Registered Dietitian Requirements

Educational and Professional Requirements


Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the RD credential:

  • Completed a minimum of a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the organization that administers the exam, will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the exam. More information is available on the CDR website.
  • Completed an ACEND®-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
  • Passed a national examination administered by CDR. For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR's website.
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Performance & Graduation

Intern performance is evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout the internship. Satisfactory performance and practice skills must be demonstrated throughout the program as evaluated by each site director or preceptor. Dietetic interns are eligible for graduation from the program when assignments and required number of hours are completed satisfactorily. All competencies for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (core and public health concentration competencies for supervised practice) must be met by graduation. Dietetic interns who successfully complete the program will receive a signed program verification statement and will be eligible to sit for the CDR Registration Examination for Dietitians.