Is Anyone Eligible for RD exam after completing MSCDFSM from IGNOU ?


Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) offers a Master of Science in Dietetics and Food Service Management (MSCDFSM) program. This program aims to provide students with comprehensive knowledge and skills in the areas of clinical nutrition, community nutrition, food science, and food service management.

Many students who complete the MSCDFSM program are interested in becoming Registered Dietitians (RDs). However, they are often asked if they are eligible to take the RD exam with an IGNOU MSCDFSM degree and a BSc in Biological Sciences. This article examines the eligibility criteria and discusses whether it is possible to take the RD exam after completing the IGNOU MSCDFSM program with wildlife knowledge.


Educational requirements for the RD exam


The educational standards and requirements established by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) provide guidelines for the necessary education required to pass the RD exam. According to these standards, applicants for the RD exam must complete the course and supervised practice requirements from an accredited program.


Specifically, you must complete a bachelor’s degree and a course approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This includes courses in areas such as food and nutrition sciences, food service systems, business, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, communication, and counseling. Applicants must also complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program, such as a dietetic internship.


IGNOU MSCDFSM Syllabus Overview


The IGNOU MSCDFSM program contains theoretical and practical coursework spread over four semesters. Key subjects covered include human physiology, clinical nutrition and dietetics, genetics, nutritional biochemistry, research methodology, food safety and quality control, etc.


The program also includes a 6-month internship. However, IGNOU MSCDFSM is not an ACEND-accredited program. Since CDR requires ACEND accreditation, completion of an IGNOU degree alone does not fulfil the eligibility criteria for the RD exam.


Eligibility for the RD Exam for IGNOU MSCDFSM Graduates


Since IGNOU MSCDFSM itself does not have ACEND accreditation, students who have completed this program and have a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences do not directly qualify for the RD exam. According to CDR guidelines, applicants must meet ACEND-accredited bachelor’s and supervised practice requirements.


So what are the options for IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates with a degree in life sciences? This section discusses the next steps they can take to determine their eligibility for the RD exam.


Completion of an accredited ACEND dietetic internship


One of the major requirements that IGNOU MSCDFSM students lack is to complete an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program. The most common way to do this is to apply to ACEND’s accredited post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program.


Over 200 such programs are offered across the country. Applicants are screened based on their academic performance, work experience, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities, and interview performance. Acceptance rates for these competitive programs vary widely but are often between 50 and 60%.


A dietetic internship usually lasts 6–12 months on a full-time basis. Students complete intensive clinical training in health facilities or community health programs under the supervision of an RD supervisor. By completing an accredited ACEND internship after IGNOU MSCDFSM, one then becomes eligible for the RD credentialing exam.


Evaluating the suitability of previous work in the course


Students graduating from IGNOU MSCDFSM with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences may also consider having their previous coursework reviewed by the CDR to identify any knowledge gaps related to dietetics.


They can complete detailed education information in CDR’s Vocational Education (SPE) online system. The SPE review aims to assess academic work that is not ACEND accredited against national RD curriculum standards and to highlight topics that may require additional education.


For example, someone with an exceptional academic profile and an extensive portfolio based on food, nutrition, and dietetics may only need to complete a specific set of additional courses. Taking targeted courses together with ACEND-supervised accredited practice then offers another potential route to eligibility for the RD exam.


However, SPE approval ultimately depends on the depth of domain knowledge demonstrated by previous academics. As the qualification criteria are quite strict, SPE approval is rare without completing any ACEND-accredited program.


Exploring alternative options


Students who have completed the IGNOU MSCDFSM program to enhance their nutrition knowledge also have certain alternative accreditation options. These include qualifying for certification exams to become nutrition educators, sports nutritionists, health coaches, food safety specialists, etc.


In addition to professional certifications, they may also consider building specialized careers in food analysis, nutrition research, corporate wellness, health communication, food product development, and similar fields.


However, those who remain specifically invested in becoming clinical dietitians may benefit from further coordinated training through the accredited ACEND program.


Key things


In conclusion, candidates who hold an IGNOU MSCDFSM along with a BSc in Biological Sciences are currently not eligible for the coveted RD exam. This is because IGNOU’s MSCDFSM program currently lacks ACEND accreditation, which is mandatory for eligibility for RD credentials.


Potential options for IGNOU MSCDFSM graduates to qualify for the RD exam include:


  1. Completion of ACEND’s accredited post-graduate dietetics internship program


  1. Conducting additional courses if prior knowledge gaps are identified during the SPE review


  1. Considering a career or certification focused on alternative nutrition and wellness


Meeting ACEND-supervised practice and education requirements remains essential for dietetics graduates seeking RD accreditation in the United States. Students in this position may need strategic planning, diligent effort, and patience to chart their path to eligibility.




The IGNOU MSCDFSM program offers comprehensive training in food, nutrition, and dietetics but does not in itself meet certain screening criteria for attempting the RD exam. Graduates who wish to become registered dietitians must complete additional steps to establish eligibility under CDR guidelines.

The path forward requires dedicated focus, but it is comforting for students to know that there are multiple paths to RD accreditation, whether through formal education or specialized work.


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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