Online Dietician Programs: Can I Become a Registered Dietitian Online?

Learn about online dietitian programs and how to become a registered dietitian online.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Career Facts

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Online

If you are wondering if you can become a dietitian online then this page will explain the process.

The short answer to this question is ‘Yes’ – you can earn a Registered Dietitian degree through online courses, but there will be an additional requirement. You’ll also have to complete an in-person internship which has earned the approval of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The online dietitian programs which you take will have to be part of a 4-year Bachelor Degree program in Dietetics, after which you would have to pass an examination known as the Registration Examination for Dietitians, an exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Some schools offer programs involving online courses in Dietetics which students can pursue, while concurrently fulfilling the internship requirement at a facility local to the area.

Dietetics Curriculum

When pursuing 4-year registered dietitian programs online, it will be necessary to complete coursework which is considered preliminary to the core major field of study. These courses will usually include classes in anatomy, biology, physiology, chemistry, organic chemistry, statistics, and microbiology. When you get to the actual Dietetics coursework, you can expect to concentrate on topics such as the nutritional requirements at different stages of life. Other course subjects might include the role played by culture in the diets which humans adopt, as well as food science, assessment of nutrition, and nutritional education.


The internship portion of your Registered Dietitian academic pursuit is a serious program requiring 1,200 hours of internship tasks, carried out over a period between eight and 24 months. You may have a choice of concentration, but it will generally be in an area such as community nutrition, pediatric nutrition, nutrition therapy, or clinical research on nutrition. In some cases, the internship may be administered on a rotational basis, and will include two or more of the topics referenced above, in addition to other areas of concentration.

As you might expect, each of these different internship opportunities can prepare you for different careers in the overall field of Diet and Nutrition. Depending on which online school you attend, you might be able to complete an internship by investing 20 hours per week, and some others require a 40-hour time commitment, so you’ll have to find out all the important details about your curriculum and internship. Some schools also allow a student to complete the curriculum portion of study first, and then transfer into an internship program afterward.

Continuing Education

It is also possible to obtain a Master’s Degree in Dietetics through online coursework. Anyone opting for this career path is generally interested in preparing for doctoral studies for the purpose of becoming a qualified instructor in one or more of several areas. These instructional areas might include nutritional assessment, macronutrients, medical nutrition, or disease and nutrition. Another possible objective when obtaining a Master’s Degree might be for an ACEND-certified dietitian to simply add to their qualifications and to enhance their career opportunities.

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