Graduation Requirements

A signed Verification Statement is provided to the graduate of the M.S. in Nutrition Non-Thesis with Dietetic Internship after successful completion of NTRI 7016 Advanced Practicum in Dietetics (9-credit hours) and after the awarding of the Master of Science degree. This Verification Statement is used to document that all academic requirements are met and the graduate is eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Beginning January 1, 2024, a Master’s degree will be required by all prospective candidates in order to sit for the registration examination for registered dietitians.

Careers in Dietetics

Registered Dietitians (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) are food and nutrition experts. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recognizes these two credentials as synonymous. Professionals who have met the criteria outlined below earn the RD/RDN credential.

Registered Dietitians apply the science of nutrition by utilizing nutrition and food knowledge to promote health and/or to treat disease. Registered Dietitians work in a variety of settings including hospitals, health departments or clinics, long-term care facilities, community outreach, government agencies, school food service, corporate wellness programs, food and hospitality industry, pharmaceutical companies, private practice, supermarkets, and research, among other settings.

Most of Auburn’s RD graduates work in hospitals as clinical dietitians or in out-patient clinics, including renal dialysis centers. Others work as nutrition educators in public health settings and corporate wellness programs, as directors of child nutrition programs in schools, and as managers of foodservice systems in healthcare and other settings. A few work in sales, most notably for pharmaceutical and nutrition support companies. Some are self-employed as nutrition consultants to long-term care facilities or in private practice specializing in areas such as eating disorders and obesity management. Dietitians may be found on the staffs of food magazines and in public relations firms. Dietetics is a very flexible career with many emerging employment opportunities.

Pathways to Becoming a Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

  1. Completed a minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  2. Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (dietetic internship) at a health care facility, state or community agency, foodservice establishment, or a university. Typically, a supervised practice program is about 9-24 months in length. Supervised practice also may be available through a university-based coordinated program, in which supervised practice is combined with undergraduate or graduate studies; or through an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) (available on a limited basis).
  3. Passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Eligibility to take this examination is established through the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Information regarding the examination may be obtained from .
  4. Continued life-long learning by completing continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

ADVANCED PRACTICE CERTIFICATIONS: Some RDs hold additional advanced practice certifications in specialized areas of practice such as pediatric or renal nutrition, obesity management, nutrition support, sports nutrition, and diabetes education. These certifications are awarded through the Commission on Dietetic Registration and/or other medical and nutrition organizations. Such specialty certifications are recognized within the profession and may be required only for advanced-level positions.

State Licensure: In addition to RD 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 RD. In the state of Alabama, you must be licensed to practice.

Dietetic Internships and Supervised Practice
Students apply for supervised practice programs (e.g., internships) primarily during the spring semester of the senior year in their DPD. Academic performance is a strong predictor of student success in obtaining a placement. Paid and volunteer work experience in nutrition, dietetics, food service, community settings, or related fields is also valued. Acceptance into dietetic internships and other practice programs is highly competitive.

Registration Examination for Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
After completing the MS Nutrition and ACEND accredited supervised practice program, Auburn University Dietetic Interns become eligible to sit for the National Registration Examination. This is a computerized test that graduates must pass in order to receive the RD/RDN credential. Additional information about the Registration Exam can be found at Registration exam review materials can be purchased through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) ( ). Review courses are also available to assist with exam preparation.

Auburn University M.S. in Nutrition Non-Thesis with Dietetic Internship
Auburn University offers a Dietetic Internship in conjunction with the M.S. in Nutrition. Applicants apply through DICAS in the spring match each year, and must also apply and be accepted to the Graduate School and the M.S. in Nutrition Non-Thesis with Dietetic Internship prior to formal admittance to the Auburn University Dietetic Internship.