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Becoming an 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.

Three-Step Process

Step One

Complete an undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). This step requires graduating with a bachelor’s degree* and completing the dietetic curriculum from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), a designation the OSU DPD holds.


*Effective January 1, 2024, new RDNs will be required to obtain a master’s degree (in any field). See additional information listed below.


Step Two

Complete the OSU Dietetic Internship Program, accredited by ACEND. We are a combined program, which means students earn a master's degree while completing their internship.


Upon successful completion of both the master's degree and 1,000 hours (temporary COVID requirement, normally 1,200 hours) of supervised practice required by the Dietetic Internship, interns are eligible to sit for the national registration exam.


Step Three


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, including Oklahoma, require licensure to practice as a dietitian.


New RDN Requirements

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].

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