Frequently Asked Questions

The questions and answers below apply to domestic students. International students can learn more about becoming a registered dietitian (RD) by reviewing FAQs from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

What are the criteria needed to earn the registered dietitian (RD) credential?

Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college with didactic coursework in dietetics approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Next, complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program which may be associated with graduate studies such as the internship program here at UB. Finally, pass the national examination.

Where do I start if I already have a degree?

The University at Buffalo does NOT have a didactic program in dietetics.

If you have a bachelor’s degree that is not in dietetics, you will need to have your college transcript evaluated by a director of a didactic program (DPD) in dietetics accredited by ACEND. The DPD director will evaluate your completed academic coursework and identify the courses that you are required to complete at that school to meet the academic requirements for dietetic registration. Once you have met this requirement, you are eligible to apply through computer matching DICAS, to an ACEND-accredited internship such as the Dietetic Internship with Master's of Science in Nutrition at UB. 

Do I have to apply to both the internship program and the graduate program in nutrition at UB?

Yes. 1,200 hours of supervised practice throughout the first 12-month period, simultaneously taking 55 credits for the comprehensive exam track, or 56 credits for the thesis track, for a total of 5 or 6 semesters depending on the track, you can achieve your MS in Nutrition degree.

What qualities do you look for in intern candidates?

UB’s Dietetic Internship with Master of Science in Nutrition is a rigorous program that requires an individual to be able to multi-task, to be goal oriented and to have initiative. The adjustment to graduate coursework while also applying knowledge in the field can be a challenge. Candidates who have performed adequately in the academic setting and have maintained organization throughout their school and work or volunteer commitments will adjust well. Previous work or volunteer experience may ease the adjustment. Energetic candidates with high motivation levels to become a dietetic professional are qualities of interest. A strong science background is certainly an asset.

What types of jobs will I be eligible?

Employment opportunities for RDs can be found in:

  • Hospitals, HMOs or other health care facilities
  • Universities and medical centers
  • Private practice
  • Community and public health settings
  • Research centers

What salary can I earn?

Based on Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey, the median wage for all RDs in the U.S. is $28.85 per hour. This equates to about $60,000/year, up from $58,000 in 2011. As with any profession, salaries and fees vary by region of the country, employment settings, scope of responsibility, additional credentials, graduate work and supply of RDs. Salaries increase with years of experience and the top 10% of RDs, particularly those in management, business and consulting, earn incomes above $100,000.