State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


New York Career Information

New York State issued 280 licenses for dietitians and nutritionists in 2012, an increase from 181 in 2008, 217 in 2009, and 229 in 2010, and a slight decrease from a high of 294 in 2011, according to the New York State Education Department.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked New York second among states with the highest employment level for dietitians and nutritionists in May 2012. The annual mean salary for dietitian and nutritionists during the same period was $59,810, second to only California, which had a mean annual salary of $68,700.

Further, the BLS reported that the non-metropolitan area of Northern New York ranked fourth among non-metropolitan areas with the highest employment among dietitians and nutritionists in May 2012.

Becoming a registered and licensed dietitian in New York means completing a number of steps, which include:

Step 1

Get Your Dietetic Education Program in New York

To qualify to become a registered and licensed dietitian in New York, you must earn a bachelor’s degree or higher from an educational program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). These programs include at least 45 semester hours in the following content areas:

  • Assessment and evaluation of the nutritional status of individuals, families, and communities
  • Counseling, education, and communication skills
  • Ethics and professionalism
  • Food service management
  • Human nutrition needs throughout the life span
  • Interpretation of nutrition information and its application
  • Nutrient composition of food
  • Principles of nutrition in health and disease

ACEND-Accredited Dietetic Programs in New York:

There are two types of ACEND-accredited dietetic programs in New York:

Coordinated Programs (CP)

Coordinated programs include both the dietetics education component (bachelor’s or graduate degree), as well as the supervised practice component, which includes at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Upon completion of a CP in New York, you are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and receive the registered dietitian (RD) designation.

The following coordinated programs are located in New York:

Didactic Programs (DP)

Didactic programs in dietetics culminate in a bachelor’s or graduate degree in dietetics, yet do not include the supervised practice component necessary to achieve the registered dietitian credential and licensure in New York. Because of this, upon completing a DP, you must then apply for and complete a dietetic internship (DI) program before you can qualify to sit for the CDR exam and become a registered and licensed dietitian in New York.
The following didactic programs are located in New York:

If you want to become a licensed Dietitian in New York, you must earn certification as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) through the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS). Before you can sit for the CNS examination and become certified through the CBNS, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Earn a Master’s of Science or Doctoral degree in nutrition from an accredited college or university or a Doctoral degree in a clinical healthcare field from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Complete coursework in the following areas:
    • Biochemistry (at least 6 semester credit hours)
    • Clinical or life sciences (at least 12 semester credit hours)
    • Nutrition (at least 9 semester credit hours)
    • Physiology or anatomy/physiology (at least 3 semester credit hours)
  • Complete at least 1,000 hours of documented supervised practice experience in nutrition

You must re-certify every 5 years to maintain your CNS credential and your New York state license, and you must complete at least 75 continuing education credits during each renewal cycle to maintain certification.
Follow Step 4 to apply for licensure as a nutritionist in New York.


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Step 2

Finish Your Dietetic Internship (DI) in NY

Upon completion of a DP, you must apply for and successfully complete a dietetic internship (DI) in New York. New York law requires a dietetic internship to include at least 800 hours of supervised practice, although all ACEND-accredited programs include 1,200 hours of supervised practice.

The following ACEND-accredited DI programs are located in New York:

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Step 3

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam

  1. Upon completing an ACEND-accredited DI program (or coordinated education program), you will become eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam, a requirement for becoming a registered and licensed dietitian in New York.
  2. Your program administrator will likely contact the CDR on your behalf. As such, you can expect to receive email correspondence from ACT Inc., the company that handles all CDR examinations. This email will provide you with instructions on how to register for the exam and pay the $200 application fee. You will have 365 days from the day you complete your DI program to register and take the exam.
  3. After you have successfully registered and paid for the exam, you will receive another email, this time from PSI Exams, the company for the more than 250 PSI Testing Centers across the country. You must schedule the date, time, and location of your CDR exam at one of these locations. Within New York, you may take the CDR exam at one of the following locations:
    1. Albany
    2. Cheektowaga
    3. Fishkill
    4. Glendale
    5. Hauppauge
    6. Jamestown
    7. Johnson City
    8. Liverpool
    9. Manhattan
    10. New Rochelle
    11. Plattsburgh
    12. Rochester
    13. Rome
    14. Watertown
    15. White Plains
  4. Before taking the CDR exam, it may benefit you to prepare for the exam by reading the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dieticians and the Registration Examination for Dieticians Handbook for Candidates
  5. On the day of the exam, bring the PSI confirmation email and your government-issued photo ID with you.
  6. The CDR exam is a computer-based exam consisting of between 125 and 145 multiple-choice questions, which include 25 non-scored, pre-test questions. You will have 2 ½ hours to complete the exam and a simple calculator to help you complete it.
  7. Upon completing the exam, you can immediately check your score by clicking the “report” button in your online account. You must score at least 25 on a scale of 0 to 50 to pass the exam.
  8. If you fail the exam, you may retest after 45 days. However, you must first contact the Commission on Dietetic Registration (1-800-877-1600 ext. 5500) and receive reauthorization to test.

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Step 4

Apply for Licensure as a Dietitian in New York

Upon passing the CDR exam and receiving your RD designation through the CDR, you must now apply for state licensure. Both dietitian and nutritionists must be licensed to practice in New York.

You must complete the Application for Certification and First Registration and provide the Department with proof of your completed education and CDR registration/CNS designation (all forms are available here).

Send your completed application, along with the certification fee of $294 (check made payable to the New York State Education Department), to:

NYS Education Department
Office of the Professions
P.O. Box 22063
Albany, NY 12201

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Step 5

Maintain NY State License and Registration

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires registration renewal every 5 years. You must document at least 75 hours of continuing education (recorded in your CDR Professional Development Portfolio Guide) during every renewal period to qualify.
You can renew your New York registration using the online renewal system. There are no continuing education requirements in New York.

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