The American Dietetic Association defines dietetics as “the science and art of applying the principles of nutrition to health.” The RD credential is required for most careers that involve providing nutritional care to individuals and groups. Typical jobs include:
- Healthcare – hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care
- Foodservice – hospitals, school foodservice
- Community – public health programs, wellness and health promotion
- Private practice – client counseling, public speaking, writing for the public, menu-planning, recipe development
Becoming a Registered Dietitian
- Earn a bachelor’s degree. Students who already have a degree do not have to earn a second degree in nutrition.
- Complete the specific courses designated as dietetic preparation (science, nutrition, government, social science, statistics, accounting).
- Build a strong resume including work or volunteer experience in dietetics-related areas.
- Complete a ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (coordinated program or dietetic internship). These programs are very competitive and require both a strong GPA and an impressive resume.
- Pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Dietetics Programs at The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin offers two programs for students who are pursuing the Registered Dietitian credential. Students who complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are qualified to apply to dietetic internships. DPD graduates who complete a dietetic internship are eligible to write the examination to become registered dietitians and may become active members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) includes supervised clinical, administrative and community practice experiences so that students are qualified to write the dietetic registration examination when they graduate. Students interested in this program must apply for admission.
Both the DPD and the CP are granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago IL 60606, (312) 899-0040.
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