What is dietetics?
In the dietetics degree option, you’ll play an important role in helping people make nourishing choices about what they eat and understand how nutrition impacts their health and well-being.
Dietitians work on the spectrum of health, from prevention of chronic disease to medical treatment. As a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN), you can choose one area of practice or try them all. The dietetics curriculum trains students to be versatile, enabling them to change their career later without any additional education.
Dietitians can work in a variety of areas upon obtaining the RDN credential. Some examples include:
Hospitals: providing medical nutrition therapy to patients with immediate medical needs
Clinics: counseling people to meet their nutrition and health goals
School districts: managing the foodservice operation, including developing the menu and supervising staff
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children): providing low-income pregnant women and children with food resources and providing intervention and education
Eating disorder facilities: coaching and supporting clients in their treatment and recovery from eating disorders
Sports teams/athletics: working with athletes to optimize their performance and ensuring the sports organization is meeting their nutrition needs
Extension services: developing nutrition education programs and delivering education and resources to local communities
How much do dietitians make and what is the job outlook?
Check out the current Bureau of Labor Statistics data for Dietitians and Nutritionists. The mean salary for dietitians in Oregon was $73,000 as of May 2021.
You're in the right place
If you’re interested in becoming a RDN or NDTR, you’re in the right place. Oregon State University offers the only accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics in Oregon.
After finishing the dietetics option at OSU, you’ll be eligible to enter an accredited master's dietetic internship program which leads to eligibility to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RD/RDN).
Graduates of the dietetics option are also eligible to sit for the exam to become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician, Registered (NDTR).
In order to become a Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN), students must complete the following education and supervised practice before being eligible to sit for the national RDN exam:
Bachelor’s degree in any subject. The OSU dietetics option program fulfills this requirement.
Didactic Program in Dietetics (accredited program). The OSU dietetics option program fulfills this requirement.
Master’s degree in any subject* (see below about this NEW requirement). Any new students admitting to the pre-dietetics option at OSU will fall under the new Master’s degree requirement. The OSU MS-PD program fulfills this requirement.
Dietetic internship (accredited program). These programs can be combined with a master’s degree. The OSU MS-PD program fulfills this requirement.
*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 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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 Didactic Program in Dietetics program at Oregon State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program.
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.