Are IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates eligible for the RD exam?


IGNOU’s Master of Science in Dietetics and Food Service Management (MSCDFSM) is a popular distance learning program related to the field of nutrition and dietetics. Many graduates of this program aspire to become Registered Dietitians (RDs) by passing the required exam. However, there is some confusion as to whether completion of the MSCDFSM degree makes candidates eligible to take the RD exam. This article breaks down the eligibility criteria and application process to make it clear to potential students.


Eligibility criteria for passing the RD exam


The Road to Becoming an RD in India


Candidates have to fulfill certain eligibility requirements related to their academic qualifications and placements to clear the RD exam in India. The Dietetic Association of India specifically lists the following criteria:


  • A postgraduate degree in food and nutrition or home science with a specialization in food and nutrition from a recognized university


  • A one-year dietetic internship in an ADA-recognized healthcare facility or admission to IGNOU-approved organizations


Therefore, before applying for the exam, candidates must not only complete an approved PG Nutrition degree but also complete a rigorous dietetics-focused internship.


IGNOU’s MSCDFSM Curriculum


Before analyzing whether the IGNOU program fulfills the eligibility criteria, let us know the MSCDFSM syllabus and components of the university.


Some advantages include:


  • 2-year distance learning program with theory and projects


  • Includes food safety, public health nutrition, clinical nutrition, etc.


  • No mandatory dissertation or internship


  • Electives such as nutrition research methods, food management, etc.


So while this degree builds knowledge across domains such as community nutrition, food science, and diet therapy, it does not mandate any clinical or hospital exposures. Students have the opportunity to pursue optional projects or a dissertation.


Eligibility after MSCDFSM from IGNOU


Now we come to the key question: does completing IGNOU’s MSCDFSM program make graduates eligible to attempt the RD exam?


Unfortunately, because the degree does not include any mandatory internship or on-the-job training component, IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates will not meet the eligibility criteria set by IDA to sit the RD exam.


Simply completing a two-year distance learning program does not fulfil the mandatory one-year practical exposure to dietetics. Even admission to IGNOU alone is not enough for the internship conditions.


The eligibility clauses of IDA clearly state that candidates must complete an additional internship in an accredited healthcare facility after completing their PG Nutrition degree from IGNOU.


Road to the RD exam after MSCDFSM


While MSCDFSM graduates are not immediately eligible, they have options to meet the requirements. Some routes include:


  • Second-degree PG study in Clinical Nutrition, which includes compulsory practice


  • Enrollment in the 1-year Dietetic Internship Program through admission to IGNOU-recognized institutes


  • Attempting to obtain a one-year full-time apprenticeship program focused on practical learning in hospitals


So IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates essentially need to supplement their learning with substantial clinical or community exposure of at least 1 year through any of the above options.


This would make them eligible, after which they can apply for the RD exam through IGNOU admission.




The key findings regarding the eligibility of IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates for the RD exam are that MSCDFSM alone does not meet the eligibility criteria set by IDA. A mandatory year of work experience is still required after graduation. Admission to the IGNOU partnership and linkages may enable the organization of a dietetic apprenticeship. After completing a suitable practical exposure, graduates can finally appear for the 


Each and every course in IGNOU has Assignments in it for which SOLVED ASSIGNMENTS for IGNOU students is available (solved assignments) which should be in IGNOU HANDWRITTEN ASSIGNMENT ( handwritten assignments ) format. Also for a few courses like Master’s Degree there are IGNOU PROJECT AND SYNOPSIS (project and synopsis) too.


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