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Nutrition and Dietetics (B.S.)

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SDSU Options When Becoming a RDN is the Goal

Students in the nutrition and dietetics (B.S.) can apply to the accelerated bachelor's to master's degree in nutrition and dietetics (M.S.) program. 

Supervised experiential learning (SEL)/internship experiences are incorporated throughout this competency-based program. Students accepted into the program with the required prerequisites can complete the program in three years.

Including prerequisites, completion of the entire bachelor’s to master’s degree program takes approximately five years. Graduates will be eligible to take the national examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).

Applications are accepted annually by April 1 for students who meet the requirements for a fall semester start. Students in the nutrition and dietetics (B.S.) program would typically have the prerequisites required to apply during their sophomore year. The nutrition and dietetics (M.S.) is accredited to accept up to 20 students annually.

Nutrition and dietetics (M.S.)

Students who do not apply or do not get accepted into the nutrition and dietetics (M.S.) may remain in the four year bachelor's in nutrition and dietetics program.

Until Dec. 31, 2023, eligibility to take the registration exam for dietitian nutritionists requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited nutrition and dietetics program and completion of an accredited dietetic internship. 

By Jan. 1, 2024, eligibility to take the registration exam for dietitian nutritionists will require completion of an accredited dietetic internship and a master's degree. 

The nutrition and dietetics internship (NDI) with a master's degree in nutrition and exercise science accepted its last cohort of students for a fall of 2022 start and planned graduation in May of 2024. The NDI will be closing in May of 2024 and is not an available option for future dietetic students. The NDI is closing to accommodate the accelerated bachelor's to master's degree program.

Students who successfully complete the nutrition and dietetics (B.S.) and receive a verification statement are eligible to apply to accredited dietetic internships and/or graduate programs.

RDN Job Outlook

Job Growth by 2030


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national average for all occupations is 8%.

Job Need in South Dakota

14 New RDN's Every Year

Minor in Nutrition

A minor in nutrition can be beneficial to individuals who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in many health-related fields and pre-professional programs. It may also assist students who are interested in attending graduate or medical school by providing a strong scientific knowledge base. The minor would benefit students in the hospitality and/or food service industries. The nutrition minor provides students a strong fundamental knowledge of metabolism and the complex interaction between foods and our bodies. The minor does not allow students to become registered dietitians.


South Dakota State University's Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600 ext 5400.

ACEND logo

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 webpage.

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 the 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 license which is good for one year. Successful passing of the CDR examination for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is required for application to be issued permanent South Dakota Licensed Nutritionist status.

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