How to Become a Registered Dietitian

Eligibility for Dietitian Registration, as established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly known as the American Dietetic Association), requires completion of four steps, in the order listed:

  1. Completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics  (bachelor's degree with specific course requirements)
  2. Completion of a Master's degree program   (MS, MA, MPH, MBA - there are no requirements for type of masters)
  3. Completion of a practicum program (internship)
  4. Passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) registration exam

1. Didactic Program in Dietetics

Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) are bachelor's degrees with specific courses to meet the didactic (knowledge) guidelines set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Note: Each educational institution defines the specific courses which constitute their DPD program.

If this is your first bachelor’s degree, the ASU Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) consists of the completion of a bachelor's degree in dietetics. The ASU Bachelor of Science in dietetics has been granted Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another area and you wish to complete the ASU DPD, you must complete the following roster of DPD classes. Students may be able to complete the Bachelor of Science in dietetics upon completion of the DPD coursework. Please see an academic advisor for help reviewing your transcripts.

Upon completion of these courses, you will receive a Verification Statement signed by the ASU DPD Director, Traci Grgich MS, RD, SNS, CP-FS (

At Arizona State University, the DPD courses are:

  • BIO 201 - Human Anatomy / Physiology I with lab
  • BIO 202 - Human Anatomy / Physiology II with lab
  • BCH 361 - Biochemistry
  • CHM 101 - Introductory Chemistry with lab (Note: the CHM 113 & CHM 116 general chemistry series also acceptable)
  • CHM 231 and 235 - Organic Chemistry, 1 semester with lab
  • MIC 205 and 206 - Microbiology with lab
  • CHS 260 - Health Professional Terminology
  • NTR 142 - Applied Food Principles
  • NTR 150 - Intro to Professions in Nutrition/Dietetics
  • NTR 241 - Human Nutrition
  • NTR 290 - Evidence-Based Nutrition
  • NTR 341 - Medical Nutrition Therapy I
  • NTR 343 - Food Service Purchasing
  • NTR 344 - Nutrition Services Management
  • NTR 350 - Nutrition Counseling
  • NTR 351 - Nutrition and Health Communications
  • NTR 400 - Preprofessional Preparation in Dietetics
  • NTR 440 - Advanced Human Nutrition I (Micronutrients)
  • NTR 441 - Advanced Human Nutrition II (Macronutrients)
  • NTR 444 - Medical Nutrition Therapy II
  • NTR 445 - Management of Food Service Systems
  • NTR 446 - Medical Nutrition Therapy III
  • NTR 448 - Community Nutrition
  • NTR 450 - Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • PSY 101 - Intro Psychology
  • Statistics

Note: All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or above in order to meet the ASU/DPD standards. This requirement may exceed University graduation requirements, which may define a grade of "D" or above as passing. Students coming to ASU from other programs must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of upper-division NTR courses at ASU, including nine semester hours from the following:

  • NTR 440 - Advanced Human Nutrition I (Micronutrients)
  • NTR 441 - Advanced Human Nutrition II (Macronutrients)
  • NTR 444 - Medical Nutrition Therapy II
  • NTR 446 - Medical Nutrition Therapy III

2. Earn a graduate degree

A master's degree is required to be eligible for the RDN exam. Some accredited internship programs include a master's degree, while other students complete their undergraduate in dietetics and earn a master's degree in another field (e.g. public health, communications, etc.). ASU has many graduate degree options students can seek to complete for this step.  A list of them can be found here.

3. Practicum/Internship

Students must complete a professional practicum program, called a dietetic internship.  This step is independent of the undergraduate degree program. Students wishing to complete this step generally apply to internships during their last semester of their coursework.

More information about internship programs are available from the DPD Director or at:

4. CDR Registration Examination

Students must pass a national registration examination:  Students are not eligible to sit for the registration examination until they have completed both steps 1 and 2 above.

If you are an international student with a degree from outside the United States, please review information on obtaining credentials from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Questions regarding the DPD Program should be directed to College of Health Solutions advising: