Bachelor of Science in Applied Food and Nutrition

Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley State University's Bachelor of Science in Applied Food and Nutrition program is an innovative Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) incorporating elements of competency-based education. The bachelor’s program is part of Grand Valley's School of Interdisciplinary Health

Graduates of the AFN program are eligible for accredited supervised practice (dietetic internship) programs and coordinated graduate programs leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). AFN graduates seeking admission to a dietetic internship must participate in the computer matching system through the online dietetic internship centralized application process (DICAS).  Applicants must register with D&D Digital. There is a $50 computer matching fee.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12 midnight Central Time on December 31, 2023. More information about this requirement is available on CDR's website. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

11% job growth expected by 2028
Average wage of $42,000
NDTRs with more than 4 years experience
Real-World Experience
Modern simulation labs prepare you for the field

Grand Valley’s Applied Food and Nutrition Program has been granted Candidacy status by the
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (312) 899-0040 ext 5400                                                         

ACEND logo

Why Study Applied Food and Nutrition at Grand Valley?

  • Accredited. The Applied Food and Nutrition Program at Grand Valley State University has been granted candidacy accreditation status as a Didactic Program in Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  • Experiential Learning. Hands-on work in state-of-the-art facilities, including simulation laboratories, culinary laboratories, and the GVSU Sustainable Agriculture Project farm.  
  • In-Demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates employment opportunities are expected to increase by 15% by 2026.
  • Future-focused.  The Applied Food and Nutrition program incorporates practicum courses, which provide students with opportunities to make connections in the field and demonstrate competence in real-world settings during their undergraduate years. These experiences prepare AFN graduates to succeed in future supervised practice and graduate work.


The mission of the program is to prepare students for supervised practice leading to eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, graduate degree programs, and entry-level employment in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

Admissions Timeline

Priority Admissions Deadline: February 15Applications will continue to be accepted until the program fills for Fall semester  
Notifications of admission are continuous until all seats are filled.

Successful applicants will be asked to set up an advising appointment with a faculty member upon notification of admission.

Visit the College of Health Professions Student Services Office website for more information on applying to this program.

Applied Food & Nutrition Admission and 4-Year Curriculum Guide Details

Program Goals

Program graduates will succeed in obtaining placement in and completing supervised practice program placements and graduate degree programs for eligibility for the CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. 

Program graduates will be competent, entry-level registered dietitians committed to their community and profession.

These goals, written by faculty, are broad and long-term, action-oriented, and measurable through follow-up surveys and credentialing exam results. They reflect the mission statement as they relate to preparing graduates to impact society through their attainment of the RDN credential and gainful employment in their communities.

Program Objectives

Objectives for Program Goal #1:

  • 70 percent of program graduates apply for admission to a supervised practice program prior to or within 12 months of graduation.  
  • 60 percent of program graduates are admitted to a supervised practice program within 12 months of graduation.
  • 85% of DPD graduates will receive a mean rating of 3 or better (out of 5) on all measures evaluated by their supervised practice program directors.
  • At least 80% of graduates complete the program/degree requirements in 3 years (150% of program length).
  • Over a five-year period, 50% of the respondents will indicate on an alumni survey that they have served the profession of dietetics in a leadership position including tasks such as committee work (involving food and nutrition) and/or serving as a preceptor.

Objectives for Program Goal #2:

  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • Over a five-year period, 60% of respondents will indicate on the alumni survey that they have participated in at least one community service activity during the past year.


For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Estimated Required Tuition and Program - Fees - Michigan Residents (2021-2022)

Tuition cost per credit hour

Tuition cost total

Total per year


Based on 0-54 credits earned


for 1-11 credits and for each credit hour over 15:


for 12-15 credits per semester:





Tuition cost per credit hour

Tuition cost total

Total per year


Based on 55+ credit earned


for 1-11 credits and for each credit hour over 15:


for 12-15 credits per semester



PLEASE NOTE: Rates for non-Michigan residents’ tuition, room, and board are subject to change, at any time, by the Board of Trustees.

