How to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

The USU MDA meets the performance requirements for supervised practice hours for students who have completed the academic requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR).

It is ACEND's considered opinion that the program is designed to and meets all state dietetics licensure and certification laws as some states may interpret their statutes differently. More information about state licensure and certification is available at this link: State Licensure.

Requirements to earn the registered dietitian nutritionist credential

  • Complete a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and obtain a DPD Verification Statement
  • Complete a minimum of 1000 supervised practice hours through an accredited dietetic internship 
  • Successfully pass the national registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionists

More information on how to become a registered dietitian nutritionist is available online.

After graduation and preparing for the RD exam

Students who successfully complete the USU MDA will obtain a Verification Statement from the program director and will then be eligible to sit for the national registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Students who pass the registration exam will have earned the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential. After the RDN credential is obtained, state licensure or certification may be applied for if applicable.

Changes to dietetics education in 2024

Effective January 1, 2024, the minimum degree requirement to be approved for eligibility for the registration examination for dietitians will change from a bachelor's degree to a graduate degree. This decision was made by the Commission on Dietetic Registration based on the recommendations of the Council on Future Practice Visioning Report (2012). Graduates who successfully complete the USU MDA will be eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. The ACEND website has more information about educational pathways to become an RDN.