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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Nutritional Schools...what is best?
Date: November 5, 2006 at 10:55 pm PST

In Reply to: Nutritional Schools...what is best? posted by Libby on October 30, 2006 at 11:21 am:

Hi Libby,

Thanks for your question. Part of the answer depends on what you want to do with your new career. If you want to counsel patients/clients, most states require a license, which you can only get with an RD or CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist).

If you want to write, do marketing, group education, research & development, corporate consulting, food service, etc, neither RD nor a license is required by law, but RD will likely be required by many employers, and thus is critical to getting a meaningful job.

RD certification can only be obtained at an ADA-approved program (listed at, click on Students, then on Approved Programs). The Denver Nutrition Therapy Inst is not on the list; neither is Clayton College or many other so-called holistic nutrition programs. The only ADA-approved program with holistic approaches is at Bastyr in WA state.

A Masters Degree could be useful, but a BA/BS would be a prerequisite. Additionally, MS is not required for RD, although it would be highly desirable. MS would also be required for CNS, a competitor to ADA (at

Hope that helps,
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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