Estimated Professional Expenses
Academy  of  Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership.................................................. $58.00 member

Student Malpractice Liability Insurance............................................................................ $37.00


The AFN program incorporates supervised experiential learning hours in professional work sites. This will require that students purchase slip-resistant, closed-toe shoes, and business casual attire for attendance at professional sites. These uniform requirements can be estimated at approximately $250 over the length of the program.

All GVSU health profession students are required to comply with certain health testing prior to participation in practicum courses. Items such as background checks, immunizations, titers, a complete physical, TB skin tests, drug tests, personal health insurance, and individual malpractice liability insurance are the responsibility of and requirements for participants in the program.

These numbers are based on what the GVSU Family Health Center and affiliated services charge and are an estimate. Other health facilities and providers could charge differently:

  • $49.00 Physical
  • $30.00 TB test (two $15 tests required for two-step testing)
  • $40.00 Titer
  • $55.00 Flu shot (trivalent or quadrivalent)
  • $63 Fingerprinting (through the GRCC police department)
  • $35 Drug testing (through
  • $37.75 Criminal background check (through
  • $65.00 CPR Certification
  • $35.00 Castlebranch account (health compliance tracking)

Student Insurance/Travel Liability and Requirements:

GVSU provides General and Professional Liability insurance for healthcare-related services provided by students acting in the capacity as a student, in conjunction with educational or academic activities pursuant to individual course curricula.

Students may purchase additional liability insurance through the AND (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) if desired. Students should be aware that liability and insurance requirements may vary by individual Field Education sites.

GVSU does not provide healthcare insurance to students. Students are strongly encouraged to maintain their own health coverage at all times, but especially during Field Education. Please note that the student’s individual medical insurance plan is responsible for all medical-related expenses incurred during the field placement. The University and the College of Health Professions assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or illness that may be sustained during field placement. If a student does not have current health care coverage, you may want to consider some of the options available at this website. If you don’t find a product that fits your needs, we encourage you to speak to your own Insurance Agent or research those coverages that may be available elsewhere.

Some Field Education placements may require students to use their personally owned vehicle for transportation purposes. Some Field Education placements require students to have a valid driver’s license, indicate they can operate a motor vehicle without restriction, carry current auto insurance and agree to be compliant with the laws of the state of Michigan.

When at all possible, students are encouraged to use an Agency-owned vehicle while transporting clients, consumers, or agency personnel on behalf of the Agency. It may be the responsibility of the student to make those arrangements.

If a student is driving a personal automobile and is involved in an automobile accident while on field placement business, the student’s personal auto insurance will respond and the student’s personal limits for both liability and physical damage could be exhausted, depending on the severity of the claim. If a student elects to use a privately-owned vehicle as part of their field placement activities, the student should consult with their insurance carrier for a clear understanding of their coverage. The student is responsible for obtaining adequate insurance to cover their legal responsibility. It is advised that without such coverage, clients should not be transported in students’ cars.

Technology/Online Learning Supplies and Books Required:

A laptop computer with a camera, personal printer, and scanner, and other school supplies (e.g., textbooks, notebooks, pens, paper, paper clips…etc.) are necessary for successful completion of program expectations. In addition, internet access is required. Students are responsible for bearing the expense of these items and costs.

Financial aid estimates book and other supplies to cost approximately $350 per semester. More information can be found at:


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Contact Information

Libby MacQuillan, PhD, RDN, CHSE 
Program Director, Applied Food and Nutrition Future Model Bachelor’s Program 
Assistant Professor, Clinical Dietetics Coordinated Graduate Program 
Department of Allied Health Sciences 
College of Health Professions, Grand Valley State University 
Office address: 420I Finkelstein, 500 Lafayette Ave NE
Mail address: 401 Fulton St. W., RFH 420I 
Grand Rapids, MI  49504-6431 
616-331-5549 (office)