The Mississippi State University (MSU) Dietetic Internship (DI) program, offered in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, is a post-baccalaureate program designed to prepare interns for rewarding careers in traditional and non-traditional roles in the field of dietetics. Interns complete the requirements for the DI and 21 hours of graduate credit within 11 months. The program provides 1064 hours of supervised practice experience in various clinical, research, food service management, community nutrition, and nutrition education settings. The dietetic internship is offered in conjunction with an MSU master’s degree in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion with a Health Promotion or Nutrition concentration. Graduate credits earned during the internship meet requirements for specific degree program concentrations. The number of graduate credits earned and applied will vary based on your MS concentration and the number of graduate courses you schedule per semester. In July prior to starting supervised practice, interns complete the 5-week, 3-credit graduate Advance Clinical Nutrition course which is typically offered in an online mode of delivery. During fall and spring semesters, interns simultaneously take MSU graduate courses in the evening while completing DI supervised practice experiences Monday through Thursday and a Friday morning class. The MSU DI provides supervised practice experience in a variety of clinical, food service management, research, community nutrition, sports nutrition, and nutrition education settings. Interns work with faculty and preceptors in outpatient clinics, various inpatient settings, community settings, classrooms, and other locations to acquire skills and broaden their understanding of dietetics. Students can complete a majority of graduate degree coursework before the internship begins or finish graduate coursework and other graduate program requirements after they complete the internship. Students are encouraged to complete their graduate degree within 12 months or less after completing the MSU DI. This will afford a minimal time gap between completion of the supervised practice and being eligible to sit for the RD exam.
Upon completion, graduates are ready to practice as entry level practitioners in community nutrition, health promotion, acute care, long-term care, and management of food and nutrition systems.
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 order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor's degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. 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). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Mississippi State University are eligible to apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements see https://www.eatrightpro.org/advocacy.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
Registered Dietitian Nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who have met the prescribed criteria to earn this professional credential. Find out about educational and professional requirements, as well as career opportunities. For more information about educational pathways, professional requirements and career opportunities visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend /students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students.
Program's Mission, Goals, and Objectives
MSU DI Program Mission
The mission of the MSU DI is to provide supervised practice experience which instills in dietetic interns ideals of diversity, citizenship, leadership, and service, and to provide an integrative approach to foods, nutrition, and health and prepare interns who are competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. The program accomplishes this mission through learning experiences in a variety of practice settings with diverse populations, contrasting delivery systems, and research oriented graduate education.
MSU DI Goals
- Graduates are employed as competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
- Graduates are engaged leaders who work within diverse populations.
MSU DI Objectives
Goal 1: Graduates are employed as competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
- Based on alumni survey conducted within 12 months post-graduation, 100% of interns will self-rate overall preparation as competent entry-level dietitian nutritionist as “Optimal” or “Adequate” (based on 5-point scale)
- 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%.
- At least 80% of program interns complete program requirements within 16.5 months (150% of the program length).
- Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
- 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 month of program completion.
- At least 80% of employers will respond “3-good” or “4-excellent” that the internship adequately prepared graduates for entry-level practice
Goal 2: Graduates are engaged leaders who work within diverse populations.
- Five years post completion of the program at least 25% of graduates will work with diverse populations in service-oriented settings.
- Five years post completion of the program at least 25% of graduates will obtain leadership or management positions.
Admission to the MSU DI Program
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for the MSU DI program:
- Completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) with minimum academic requirements as approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Verification statement issued by the DPD Director of your college/university
- Overall GPA of at least 3.00 (strongly recommended).
- Nutrition (DPD) GPA of at least 3.25 (strongly recommended)
- GRE scores are not required however, combined GRE scores above 290 favorably considered
- $35 MSU DI application fee
- Completed DICAS application and registered for D&D Digital Matching
- Student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Upon acceptance to the MSU DI, interns must complete the following:
- Submit an online application and pay application fees for MSU Graduate School Admission
- Submit up-to-date immunization records
- COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements: Mississippi State University does not require COVID-19 vaccinations, but does encourage them. Currently, vaccinations, including COVID-19 and flu, are required for many internship practice sites. Exemptions are not considered for interns. Interns participating in the MSU DI must comply with the requirements established by the sites facilitating the internship. They are independently operated entities removed from the university and are entitled to set their own requirements and standards. These requirements are initiated by the host facility not MSU. To gain the required supervised practice experience, interns must comply with the host facilities requirements.
- Acquire a ServSafe Manager Certification prior to orientation for the DI
- Purchase malpractice liability insurance
- Complete and pay for a background check
- Professional Meetings: Interns are required to become AND student members AND by the time they enter the DI program. During the DI program, interns are required to attend specific professional meetings, such as the annual FNCE meeting and the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic meeting.
- Project: Interns will complete individual or group research project and prepare it for publication or presentation.
Further instructions will be emailed upon acceptance into the Dietetic Internship program.
Master of Science
The Dietetic Internship is offered in conjunction with the Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in Nutrition, or Health Promotion. Graduate hours earned during the internship apply to specific concentrations.
