If you are reading this then you are thinking of taking a step to change your life, your work, yourself. To achieve the change you are striving for will take preparation and hard work. In this module we will look at how you can begin to prepare and take that first step toward graduation even before your first class.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
-Benjamin Franklin

Structure of Distance Classes

All of our nutrition and general education classes are offered online. Most of our classes are structured just like our on-campus courses in that you have an assignment, discussion, quiz, or exam due every 1-2 week(s). Our distance classes do not have a certain time that they meet, so you can go online at any time during the week to complete an assignment, watch a professor’s lecture, etc. For each course, like campus classes, all assignments and exams have set due dates and late work is not accepted.
View Course Syllabi

Exams and Practical Experiences

All exams and quizzes are administered online and most exams require that you arrange for a proctor who will be responsible for facilitating the assessment(s). Some proctors may require a fee for their services while others may provide proctoring services free of charge. You may also be required to purchase a detachable webcam or whiteboard to complete a proctored exam, these details will be addressed upon admission to the program and in each class. To learn more about finding a proctor and who may serve as a proctor, click the button below.
More Proctoring Information

The courses listed below require that you obtain some additional practical experiences as part of the course. These experiences range in duration and objectives. The course instructor will provide additional information on the objectives and expectations of each course upon enrollment in the class.

Practical Experiences

NHM 346 Nutrition Education: Theories and Practice

The Nutrition Education Workshop Assignment is a large, ongoing assignment for the course. As a nutrition student who wants to become a registered dietitian, you need to be able to create nutrition education handouts and present nutrition education materials in an organized fashion. In addition, you need to be able to adapt education material to fit the needs of a specific audience. Students are responsible for finding an audience in the local community, formulating a lesson plan, developing educational materials, and presenting the workshop to a community group.

Requirements 1.  Facility type: A group in your local community that meets regularly. Audience members must be middle school aged (grade 6/age 11) or older. Your audience may NOT include any student enrolled in The University of Alabama’s College of Human Environmental Sciences Food and Nutrition major, DPD or CP courses, or family members. Examples of such groups include; a middle or high school class, scout troupe, book club, church group, running/walking club, mom’s group, yoga class, participants at a senior center, etc.
2. Length: 15 minute presentation (must videotape workshop presentation)

NHM 363 Applied Nutrition

This course requires a variety of “hands-on” learning experiences, which must be supervised by a Registered Dietitian who has a current registration status with Commission on Dietetic Registration (credentialing body of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Please identify and make arrangements a semester before you take this course for an R.D. in your area to work with you.

The dietitian will need to supervise a variety of skills, which you will develop during this course, and will evaluate your performance of the skills. The preceptor will assess the following skills
1) obtaining a diet history and recall
2) taking anthropometric measurements

1.  Preceptor: Must be a Registered Dietitian (RD)
2.  Facility type: Any (i.e., hospitals, long-term care, private practice, etc).
3.  Length: varies (must demonstrate competency in skills required)

NHM 374

The lab portion of the course is to be completed at a foodservice operation chosen by the student. All students are responsible for locating a foodservice facility in which to complete a sixty-hour laboratory experience. The guidelines and lab objectives for completing the labs will be available and reviewed in detail when you enroll in the class.

HACCP Manager Certificate Course
Student will be required to purchase and complete the HACCP Manager Certificate Course through the Tap Series website.

1.  Preceptor: Facility Manager
2.  Facility type: school, hospital, or nursing home preferred. Facility must prepare at least 100 servings of each menu item.
3.  Lab Req.: Student must be able to help in the preparation of meat/meat alternatives, starchy sides, cooked vegetables, salads, fruit, bread, dessert and a mixed dish/casserole.
4. Length: minimum 60 hours

NHM 491 Self-directed Independent Professional Study

The purpose of this course is to provide you with an in-depth, hands-on supervised practice experience in the area of nutrition practice of your choice. Part of the requirements for this experience are completing 120-160 clock hours under the supervision of your preceptor and pass the writing proficiency component of the class. While working with your preceptor you will complete 2 program required objectives and 3 objectives created with your preceptor. In addition to the hours and objectives, there are also numerous other assignments that you will complete during the semester.

Please make note that completion of this independent study is required for graduation and mandates a time commitment of 120-160 hours.  There are three options for working with a preceptor:

  1. Traditional Approach: You work with a preceptor on-site at their facility. You set up your own objectives for the experience in addition to the program required objectives.
  2. Virtual Approach: You work with a preceptor, but you do so virtually using a combination of video chat, phone, text, and email to work with them. You set up your own objectives for the experience in addition to the program required objectives.
  3. Blended Approach: A combination of the Traditional and Virtual options.


1.  Preceptor: Must be a Registered Dietitian who has a current registration status with the Commission on Dietetic Registration and is currently practicing in the field.
2.  Facility type: Any (Based on interest of student, i.e., hospital, long-term care, private practice, wellness, foodservice, diabetes, public health, etc.).
3.  Length: minimum of 120-160 hours

Registering for Class

Visit the Registrar’s website for written directions and a video tutorial on how to register for classes. You will also find answer to FAQs such as how to get on a waitlist.

Academic Resources

UA provides a wide variety of resources that help our students achieve their goals in the classroom. From the Career Center, to Disability Services, to the Writing Center, we make sure you have the support you need to be successful.