Interested in becoming a dietitian?
To become a registered dietitian in Canada you must meet academic education and practical experience requirements, and successfully challenge the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE).
All registered dietitians complete an undergraduate degree in human nutrition and dietetics from a university program that has been accredited by the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP). These programs include a range of subjects such as:
- foundational science (chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology)
- social sciences and communications
- profession-related courses such as nutrition needs throughout the human lifecycle, specific disease and chronic disease interventions, community nutrition and population health, and food service management.
In addition to holding a bachelor's degree from an accredited university program, dietitians must also obtain supervised practical experience. Some undergraduate programs include opportunities to complete the necessary practicum/ experiential components and others do not. The diagram below shows the different routes of entry and the types of program options available to those wishing to become a Registered Dietitian in Canada.
1. Integrated Program Route:
Here, the practical training program is an essential part of the undergraduate program. Some universities offer practicum placement to all students admitted to the dietetics program.
In other programs, the number of places is limited, and students must compete for them. Placements for practical placements are organized either in rotation blocks throughout the program, or are positioned at the end of the program when all the theoretical courses are completed. These programs are called integrated programs.
Integrated Programs are normally 5 years in length to accommodate both the academic and practicum training components.
2. Post-degree Program Route
After completing a PDEP accredited undergraduate program, students may compete for practicum program placements through:
- Master's practicum program - In these programs, students apply directly to a Master's Practicum program directly through the university. Practical experience is incorporated into the curriculum, and the university organizes the placements that students must complete in addition to master's courses.
- Postgraduate Practicum Program - This is a competitive placement process coordinated by Dietitians of Canada. Specific organizations, such as hospitals or other care facilities, establish the number of placements they are able to offer, and students apply for these placements through the DC Match system. These programs typically last from 35 to 40 weeks.
Accredited Undergraduate Programs in Canada
For a complete list of PDEP accredited academic and practicum programs that provide the required education and experience to become a Registered Dietitian in Canada, visit https://www.pdep.ca/accreditation/accredited-program-list.aspx There you will find programs listed by type and by province as well as links to current program descriptions and entrance requirements.