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How to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

If you are passionate about health, food and helping people make personalized, positive lifestyle changes, a career as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) may be right for you. As one of the first in the country to offer a graduate program under the Future Education Model, Logan University’s competency-based Master of Science in Applied Nutrition & Dietetics (MS-AND) is a fast track to your RDN credential.

What is a registered dietitian nutritionist?A woman points to a chart with images of fruits and vegetables

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states: “RDNs are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”

Why should I become an RDN?

RDNs are equipped to meet the emerging health care needs of patients facing an array of chronic conditions, including obesity, diabetes and hypertension. As a result, the employment of RDNs is projected to grow eight percent by 2029, which is more than twice as fast as the national average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because we believe nutrition is an essential part of whole-body health care, Logan’s Master of Science in Applied Nutrition & Dietetics program prepares RDNs to cultivate essential skills to apply the science of nutrition and impact human health.

What’s required for acceptance into Logan’s Master of Science in Applied Nutrition & Dietetics program?

An applicant must have:

  • Earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
  • Submitted the following documents:
    • An official transcript from the institution awarding the qualifying entrance degree
    • Two letters of recommendation from an employer and an instructor
    • Resume or CV
    • MS-AND application
  • Earned a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in his or her qualifying bachelor’s degree.
  • Completed the pre-requisite coursework listed below with grades of C or higher in each course.
    • Three credit hours in anatomy and physiology I, anatomy and physiology II, general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and human nutrition
  • Completed a personal statement (up to 750 words) that includes:
    • Why Logan
    • Any experience in the nutrition field
    • Why you want to become an RD
    • Short- and long-term goals

A selection committee will review all application materials and evaluate them using a point-based entrance rubric. Candidates with the highest scores will be required to participate in a virtual interview.

A bowl of fruit sits on a tableWhat can I expect from my education at Logan University?

Logan is currently one of only 39 schools in the United States to offer a graduate-level dietetics program accredited under the Future Education Model by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which requires RDNs to obtain a master’s degree to become credentialed.

Built on a competency-based curriculum, Logan’s interdisciplinary, comprehensive Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics program starts with online core coursework and specialized RDN courses taught by industry professionals. The MS-AND culminates with 30 weeks of supervised experiential learning (SEL) outside the classroom at a variety of unique St. Louis-area sites, allowing students to apply what they have learned in real-world settings. To learn more about the MS-AND curriculum, review the program’s academic catalog.

What are the examination and state licensure requirements?

Once you have earned your Master of Science in Applied Nutrition & Dietetics from Logan, you will receive a verification statement to sit for the national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). After passing, RDNs must complete continuing professional education requirements in order to maintain the credential.

In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently, these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become an RDN.

What opportunities are available to me after graduation?A woman pours a green smoothie into a glass

After completing Logan’s Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics program, passing the national examination and obtaining state licensure, graduates will be prepared to assess and design nutrition plans to maximize human performance, manage nutrition programs, and provide clinical nutrition expertise in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals, clinics or other health care facilities that require an RDN credential
  • Sports nutrition and corporate wellness programs
  • Food and nutrition-related businesses and industries
  • Private practice
  • Community and public health settings
  • Universities and medical centers
  • Research areas

Interested in learning more about how to become an RDN? Get in touch with our admissions team today!