Requirements to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
The “RDN” status signifies that you are a nutrition expert; it is very difficult to find nutrition-related jobs without this credential. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist because there is no regulation of this term. Some RDNs may call themselves a “nutritionist”, but not all nutritionists may call themselves RDNs because they have not met the RDN credential requirements, including the strong education background and national registration exam requirements.
To become a RDN, you need to:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from an approved/accredited dietetic program
- Complete an accredited supervised practice (internship) through an ACEND accredited dietetic internship
- Pass a national registration examination for dietitians
- By 2024, students will need a master’s degree in order to take the RD exam
- Official update provided by ACEND:
“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 addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.“
Professional Licensure and Certification Disclosure Statement
Notice to students interested in or completing the Texas A&M University Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) that may lead to a professional license or certification required for employment.
The following programs may lead to a professional license or certification that is required for employment. Professional licensure/certification requirements vary from state to state, which may affect a student’s ability to apply for a professional license/certification upon the completion of the program. The U.S. Department of Education regulation, 34 CFR 668.43 (a) (5) (v), requires an institution to disclose whether the program will fulfill educational requirements for licensure or certification for each state. The administrative departments that offer the programs have made the following determination regarding their curriculum.
|Program||Meets||Does not meet||A determination has not been made|
|Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)||AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, DC, PR|
|VI, AS, CN, MI, GU, MH, FM, PW|
We recommend students contact the appropriate state licensing agency in their state or the state where they intend to work to seek the most up-to-date information about state licensure/certification requirements before beginning the program.