The landscape of dietetics education is evolving and there are multiple pathways a student can take to become a registered dietitian. The information below is intended to describe the options to help students determine the right pathway for their situation. Beginning in 2024, a graduate degree will be required to take the CDR Registered Dietitian Nutrition examination.

Pathways to RDN 

The Traditional Model

Students complete an accredited undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) to obtain the core knowledge of dietetics. After graduation, student complete a separate Dietetic Internship (DI).  Admissions to internships are not guaranteed and are highly competitive. Completion of both the education and internship experiences are needed to be eligible for the RDN exam.

Coordinated Programs

Students who complete an accredited Coordinated Program receive both the didactic education and the internship experiences in one combined program. Admission and successful progress through the program guarantee the experiences needed to be eligible for the RDN exam.

Coordinated programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Students completing a coordinated undergraduate coordinated program after 2024 will be required to earn a graduate degree before being eligible for the RDN exam.  Students with a bachelor’s degree in anything but a DPD dietetics degree would complete a coordinated graduate program to obtain: 1) didactic education; 2) internship experiences; 3) graduate degree. The coordinated graduate degree options will meet all requirements for the 2024 CDR requirement for the graduate degree.

Future Education Model Programs

In response to new educational guidelines released by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is collaborating with the Department of Human Sciences in the College of Education and Human Ecology (EHE) to develop the new Master of Dietetics and Nutrition (MDN) degree program. Learn more about the Future Education Model Programs.

Changes in Programs offered by Ohio State

With the launch of the MDN, Ohio State's current undergraduate and graduate Coordinated Programs in Medical Dietetics, Medical Dietetics and Human Nutrition internships will be phased out over time and transition to our new Master of Dietetics and Nutrition (MDN) degree program. The new program will be a two-year coordinated program at the graduate level that provides the didactic and internship experiences in one unified program.

Human Nutrition will continue to offer the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).