FAIRFIELD — Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies is offering a new doctorate program in clinical nutrition.

According to a press release from the university, the program is one of the first in the nation.

The program is designed to prepare graduates to become registered dietitian nutritionists; skills being taught will be able to assess, manage and promote health and well-being in the community, the release said. Graduates will also be able to design and implement nutrition programs for patients.

Registered dietitian nutritionists provide services in a variety of settings including health care, business and industry, research, government agencies and private practice, the release said.

“The education of nutrition professionals fits seamlessly with the Egan School’s current health offerings, and we are honored to offer the first doctoral nutrition program in the state,” said dean and professor of nursing Meredith Wallace Kazer.

“Ensuring leaders across social and healthcare environments improve health outcomes for all, inclusive of underserved or vulnerable populations, is our goal,” she said. “The DCN offers an inter-professional, competency-based health education program that will truly impact those we serve.”

Upon successful completion of the program, the release said, graduates will be eligible to sit for the national credentialing exam of the Commission on Dietetics Registration and the state certification license, if applicable.

The program will take three or four years to complete, depending on if a student attends full-time or part-time, respectively.

“Admission to the program is open to students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, with required prerequisites,” the release said.

The DCN is in the final phases of accreditation with the Accreditation council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, with the process expected to be completed this summer. Qualified students will be admitted once the program is accredited.

More information is available at fairfield.edu/nutrition.