The 411 on Undergraduate and Graduate Dietetic Programs

It's student week on the blog! All week long we'll focus on future dietitians and nutrition specialiststhe students! 

To kick off the week, we'll answer the most basic question prospective dietitians ask themselves: what's the first step to becoming a dietitian? Education!

Today we'll discuss different undergraduate and graduate programs that can get you on the right path to becoming an RDN.

Accredited Dietetics Education Programs

There are three different dietetic education paths that you can take to become an RDN or DTR. All of these programs must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) who is the accrediting agency for education programs for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

  1. A Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CPD) is a combined program that includes both dietitian coursework and the required 1,200 hours of supervised practice.
  2. The Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD) only includes the required dietitian coursework. To be eligible for the RDN accreditation exam, you must complete the Dietetic Internship (DI) after your DPD courses. 
  3. Dietetic Technician Programs (DTP) includes dietetic technician coursework and supervised practice to be eligible for the DTR accreditation exam.

Remember that whatever path you choose to take, the goal is to get the best education you can to provide patients with the best care possible! 

Looking for Universities With Accredited Programs? 

Check out for a great list of schools in each state with different programs!

Stay tuned tomorrow to learn about the dietetic internship.