I’ll be completely honest here. Graduating in 4 years is pretty much impossible in this career path, but that shouldn’t turn you away. This a great career to get into. You might have others try to compare majors…just remember not all majors are created equal. It is common to graduate in 5-6 years in this field. In my case, there were budget cuts made during my freshman year that cut a lot of classes out which meant some classes were offered only once a year. This came to be a major disadvantage to students in my program. I was forced to take classes at community college in my area. I even tried transferring to another university (which didn’t work out ☹). This held me back another year while I was completing my pre-reqs.
Many students transferred into the program after completing all of their GEs at community colleges. This might have taken them 3-4 years since most CCs are by semester system. On top of those GEs you have to take Pre-Reqs before you can start taking DPD courses. These students might have taken 6-7 years to obtain their degree.
This is perfectly fine. It isn’t a race. Every class can be applied and makes you more well-rounded as a future dietitian.
In order to become a Registered Dietitian, there are three main steps you have to take which must be completed in this order:
- Obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietetics/Nutrition Food Science by completing Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or Coordinated Program (which includes the internship). You will receive a verification statement proving that you completed the program.
- All upper division HSCI courses and Pre-Reqs were required to be completed with a B- or better. This was the requirement for my program. I know that other programs are a little different . The chance of getting into a Supervised-Practice program or Dietetic Internship is greater if you do well in your DPD courses and maintain a high GPA (3.2+)
- Complete at least 1200 hours in Supervised Practice, also known as a Dietetic Internship (DI). You also have to pay for this internship. I don’t really like calling it an internship, it’s more like you’re paying for tuition (usually $10,000, unless you get lucky getting matched to a free internship or one that pays you a stipend). This step usually takes 6-12 months, depending how many hours you decide to work during the week. You will receive a second verification statement proving that you completed the program.
- Lastly, successfully pass the national Registration Examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). CDR requires candidates to submit original Verification Statements from both the DPD and DI Programs.
This is a common schedule that students from my program had to complete. All universities are different so it may vary.