State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Registered Dietitian job Description in Mississippi

According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), there are 766 registered dietitians (RD) in August 2013 practicing in the state of Mississippi. Nine additional professionals are dietetic technicians, registered (DTR), meaning that they studied an associate degree educational program (as opposed to a bachelor degree program, which is necessary for RDs), and completed 450 hours of an internship (as opposed to the 900 hours required of RDs). Becoming a registered dietitian in Mississippi affords one the opportunity to apply for dietitian licensing in that state. After completing the required accredited dietitian educational program, dietetic internship, and passing t he CDR’s national registration exam, you will be ready to apply for licensure as a dietitian in Mississippi. Once registered and licensed, you may legally use the credentials RD (registered dietitian) and LD (licensed dietitian) behind your name when practicing in Mississippi.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) says that in May 2012, the average registered dietitian/nutritionist in Mississippi made a mean annual wage of $50,280. In specific areas of Mississippi, practicing registered and licensed dietitians earned higher than average annual salaries. For example, dietitians in Gulfport averaged $57,410 per year. Those in the Northwest Mississippi non-metropolitan area (including the counties of Yalobusha, Washington, Tallahatchie, Sunflower, Quitman, Panola, Montgomery, Leflore, Humphreys, Holmes, Grenada, Coahoma, Carroll, Bolivar, Benton and Attala) earned an average yearly wage of $53,850. Dietitians in the Southeast Mississippi non-metropolitan area (including the counties of Wayne, Smith, Scott, Pearl River, Newton, Neshoba, Leake, Lauderdale, Kemper, Jones, Jasper, Greene and Clarke) averaged a yearly salary of $53,520. Southwest Mississippi non-metropolitan area dietitians and nutritionists (practicing in the counties of Yazoo, Wilkinson, Warren, Walthall, Sharkey, Pike, Marion, Lincoln, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Jefferson, Issaquena, Franklin, Covington, Claiborne, Amite and Adams) earned an average yearly wage of $51,480. If you would like to know how to join the ranks of these Mississippi dietitians, read on.

Step 1

Registered Dietitian Education in Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Health demands that all who wish to become licensed dietitians in the state first become registered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). This means that you must complete registered dietitian education in Mississippi that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Mississippi ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to Registered Dietitian (RD) Licensure:


*Featured Master's Nutritionist Program:

UNC's Online MPH With Nutrition Concentration. UNC's top-ranked public health school offers an online MPH with Nutrition concentration. Complete in 20 months. Bachelor's degree required. GRE Required.

American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education will prepare you to become an influential leader in nutrition education and advocacy while promoting nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices in your community. This program does not prepare you to be a registered dietician. However, there are currently registered dieticians in this program for professional development and career advancement.

Benedictine University's Online Master’s Degrees in Nutrition and Wellness programs offer an advanced education in nutrition science with a focus on promoting health and wellness.

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Step 2

Dietetic Internship (DI) in Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Health and the CDR mandate that you must have a minimum of 900 hours of professional experience in an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship (DI). DIs in Mississippi include:

  • University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg
    • One year, full-time
    • Emphasis in health promotion and education
    • You must be admitted to the school’s Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems program before you will be considered for admittance to this DI
    • Academic standards you must meet for admission to this DI include:
      • Have a GPA of 2.75 on your last 65 undergraduate hours of education
      • Have a GPA of 3.0 on your DPD coursework
      • Have a GPA of 2.70 on your science prerequisites, including:
        • 1 semester of general chemistry
        • 1 semester of biochemistry
        • 1 semester of microbiology
        • 1 semester of organic chemistry
        • 1 semester of anatomy and physiology
  • Mississippi State University, Starkville
    • 10 months, full-time
    • Emphasis in nutrition education and therapy
    • Earns you six hours of graduate credit
    • Academic standards you must meet for admission to the DI:
      • Overall GPA of 3.0 in your DPD
      • Nutrition courses GPA of 3.25
      • Pass the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
    • Internships are offered at the following participating facilities in Mississippi:
      • Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Medical Center, Starkville
      • North Mississippi Medical Center, Eupora
      • North Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo
      • Mississippi State University Extension Service, Starkville
      • Mississippi State Department of Health, Starkville
      • Fresenius Medical Care, Columbus
      • Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle, Columbus

