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From: Mark Rifkin (
Subject:         Re: Becoming an RD
Date: July 4, 2008 at 1:35 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Becoming an RD posted by crystalb on January 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm:

Dear Crystalb,

I'm very sorry for not getting back to you for 6 months.
The answer to your question has several parts.
First, you need to find out the requirements of your state. Some states require a degree in food/nutrition, others, such as Maryland, do not require a degree in nutrition, they only require a degree and the core content in nutrition. In other words, if you already have a degree, you'd only be required to take the core nutrition content + any prerequisites. (The actual title "Registered Dietitian" is issued by the American Dietetic Association after completion of the academic content, plus a 7-9 month internship, plus a proctored exam.)

To take my case as an example, I was working fulltime (although, w/o significant family obligations), so I went part-time. Some classes were at night, others required taking time off from work.

I'd start by revisiting the webpage listing ADA-approved programs

Check out the schools located close to you. See if you are a good "fit" with the program and the director. But those are not the only choices: some schools offer distance programs---there is a link near the top to 2 distance education programs. These programs allow you to be in some place remote from the actual program. Contact each program for details.

The next step below dietitian is another possibility: DTR, which stands for Dietetic Tech, Registered) is a certification issued by ADA after a 2-yr AA degree, plus a 3-4 month internship, plus an exam. ADA-approved DTR programs are listed at

Techs are usually supervised by Dietitians and are not considered able to perform all the tasks of a dietitian. However, they are able to perform basic nutrition education and supervised counseling.

Hope that was helpful,
Mark Rifkin, MS, RD, LDN

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