Many people call themselves a “nutritionist” and work providing nutrition information on topics such as weight loss, healthy living, or sports performance. Not all of these people, however, are registered dietitians nutritionists. The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians, registered.
Only graduates of ACEND accredited programs are eligible to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian or Dietetic Technician, Registered. Individuals who only have degrees in nutrition, dietetics or other related areas from programs that are not ACEND-accredited are NOT ELIGIBLE to take the exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Dietetic Technician, Registered. If a person is not a RDN, they are not eligible for many jobs in the nutrition field. WWU is not ACEND-accredited. WWU students wishing to become nutritionist must continue their education at an ACEND-accredited program at another school. ACNED accredited programs, and other information on becoming a RD can be obtained at: eatrightpro.org/acend/accredited-programs/about-accredited-programs.
Programs exist at both the bachelor’s or graduate level, and are either:
- Coordinated Program in Dietetics, in which dietitian coursework and supervised practice for RD eligibility are combined in the degree program, or
- Didactic Programs in Dietetics, in which dietitian coursework only is offered by the school granting the degree followed by Dietetic Internship, which is supervised practice only for RD eligibility.
Note that after January 1, 2024, a Master’s degree will be required to write the CDR registration examination for dietitians.
A student completing an undergraduate degree at WWU must continue to a masters nutrition program to become a RDN. The school will list their prerequisite courses required for admission, which you must complete in your undergraduate degree (see example below).
Students are encouraged to review prerequisite courses early in their academic planning and to develop a plan of study within the first quarter of entry to Western. Pre-Nutrition is not a major at WWU. Nutrition programs do not require any specific major.
How to Indicate you are Pre-Nutrition:
Although Pre-Nutrition is not a major, the university maintains a record of students who have indicated their intention to pursue nutrition careers. In order to receive information and advising that is relevant to your intended area, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, W number, Western email address with “Pre-Nutrition” as the subject line.