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Step 3

Mississippi CDR Registered Dietitian Exam

The CDR and the Mississippi State Department of Health both require that you pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam for Dietitians before you may legally work as a licensed and registered dietitian in the state of Mississippi. Review CDR’s Registration Exam for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates  which will explain in detail the application and examination process. You may register online through the CDR and pay the $200 exam fee. PSI Exam Centers in Mississippi at the following locations administer this exam:

  • Jackson – 2670 Crane Ridge Drive, Suite B
  • Meridian – 910 Highway 19 North

You are given 180 minutes to finish the test. The questions may number as high as 145 and all have multiple-choice answers. As the test is computerized, you must answer a minimum of 125 questions for the exam to be scored. Additionally, you may not skip questions or change answers you have already entered into the computer. The exam tests your comprehension of what you have learned in your CP or DPD and how to apply that information. It is formatted as follows:

  • 12 percent of the exam consists of questions concerning food and nutrition sciences, including:
    • Management concepts
    • Education and communication
    • Research
    • Food Science
    • Nutrient Composition of Foods
    • Nutrition and Supporting Sciences
  • 50 percent of the exam consists of questions concerning nutrition care for groups and individuals, including:
    • Diagnosis
    • Screening, assessment
    • Intervention, planning
    • Evaluation, monitoring
  • 21 percent of the exam consists of questions concerning management of nutrition and food programs and services, including:
    • Functions of management
    • Human resources
    • Financial management
    • Public relations and marketing
    • Quality improvement
  • 17 percent of the exam consists of questions concerning food service systems, including:
    • Menu development
    • Procuring, producing, distributing and service
    • Safety and sanitation
    • Facility planning and equipment
    • Sustainability

 A test center proctor will provide you with a score report at the end of the exam. A scaled score of 25 or higher passes the exam. If you pass, you may legally use the credentials RD (Registered Dietitian).

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Step 4

Dietitian Licensing and Registration in Mississippi

After earning your RD credentials, you are ready to apply for licensure as a dietitian in Mississippi. Download the Mississippi Dietitian/Nutritionist Application for Licensure. Enclose a passport-sized photo of yourself and a copy of your driver’s license or social security card, as well as a copy of your CDR card proving your Registered Dietitian status. Submit an application fee of $100 with your completed, notarized application to Mississippi State Department of Health, Professional Licensure-Dietitian, P.O. Box 1700, Jackson, MS 39215-1700. Once your license is issued, you may legally use the LD (Licensed Dietitian) credentials.

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Step 5

Maintain Licensure and Registration in Mississippi

Maintaining Your Mississippi Dietitian License

You must renew your Mississippi dietitian license every two years. The Mississippi Department of Health will mail you a renewal notice 30 days before your license is set to expire. During each two-year licensure term, you must complete 30 hours of approved continuing education and submit proof of this with your renewal form and fee. If you meet the CDR’s continuing professional education requirements, you may use those continuing education hours to satisfy Mississippi’s requirement. Mississippi-specific activities that count for continuing education credit include, but are not limited to:

  • Attending meetings sponsored by the Mississippi Dietetic Association or Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Making dietetic-related presentations in front of dietitians, medical practitioners, and/or other health care professionals
  • Completing dietetics-related college coursework from a regionally accredited institution with at least a C grade

Maintaining your Registration as a Registered Dietitian in Mississippi

On a five-year basis, you are required to renew your CDR registration. The CDR expects you to complete 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) during each five-year period. The CDR’s CPE Database and PDP Guide can help you to find approved CPE and document it correctly.

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