International Student Checklist

The below checklist has been created to help guide students with foreign degrees in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered (NDTR).

Step 1: Your foreign degree transcripts must be evaluated by one of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR)’s approved foreign degree evaluation agencies.

  • The list of agencies can be found on our website. Please contact an agency to inquire about current information and cost for evaluating transcripts.
  • A detailed course by course evaluation will be most useful for the Program Director at an ACEND accredited program.

CDR requires that a foreign degree be equivalent to a degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university. Access CDR’s requirements to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)  or  a Nutrition and Dietetics Technician, Registered (NDTR)  

Step 2: Once you have received the results determining that your degree is of US equivalency you will then need to identify an ACEND-accredited program to which you can apply. Note: Do not send the transcript evaluation to ACEND.

  • ACEND offers programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree level to become an RDN and programs at the Associates and Bachelor’s degree level to become an NDTR. Please note effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the organization that administers nutrition and dietetics professional credentialing exams, will require a minimum of a Master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
  • If you would like to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, the types of programs to consider are:
    • the Coordinated Program (CP),
    • Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and Dietetic Internship (DI) (these are two separate programs and require separate applications and acceptance), or
    • the Future Graduate (FG) Program.
  • If you like to become a Nutrition and Dietetic Technician Registered the type of programs to consider are:
    • the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program or
    • the Dietetic Technician (DT) Program.
  • For more detailed information on the accredited programs.

Step 3: Once you have identified an ACEND-accredited program that you wish to apply to, use the information on the ACEND website (via the link provided above) to contact the program director of that program and inform them that you are a prospective student with a foreign degree.

  • In that correspondence, provide the program director with the Foreign Degree Evaluation report and explain that you wish to apply as a post-graduate student.
  • The program director will evaluate the Foreign Degree Evaluation report to determine whether it can be accepted, and if so, what additional courses will be needed to satisfy the program’s requirements. The program director can also provide you with information regarding admission deadlines, tuition, financial aid, and scholarship information.
  • Please note that some programs do not allow prior learning (that is, a previous degree or courses taken at other institutions) to be applied to their program requirements. In this case, you may be required to complete the entire program in order to become eligible to sit for the credentialing exam.

Step 4: After the completion of the qualifying programs and upon receiving a verification statement, you will then become eligible to take the CDR exam to become credentialed as an RDN or NDTR.

  • Graduates of CP, DI and FG programs are eligible to take the RDN credentialing exam. Once you successfully pass this exam, you will have an RDN credential. Note that some states also require a license to practice in that state.
  • Graduates of DPD and DT programs are eligible to take the NDTR exam. Once you successfully pass this exam, you will have an NDTR credential.