The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered. Please use these graphics of routes to RDN Registration Eligibility to determine which program type is right for you:
Graduates of these programs who are verified by the program director are eligible to write the CDR registration examination for dietitians. Note that after January 1, 2024, a Master’s degree will be required to write the CDR registration examination for dietitians.
Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics
Graduate-level, competency-based dietitian nutritionist program that integrates coursework and at least 1,000 hours of experiential learning for RDN eligibility.
Coordinated Programs in Dietetics
Bachelor’s and graduate level — dietitian coursework and at least 1,000 hours of supervised practice for RDN eligibility (combined program).
Didactic Programs in Dietetics
Bachelor’s and graduate level — dietitian coursework only (must be completed before the Dietetic Internship required for RDN eligibility).
Post bachelor’s — at least 1,000 hours of supervised practice only for RDN eligibility (must complete DPD and at least a bachelor’s degree before entry). Some programs offer a graduate degree in conjunction with supervised practice.
Graduates of these programs who are verified by the program director are eligible to write the CDR registration examination for dietetics technicians.
Nutrition and Dietetics Technician Programs
Associate's degree level coursework and at least 450 hours of supervised practice for NDTR eligibility.
Didactic Programs in Dietetics Programs
Bachelor's and graduate level – dietitian coursework only, through pathway III leads to NDTR eligibility without having to meet additional academic or supervised practice requirements. Students who complete a DPD could continue their education to become an RDN.
This information is provided in response to questions from the public about eligibility to sit for exams to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Dietetics Technician, Registered, and the presence of ACEND®-accredited programs at educational institutions. No other statement about the quality of an educational institution is intended or implied. Only graduates of ACEND®-accredited programs are eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Dietetics Technician, Registered. Individuals who only have degrees in nutrition, dietetics or other related areas from programs that are not ACEND®-accredited are NOT ELIGIBLE to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist or Dietetics Technician, Registered. Educational institutions on the list, below, either have no nutrition program or the nutrition program is not accredited by ACEND®.
Please contact the ACEND® office at 800/877-1600 ext.5400 if you have questions.
*Purdue University Global is not affiliated with the ACEND-accredited Purdue University DPD and CPD programs