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How to Become a Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitians help people by promoting healthy eating habits and recommending dietary modifications to increase a person’s health. 

There are four major areas of practice for those interested in gaining their Master of Science in Nutrition, including clinical, community health and wellness, management, and consultant dietetics.

Educational and Professional Requirements

Registered Dietitians (RDs) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria and earned the RD or RDN credential:

  • Enroll in an Accredited Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college (or foreign equivalent)
  • Complete the DPD or CP program and obtain at least a bachelor’s degree in dietetics with the verification statement
  • Apply to an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship (DI), Coordinated Program in Dietetics or an Individual Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) offered through an ACEND accredited program
  • Complete 1000 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND accredited DI program and receive the verification statement
  • Apply for registration eligibility with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)
  • Receive a passing score on the national registration examination for dietitians administered by CDR (refer to CDR’s website at: http://www.cdrnet.org)
  • Maintain R.D. credentials by completing continuing professional educational requirements

Careers as a Certified Dietitian

The following are examples of career paths students can take after gaining their master’s in nutrition and dietetics:

  • Clinical dietitians
  • Community dietitians
  • Management dietitians
  • Consultant dietitians

Learn more about different types of dietitians.

View alumni success stories who completed their M.S. in Nutrition.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Careers in Dietetics: Becoming a Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.  “Educational and Professional Requirements”


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 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.


Thank you for your Interest!

You can connect with a graduate admissions counselor in a variety of ways—choose the one that’s most convenient for you. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Contact Information
Cathie Ostrowski
Martin Hall, Suite 122
(919) 760-8419
ostrowsk@meredith.edu
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The Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is currently granted accredited 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 

www.eatrightpro.org/acend