Choose a Major: Dietetics vs Nutrition

What are the differences between the nutrition major, the dietetics major and the concurrent degree?

First, look at what's the same: students in both majors meet the same university entrance requirements and, once enrolled in the BSc (Nutritional Sciences) have the core credits in common.

So what's different? What's the same? Check the checklist.


Comparison checklist Nutrition Dietetics Concurrent
Degree BSC(NutrSc) BSc(NutrSc) BSc(FoodSc)/
Years of study 3 3.5 4
Total credits 90 115 122
"Free elective" credits 15 3 12
Summers off Yes No Yes
Integrated internship or stage placements No Yes Yes
Integrated stage placement in industry No No Yes
Professional title of "dietitian-nutritionist" No Yes No
Required academic grade point for progress 2.0 3.0 2.0
Challenging subjects Yes Yes Yes
Ease of adding a minor Yes No Yes
Develop a specialization Yes No No
Course selection counselling with an advisor Yes Yes Yes
Eligible for graduate studies Yes Yes Yes
Potential for summer research experience Yes Yes Yes
Potential for a term of field study experience Yes No No
Admission requirements


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Q: What is the difference between the Dietetics Major and the Nutrition Major?

The Dietetics Major is a professional program. It is 3.5 years (including two summer sessions), 115 credits program, and includes the equivalent of 40 weeks of internship. There is less choice or flexibility for courses in the Dietetics major, as compared to the Nutrition major, since students must fulfill competency obligations in all the 3 main domains of 1) Food Service systems management, 2) Clinical nutrition and 3) Community/population health. The degree BSc (Nutr Sc) in Dietetics Major, leads to eligibility to join a regulatory body in one of the provinces in Canada, and to be “registered” or “licensed” to practice. The purpose of regulatory bodies is to protect the public. In Quebec, the name of the regulatory body is the Ordre des diététistes-nutritionnistes du Québec (ODNQ). Registered dietitians pay annual fees to be registered in one of the provinces, and these fees are used to ensure that the public has access to safe and competent nutrition professionals. In Quebec, both the title “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are reserved to be used only by persons who are registered/licensed by ODNQ. Once a dietitian is registered to practice in one province in Canada, under Canadian mobility laws they are eligible to apply to another province if they want to move. Dietitians need to be registered in the province which they wish to practice in.

The Nutrition Major is a 90-credit bachelor degree, which normally takes 3 years to complete (no summers) and has more flexibility or options to choose from for courses. The nutrition major is a great launching pad for students who are hoping to get into other professional or health science programs, or for graduate studies. Graduates from the nutrition major are well qualified to work in health science related industries, including sales, labs or research.

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