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Dietitian Career Path

New requirements 2023-2024: Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree in addition to supervised practice from an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)-accredited program to be eligible to take the registration examination to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

Applicants participating in the spring 2023 dietetic internship match for UC San Diego Health will be required to have completed a minimum of a master’s degree before the start of the internship to be eligible for admission.

Steps to take to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

  1. Complete an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). The DPD program may award a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate. Upon completion, graduates will receive a verification statement.
  2. Upon completion of a DPD program, you’ll be eligible to apply to supervised practice programs, and there are various pathways available, including Dietetic Internship (DI) and Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP). The UC San Diego Dietetic Internship is one of the available dietetic internship programs referred to in this step. The application process for many programs (including for our program) uses the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS).
  3. Upon satisfactory completion of the supervised practice program, graduates will receive a verification statement and will then be eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  4. RDNs are required to be licensed/certified in some states. Licensure is not offered to RDNs practicing in California. You can find a list of state licensure requirements on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website.
  5. RDNs complete 75 continuing professional education units (CPEU) per five-year certification cycle to maintain registration. There are several alternative pathways to obtaining the RDN credential. Check the AND website for more information on alternative pathways.

There are several alternative pathways to obtaining the RDN credential — check the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website for more information.