Admission and application to the MSU Graduate School
Admission requirements and application to the graduate school can be found at https://www.grad.msstate.edu/students/admissions.
Application Procedure/Computer Matching
The MSU DI participates in the Spring Dietetic Internship Computerized Application System (DICAS) and D&D Digital computer matching service for July admission. The application opened October 4, 2022 and closes February 15, 2023.
Required Application Items:
- DICAS Application
- To access DICAS please visit https://dicas.liaisoncas.com
- For application directions and required materials, see the Application Checklist for Computer Matching Process
- Fees: $50.00 for the first application submitted and $25.00 for each additional application
- February 15, 2023, 11:59 pm Central Time, is the deadline for submitting the completed online application and fees through DICAS
- The $35 supplemental MSU DI fee is also due on February 15, 2023. Checks should be paid to the order of MSU DI and addressed to:
Renee Matich, MS, RDN, LDN
Director, Mississippi State University Dietetic Internship
P.O. Box 9805
Miss. State, MS 39762
- D&D Digital Computer Matching
- To access D&D Digital please visit https://www.dnddigital.com/
- Fee: $65.00
- Create, edit, verify and prioritize your list of internship programs by 11: 59 pm Central Time on February 15, 2023
All completed applications will be reviewed. The MSU DI Intern Selection Committee ranks applications based on all components of the internship application. Please see the application scoring sheet for further details.
D&D Digital Computer Matching Process
- Wednesday, December 1, 2022 - Applicants may begin online matching registration, pay the $65.00 computer matching fee by credit card, and enter their contact information and Dietetic Internship priority choices. Any new or edited contact information or Dietetic Internship priorities must be saved before exiting.
Questions? Contact D&D Digital at 515-292-0490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Tuesday, February 15, 2023 - Deadline for online matching registration is 11:59 pm CST. Applicants must register online at www.dnddigital.com, pay the $65.00 computer matching fee by credit card, and enter their contact information and Dietetic Internship priority choices. Applicants should only prioritize Dietetic Internships for whom they have submitted all completed application materials.
- March 20, 2023 - If desired, applicants may begin reordering their prioritized list of Dietetic Internships.
- Monday, March 27, 2023 - Deadline for online reordering is 11:59 pm CDT
- Monday, March 27, 2023 - Deadline for withdrawing. If you will not be able to accept a match that may occur, you must notify D&D Digital by email (email@example.com) of your decision to withdraw from Dietetic Internship matching by Monday, March 27, 2023. The D&D Digital $65 fee will not be refunded if an applicant withdraws from the matching process.
- Sunday, April 2, 2023 (Notification Day) – Beginning at 6:00 pm CDT, applicants will find their matching result on www.dnddigital.com. This is the ONLY source of notification for applicants. Each applicant will receive either ONE MATCH or NO MATCH after log in.
All applicants who receive ONE MATCH will find the matched DI Program name and contact information to accept the appointment. The MATCHED DI Program is planning that the MATCH will be accepted. Matched applicants must contact the DI program on Notification or Appointment Day to confirm the acceptance of the MATCH. No arrangements should be made with any other DI programs.
Applicants who received NO MATCH will be given other instructions.
- April 3, 2023 (Appointment Day) – Matched applicants must contact the Dietetic Internship program by telephone, FAX, or email on or before 6:00 pm (time zone of the program) April 3, 2023 to confirm the acceptance of the MATCH. After this time, the program is under no obligation to hold the opening for the matched applicant.
- April 4, 2023 - Beginning at 6:00 am CDT all Dietetic Internship Directors with openings may contact unmatched applicants who were originally on their prioritized list of applicants and offer an appointment. If contacted, appointments must be confirmed by 8:00 pm CDT, April 4, 2023.
- April 5, 2023 - Beginning at 11:00 am CDT the names of Dietetic Internship programs that did not fill their class and authorized the release of their name will appear on www.dnddigital.com.
- June 15, 2023 - End of applicant access to online information.
Graduation and Program Completion Requirements
DI Program Completion Requirements
- Enroll as full-time MSU graduate student and meet all requirements to maintain satisfactory progress and achievement in the graduate program while concurrently enrolled in the DI program
- Become a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
- Attend professional meetings (i.e., FNCE meeting, Mississippi AND meeting)
- Complete 1,064 hours of supervised practice
- Complete all supervised practice rotations with a satisfactory evaluation by the preceptor. A satisfactory evaluation indicates the intern has demonstrated performance equivalent to that of an entry-level dietitian as indicated on the evaluation form documenting a performance level of 3 - satisfactory, 4 – more than satisfactory, or 5 – outstanding for each competency evaluated
- All competencies (CRDNs) for entry-level dietitians must be met by DI program completion
- Successfully complete projects and assignments associated with rotations, Friday class, and the summer FNH Advanced Clinical Nutrition course assignments
- Complete all requirements of the DI program in 11 months
Performance will be evaluated on an ongoing basis throughout and at the end of each rotation. Satisfactory performance and practice skills must be demonstrated throughout the program as evaluated by each site coordinator or preceptor. Dietetic interns are eligible for graduation from the DI program when assignments are completed satisfactorily and when the intern has been in supervised practice for the required number of hours. All competencies (CRDNs) for entry-level dietitians must be met by DI graduation.
