Becoming a Registered Dietitian / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

What is a RD/RDN?

What does a RD/RDN do?

  • RDs uses evidenced-based practice to promote good health through nutrition (eating).
  • Registered dietitians assess the nutritional needs of both sick and healthy people and then develop individualized plans of care to improve or maintain health.

In what settings do RDs/RDNs work?

  • Clinical – hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, home care
  • Community – public health agencies; Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; schools
  • Corporations – businesses
  • Management – food service, administration
  • Private practice
  • Sports nutrition
  • Research
  • Consulting
  • Culinary
  • Education - teach

How does one become a RD/RDN?

Please note that starting in 2024, an advanced degree will also be a requirement.

Complete registration certification criteria:

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. accredited university
  2. Complete ACEND-accredited coursework in a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD verification statement)
  3. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program in a Dietetic Internship
  4. Pass national RD exam administered by CDR

Once registered, you must complete continuing professional education to maintain registration.

There are three paths to becoming a RD/RDN offered at SJSU

For more information on all of our programs, please visit our Programs webpage

Path 1

Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science with Dietetics Concentration [includes Didactic Program in Dietetics at SJSU] --> External Dietetic Internship through another institution or an Internal Dietetic Internship --> RD Exam

Path 2

Bachelor of Science degree with Didactic Program in Dietetics from another university --> Master of Science degree in Nutritional Science at SJSU --> External Dietetic Internship through another institution or an Internal Dietetic Internship through SJSU--> RD Exam

Path 3

Bachelor of Science without Didactic Program in Dietetics from another university --> Master of Science in Nutritional Science at SJSU with Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework --> External Dietetic Internship through another institution or an Internal Dietetic Internship through SJSU --> RD Exam