Home > Become an RD or DTR > What is an RD or DTR

Welcome to the

Student Center

In This Section


Featured Product

Special Feature

More Info
Student Exam Prep (StEP)

Student Exam Prep (StEP)

Student Exam Prep (StEP) is designed for anyone preparing to take the registration exam. Users have access to a database of more than 700 in-depth questions covering all domains of the exam.

Evidence Analysis Library

What you will find inside the Academy's Evidence Analysis Library:

Use Academy Evidence-Based Guidelines to apply cutting-edge, synthesized research to practice!

The Basics

What Is a Registered Dietitian?

A Registered Dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has met the minimum academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential "RD." The majority of RDs work in the treatment and prevention of disease (administering medical nutrition therapy, often part of medical teams), in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of RDs work in community and public health settings and academia and research. A growing number of RDs work in the food and nutrition industry, in business, journalism, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs.

What is a Dietetic Technician, Registered?

A DTR is a food and nutrition practitioner who has completed at least a two-year associate's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college, required course work and at least 450 hours of supervised practice accredited by CADE or at least a bachelor's degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and required coursework for a Didactic Program (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP). In addition, you must pass a national DTR examination administered by CDR and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration. The majority of DTRs work with RDs in a variety of employment settings including health care (assisting RDs in providing medical nutrition therapy), in hospitals, HMOs, clinics or other health-care facilities. In addition, a large number of DTRs work in community and public health settings such as school or day care centers, correctional facilities, weight management clinics and WIC programs as nutrition counselors.

ACEND: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Students?

ACEND

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for educational programs to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) or a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR).

Accreditation is necessary because dietetics is a unique profession of such complexity and benefit to the health of the population that it requires a defined educational process based on national standards. ACEND is responsible for setting the national standards for what dietetics students are taught, and for evaluating, recognizing, and publishing a list of education programs that meet these standards.

CDR: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Students?

CDR logo

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) is the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The purpose of the Commission is to serve the public by establishing and enforcing standards for certification and by issuing credentials to individuals who meet these standards. The CDR has sole and independent authority in all matters pertaining to certification including but, not limited to standard setting, establishment of fees, finances and administration.

CDR offers certification as dietetic technicians, registered (DTR), registered dietitians (RD), board certified specialists in pediatric nutrition (CSP), board certified specialists in renal nutrition (CSR), board certified specialists in gerontological nutrition (CSG) and board certified specialists in sports dietetics (CSSD).