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The Madonna University Didactic Program in Dietetics is currently granted full accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 312-899-5400, https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend

Undergraduate Dietetics Student Handbook

Become a Food and Nutrition Expert

Start your career in dietetics by becoming a Registered Nutrition and Dietetic Technician (NDTR). Take advantage of our professional guidance and support in the pursuit of this credential, graduate school or employment. Those who move on to complete the graduate Nutrition and Dietetics Program are eligible to sit for the registration examination to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).  Our bachelor's degree in dietetics is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Upon completion of the program you will be eligible to apply for graduate study with supervised practice that is required for registration as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Program highlights include:

  • Dedicated, fully equipped food laboratory for research opportunities
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Small classes for personalized instruction 
  • Quality faculty and individualized academic advising
  • Active student organizations that provide leadership opportunities
  • Program graduates can apply to take the Examination for Nutrition and Dietetic Technicians, Registered (NDTR)

For technical information related to distance education, please see the Student Handbook.

Explore Your Career Opportunities

Did you know that you can find graduates of the Madonna University Dietetics Program working for the Detroit Tigers, the MGM Grand Casinos and the U.S. Army? About half of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) work in clinical settings including: hospitals, long term care, and outpatient specialties such as diabetes, eating disorders and renal care.  However, dietetics is a diverse field which encompasses wellness and prevention of disease as well as disease treatment.  RDNs are found in food retail/supermarkets, the food industry, agriculture/ag-business, corporate wellness programs, college and professional sports and human performance, private practice, public health and the armed forces.  The Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics is a stepping stone toward the RDN credential and the versatile profession of dietetics.  

Student Success

Billy Werthman in Military Training

Billy Werthman

Billy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and played on the Men’s Soccer team at Madonna University. Currently, he works as an active duty officer in the Army as the dietitian for the 194th Armored Brigade in Fort Benning, Georgia. He is part of the Army’s program: Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F). In this program the Army brings 5 domains together: physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual, and sleep readiness. Billy works with PT, OT, athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches to help build a healthy force. He teaches classes to new soldiers on “Performance Nutrition” and “Supplements and Healthy Habits.” He performs nutrition assessments and counsels soldiers, using motivational interviewing to help with behavior change.   

Student Success

Kari Barden Headshot

Kari Barden

Kari Barden graduated from Madonna University with a B.S. in Dietetics and completed an internship at The Ohio State University. She is currently working as the corporate dietitian/wellness program manager at MGM Grand Casino and Resort in Downtown Detroit. She is in charge of the health and wellness of the 3,000+ employees on property at MGM in Detroit. Her daily duties include one on one counseling with clients, promotion of on-site wellness events, and presentations for large and small groups. If individual employees meet with Kari three times per year, they earn a paycheck incentive equal to half of their health insurance payment. Corporate wellness is a growing field, and Kari is excelling in it as she emphasizes its importance to her clients.

Nutrition and Dietetics

Join students and faculty to gain experience in research, nutrition education and community service.

Student Groups

Nutrition Network

Meet other students with a special interest in nutrition.  As part of the Nutrition Network you can help create on campus events such as Food Day, assist community partners such as Cooking Matters, attend conferences and host guest speakers from a variety of food and nutrition career fields. 

Honor Society

Get recognized for your achievements in science, boost your resume or internship application, network and develop your leadership skills. Sigma Zeta, is a national honor society for undergraduate students with high GPAs in science and math, including nutrition and dietetics.  Ask your advisor for more details.  


Nutritional Sciences

Obtain a strong science and nutrition background while preparing for graduate programs in healthcare, food science or nutrition research.

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Graduate Program: MS Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program

Work toward a career as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) by gaining advanced knowledge in many areas of nutrition and gaining skills in creating nutrition plans and educating clients of diverse backgrounds.

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Graduate Program: MS Nutrition and Wellness 

Gain experience investigating current nutritional issues related to behavior modification, obesity and chronic disease, end of life care, and sustainability.  Complete a capstone research project under the guidance of qualified faculty. 

Learn More

Faculty Bios

Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.N.Department Chair, Nutrition and Dietetics

Ph.D. Michigan State University

M.S. Iowa State University

B.S. University of Iowa

Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan School of Public Health



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Karen Schmitz, Ph.D., R.D.N.

Dr. Schmitz is a former Peace Corps volunteer who became interested in the field of nutrition while working as a high school science teacher in Lesotho, Africa. She is a Registered Dietitian who has worked in the areas of research, nutrition education and nutritional counseling. She enjoys teaching courses in Nutrition Assessment, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Metabolic Nutrition and and Research. She has been active in many professional associations related to nutrition and dietetics, most recently serving as an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Position Paper editor and on the board of the Southeastern Michigan Dietetics Association. She has served as a reviewer for several nutrition textbooks and on advisory boards for dietetic internships.

Her recent research includes collaborating with nursing faculty on the project titled, "Teaching Nutrition Screening and Assessment of the Geriatric Patient: An Inter-professional Approach." In addition, she has worked with many students on research projects related to fat replacers, sugar substitutes, oil absorption and consumer acceptability of food products. Several of these students have presented their research and won awards at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Conference.

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Laura Kull, M.S., R.D.N., FANDProgram Director, Nutrition and Dietetics
Assistant Professor

M.S University of Michigan

B.S. Michigan State University

Dietetic Internship, University of Michigan School of Public Health



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Laura Kull, M.S., R.D.N., FAND

Laura Freeland Kull, MS, RDN is the Director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program. She started at Madonna University as an adjunct faculty member in 1997 and joined as a full time faculty member and director in 2008. She completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics at Michigan State University and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetic Internship at University of Michigan Ann Arbor. Her interests include food system sustainability, environmental nutrition, food insecurity, community and life span nutrition.

Laura has worked in clinical nutrition specializing in nutrition support in the long term care population. She is an active member in the dietetics profession. She has served on the board of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michigan Nutrition and Dietetics Institute and the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Outstanding Educator, the Michigan Dietetic Association’s Registered Dietitian of the Year, The Michigan Dietetic Association Award, the Southeastern Michigan Association Distinguished Service Award and the Volunteer of the Year for the St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center.

Laura is also the faculty advisor of the Madonna University student government organizations: the Nutrition Network and the Food Recovery Network.

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Tina Miller M.S., R.D.N., FANDProgram Director
Assistant Professor

M.S. Eastern Michigan University

B.S. Madonna University

Dietetic Internship, DMC



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Tina Miller M.S., R.D.N., FAND

Tina (Christina) Miller has over 30 years of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her career has focused on consumer wellness education, academic teaching, mentoring and professional service.  At Madonna, Tina has a focus on new program development and course instruction. In addition to teaching, her work experience includes positions in Food and Clinical Nutrition Management, Retail Nutrition and Community Outreach.  

Ms. Miler is an active member in the dietetics profession. She has served in many leadership positions in state and national Dietetics Associations, including Past-President of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Tina served as an advisory board member for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation assisting in the development of “Nutrition in Food Retail” Curriculum for Dietetic Students and Interns.  In 2021 Tina was honored by Eastern Michigan University with an Alumni Achievement Award.  

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Dana Wawrzyniec, M.S.Adjunct Assistant Professor

M.S. Michigan State University

B.S. Madonna University


Dana Wawrzyniec, M.S.

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Susan Okonkowski, MPH, RDNAdjunct Assistant Professor

MPH University of Michigan 

B.S. University of Wisconsin-Stout

Dietetic Internship, Iowa State University 


Susan Okonkowski, MPH, RDN

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