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Can I Become a Registered Dietitian Through Online Courses?

Online courses can prepare you to earn the registered dietitian (RD) credential from the American Dietetic Association. However, you'll also have to complete an in-person internship. Keep reading to learn more about the process of becoming a registered dietitian.

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Online Programs for Registered Dietitians

To become a registered dietitian, a student must earn a bachelor's degree and complete an internship program approved by the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). He or she must then pass CDR's national Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Some schools offer bachelor's degree programs in dietetics that allow students to complete online coursework while fulfilling internship requirements at a facility near their home. Often called coordinated dietetics programs, these academic offerings typically feature coursework that mirrors that of on-campus programs.

Curriculum

Prerequisites for online courses in dietetics usually include organic chemistry, biochemistry, psychology, microbiology and statistics. Core dietetics coursework tends to address nutritional needs at various life stages as well as the role culture plays in dietary practices. Other course topics might include food science, nutrition education and nutritional assessment.

Internships

Internships can require up to 32 hours of job experience per week. Interns typically plan menus, develop a budget and monitor meal preparation for public schools, community food pantries or hospitals.

Students enrolled in a coordinated bachelor's degree program might meet these requirements on a semester-by-semester basis or after completing program coursework. Other schools offer didactic dietetics programs that allow students to transfer to a separate internship program after graduating. These 10- or 12-month internship programs also might be available in a distance learning format, allowing students with limited dietitian training programs in their area to enroll in a school's internship program while completing fieldwork at a local hospital or school.

Continuing Education Options

Master's degree programs in dietetics, which typically are geared toward ADA-registered dietitians who want to advance in their careers or prepare for doctoral studies, also can be completed online. These programs teach advanced topics in medical nutrition and disease, macronutrients and nutritional status assessment.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AS in Health Science

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Submit high school and possibly college transcript(s)

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Psychology programs do not lead to licensure and do not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professiona
    • An online degree does not lead to teacher licensure in any state; online education programs are not CAE or TEA or NCATE accredited which is a requirement for certification in some states.

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MHA - Health Care Leadership

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or GED.

    Online Programs

    • Master
        • MBA --Healthcare Management

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Health and Fitness
      • Nutrition Services
        • Dietitian
        • Wellness Studies
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

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