Our Program and the RDN Process

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The RDN Process

Students taking a practice RD exam

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following educational and professional criteria to earn and maintain the RDN credential.

  1. Completion of a master's degree* (at minimum) from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college
    For more information about this requirement, visit  CDR's website.
  2. Completion of accredited DPD coursework as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, such as the Didactic Program in Dietetics housed within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FScN) of the University of Minnesota.
  3. Completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, such as the University of Minnesota Dietetic Internship
  4. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  5. Follow appropriate state laws that regulate the practice of dietetics depending on the state you will be working in.
  6. Obtain 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every 5 years to maintain registration status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Continuing professional education is essential for lifelong development to maintain and improve knowledge and skills for competent dietetics practice.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

Why Choose the U of M Dietetic Internship?

  • Our internship program is housed in one of the most comprehensive and prestigious public universities and is located within a large metropolitan area.
  • The University of Minnesota campus offers arts, sports, intellectual events, a comprehensive medical library and an active and vibrant student body for all to participate.
  • Our program has affiliations with numerous medical centers, several of which are renowned teaching hospitals.
  • This program allows interns to work with a multitude of individuals. Supervised practice opportunities involve exposure to various cultures, ethnicities, ages, and religious backgrounds.
  • This program has highly-trained and very supportive preceptors; in fact, many of our former interns are thrilled to now serve as preceptors.
  • Our program and interns have been consistently recognized and commended for our exceptional RD exam pass rate.

Why Choose a Concentration in Eating Disorders?

  • The Emily Program
    Our affiliate site, The Emily Program is nationally recognized for their compassionate and personalized approach to eating disorder awareness, treatment, and recovery.
  • This is one of the few dietetic internships in the nation to offer an emphasis in eating disorders and related issues. In fact, when we declared eating disorders as a concentration area in 2011, we were the first program to do so.
  • Eating disorders are complex, difficult, challenging, and sometimes fatal. Because food and eating are at the center of eating disorders, registered dietitian nutritionists are essential to effective treatment and recovery. Supervised practice experiences help develop professional ingenuity and resilience to help clients recover from the cunning, baffling and powerful force of their eating disorders.
  • Unfortunately, the incidence of eating disorders is on the rise in our country. Fortunately, the options for treatment are growing. A RDN specializing in ED treatment will be in high demand because she or he can provide uniquely valuable services for eating disorder programming in treatment centers, hospital settings, schools, workplaces, community education and many other arenas.
  • One of the most important advantages of the ED concentration is the least tangible: a greater appreciation for the human condition. You will be called to draw upon—and discover among your peers–new reserves of patience, compassion, understanding, and acceptance.

Why Choose a Concentration in Medical Nutrition Therapy?

  • intern with preceptors in healthcare office
    Our MNT affiliate site, University of Minnesota Health, expands their current partnership to bring together the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services, creating a nationally-renowned academic health system.
  • Interns with MNT emphasis have supervised learning experiences in large, teaching hospitals at University of Minnesota Health and University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital as well as in community hospitals, skilled nursing / transitional care units and community clinics.
  • Interns are supervised by registered dietitians specializing in clinical nutrition, food and nutrition management and community nutrition.
  • Our MNT concentration provides 22 weeks of learning (of a 37-week internship) in the area of medical nutrition therapy.
  • Interns will learn to apply the nutrition care process to provide in-depth, individualized nutrition assessment and care for disease management.