Welcome to the Utah State University Dietetic Internship
The Utah State University Dietetic Internship (USU DI) is a fast-paced, intern-focused 31-week accredited internship program administered in a distance format. The distance format of the internship requires that interns find their own preceptors which allows them to gain experience in the location of their choice with freedom to incorporate their areas of personal interest. USU DI faculty foster development of interns’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as they move through self-directed schedules. Interns work weekly with their assigned faculty during and after the internship as they prepare for the RD exam and seek employment.
The USU DI emphasis is school food service system management and child nutrition programs. Interns will be exposed to all aspects of dietetics through supervised practice experience and learning activities based on our competency-based curriculum.
Graduates of the USU DI go on to work as clinical dietitians, school nutrition directors, private practice dietitians, WIC dietitians, and so many other positions.
Click here to read why our graduates are so glad they chose the USU Dietetic Internship!
Fast Facts About the USU DI:
Mission & Goals of the USU Dietetic Internship
The mission of the Utah State University Dietetic Internship is to prepare entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in a distance format to empower them to be future leaders through learning, critical thinking, discovery, and engagement who utilize their experience and individual perspectives to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve.
The Utah State University Dietetic Internship (USU DI) provides interns with experience practicing dietetics in a variety of settings. The unique distance format of the internship allows interns to gain experience in the location of their choice, with freedom to incorporate their areas of personal interest. USU DI faculty foster development of interns’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as they move through self-directed schedules.
Learning activities are facilitated in a variety of methods, making use of current technology and resources for dietetics education and practice. USU DI faculty maintain knowledge of current dietetics practice by staying involved in their areas of expertise via professional memberships in state and national organizations, continuing education, and active participation in dietetics education networking groups. Annual evaluation and adjustment of curriculum ensures regular inclusion of innovative teaching methods, materials, and delivery.
Rapport between interns and faculty is established early and sustained throughout the internship and beyond. Faculty mentor individuals as they navigate the internship and enter the profession as a dietitian. Every effort is made to ensure the setting of the USU DI coincides with interns’ best interests, providing a platform to support their growth and progress, ultimately leading the intern to achieve their goal of passing the national registration exam and attaining a career in the field of dietetics.
PROGRAM GOALS & MEASURABLE OUTCOMES
Program Goal #1: USU DI graduates will demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills required of entry-level dietitian nutritionists.
- Objective 1.1: At least 80% of the program students complete program/degree requirements within 11 months (150% of the program length).
- Objective 1.2: 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- Objective 1.3: The program's one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
- Objective 1.4: Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- Objective 1.5: 80% of the employers who respond to the employer survey will indicate they are satisfied with their employee's (USU DI graduate's) preparation for entry-level practice.
- Objective 1.6: 80% of graduates scores will be higher on the professional characteristics self-assessment at the completion of the program compared to the pre-program self-assessment.
Program Goal #2: USU DI graduates will identify dietetics-related opportunities in child nutrition programs and school food service management as an entry-level dietitian nutritionist.
- Objective 2.1: Within one year of graduation 15% of graduates will be employed in child nutrition programs and/or school foodservice management.
- Objective 2.2: 50% of graduates will indicate that they have a favorable or better perception of, and are willing to work in, child nutrition programs or school foodservice management.
*Program outcome data is available upon request*
USU DI Intern Positions and Graduation Requirements
The USU DI accepts sixty (60) interns each year:
- There are 45-50 positions for interns training outside of Utah or as Utah-Hybrid.
- The remaining 10+ positions are for those interns training in Utah.
For more details on training locations and your options as an applicant see Where Will You Train?
To graduate, USU DI interns must complete the following:
- Complete the thirty-one (31) weeks (1240 hours) that consists of experience in clinical, community, and school food service management rotations.
- Complete all internship learning activities, assignments, tasks, modules, and exams demonstrating achievement of all required core and concentration competencies.
Please view the Graduation, Program Completion Requirements policy for complete details.
Estimated Expenses (Tuition, fees, miscellaneous expenses)
The figures posted here are estimates only. They are provided to help you budget your finances during the internship.
