrition information into practical individualized therapeutic diets and meal plans for people. Registered Dietitians/Registered Nutritionists manage nutrition for health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases. They provide information and counseling that enables consumers to make informed decisions about food choices and nutrition services. Registered Dietitians also influence the development and promotion of consumer products and manage nutrition and food services in healthcare institutions.

The Dietetics Specialization curriculum includes courses from the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences as well as those from other University of Alberta programs of study. During their second, third and fourth years in the specialization, students participate in professional practice or field experiences in various community settings, such as hospitals, foodservice operations, schools, and community agencies/clinics. Experience in rural settings is required. Students admitted to the Dietetics Specialization are also required to complete a minimum ★3 course work in interprofessional health team development and/or practice. Some evening course work as well as evening, weekend and/or early morning shifts while engaged in professional practice learning may be required.

Completion of the BSc in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization achieves the minimum academic and practical training requirements accepted by the College of Dietitians of Alberta for registration to practice dietetics in Alberta. To register as a Dietitian in Alberta, a graduate must complete all of the requirements of the specialization including the professional practice courses. In addition to completing the requirements of the BSc in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization, graduates must successfully complete the Canadian Dietetics Registration Examination (CDRE) administered by the Alliance of Canadian Dietetic Regulatory Bodies. Information concerning the CDRE and/or registration requirements for dietitians in Alberta can be obtained from the Registrar, College of Dietitians of Alberta, 1320, 10123 99 Street, Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3H1.

Faculty Accreditation

The BSc in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization program at the University of Alberta has been approved by the College of Dietitians of Alberta.

Admission, Academic Standing and Graduation

Entrance to this program takes place after at least one preprofessional year of university (or equivalent) studies. Students normally complete their preprofessional year in the BSc Nutrition and Food Science General Program. See BSc in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization  for details on the admission requirements.

Students will be assessed annually to ensure that they maintain a GPA of 2.7 and passing grades in the professional practice courses [see Continuation in the BSc Nutrition and Food Science Dietetics Specialization and the BSc Nutrition and Food Science, Food Science and Technology Specialization ) ]. Students who complete the course requirements for a degree with the Dietetics Specialization in the fourth year but fail to maintain a graduating GPA of 2.7 will be eligible for a degree BSc Nutrition and Food Science, General Program provided that they meet the graduation requirements.

Professional Practice Requirements

Note: For updates on changes to health and safety requirements refer to the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences website at: www.ales.ualberta.ca

  1. Immunization:  See University Infectious Diseases Regulation .
  2. Police Information Check: Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, all students going to any clinical placement in Alberta are required to complete a Police Information Check (also known as a Criminal Record Check, Security Clearance Check, or Police Clearance), which must include a Vulnerable Sector Check. Clinical agencies/practice sites may require additional background checks, such as a Child Intervention Record Check. Students will be advised if a clinical agency/practice site requires any additional background checks. This includes students in the Dietetic Specialization who are placed in any of these designated agencies.
    The host agency will determine the criteria for acceptance/denial of an intern placement. Students enrolled in the Dietetic Specialization are responsible for having a Police Information Check completed prior to commencement of their professional practice placements. See Requirement for Police Information Checks  for more information on the general requirements concerning Police Information Checks and the fees associated with them.
    Students who have concerns related to their ability to provide a clear Police Information Checks should consult with the Director, Dietetic Internship immediately upon being admitted to the program.
    The ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the requirements of a placement site are met lies with the student. Students should be aware that in addition to the Police Information Check, other background checks may be required by a placement agency, such as a child intervention record check. Students will be advised if any additional background checks are required by a clinical agency.
  3. Respiratory Mask Fit Testing: Prior to all clinical practice placements, students must be fitted for N95 Respiratory Masks in accordance with the contractual placement agreements with Alberta Health Services and other placement sites. These masks are worn when caring for patients with highly infectious diseases. The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences coordinates mask fit testing and will notify students of fitting dates. A fee may be charged for mask fit testing. This fee is the responsibility of the student.

