Becoming a Registered Dietitian / Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
What is a RD/RDN?
- The titles Registered Dietitian and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist are synonymous. See the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website for a more detailed definition.
- RDs are food and nutrition experts who has met registration certification criteria set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, and Commission on Dietetic Registration.
- RDs are often referred to as "nutritionists", but RDs have more education and training than nutritionists and have greater job responsibilities.
- Another credential is Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered.
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
- 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:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. accredited university
- Complete ACEND-accredited coursework in a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD verification statement)
- Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program in a Dietetic Internship
- 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.
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
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
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