Bachelor's in Nutrition and Foods - Dietetics

Becoming a Registered Dietitian

The letters "RD" after a person's name signifies that he/she has completed all of the requirements established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (the credentialing agency for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). These requirements include completing a minimum of a bachelor's degree granted by a US regionally accredited college/university and an accredited dietetic internship program. These students then demonstrate their knowledge of food and nutrition by successfully passing a national "RD" credentialing exam. RDs are required to be involved in ongoing continuing professional development after obtaining the RD credential.

The "RD" credential sets dietitians apart from all others. Because of their extensive education and experience, dietitians are the nutrition professionals who are most qualified to help individuals meet their nutritional needs.

There are three requirements students must complete in order to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).

  • First, students must complete the established education requirements in a Didactic Program in Dietetic (DPD). Such programs must be accredited by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and be at an accredited college or university. Appalachian State University is accredited by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to provide a DPD. Our DPD is based upon completing a BS in Nutrition and Foods that includes specific courses and outcomes. Students who graduate from the DPD program at ASU meet all DPD requirements and are eligible to apply for entrance into a dietetic internship.
  • Second, students complete a practical or applied education phase. The way to meet the second requirement is through a dietetic internship (often referred to as a supervised practice program). The number of appointments to Supervised Practice programs is limited and competitive nationally. Faculty will guide students through the application process. However, faculty have no control in the final decision of whether a student gets into an internship since it is made by each program.
  • Third, students are required to pass the National Registration Examination for Dietitians. This test is administered by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for those who have successfully completed the first two steps.


In addition to the RD credential, several states (including North Carolina) require licensure. To learn more about licensure in North Carolina, visit the North Carolina Dietetic Association (NCDA) website at

Becoming a Dietetic Technician, Registered (DTR)

Students choosing not to become RDs or who do not get matched with supervised practice programs, may elect to become DTRs upon obtaining their verification statement. For information on how to become a DTR, click here.

Dietetic Internships

The dietetic internship is a formal program that provides for the achievement of performance requirements by providing a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience. Programs are conducted in hospital or community settings, or government, business or university organizations. Internships are available throughout the United States and vary in length from six to twelve months for "traditional" programs. Programs of extended length may offer the opportunity to acquire graduate credit or combine a master's degree program with an internship (18 months average length).

All internships offer an area of emphasis including nutrition therapy, community nutrition, food service systems management, business or general emphasis that combines features of those four areas. Students may apply to as many internship programs as they desire. Applications to internships are accepted in September (for December graduates) and February (for May graduates). Competition is extremely keen for the limited number of internship places.

Visit the official website of the Appalachian State University College of Health Sciences


Department Chair
jordansr [at] appstate [dot] edu (Sarah Jordan, PhD, RD)

Nutrition Undergraduate
gutschallmd [at] appstate [dot] edu (Melissa Gutschall, PhD, RD, LDN)

Nutrition Graduate
rootmm [at] appstate [dot] edu (Martin Root, MS, PhD)

Health Care Management Undergraduate
willimsdr [at] appstate [dot] edu (David Williams, PhD)

Health Administration Graduate
lanesj1 [at] appstate [dot] edu (Sandi Lane, PhD)

Main Office
Phone: 828-262-8619
Fax: 828-262-8626
L.S. Dougherty, room 101
261 Locust Street
Boone NC 28608