James Madison University

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

To become a registered dietitian nutritionist, the first step is to complete a bachelor's degree at a regionally accredited institution in a program that combines science, foods, nutrition, and foodservice management, and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is called a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).  The dietetics program at James Madison University is an accredited DPD program. 

Following graduation from a DPD, you must complete an ACEND-accredited or approved Supervised Practice experience (Dietetic Internship, Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway, or Coordinated Program).  These are experiential programs with a minimum of 1200 hours directed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

After successful completion of this experience, you will be ready to take the registration examination for dietitian nutritionists administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).  Passing that examination qualifies you to use the RD/RDN credential.

State Licensure for Dietitians

The Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential is a national certification of competence in dietetics.  Virginia does not have state licensure for dietitians at the current time.  Other states in which you might practice may require you obtain a state license as a dietitian/nutritionist before you are allowed to practice.  Information on state licensure requirements are summarized by CDR on their state licensure page at https://www.cdrnet.org/state-licensure.



  • August 28
    First Day of Classes
  • November 17-25
    Thanksgiving Break
  • December 9-15
    Final Examinations
  • December 15-16