In August 2018 I began my nine-month long journey as a dietetic intern through Texas A&M University. The truth is, most people have not heard of a dietetic internship so that meant for nine months I was asked, “So are you a student, or do you work?”. The answer was, “A little bit of both!”
What is a Dietetic Internship?
A dietetic internship is a 6-12 month supervised practice in the field of dietetics, that is required to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). During the internship, each intern has to complete 1200 hours of supervised practice and various competencies outlined by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). These requirements are met through rotation in areas of food service, management, clinical nutrition, and community nutrition. Each rotation is different but last anywhere from two weeks to months. Once the intern has finished their dietetic internship, they must take a national exam to officially become an RD.
Are Interns Paid?
Sadly, most interns do not receive a stipend. Rather, interns usually pay tuition. The price of each internship varies. For more information about each program click here.
How do you get into an internship?
Dietetic internships are highly competitive. According to ACEND, in 2018 only 61% of applicants were matched with a program, which is an improvement from the previous years. To be accepted into a dietetic internship, you are required to participate in a computer matching program. The computer matching process can be confusing, so essentially what happens is applicants submit a general application into a computer program and rank the schools they are applying to. The schools then rank applicants based on GPA, work experience, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. After the deadline has passed for applications, students are either matched with a program or must reapply at a later time. If you’re interested in becoming a dietitian please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about applying to dietetic internships.