Department Guidelines | Didactic Program | Agricultural Sciences | SIU

Southern Illinois University




Department Guidelines

Admission to Program

The Human Nutrition and Dietetics (HND) program is part of the Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition. Admission to the HND major follows the general undergraduate admission requirements outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.  No separate application is needed for the HND program.

Program Retention

All DPD students are required to maintain at least a 2.85 (on a 4.0 scale) cumulative GPA and a 3.0 in HND courses to remain in the DPD program. If GPA drops below minimum requirements, the student will meet with his/her academic advisor and placed on departmental probation. The student will have one semester to reestablish the minimum requirements and inability to do so will result in placement into the Nutrition for Wellness Program. When appropriate, students will be provided a referral to address any factors compromising his/her grades. In order to be accepted into an internship program, a 3.000 GPA or higher is generally expected. Students with GPAs lower than 3.000 may be advised to change majors.

Program Completion Requirements

Candidates for a bachelor’s degree must complete at least 120 semester hours of credit, however MATH 107 and UNIV 388 cannot be counted towards the 120 hours required for graduation. Each student must have at least 42 hours in courses that number 300 or above from a four-year institution. Furthermore, Human Nutrition and Dietetic students much complete the required HND courses with at least a 3.0 GPA and an overall 2.85 GPA to obtain a Verification of Completion Form.   

For additional information regarding degree requirements, you may go here.

Notification Requirements for Graduation

Upon reaching the second semester of a student's junior year, students are recommended to meet with their academic adviser to review their credentials to ensure all records are in order to meet the projected graduation date. In addition to this, during the first week of the students final semester, he/she needs to register with Office of the Registrar to file a Graduation Request (fee is $50.00). This allows Admissions and Records adequate time to evaluate the student’s records to verify all requirements are met for the declared major.

If a student is expecting to participate in graduation exercises, a cap and gown will need to be ordered. This should be done early through Student Center Bookstore. The fees associated with these items vary according to the degree being conferred.

Verification and Declaration of Intent Forms

As mentioned earlier, in order to be eligible to sit for the national examination to become a RDN, a graduate must first complete1200 hours of supervised practice (dietetic internship) through an ACEND® accredited Dietetic Internship. In order to apply for an internship through the DICAS system, a student must be verified as completed, or being near completion, of DPD coursework. There are two forms available to achieve this goal: the Declaration of Intent and a Verification Statement.

  1. A Declaration of Intent is a digital form on DICAS that the DPD program director must complete. This form outlines the remaining courses required for graduation. It serves as an agreement between the student and the DPD director confirming that the courses will be completed before being eligible to receive the Verification Statement and start the DI Program.


  1. A Verification Statement is a document prepared by the DPD program director after graduation that verifies completion of Southern Illinois University’s DPD program and BS degree (when applicable). All graduates who meet the DPD eligibility requirements at graduation will receive a Verification Statement. To obtain this document, a student must complete the request form provided in HND 400. Once the registrar has confirmed graduation status (usually within 2 weeks of graduation), five original copies of the Verification Statement will be sent to the address identified on the request form.


DPD students who apply for DI programs after graduation should request a digital verification statement through the DICAS system. Please note: all applicants who match a DI program will be required to submit an original hard-copy Verification Statement with an original signature of the DPD Director to the DI Program Director before starting the program. DPD graduates who do not receive the Verification Statement or have misplaced it should contact Lynn Gill at

In summary, all dietetic internship (DI)) applicants must request either the “Declaration of Intent” or “Verification Statement” in the DPD Program Information section of the DICAS online application. Only DPD graduates should request a Verification Statement; current students should request a Declaration of Intent. All applicants must identify Lynn Gill ( as the Southern Illinois University DPD Director. Once the request has been submitted via DICAS, the DPD Director will receive an email alert to submit the identified document.