Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

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 1200 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’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 1200 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 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website: