pathway to becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist

Transforming Lives through Food and Nutrition:

This is the first step leading to certification as Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN or RD) by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

Students complete the next step for the RDN/RD credential after the Bachelor of Science degree through a dietetic internship (a supervised practice program) also accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Admission to a post-baccalaureate dietetic internship is very competitive. Grade point average (GPA), work, volunteer and leadership experiences and references are important factors for admission.

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: 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.