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Oklahoma State University

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) criteria to earn the RDN credential. They work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies and private practice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for dietitians is expected to increase by 15 percent, which is must faster than average.

Three steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through OSU:

  1. Complete the undergraduate OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). This step requires graduation with a bachelor’s degree* and completion of the dietetics curriculum from an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics- (ACEND) program, a designation held by the OSU DPD. *Effective January 1, 2024, new RDNs will be required to have a master’s degree (in any field).
  2. Complete the ACEND-accredited OSU Dietetic Internship Program
  3. Pass the national registration exam administered by the CDR of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. After registration RDNs are required to complete 75 clock hours of continuing professional education over five year periods in order to maintain registration. Some states require licensure to practice as a dietitian (Oklahoma does).

"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."