How to Become an RD/RDN
Dietetics is the science and art of applying the principles of food and nutrition to health. It’s a vital, growing profession with many career possibilities. Whichever option you choose, you’ll share your knowledge of food and nutrition to help people make healthful food choices.
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or dietetic technicians, registered. Visit ACEND’s website.
There are currently two routes to becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist ( RDN):
- Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD)
- An accredited bachelor’s or graduate level program that combines coursework and at least 1200 hours of supervised practice for RDN eligibility (combined program).
- See all accredited CPDs.
- Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) PLUS Dietetic Internships (DI)
- The DPD is an accredited bachelor’s or graduate level program consisting of coursework only, which must be completed before the DI required for RDN eligibility
- See all accredited DPDs.
- The DI is an accredited post bachelor program that consists of supervised practice only, which must be completed after completing a DPD. At least 1200 hours of supervised practice must be completed.
- See all accredited DIs.
Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)
- Dietetic Technician Programs (DT) offer an associate’s degree that consists of coursework and supervised practiced for DTR eligibility.
- See all accredited DT programs.
After successful completion of either a CPD or DPD/DI, students are eligible to apply to take the exam to become an RDN. Those completing a Dietetic Technician Program are eligible to take the exam to become a DTR. The Commission on Dietetic Registration is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Visit their website to learn more about the RDN and DTR credentials, the examinations to become registered and more.