Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: Degree and Careers Comparison
Dietitian vs. Nutritionist Education Comparison
Degrees Needed for Dietitians
What Are the Differences Between RD vs. RDN?
Can I Complete the Dietetic Internship (DI) After My Master’s Degree?
Degrees Needed for Nutritionists
- A Master of Science or doctoral degree in nutrition or a related field
- 35 hours of relevant coursework related to the practice of personalized nutrition
- 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience
- BCNS personalized nutrition case study reports
What Does a Nutritionist Do?
What Does a Dietitian Do?
- Conducting a nutritional assessment regarding all the food, beverages, medications and supplements that are part of the patient’s diet.
- Discussing food preferences and aversions, eating patterns, allergies, necessary medical adjustments, socioeconomic barriers, religious beliefs and other factors.
- Considering any recurring medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney or heart disease, diabetes and others.
- Creating a nutrition care plan, which includes dietary recommendations, any necessary supplement recommendations and resources for the patient and their support system or caregivers.
Dietitian vs. Nutritionist Salary and Career Outlook
Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: Which Is Right for You?
- In many states, only an RD can counsel individuals regarding specific diet plans.
- Only RDs can be involved with diagnosing and treating medical conditions, which is known as medical nutrition therapy. This type of medical care by an RD is sometimes covered by insurance, including Medicare Part B for certain conditions.
- If you want to work closely with individuals to treat and prevent medical conditions, then you should consider becoming an RD and look into ACEND-approved degree programs.
- If you want to promote individual and population-level health but are not keen on with providing medical nutrition therapy, then earning a CEPH-accredited Master of Public Health with a concentration in nutrition and dietetics through an on-campus or online MPH program may be right for you.
|University and Program Name||Study Length||Test Requirement||Number of Credits|
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Master of Public Health (MPH)|
|As few as 16 months||No GRE Required||42|
George Washington University
Master of Public Health|
|As few as 12 months||No GRE Required||45|
Master of Public Health|
|As few as 15 months||No GRE Required||45|
Online Master of Public Health|
|24 months – 5 years||No GMAT/GRE Required||42|