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Pathway to Becoming a RDN

Degree Requirements

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, a graduate degree will be the minimum degree requirement for those seeking to become eligible for the registration examination for dietitian nutritionists. To be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s (CDR) Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight CT, Dec. 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's Graduate Degree Requirement.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN, visit ACEND information for students.

State Licensure

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements, visit CDR's State Licensure.

South Dakota is among 46 states that have enacted legislation regulating the practice of dietetics. State licensure and state certification are separate from the registration exam by CDR. The South Dakota codified law and administrative rules regarding dietetics and nutrition and the state licensure process are found on South Dakota Legislature Legislative Research Council.  Application information for the South Dakota Licensed Nutritionist process is available on the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners site. Graduates of the nutrition and dietetics (M.S.) who are issued a verification statement are eligible to apply for a temporary South Dakota Licensed Nutritionist which is good for 1 year. Successful passing of the CDR examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is required for application to be issued permanent South Dakota Licensed Nutritionist status.