How Much Does Becoming a Dietitian Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Licensing: $100-$300 $ $ Bachelor's Degree: $5,000-$20,000+ Per Year $ $ $ Master's Degree: $15,000-$61,000

The role of the dietitians is to prevent or treat illnesses using public education on healthy dietary choices.

The dietitians can prepare food and nutrition programs for individual patients, based on low-sodium or low-fat diet.

They can also work in schools and hospitals, as well as in government agencies.

According to the American Dietetic Association, the difference between the dietitians and nutritionists lies in the specific education and the received certification.

Typical Costs

A bachelor’s degree to become a dietitian starts at $5,000 per year at a state college and goes to $20,000 or more per year at a private college.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dietitians should earn a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food service systems management, or a similar area.

A certain undergraduate degree is not always required, however many schools, including the University of Kansas, find coursework in biology, chemistry, nutrition and physiology as prerequisites.

The online bachelor’s course in dietetics in Eastern Michigan University is 58 credit hours, and it costs $14,300.

At the same time, the master’s degree in dietetics costs between $15,000 and $61,000, and it allows dietitians to start their careers in the fields of public health, research, or advanced clinical work.

A master’s degree in Dietetics at the University of Kansas costs $10,000 for in-state tuition and $24,000 for the non-resident tuition when the program has 33 credits.

At the same time, the degree Master of Science in Public Health/Registered Dietitian (MSPH/RD) at John Hopkins University in Baltimore costs $61,120.

The duration of the program is 18 months, with an emphasis on public health nutrition.

Registration, certification and licensure requirements vary by state and cost from $100 to $300.

The unlicensed individuals can practice as a dietitian in some states, but may not be allowed to use specific titles.

The licensing fees in Minnesota are around $100-$200 for the application and based on the desired registration, $165 for the license, and $50 for annual renewal.

In New York, the dietitian certification costs $294.

At the same time in Oregon, certification costs $50 for the application, $75 for initial certification, and $75 for annual renewal.

The applicants are required to get a passing score on the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) test and hold a four-year degree in a related field.

What Is Included

A degree in dietetics covers coursework in nutrition and foods, nutrition and chemistry,  biochemistry and foodservice management, anatomy and biology, business and communication based on the requirements of the American Dietetic Association.

Additional Costs

The cost of living and the other fees can further add $10,000-$35,000 per year to the student’s tuition cost.

John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, for example, estimates additional fees of $12,000 -$22,000 per year for housing, $3,000-$12,000 per year for meals, and $2,400 in for uniforms and transportation, health insurance and textbooks.


Some organizations and colleges provide scholarships to help students pay for training in dietetics.

The American Dietetic Association grants scholarships of $500-$3,000.

At the same time, Marywood University in Scranton, PA and Iowa State University in Ames, IA offer various scholarships through the nutrition and dietetics department.

Shopping For Becoming a Dietitian

  • Students should take part in a coordinated program in dietetics, as recognised by the American Dietetic Association.
  • The Commission on Dietetic Registration has a list of licensing, certification, or registration requirements for the dietitians by state.
  • In the 33 states requiring licensures, such as Alabama and Maryland, it is illegal to practice as a dietitian without that license.
  • In the 12 states requiring certification, including Connecticut and Indiana, a dietitian can practice; however, state rules limit the use of particular titles.
  • The registration is the least common among state guidelines and is specific to California.
  • The registration is the least restrictive in the use of titles and adherence to qualifications.

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