Nutrition F.A.Q.

You may have many questions about the Nutrition Option of the Public Health degree at Keene State. Below we’ve tried to answer some of those questions, but if you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, please contact us.

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What is the difference between a nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

Nutrition professionals who have completed all of the required coursework and successfully passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians may use the legal credential RDN. Only professionals who have passed the examination can call themselves RDNs. The education and training of professionals calling themselves nutritionists varies widely.

What are some examples of jobs for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists?

Clinical dietitians assess patients’ nutritional needs, may manage food service departments, and provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT) to treat and prevent diseases. Common work settings include hospitals and nursing care facilities.

Management dietitians oversee large-scale meal planning and preparation, budgets, enforce regulations, and supervise other RDNs and food service workers. Common work settings include healthcare facilities, company cafeterias, schools, and prisons.

Community dietitians provide nutrition education and counseling to groups and individuals. Typical work settings include state and local health departments, home health agencies, WIC, and other grant-funded programs. They often work with special populations such as people with low incomes, elderly, children, and individuals with special needs.

Non-RDN-required jobs in a variety of management, health, community, education, and industry fields.  Non-RDN required jobs can be found at:

What are some examples of jobs for non-Registered Dietitian Nutritionists?

What are examples of specialty certifications for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists?

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) offers board-certified specialist designation in:

  • Gerontological Nutrition (CSG)
  • Sports Dietetics (CSSD)
  • Pediatric Nutrition (CSP)
  • Pediatric Critical Care
  • Renal Nutrition (CSR)
  • Oncology Nutrition (CSO)
  • Obesity and Weight Management

Visit for more information.

The Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) certification is offered through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. Visit for more information.

For more information on becoming an RDN, please visit

If I am unsure about becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, can I still major in Public Health/Nutrition Option?

There are a number of career options for those who complete the program and are not certain that they want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Examples of non-RDN jobs

Job shadowing is a great way to identify career paths you like and ones that you do not like. Gaining experience through internships, volunteering, or paid job experiences is vital in making you more marketable, which will be helpful in attaining a job after graduation. Gaining experience is also crucial because you are able to make contacts with other professionals already in the work field.

Will I need to have a Master’s degree to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

Beginning January 1, 2024, a Master’s degree will be required. However, if you have completed your undergraduate degree, have accepted and completed your dietetic internship AND passed the Registration Exam for Dietitians prior to January 1, 2024, a Master’s degree is not required to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Do I have to take the Verification Statement Examination to get my degree?

Your B.S. degree in Public Health/Nutrition Option does not require that you take and pass the KSC Verification Statement Examination. The Verification Statement Examination is a requirement for the DPD Verification Statement only, which is needed to qualify for dietetic internship.  This exam is administered by the Public Health Nutrition option faculty, is free and can be retaken as many times as the graduate wishes.

What is a dietetic internship?

The dietetic internship is a post-baccalaureate program that provides a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practice in dietetics. The cost of these programs varies but the student can expect to spend the equivalent to a year of college on program fees, tuition, and living expenses.

The training includes rotations in food service management, clinical, and community nutrition. A dietetic internship plus a master’s degree must be successfully completed to qualify to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Many dietetic internships combine the supervised practice experience and a master’s degree.

Dietetic internships are also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).


What is the national Registration Examination for Dietitians?

This is the final step to becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. The Commission on Dietetic Registration administers the national examination and credentials dietitians. Once the student has successfully completed both the DPD coursework the dietetic internship and a master’s degree, he or she is eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Beginning January 1, 2024, requirements to qualify to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians will also include that the applicant has earned a master’s degree.  To qualify for the exam without a master’s degree the DPD coursework, bachelor’s degree and dietetic internship must be completed by December 31, 2023

Will I be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist after finishing my B.S. degree at KSC?

No. To become an RDN you must earn a DPD Verification Statement by passing the KSC Verification Statement Examination, and apply for and be accepted into a dietetic internship. After completing the dietetic internship, you then must pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Beginning January 1, 2024, requirements to qualify to take the Registration Examination for Dieticians will also include that the applicant has earned a Master’s degree.

What is the Dietetic Technician Registered and how do I become one?

Dietetic Technicians Registered (DTR) are food and nutrition professionals that have either completed an accredited DTR program and passed the national Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians, or have a four-year degree from an accredited DPD (Public Health Nutrition Option) program and have passed the national Registration Examination for Dietetic Technicians.

DTRs typically work alongside Registered Dietitians Nutritionists in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other health care facilities. Other career opportunities for DTRs include food service management and community nutrition programs.

What are some examples of jobs for non-Registered Dietitian Nutritionists?

There are a variety of employment options; however, some may require additional training or education. Some examples include:


Writer (medical/technical)
Health speaker
Author (magazines, books, cookbooks)
Food critic

Hospital Setting

Diet technician
Nutrition assistant
Dietary aide


Nutrition educator
Community nutritionist (Women, Infants, and Children [WIC] nutritionist, for example)
Wellness/health coach


Government-based programs (Cooperative Extension, WIC, others)
Grant-funded programs
Corporate wellness

Food Service Management

Food service manager/assistant manager (hospitals, assisted living centers, schools, restaurants, hotels)
Restaurant consultant
Quality control
Health inspector
USDA inspector
FDA inspector

Sales Representative

Food company
Medical supplies/devices
Pharmaceutical company
Nutritional supplement sales

Education (may need additional education or credentials in order to teach)

Research assistant
Grant writer


Taste tester
Food stylist
Food technologist/scientist
Research chef
Marketing specialist (developing and introducing new foods)

Government Positions

Health and Human Services (many government positions)

What are examples of certifications that do not require me to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
  • Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES): National Center on Health
  • Education Credentialing
  • Certified Personal Trainer: American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
  • CPR and First Aid: American Red Cross
  • Certified Dietary Manager, Certified Food Protection Professional: Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals (ANFP)
What are some additional resources that I may find useful?
1-800-KSC-1909 · 229 Main St. Keene, New Hampshire 03435