Career Resources

Becoming A Registered Dietitian

Sarah Koszyk MA RD

Becoming A Registered Dietitian


Starting on the path to become a Registered Dietitian is exciting and full of hard work. Here are the steps one must take in order to move forward in the field of dietetics.

Enroll in a Didactic Program in Dietetics. Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) will provide either a bachelor’s or master’s degree that is recognized by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Once you have your DPD, you will receive a DPD Verification Statement. This is necessary to apply to a Dietetic Internship program (DI). Find DPD Schools that offer undergrad and master’s degrees.

Get Experience. Many Dietetic Internships require a certain amount of volunteer or work experience within the nutrition and dietetic field. This experience can be from clinical, community, private practice, food service, corporate wellness, and more. Make sure to research the dietetic internship you are interested in attending prior to applying so you have time to get the required hours. Learn more about Alternative Jobs for the Non-RD.

Apply to a Dietetic Internship. Now that you have your DPD that is ACEND-accredited, you can apply for a Dietetic Internship (DI). Find schools with a DI Internship Program from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You can apply for a school offering a distant (online) internship, a combination graduate degree and internship program, or a DI with a graduate degree option. The internship includes a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice in the field of dietetics within various rotations to obtain a well-balanced, well-versed knowledge of the dietetic field. Get a detailed account of the Dietetic Internship Process.

During the application process, you will need to use D&D Digital to get matched to your DI of choice.

*Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways (ISPPs). ACEND also allows students to work with a preceptor outside of the standard DI and develop his/her own program based on specific criteria that will make him/her eligible to take the registration exam. Get more information on ISPP.

*Coordinated Programs (CP) are also available at the bachelor’s and master’s level which combine the DPD and the DI in one program. Learn more about obtaining a CP Verification Statement and which schools offer this program. You will need the CP Verification Statement before applying to take the RD Exam.

Take the RD Exam. Once you have completed your DI or CP, you will need to submit your coursework in order to become eligible to take the RD Exam. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) provides a layout of the necessary steps to become an RD. Get the must-know steps on how to take the RD Exam. Once you pass the exam, you have become a Registered Dietitian!

RD Exam Study Resources:

Internship Resources:

All Access Internships: provides free resources, personalized application coaching, get-matched bootcamps, and other products for students interested in applying to a dietetic internship. All Access Internships was founded in 2008 by Jenny Westerkamp, RD, in order to provide people with a competitive edge for obtaining their internship of choice.

Best of luck to becoming a Registered Dietitian. For more information regarding the internship process, click HERE.

Sarah Koszyk is founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. A family-based wellness program and blog focusing on recipes, family health tips, and videos with kids cooking in the kitchen. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach specializing in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.

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