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Clinical Nutrition Career Changers

Information for Career Changers

To become a registered dietitian nutritionist, you must complete a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This pathway includes the completion of a graduate degree and over 1000 hours of hands-on residency training. The pathway listed below is a common route many traditional students take, but it is not the only path to become an RDN.

The 5 Steps to Becoming an RDN

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited program (Didactic Program in Dietetics, Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, Foreign or International Dietitian Education Program). Note, effective January 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (Dietetic registration exam). The MS in Clinical Nutrition alone will not qualify you to be a registered dietitian.
  2. Complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice dietetic internship program or Individual Supervised Practice Pathway. Supervised practice/experiential learning is combined with the Coordinated Program, Future Graduate Program, and International Dietitian Education Program.
  3. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam.
  4. Gain licensure in your state of practice, if applicable.
  5. Maintain continuing education.

For more info on how to become a registered dietitian, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website or contact ACEND directly at 312-899-0040 (ext. 5400) or acend@eatright.org

Interested in moving to Madison, WI to pursue this career change?

View the webinar below to learn more about the profession and how you can earn the RDN credential at UW–Madison.

If you are interested in beginning the DPD coursework at UW-Madison, you can contact Student Services Coordinator, Sarah Golla (sarah.seibold@wisc.edu). See the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD): B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics webpage for more information. The DPD coursework and supervised experiential learning are only offered in Madison, WI and not online.