About Nutrition and Dietetics

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Those who hold degrees in nutrition, dietetics and wellness are experts in food, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. They profoundly affect the health and wellness of others, helping people make healthful everyday choices. They have an understanding the relationship between nutrition, healthy eating, health maintenance, disease prevention and chronic disease development.

Nutrition, dietetics and wellness degree holders contribute to important nutrition research, insure food safety and provide medical nutrition therapy. They work in hospitals, cafeterias, fitness centers, nursing homes and schools. They are employed by healthcare organizations, sports teams, or work as private consultants or in public health and other community programs. They also enjoy careers in sales, development or public relations work in the food industry.

About the Credential

A registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) has completed an accredited undergraduate program in nutrition, an accredited dietetic internship and has passed the national exam for registered dietitian nutritionists.

Credentialing Exam Criteria

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master's degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor's degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website.

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Masters of Science/Dietetic Internship program at Northern Illinois University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. View the state licensure requirements.

Learn more about educational pathways to become a RDN.