How to become a registered dietitian

How to become a registered dietitian

Follow the steps below and you’re on your way to becoming a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Step one

Complete pre-dietetics option

Complete the pre-dietetics required courses. Post-bacc and transfer students can typically complete this option in one year. 

All NUTR prerequisites are available through Oregon State Ecampus, and other prerequisite courses can readily be found, with some attention to articulation, at other institutions. This allows you to complete the pre-dietetics option outside of Corvallis, Oregon.

Each spring, pre-dietetics students can apply to step 2, the accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).  To be admitted to the DPD program, students must have completed the following by the end of summer:

  • A minimum of 12 credits at OSU
  • Overall GPA of 3.0, based on 60 total quarter credits including OSU and transfer credits
  • For the pre-dietetics coursework:
    • A minimum of B- in each of the NUTR courses
    • A minimum of C- in the other courses
    • A GPA of 3.0

View pre-dietetics courses


The DPD (dietetics option) application for fall 2023 is now open. Students meeting the pre-dietetics criteria by the end of summer 2023 will be able to start the dietetics option in fall 2023. Applications are due to the student’s CPHHS academic advisor by May 1, 2023. Students admitting to the dietetics cohort in fall 2021 or later years are required to get a graduate degree to sit for the RD exam.

Step two

Complete OSU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) coursework

Oregon State offers several degree options in which to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition.

Only the B.S. in Nutrition – Dietetics Option prepares students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists through a nationally accredited curriculum designed to prepare students for competitive application to supervised practice, also known as dietetic internships.

The Oregon State B.S. in Nutrition – Dietetics Option is a challenging science-based curriculum. The coursework for the dietetics option is two academic years only available on the Corvallis campus. The courses are sequenced and students move through the curriculum in a cohort model, allowing for strong peer support. The dietetics curriculum also provides 2 credits of professional development that includes faculty mentoring on dietetic internship/graduate school applications, resumes, personal statements, interviews, and more.

Sample schedule

Step three

Complete your dietetic internship*

Our DPD program prepares you to apply for supervised practice (dietetic internships). The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires completion of a baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university or foreign equivalent in any discipline and completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics to be eligible to apply for dietetic internships.

Upon completion of the B.S. in Nutrition – Dietetics Option at OSU, graduates are eligible to participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) national application process used to award supervised practice positions (dietetic internships).

D & D Digital provides the online internship matching services for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Considerable coaching toward successful completion of this process is provided in the OSU DPD curriculum.

*Please note: Effective January 1, 2024 all candidates will be required to have a master's degree. Students admitting to the OSU BS in Nutrition - Dietetics Option in Fall 2021 or later will fall under this new requirement. Many dietetic internships offer a combined program that includes completion of a graduate degree in order to meet this requirement. Those that attain the RDN credential prior to January 1, 2024, will be grandfathered in without meeting the minimum education requirement of a master’s degree.

Step Four

Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration's dietetic registration exam.

After successfully completing current eligibility requirements and being validated by CDR, individuals are eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.

Step Five

Gain licensure in your state of practice, if applicable.

Forty-seven states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia currently have statutory provisions regulating the dietetics profession or associated titles such as dietitian and nutritionist. Information on state licensure and certification is provided here as a service to dietetics professionals and state licensure boards.

Step Six

Maintain continuing education.

Credentialed practitioners are required to maintain certification through continuous learning in order to ensure professional knowledge and competence. To that end, the Commission on Dietetic Registration constructed the Professional Development Portfolio process, which provides practitioners with the tools to achieve these aims.