Registered dietitians commonly provide nutritional therapy with the aim of preventing and treating diseases in settings such as hospitals and private practices, as well as in community and research settings. Interested individuals must meet minimum education requirements, pass an exam, and then get hands-on training experience before they are ready for a job in the field. There are schools across the country that provide the necessary academic training.
These schools provide relevant programs for aspiring dietitians:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*|
|Ball State University||Muncie, IN||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$9,498 undergraduate, $8,242 graduate|
|Bowling Green State University||Bowling Green, OH||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$10,796|
|Brigham Young University||Provo, UT||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$5,150|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's||$6,507 undergraduate, $9,684 graduate|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan, KS||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$9,350|
|Oregon Health & Science University||Portland, OR||4-year, public||Master's, Postgraduate certificate||$20,412|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, public||Bachelor's||$10,002|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,664 undergraduate, $13,447 graduate|
|Virginia State University||Petersburg, VA||4-year, public||Postgraduate certificate||$7,370|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
- Although many schools offer dietetics or nutrition programs, prospective students aspiring to be an RD must look for schools that have a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE).
- Aspiring RDs may want to consider the fact that some universities build the requisite 1,200 hours of practical experience into their academic programs; these are known as coordinated programs.
- Some other CADE-accredited programs provide students didactic instruction through degree curricula, but graduates are expected to apply to and complete a CADE-approved internship separately.
Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics
Programs specifically for those aspiring to become registered dietitians are usually offered through dietetics programs; dietetics is sometimes offered as a concentration track via nutrition programs. Those in coordinated programs undertake practical experiences as part of the curriculum, while graduates of non-coordinated programs receive verification of eligibility to participate in a supervised internship.
Master's Degree in Dietetics
Individuals with a bachelor's degree in another field may enroll in an accredited master's degree program in dietetics in order to begin the process of becoming an RD. Students learn about nutritional assessment, food service management and counseling methods.
The extensive process of becoming a registered dietitian requires years of education. Students can find relevant, accredited bachelor's and master's degree programs that can prepare them for the registration exam and practical training requirements.