Pathways to Becoming an RDN

What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the RDN credential:

  • Completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Completed an ACEND®-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.
  • Completed a graduate degree program (this is a requirement starting in January 2024).
  • Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  • Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

How Can I Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

The University of Cincinnati has several pathways for you to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Your path will depend on your current educational credentials. 

Begin your UC journey by applying to the Nutrition & Dietetics - Community Nutrition or Nutrition & Dietetics - Sports Nutrition program. Either program will make you eligible to apply to the Accelerated Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Transfer or transition into the Nutrition & Dietetics - Community Nutrition or Nutrition & Dietetics - Sports Nutrition program. Either program will make you eligible to apply to the Accelerated Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

You will need to complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics and then once you complete that, apply for the MS in Nutrition Sciences - Clinical Nutrition concentration. Please reach out to John Pantel at pantelj@ucmail.uc.edu to ensure your eligibility before applying.   

If you have or will have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and can provide a DPD verification statement you can apply directly to the MS in Nutrition Sciences - Clinical Nutrition concentration This program combines the Supervised Practice Certificate with a master's degree. Please reach out to John Pantel at pantelj@ucmail.uc.edu to ensure your eligibility before applying.  

If you have a foreign degree, you would need to ensure you have a DPD Verification Statement from an ACEND accredited institution. Please review ACEND's Education and Credentialing Requirements for Those with Foreign Degrees, for additional information including where you can get your degree validated. 

If your academic degree(s) is validated as equivalent to the bachelor's or master's degree conferred by a US regionally-accredited college or university and you can provide a DPD verification statement, then you can apply directly to the MS in Nutrition Sciences - Clinical Nutrition concentration This program combines the Supervised Practice Certificate with a master's degree. Please reach out to John Pantel at pantelj@ucmail.uc.edu to ensure your eligibility before applying.  

Additional Resources

The following links and resources from the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics may help you learn more about the RDN credential and how it is changing. 

Current Routes to RDN Registration Eligibility
Routes to RDN Registration Eligibility after January 1, 2024
FAQs about Careers in Dietetics