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Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health

Requirements to Become a Registered Dietitian

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) sets the guidelines for how one becomes a Registered Dietitian (RD). There are three steps in the process.

  • You must complete a minimum of a baccalaureate degree which meets the core knowledge and skills for entry-level practice in dietetics. If you major in dietetics at Kansas State University, your degree program automatically meets these requirements. If you already have a degree in some other area, we will evaluate your transcripts to ascertain the "gaps" in your coursework and outline for you the other courses you will need to take to meet ACEND's academic requirements. Completion of the academic requirements must be verified by the director of an ACEND-accredited program in dietetics who issues an official verification statement.
  • You must complete a supervised practice (internship) experience in an ACEND-accredited program. The supervised practice must be at least 1,200 hours in length and must provide hands-on experience in clinical nutrition, community nutrition and foodservice management. This experience may be done along with your degree in a coordinated program in dietetics or after graduation in a dietetic internship. Kansas State University's Coordinated Program in Dietetics has been producing outstanding dietetics professionals since 1971 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious coordinated programs in the country. K-State's Didactic Program in Dietetics does an excellent job of preparing students to apply for post-baccalaureate dietetic internships. Both programs are fully-accredited by ACEND. Upon completion of supervised practice experience, the student is issued another official verification statement indicating successful completion of the required 1,200-hour experience.
  • After completion of both the academic and supervised practice components, graduates are eligible to sit for the national Registration Examination for Dietitians, administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Successful completion of this exam allows the individual to use the initials "RD" after his or her name, indicating that he or she is credentialed as a Registered Dietitian. The RD exam is a computer-based test which is available year-round at participating testing centers. The Commission on Dietetic Registration will provide test site information to qualified candidates for the exam.

Becoming an RD if You Already Have a Degree

Individuals who already have the minimum of a baccalaureate degree may participate in the didactic program at K-State. These individuals will need to meet the degree requirements for the K-State Bachelor of Science in Dietetics program. Coursework from his/her previous degree will be evaluated and applied to the requirements for the dietetics degree.

If an individual already holds a graduate degree in any discipline, then he/she will be allowed to take only the courses needed to meet the academic requirements of the academy.