State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Nutrition Careers in Oregon

Dietetics practice, according to the Oregon Board of Licensed Dietitians, is defined as the integration and application of principles derived from the sciences of food, management, nutrition, biochemistry, behavioral and social sciences, and physiology as to maintain the health of people.

Although dietitians in Oregon do not need to be licensed to practice and licensure is voluntary, licensed dietitians must meet specific qualification standards for education and training and must comply with professional standards as set forth by both administrative rule and state law.

To attain licensure in Oregon as a dietitian, you must complete a number of steps:

Step 1

Educational Programs in Dietetics in Oregon

You must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, human nutrition, food and nutrition, or food systems management from a regionally accredited college or university approved by the Board of Licensed Dietitians to qualify for licensure in the State of Oregon. This is similar to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), which requires the completion of a dietetic program approved by ACEND to sit for the CDR exam and become a registered dietitian (RD).

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to a Registered Dietitian (RD) License in Oregon:

There is one ACEND-accredited education program located at Oregon State University in Corvallis, which offers a Bachelor of Science degree.

If you want to become a certified nutritionist in Oregon, you can pursue the Certified Nutritionist Specialist (CNS) credential through the Certification Board for Nutritional Specialists (CBNS). To qualify to take the CNS exam and become certified, you must meet a number of minimum requirements:

  • You must earn a master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited college or university  in a nutrition-related field, such as community nutrition, public health nutrition, dietetics, food and nutrition, human nutrition, and nutritional sciences.
  • You must complete the following coursework within your educational program:
    • 9 nutrition credit hours
    • 6 biochemistry credit hours
    • 12 life or clinical sciences credit hours
    • 3 anatomy/physiology credit hours
  • You must complete at least 1,000 hours of supervised, documented experience in nutrition.

You must recertify every 5 years and document at least 75 continuing education credits to maintain your CNS designation.


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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

Apply to a Dietetic Internship in Oregon

Following the successful completion of a didactic dietetic internship, you must complete an ACEND-approved dietetic internship (DI), which includes, according to ACEND standards, at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice. (Oregon requires at least 900 hours of supervised practice.)

The following DI programs are located in Oregon:      

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Step 3

Commission on Dietetic Commission Exam

  1. Upon completion of a DI program, you are eligible to take the CDR examination. Your program administrator will provide you with the information to take the CDR examination or will contact CDR on your behalf.
  2. ACT Inc., the company contracted by CDR to administer the CDR examination, will contact you, via email, with registration information. You must register to take the examination and pay the application fee of $200, both of which are completed online. You must register for the exam, pay for the exam, and take the exam within one year of completing your DI program.
  3. You will then receive communication from PSI Exams, the company that oversees the more than 250 PSI Testing Centers across the country. You must choose a date, time and location for the exam. Within Oregon you may take the exam at the following PSI Testing Center locations:
    1. Baker City
    2. Bend
    3. Eugene
    4. Independence
    5. Medford
    6. Portland
  4. You can prepare for the exam by reading the Study Guide for the Registration Examination for Dietitians and the Registration Examination for Dietitians Handbook for Candidates.
  5. The CDR is a computer-based, multiple-choice examination that consists of about 125 questions, which includes 25 pre-test, non-scored questions. Although the structure of the exam changes from time to time, the most recent information reveals the exam is structured as follows:
    1. Food and Nutrition Sciences
    2. Foodservice Systems
    3. Management of Food and Nutrition Programs and Services
    4. Nutrition Care for Individuals and Groups
  6. On the day of the exam, you must come prepared with the verification email from PSI Exams and your valid driver’s license (or other government-issued ID).
  7. You are given 180 minutes to take the exam, along with another 30 minutes to familiarize yourself with the computer systems and test structure.
  8. You can review your score immediately upon completing the exam by checking the “report” section of your online account. You must score at least 25 (on a scale of 0 to 50).
  9. If you do not pass the exam, you have the option of retesting again after 45 days. However, you must first attain reauthorization to test by contacting CDR at 1-800-877-1600. There is no limit to the number of times you can test, although you must re-register each time and wait 45 days between exams.

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Step 4

Licensure as a Registered Dietitian in Oregon

Once you pass the CDR exam and receive your RD designation, you can apply for state licensure in Oregon. In addition to completing the Dietitian License Application, you must:

  • Pay the application fee of $50
  • Provide the Board with official transcripts from your dietetic education program
  • Provide the Board with evidence of a passing score on the CDR examination
  • Provide the Board with evidence of the completion of at least 900 hours of supervised dietetic experience

Mail the completed application, application fee, and all related documentation to:

Oregon Health Licensing Agency
700 Summer Street NE, Suite 320
Salem, OR 97301-1287
Phone: (503) 378-8667

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Step 5

Maintain Oregon State Licensure and CDR Reg.

You must renew your dietitian license in Oregon every year and pay the renewal fee of $75. You can complete your online renewal here.

You must complete, at a minimum, 15 continuing education credits each year to maintain your dietitian license. If you attain more than 15 continuing education credits during one renewal period, you may carry them forward for up to 4 years, with no more than 60 annual credits allowed to be carried forward each year.

To maintain your CDR registration, you must complete at least 75 continuing education credits and renew your RD designation every 5 years.

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