2020-2021 Tuition & Fees
|$11,908 ($458/credit x 26 credits)|
|Program Application Fee||$50|
|DICAS Fee--$45 for the first application and $20 for each additional application||variable|
|D&D Digital Processing Fee||$55|
|Admission Fee to USU--paid after acceptance to the USU DI||$35-55|
|Immunizations--refer to the Immunization List for details on required and recommended immunizations||up to $400|
Drug Screening--may be required by some facilities
Facility Specific Requirements
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership
Distance Education Technology Requirements:
|Transportation--a car is required for transportation to and from rotations
|Cell phone--will be used for long distance calls to internship faculty||variable|
|High speed Internet--recommended||variable|
Orientation Week Expenses
|Airfare to Utah||$200-700|
|Taxi or airport shuttle from airport||$40-50|
|Rental car--if desired||$200-300|
|Lodging--based on a list of local hotels created by USU DI||$100-115/night|
|Meals--some meals provided||$50-75|
|Registration fees--for local dietetic meetings or conferences||$100-200|
|Facility fees--some training facilities may require application or processing fees||variable|
|Application fees for Registration Examination (after graduation)||$200|
How to Become an RDN
The USU DI, the credentialing process, and the RD exam:
The USU DI meets the performance requirements for supervised practice hours for students who have completed the academic requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) or dietetic technicians (DT).
In order to become a registered dietitian nutritionist an individual must:
- Complete a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and obtain a DPD Verification Statement
- Complete a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours through an accredited dietetic internship
- Successfully pass the national registration examination for registered dietitian nutritionists.
For more information on how to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, click here.
After graduation and preparing for the RD exam:
Interns who successfully complete the USU DI will obtain a DI Verification Statement from the internship director and will then be eligible to sit for the national registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Interns who pass the registration exam will have earned the registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) credential. After the RDN credential is obtained, state licensure or certification may be applied for if applicable.
A note about changes to dietetics education requirements:
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In some states, graduates also must obtain certification to practice. Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship at Utah State University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN please visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students
USU DI ACEND Accreditation
The Utah State University Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®).
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The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), formerly known as the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). ACEND® serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs.
ACEND's® Accreditation Process
ACEND® Accreditation Standards serve as the basis for each education program's evaluation. A program undergoing accreditation assesses it strengths and challenges based on ACEND's® Accreditation Standards and describes its plans for improvement in a document called a "self-study report". The report is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers that includes an educator and a practitioner. An ACEND® Board member and a staff member assist the team in its review. The team also visits the program to participate in a series of focused interviews, meetings, observations and tours. These activities provide information to validate the contents of the self-study report and further evaluate the program. The team writes its own report to document its findings and to objectively address key areas of ACEND's® standards based on evidence provided by the program and gathered by the team. The ACEND® Board of Directors reviews the team's and uses it to arrive at a final accreditation decision.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
After the match the USU DI will award ten (10) $2,000 scholarships to students who match with the internship. Scholarship applications and instructions will be made available to interns after acceptance into the program.
USU DI interns are eligible for financial aid loans and/or loan deferment after acceptance to the internship. The USU DI will provide more information on applying for financial aid to those applicants who are accepted to the internship.
Contact the USU Financial Aid Office for more details.
ACADEMY OF NUTRITION & DIETETICS FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Foundation offers scholarship for dietetic interns. Applications are available for the scholarship cycle between February and April each year. For more information on how to apply and eligibility, go to www.eatrightfoundation.org/scholarships
Assessed Prior Learning (APL)
USU DI participates in the Assessed Prior Learning (APL) program recognized by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). APL is designed to grant internship credit based on the qualified applicant's previous work and/or volunteer experience.
Interns may apply for APL credit in mid-April after official acceptance into the USU DI (after the D&D Digital matching process is complete). Forms and instructions will be available to interns at that time.
USU DI Faculty will review all submitted APL forms and determine if any credit will be given. Additional documentation or clarification may be requested. Calls, emails or letters will be sent to contact persons listed on the applicant's documentation for APL.
An intern may receive APL credit for up to 6 weeks of FSSM, up to 5 weeks of Community and up to 2 weeks of Clinical. Total rotation time credited to APL may not exceed 6 weeks.
Interns who receive APL credit will still be registered and receive 26 credit hours. Fees for the internship remain the same. No discount to tuition and fees will be given for time taken off program through APL process.
Please review the Assessed Prior Learning (APL) policy for more details.
Equal Opportunity & Affirmative Action
Utah State University (USU) is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunity regardless of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, veteran status or age. USU also has a policy prohibiting sexual harassment of students, faculty, and staff. Equal opportunity applies to all aspects of employment: recruiting, hiring, promoting, training, benefits, and salary. Equal educational opportunities include admission, access to course offerings, financial assistance, housing, and extracurricular activities.