Interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
Exciting changes are in process related to the future education and training of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. These changes are in response to recommendations that future registered dietitian nutritionists be trained at the graduate degree level for the purpose of advancing the profession and protecting the public. Another impetus for the movement to graduate degree level preparation is the decision by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to change the degree requirement for eligibility to take the registered dietitian nutritionist exam from a baccalaureate to a master's degree effective January 1, 2024.
This movement toward graduate degree level preparation has resulted in the development of the Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics for the professional education and training of individuals who want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
What is the Graduate Program in Nutrition and Dietetics?
The Graduate Programs align dietetic professional education and training with other health care professions. For the majority of health care professions, an individual earns a baccalaureate degree by completing a major of the student's choice and in addition, completes specific prerequisites prior to applying to the professional program.
Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics are completed at the graduate level resulting in a master's degree. In addition, the program provides nutrition and dietetics coursework and supervised experiential learning to meet the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics competency requirements. Following completion of the program, students are eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration Credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.
UNL graduates will have the choice of applying to two Graduate Programs in Nebraska: one at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Master of Medical Nutrition) and one at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (MS in Nutrition and Health Sciences -Professional Studies in Dietetics Specialization). Students can also apply to Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics outside of Nebraska.
What Major Should I Choose to Be Eligible to Apply to Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics?
Students can choose any major offered at UNL to earn a bachelor's degree and meet prerequisites for application into the program. Several options within the Nutrition and Health Science major will provide a solid foundation in science and the role of nutrition and exercise in achieving and maintaining health.
Within the Nutrition and Health Sciences major, students interested in becoming a RDN can choose any of the following options:
- Nutrition, Exercise and Health Science
Prepares students to plan, deliver, manage, and evaluate fitness, health and wellness programs in a variety of settings with a focus on exercise and physical activity. The option will also assist in preparing students for a number of nationally recognized certification examinations related to exercise and strength and conditioning.
- Community Health and Wellness
Prepares students to plan, deliver, manage, and evaluate fitness, health and wellness programs in a variety of settings with a focus on all aspects of wellness. The option will assist in preparing students to take the Certified Health Educator Specialist (CHES) examination.
- Nutrition Science
Provides students with the opportunity to study the biological and physical sciences as a basis for understanding the science of nutrition. This option will prepare students who want to conduct research in their career and/or complete a doctorate program.
Prerequisites for Application to the Graduate Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics
Additional information about the Pre-Dietetics program prerequisites for the UNL and UNMC programs can be found by visiting the Explore Center in Love Library south (maps.unl.edu/LLS) or online at: go.unl.edu/ormj.
- Health care
- Sports nutrition
- Diabetes education
- Weight loss/management
- Community nutrition programs
- Nutrition education
- Public health
- Wellness programs
- Extension health and wellness