Dietetic Internship Program

Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian

How to Become a Registered Dietitian (RD)

Steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD)/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN):

  1. Complete a bachelor’s degree and receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited DPD program
  2. Complete 1,200 hours of supervised practice in an ACEND-accredited program, such as an internship, coordinated program, or ISPP.
  3. Pass the registration exam from the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  4. Gain licensure in your state of practice (note that California does not have licensure for RD/RDNs at this time)
  5. Maintain continuing professional education

Cal Poly Pomona’s dietetic internship is part of Step 2. You must complete your DPD requirements before you start our internship, however, you can apply during your senior year, as long as you will graduate before August. In our program, you will complete the required 1,200 hours of supervised practice and meet all of the competencies required by ACEND to allow you to sit for the registration exam.

For more information, you can refer to the 5 Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist page in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program at Cal Poly Pomona are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements go to the Commission on Dietetic Registration website.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN go to the Academy of Nutirtion and Dietetics and visit the Information for Students page.