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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Dietitian

Becoming a Dietitian Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Dietitian Cost?

 
low costLicensing: $100-$300average costBachelor's Degree: $5,000-$20,000+ Per Yearhigh costMaster's Degree: $15,000-$61,000

Dietitians prevent and treat illnesses through public education on healthy dietary choices. For example, dietitians might plan food and nutrition programs for specific patients based on the needs for a low-fat or low-sodium diet. They may work for hospitals, schools and government agencies. The American Dietetic Association[1] distinguishes dietitians from nutritionists based the specific education and certification received.

Typical costs:

  • A bachelor's degree ranges from $5,000 per year at a state college to $20,000 or more per year at a private college. The Bureau of Labor Statistics[2] recommends that dietitians earn a bachelor's degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or a related area. A specific undergraduate degree is not always required, but many schools such as the University of Kansas[3] say coursework in biology, chemistry, physiology, and nutrition are prerequisites. Eastern Michigan University[4] 's online bachelor's in dietetics is 58 credit hours and costs $14,300.
  • A master's degree in dietetics costs $15,000-$61,000, and can help dietitians seeking careers such as research, public health or advanced clinical work. At the University of Kansas[5] , a master's degree in Dietetics costs $10,000 for in-state tuition and $24,000 for non-resident tuition for the 33 credit program. A Master of Science in Public Health/Registered Dietitian (MSPH/RD) degree at John Hopkins University[6] in Baltimore costs $61,120. This degree program takes 18 months to complete and has an emphasis on public health nutrition.
  • Licensure, certification or registration requirements vary by state and cost $100-$300. Unlicensed individuals may be able to practice as a dietitian in certain states, but may not use certain titles. Minnesota[7] charges licensing fees of $100-$200 for the application (depending on desired registration), $165 for the license, and $50 for annual renewal. In New York, certification for a dietitian costs $294. In Oregon[8] , certification costs $50 for the application, $75 for initial certification, and $75 for annual renewal. Applicants must obtain a passing score on the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) test and hold a four-year degree in a related field.
Related articles: Becoming a Nutritionist, College

What should be included:
  • A degree in dietetics should include coursework in foods, nutrition, foodservice management, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, anatomy, business, and communication according to the American Dietetic Association[9] .
Additional costs:
  • Cost of living and other fees can add $10,000-$35,000 per year to a student's tuition cost. For example, John Hopkins University[10] in Baltimore, MD, estimates additional fees of $12,000-$22,000 per year for housing, $3,000-$12,000 per year for meals, and $2,400 in www.hopkinsbayview.org/nutrition/MSPH>additional fees like transportation, uniforms, health insurance and textbooks.
Discounts:
  • Scholarships from organizations and colleges may be available to help pay for training in dietetics. The American Dietetic Association[11] grants scholarships of $500-$3,000. Marywood University in Scranton, PA, offers various scholarships specifically through the nutrition and dietetics department, as does Iowa State University in Ames, IA.
Shopping for becoming a dietitian:
  • Students should attend a coordinated program in dietetics, as recognized by the American Dietetic Association[12] .
  • The Commission on Dietetic Registration lists licensing, certification, or registration requirements for dietitians by state. In the 33 states requiring licensure, like Alabama and Maryland, it is illegal to practice as a dietitian without that license. In the 12 states requiring certification, such as Connecticut and Indiana, a dietitian can still practice the occupation, but state rules limit the use of particular titles. Registration is the least common among state guidelines, and is specific to California. It is the least restrictive in the use of titles and adherence to qualifications.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.eatright.org/HealthProfessionals/content.aspx?id=6859
  2.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
  3.  www.dietetics.kumc.edu/masters-eligibility.html
  4.  www.emich.edu/sbs/tuitionfeesoutline.php
  5.  www.kumc.edu/student-services/office-of-the-registrar/current-students/tuition-and...
  6.  www.hopkinsbayview.org/nutrition/MSPH
  7.  www.dieteticsnutritionboard.state.mn.us
  8.  licenseinfo.oregon.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=license_seng&link_item_id=1552
  9.  www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/content.aspx?id=8143
  10.  www.jhu.edu/~hds/oncampus/rates.html
  11.  www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/content.aspx?id=8133
  12.  www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/content.aspx?id=8471
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