Iowa State University ISPP is for holders of doctoral degrees, in nutrition or related fields, who desire to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

The ISPP is a 6-month pathway at Iowa State University to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Knowledge will be assessed using Prior Assessed Learning (PAL) and knowledge assessment activities to determine which, if any, Foundation Knowledge Learning needs must be completed prior to starting supervised practice. 

ISPP application checklist

  • Complete online ISPP application
  • Pay $100 nonrefundable application fee (via credit card).
    • All application must be submitted at least four months prior to your anticipated start date, for review of application material and interview.
      • Final decision of acceptance will be made within three weeks of submitting all material.
    • You must start the program within 1 year of your initial application date. If you are unable to begin the program within one year, you will be required to re-apply, including resubmitting the application fee.

After completing the online application, you will receive additional information about how to submit your required documents electronically. If you do not receive an invitation within two business days, contact us.

Required application documents

(All files must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format)

  1. Application Essay: 750 word essay about why you desire to become an RDN, what you will use RDN credential for, and how previous skill set/research complements RDN credential.
  2. Prior Assessed Learning application form (This information is used to determine individual supervised practice requirements) and complete a portfolio.
  3. Current CV
  4. Two letters of recommendation
  5. Employer letter of support (if applicable)
  6. International applicants in the US on a visa are required to submit work/employment authorization or provide documentation of OPT status
  7. Transcripts showing doctoral degrees conferred
  8. DPD Verification Statement (if applicable)
  9. Communication (either email or letter) from the preceptor agreeing to precept you and the specific rotation. Information about contacting potential preceptors and facility information can be found here.
  10. Proposed schedule that includes: facility and preceptor information and rotation dates. Information on selecting your preceptors and facilities can be found by clicking on “facility search” and then searching for facilities by state. Rotation specific information can be found here.
  11. Completed knowledge assessment activities (access will be provided in the application course)

Note: Your actual start date is determined by completion of affiliation agreements needed with the facility.

Once you have been accepted into the program, you will receive a link to register via email. Payment in full via credit card is due upon registration.

Program costs 

  • Application fee: $100, nonrefundable
  • Program fees: $9,000
    • Additional general expenses: $800 (may include cost of books, supplies, and other program requirements)

Grants and awards

ISPP students are considered “non-degree seeking” and are not eligible for financial aid. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation provides awards and grants to support individuals with doctorates seeking to become RDNs.

Program completion requirements

In order to successfully complete the ISPP and receive the verification statement, interns need to demonstrate their mastery of the required ACEND competencies, complete all required assignments and supervised practice hours. For additional information, please refer to the program handbook.