State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields


Nutrition Job Description in South Dakota

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists in South Dakota, as of May 2012, was between $50,290 and $51,780.

According to the South Dakota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, practice in nutrition or dietetics involves the integration and application of scientific principles of: biochemistry, physiology, management, behavioral science, social science, food and nutrition to maintain the health of any population. Both dietitians and nutritionists must be licensed to practice in South Dakota.
Dietetic and nutrition professionals may work in any number of settings, including:

  • School cafeterias
  • Hospitals
  • Daycares
  • Nursing homes
  • Community centers, such as home health agencies and senior centers
  • Colleges, universities or technical schools (teaching)
  • Researching for government agencies
  • Food or pharmaceutical companies
  • Health clubs or food and nutrition companies (consulting)

To practice as a registered dietitian in South Dakota, you must first become licensed, which involves successfully completing the following steps:

Step 1

Dietetic Educational Program in South Dakota

According to the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners, you must complete a bachelor or graduate degree from an accredited college or university in:

  • Dietetics
  • Food service management
  • Food and nutrition
  • Nutrition education
  • Human nutrition

Further, to sit for the Commission on Registered Dietitians (CDR) Examination and become a registered dietitian (RD), you must complete a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

ACEND-Accredited Programs Leading to a Registered Dietitian in South Dakota:

  • The following ACEND-accredited education program is located in South Dakota:

    If you want to become a licensed nutritionist in South Dakota, you must:

    • Possess a master’s degree or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university with a major course of study in one of the following areas:
      • Human nutrition
      • Public health nutrition
      • Clinical nutrition
      • Nutrition education
      • Community nutrition
      • Foods and nutrition
    • Complete at least 1,000 hours of documented, supervised practice in nutrition, which includes:
      • At least 200 hours of nutrition assessment
      • At least 200 hours in nutrition monitoring or evaluation
      • At least 200 hours in intervention, education, counseling, or management
    • Pass the CBNS Certifying Examination and receive a Certified Nutritionist Specialist (CNS) designation through the Certification Board for Nutritional Specialists (CNBS).
    • Complete the application for licensure as a nutritionist in South Dakota (see Step 4)

*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 in South Dakota

After completing the required education, you must apply to and complete a dietetic internship (DI) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition (ACEND). All ACEND-approved DI programs include at least 1,200 hours of supervised practice, which meets the CDR requirements of 900 hours of supervised practice.

There is one DI program in South Dakota:

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Step 3

Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Exam

  1. Once you complete your DI program, your program administrator will provide you with the information needed to register for the CDR examination. Your program administrator may also contact CDR on your behalf, in which case you can expect to receive email correspondence from ACT Inc., the company contracted by CDR to handle all examinations. You must, at this time, register to take the CDR exam and pay the application fee of $200. You have one year to register and take the CDR exam upon graduating from your DI program.
  2. After registering with ACT, you will then receive an email from PSI Exams, the company that oversees the testing centers at which you will take the exam. There are more than 250 PSI Testing Centers in the country. Although there is no PSI Testing Center in South Dakota, there is one in nearby North Dakota in the cities of Bismarck and Fargo. You must register the date, time and location of your exam.
  3. On the date of the examination, you will be required to bring a government-issued photo ID with you, along with your confirmation email from PSI. PSI will provide you with a computer and simple calculator to take the exam. You may not use your own calculator.
  4. The CDR exam consists of about 125 questions, which are divided up among the following areas:
    1. Food and nutrition sciences: 12 percent
    2. Nutrition care for individuals and groups: 50 percent
    3. Management of food and nutrition programs and services: 21 percent
    4. Foodservice systems: 17 percent
  5. You will have 3 hours to complete the examination, which includes 30 minutes for pretest questions that will allow you to become familiar with the exam and the computer.
  6. Upon completing the examination, click the “report” button on your online account to immediately access your score. A passing score on the CDR examination is at least 25 (on a scale of 0 to 50).
  7. If you fail the exam, you must contact CDR at 1-800-877-1600 ext. 5500 to obtain reauthorization to retake the exam. You must wait at least 45 days to retake the examination. There is no limit to the number of times you can take the examination, provided you reschedule and pay the examination fee each time.

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Step 4

Licensure as an RD or Nutritionist in SD

After passing the CDR exam, you will be eligible to apply for licensure in South Dakota as a nutritionist or Registered Dietitian (RD). You must complete the application for dietician/nutritionist licensure using the South Dakota Online Application system.

You must first register with the system, which requires you to enter a username and password. You will also be required to use the site’s online secure credit card payment system to pay for the $70 application fee. You can also use the same site to review your status and view any further instructions.

Once you complete the application and pay the application fee, you will receive instructions regarding the additional verification required by the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners.

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Step 5

Maintain your CDR Reg. and License in SD

State License Renewal

All licenses for nutritionists and dietitians in South Dakota must be renewed on June 30 of every year. You must provide documentation of the completion of at least 15 hours of continuing education every year or 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years, along with a license renewal fee of $35. Renewal information can be found on the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners’ website close to the annual renewal date.

CDR Registration Renewal

CDR requires renewal of your registration every 5 years. At this time, you must provide them with documentation of at least 75 hours of continuing education. All continuing education is tracked and managed using the CDR’s Professional Development Portfolio.

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