A registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is a dietetic practitioner who has earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program and has completed supervised practice hours. To become registered, a dietitian must pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Effective January 1, 2024, CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a RD/RDN. Dietitians are required to update their knowledge in continuing education during their careers.
North Dakota State University (NDSU) enjoys a long-standing reputation in food and nutrition. Since 1925, NDSU has educated dietitians who are active nationwide in the profession of dietetics and leaders in professional organizations. There are two undergraduate dietetics options at NDSU: The Dietitian Education Program (DEP) and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).
Dietitian Education Program (DEP) Option
The DEP is intended toprovide comprehensive educational and clinical experiences to enable students to develop competencies needed to function as successful entry-level general practitioners in the profession of dietetics. Students are expected to participate in professional activities.
The DEP option coordinates experience course components with academic courses during the professional program in the junior and senior years of study. It is a two-year full-time professional program with a concentration in Gerontology. Acceptance into the DEP is limited. Transfer students are encouraged to contact the department early on for information if they intend to transfer to NDSU and enter the DEP. The application deadline is mid January. Up to fifteen students are accepted annually into the DEP. Applicants must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 with a 2.75 science GPA. Once accepted into the DEP, an overall GPA of 3.0 with a "C" or higher in all HNES classes is required to remain in the DEP. Students graduate at the end of four years with the necessary preparation to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. The DEP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; phone number 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400; https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend
Starting in 2020 - Accelerated BS/MS for Dietetics and Nutrition
The Accelerated BS/MS option is intended to provide comprehensive education and clinical experiences to enable students to develop competencies needed to function as successful entry-level general practitioners in the profession of dietetics and nutrition. Students are expected to participate in profession activities as well. The program is offered on campus for full-time students. Current NDSU students and transfer students are encouraged to contact the department early for information if they intend to enter the Accelerated BS/MS option. The GRE is NOT required for admittance to this program. The Accelerated BS/MS program for Dietetics and Nutrition is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL, 60606; https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend.
The Accelerated BS/MS option coordinates undergraduate and graduate coursework as well as over 1400 hours of supervised practice. The undergraduate education and supervised practice components are currently required to be eligible for the Registration Exam for Dietitians. Starting in 2024, students must also complete a graduate degree in addition to the undergraduate degree and supervised practice in order to take the Registration Exam for Dietitians. Therefore, the accelerated program is an attractive option for students seeking to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists as the program can be completed in 5 years as a full-time student instead of the 7 or 8 years it would take to complete each component separately. The timeline for program completion is listed below.
Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Option
Selective Post-Baccalaureate Internship Admission
Another option is the DPD. In the DPD option, a student takes all of the academic courses needed to meet the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) standards for Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics and will graduate with a B.S. degree in dietetics. The application deadline is mid January. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 with a 2.75 science GPA. Students accepted in the DPD should be aware that, in order to continue their education in an ACEND accredited dietetic internship (DI), they should have a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA. If the GPA is lower than 3.25, it is unlikely that a student will be accepted into a DI. Work experience, volunteer or paid, in a hospital, long-term care food service, or some other type of food service experience will enhance a student's chance to receive a DI. A student is eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam to become a RD/RDN following successful completion of an ACEND accredited DI. Beginning in 2024, a master’s degree will also be required to sit for the CDR exam to become a RD/RDN in addition to completing the DPD and DI. In North Dakota, graduates must also obtain licensure to practice.
Dietetic internships are available across the United States and range in length from 6 to 12 months. Students graduating from this program (DPD) are given departmental faculty assistance in applying for DIs. The DPD program is accredited by Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606; phone number 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400; https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend