For additional information about becoming an RD visit The American Dietetic Association web page at www.eatright.org
There is a specific process to obtaining the RD credential. The following 4 steps will help you understand the time, money and energy commitment necessary for this rewarding career.
Step 1: Attend a university or college that offers an accredited program in dietetics.
These programs are referred to as Didactic Programs in Dietetics, or more simply, DPD programs. DPD programs are typically 4 year programs that provide the academic coursework required for the RD credential. Some programs, called coordinated programs, include the dietetic internship along with the DPD program requirements. Oregon State University is NOT a coordinated program though it does host a separate Dietetic Internship. At Oregon State University you must declare your major as Pre-Dietetics. Formal admittance to the OSU Dietetics program requires 2 years of specific course work and the maintenance of a GPA above a 3.0.
Step 2: Gain acceptance to a CADE/ADA accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) program.
Acceptances into Dietetic Internships are very competitive as there are not enough spots to accommodate all the DPD graduates in the United States each year. Dietetic Internship programs are between 6-9 months long, include 1200 hours of training and education, and vary in cost. The DI experience is often referred to as a "fifth year". Students apply to several programs across the country and go through a computer matching process based on the DI programs evaluation of an individual's application.
Over the past few years students have needed a GPA of 3.4 or higher to be considered an eligible candidate for DI programs. DI program acceptance criteria also includes a student's history of work and volunteer experience, involvement in professional organizations as well as leadership experience and potential.
Step 3: Take and pass the National Examination for Registered Dietitians.
Following the successful completion of the Dietetic Internship, students are now eligible to take the National Examination for Registered Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Students must pass the exam to be able to use the RD credential.
In many states there are regulations surrounding licensure. Students are encouraged to become familiar with their state's rules and regulations regarding the credentials required for and the scope of practice of dietetics.
Step 4: Maintain the RD credential through Lifelong Learning and continuing education.
The CDR requires a specific number of continuing education hours every 5 years. The Professional Development Portfolio allows RDs to develop career and supporting educational goals that reflect their areas of interest, expertise and future training needs.
For more information contact Academic Advising