Professional Practice Requirements

  1. Professional Ethics, Standards of Practice or Care, Policies and Procedures: All students enrolled in the Dietetics Specialization are bound by, and shall comply with the Professional Codes of Ethics governing the profession and practice of Dietetics, as well as the policies and procedures of the placement site and those of the Dietetics Specialization:
    • “Professional Codes of Ethics” means the current College of Dietitians of Alberta’s Code of Ethics for Registered Dietitians and Registered Nutritionists, as well as all other relevant professional codes and practice standards for Registered Dietitians.
    • It is the responsibility of all students enrolled in the Dietetics Specialization to obtain, and be familiar with, such Professional Codes of Ethics, and their amendments as may be made from time to time.
    • Students enrolled in professional practice placement courses are required to follow the administrative procedures and regulations (including dress requirements) of the placement site. Students are responsible for their transportation to practice placements and for the costs of travel and accommodations.
    • For current information on the policies and procedures of the Dietetics Specialization, refer to the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences website at: www.ales.ualberta.ca.
  2. Practicum Intervention Policy: The Dean, or supervisor acting on behalf of the Dean, may immediately deny assignment of a student to, withdraw a student from, or vary terms, conditions or site of a practicum/clinical placement if the Dean or supervisor has reasonable grounds to believe that this is necessary in order to protect the public interest. (See Practicum Intervention Policy  and Practicum Intervention Policy.) For unprofessional, incompetent or unsafe practice on the part of the student not directly related to medical issues, the transcript will reflect the practices and sanctions delineated in the Code of Student Behaviour. Amendments to the Code of Student Behaviour occur throughout the year. The official version of the Code of Student Behaviour, as amended from time to time, is housed on the University Governance website at www.governance.ualberta.ca. The student has the right to appeal the Dean’s decision to the GFC Practice Review Board (PRB).
  3. Clinical and Professional Practice Performance:
    • Students must complete both theory and professional practice work in order to receive credit. Students who have not received a pass in the clinical/professional practice portion of a professional practice course are not given credit for the course and must repeat both the clinical and non-clinical portions of the course. The clinical component, explained in the course outline, must be completed for credit to be granted.
    • A student who is absent more than one clinical day in any one clinical course may need to make up the lost time before being allowed to continue in the program.
    • Students who fail the same professional practice course twice will be required to withdraw from the Specialization.
  4. Rural Placement Requirement: All students enrolled in the Dietetics Specialization are required to relocate to rural centres across Alberta on one or more occasions during their professional practice course work in order to acquire an understanding of this setting.
    • “Rural” is defined as towns or municipalities outside the commuting zone of larger urban centres (with 10,000 or more population).
    • Access to transportation and accommodation is not considered in arranging rural professional practice placements. The student is responsible for transportation to and from work each day and for finding their own accommodation while engaged in all professional practice courses.
    • All costs associated with relocation to rural centres are the responsibility of the student. This includes transportation, accommodations, food, clothing, and learning resources.
  5. Accommodation for Persons with Disabilities: The Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences supports the principle of accommodation and all reasonable efforts to meet the disability-related needs of students enrolled in the Dietetics Specialization. Student’s in need of accommodations must submit a written request for and formalize a professional practice accommodation plan one term prior to the planned start of a professional practice course. Detailed information on the Faculty’s policies and procedures related to accommodations during professional practice courses can be obtained from the Faculty Student Services Office.

Residence Requirement

A student transferring to the Dietetics Specialization must complete at least ★60 (normally the last ★60) while registered in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta.


Credit acquired during the preprofessional year does not count towards the degree requirements for the BSc in Nutrition and Food Science, Dietetics Specialization. The required admission courses to be taken during the preprofessional year are shown here for information and program planning purposes only.

Course Requirements (★120)

Listed below are courses required to fulfill the program requirements, and a recommended sequence of the courses:

Course sequencing for Professional Practice in Dietetics courses may vary based on the availability of placement sites.

Year 2

Year 3


The Capstone Course  for the Dietetics Specialization is NUTR 450 .