Registered dietitians, registered dietitian nutritionists, licensed nutritionists, and even non-licensed nutritionists must adhere to specific educational, experiential and examination requirements administered by the state agency that regulates the profession within each state on how to become a nutritionist.
Requirements vary from one state to the next, and there are wide range of licensure and certification types. Those dietary professionals who perform work related to specific agencies, health care providers and government reimbursement programs also must fulfill special requirements.
State Requirements for Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians
- Nutritionist Licensure Map – Requirements by State
Use our interactive map for understanding nutritionist licensure requirements in different states.
- Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Requirements by State
Dig into the criteria and steps to become a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist in each state.
- Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State
Dive into the specifics of becoming a licensed nutritionist, state by state, and the necessary qualifications and steps.
- Non-Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State
Review requirements and guidelines for individuals who work as non-licensed nutritionists in different states.
If you are interested in a career in nutrition and dietetics, research your state’s particular rules and regulations to make sure that you are able to properly assess the time and commitment necessary in order to reach your professional goals. The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains an updated list of state requirements, links to state agencies and statute and regulation links here.
The following bachelors and Master’s programs offer career-focused instruction delivered by trained nutritionists with experience in the field. Find out more what each individual course of study offers through the locations below.
American University offers two different programs focused on Nutrition and Health. Their 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 and beyond. Or Earn your Master of Science in Health Promotion Management from AU’s award-winning program in just 20 months with $10K available in scholarships upon enrollment (qualifier is a 3.0 GPA).
UNC's MPH Nutrition concentration prepares students to provide, evaluate and communicate nutritional and dietary guidance that improves individual and population-wide health outcomes. In addition to developing their knowledge of nutrition science, students will explore behavior change, communication, counseling and the effects of dietary culture on individuals and communities.
Arizona State University - Online offers an Online Master of Science in Nutritional Science - Dietetics. Along with an Online Masters in Medical Nutrition
Bay Path University's health and wellness certificates build the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to upskill your abilities in your profession or to provide a robust concentration to your degree program for a specific role. Learn more about the Certificate in Food Science and Safety certificate.
If you want to work in fitness and nutrition, take the first step toward a new career with one of Penn Foster's accredited, online fitness and training programs. These affordable programs are all offered online, and can be taken at your own pace.
Grand Canyon University offers an M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Winthrop University offers an Online Master of Science in Human Nutrition and an Online Master of Science in Sport and Fitness Administration
Nutritionist Licensure Map – Requirements by State
Are you considering a career in nutrition and dietetics? Explore detailed information about the licensing requirements for nutritionists in your state. Simply click your state on the map and delve into the specific details.
State Color Codes Explained
|There is no legal opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, although insurance limitations regarding reimbursement eligibility may apply.|
|Anyone can perform nutrition counseling on their own, however only an RD (Registered Dietitian) is accredited and authorized to be recognized by the US Government as performing services that are eligible for reimbursement under the current health care laws.|
|Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. Additional licenses are available for nutritionists not interested in becoming an RD.|
|Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt in some cases), that individual cannot legally perform specific nutrition counseling. The fact remains that unless one becomes licensed as an RD, they would remain ineligible.|
Registered Dietitian/Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Requirements by State
Currently (as of 2021), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) considers the credentials Registered Dietitian (RD) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to be interchangeable. Those who fulfill the credentialing requirements of AND may use either credential.
Becoming an RD or RDN is a challenging process that involves obtaining the proper education and experience through approved, accredited programs. AND regulates the RD and RDN practice nationwide. However, each state may also have its own state requirements for licensure and/or certification, in addition to those required to obtain RD/RDN credentials.
Find your state below to check its current licensure and certification requirements for RDs/RDNs:
Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State
A licensed nutritionist is a professional who has earned credentials through a nationally recognized licensing body. These include the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS), and the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board (CNCB).
Some states, too, require licensure and/or certification of nutritionists in order to legally practice within that state. Unless an individual is licensed (or exempt), they may not legally perform specific nutrition counseling.
Additional licenses are available for those nutritionists who are not interested in becoming an RD or RDN (see agencies above).
Choose from the states below where it is illegal to perform nutrition counseling unless licensed or exempt to see each state’s licensure/certification requirements:
Non-Licensed Nutritionist Requirements by State
In certain states, anyone can legally provide nutrition counseling services as a nutritionist, even if they aren’t nationally certified or licensed. In these states, there is no legal opposition to individuals performing nutrition counseling on their own, though there may be restrictions when it comes to insurance reimbursement eligibility.
These state include: