Becoming a Registered Dietitian

  1. Complete a 4-year undergraduate (BS) degree in nutrition, dietetics, or another highly related field.  The BS degree program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Upon completion of HSU's Dietetics Program, students will be issued a verification statement which allows them to apply to dietetic internships. Note: HSU does not issue verification statements to or complete declaration of intent statements for students with a cumulative HSU GPA below 3.0.
  2. Complete an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship. There are over 240 ACEND-accredited dietetic internship programs throughout the United States, and they are highly competitive. Most programs range from 6-12 months, but some combine the internship with graduate school and may last two to three years.  Masters degrees will become mandatory for Registered Dietitians in January 2024.
  3. Pass the national credentialing examination for Registered Dietitians to obtain RD credentials.  Exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  4. Obtain state certification/licensure, if applicable (not required in all 50 states).
  5. In order to maintain registration status, RDs must fulfill 75 hours of continuing professional education requirements every 5 years.

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 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). In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. 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].

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN please click here.