Interns are expected to complete all requirements of the DI program in 11 months. If an intern cannot complete all requirements in 11 months due to extraordinary circumstances, the DI director, site coordinator and/or preceptor will work to reach a consensus with the intern to enable the intern to complete the requirements of the program in a timely manner.
Master’s Degree Completion Requirements
The Dietetic Internship is offered in conjunction with The Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion with a concentration in Nutrition or Health Promotion. Graduate hours earned during the internship apply to specific concentration choices. In general, Master’s Degree Completion Requirements concurrent with MUS DI include:
- Meet with graduate degree advisor to develop a plan of study and schedule classes each semester
- Schedule 1-2 graduate courses (3-6 credits), offered as evening classes or online delivery, concurrently with the supervised practice course (6 credits) for fall and spring semesters
- Meet required semester course load to achieve established graduation timeline
- Demonstrate satisfactory progress in graduate study (i.e., maintain required program GPA, pass preliminary/comprehensive exams, pass thesis defense/capstone project
- Complete 30 hours of graduate coursework for the Nutrition concentration and 33 hours of graduate coursework for the Health Promotion concentration
- Complete all academic and administrative requirements to confer MS degree (recommended within12 months or less) after completing the DI program. The University policy has a time limit of 8 years for a completing an MS.
Effective January 1, 2024, individuals completing the MSU will need to have a minimum of a master's degree to receive a Verification Statement to sit for CDR credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. All eligibility requirements (graduate degree, didactic, and supervised practice) must be met to receive a verification statement.
Upon successful completion of the DI and a conferred graduate degree, the DI director will prepare and sign a Verification Statement of Completion of the MSU DI and send a copy to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) that indicates eligibility to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians, which you will be able to schedule. Most states require licensure of dietitians to be able to work in some jobs such as nursing homes and hospitals. Requirements for licensure vary by state. You should contact the licensing agency in the state in which you wish to work.
Academic and Program Calendar
Graduate programs follow the MSU Graduate School Calendar found at: https://www.grad.msstate.edu/students/graduate-school-calendar.
The MSU DI follows the MSU Graduate Calendar. Interns are not scheduled for rotations on University Holidays. The FNH 8286 Supervised Practice – 6 credits course includes supervised practice in clinical, community, and foodservice core areas, elective rotations, and a Friday class. Core and elective rotations are scheduled Monday – Thursday 8AM – 5 PM. There is a Friday class from 9AM-11:50 AM. Interns receive their 32-week rotation schedules during fall orientation.
|MSU Dietetic Internship Semester Schedule|
|Summer (July) Semester||Fall Semester||Spring Semester|
|FNH 8273 Advanced Clinical Nutrition 3 credits (online delivery)||FNH 8286 Supervised Practice - 6 credits||FNH 8286 Supervised Practice - 6 credits|
|Graduate course(s) 3-6 credits of graduate coursework based on academic plan of study||Graduate course(s) 3-6 credits of graduate coursework based on academic plan of study|
|Concurrent Graduate Degree|
|Fall, Spring, and/or Summer Semesters/Terms, prior to starting internship, schedule required graduate degree coursework and begin research/creative project||Fall and Spring Semesters complete dietetic internship and 6-12 credits of required graduate degree coursework|
|Fall and Spring Semesters complete dietetic internship and 6-12 credits of MS degree required coursework||Summer and Fall or Fall and Spring Semesters, after completing dietetic internship, complete required graduate coursework and research thesis/final project|
All interns will be assessed for prior learning and given up to 300 supervised practice hours. The prior learning will be assessed by the Director as follows:
- Previous Work Experience
Interns must provide a resume and portfolio that contains the learning activities completed in their previous work experience. Credit for competencies met, will be given to the intern based on their resume and portfolio.
- Prior learning hours will be given on a 1 to 1 ratio.
Supervised Practice Facilities that Participate in the MSU DI
The total amount of possible travel will be 33 weeks x 4 days/week. The estimated amount of travel to rotation sites is 11,000 miles. Costs for mileage vary tremendously depending on price of gasoline, miles per gallon of your automobile, etc. Carpooling is encouraged. Estimates of round-trip mileage to the rotation sites from the MSU campus for the duration of the internship, based on the number of weeks at each site are provided in parenthesis.
- Baptist Memorial Hospital - Golden Triangle, Columbus, MS | 6 weeks
- Fresenius Medical Care, Columbus, MS | 2 weeks
- Mississippi State Department of Health, Starkville, MS | 3 weeks
- Mississippi State University Extension Service, Starkville, MS | 4 weeks
- North Mississippi Medical Center - Tupelo, Tupelo, MS | 8 weeks
- Choctaw Indian Reservation/Food Distribution Center, Choctaw, MS | 3 weeks
- Mississippi State University - Aramark, Starkville, MS | 3 weeks
- MSU Health Center, Starkville, MS | 3 weeks
- Sports Nutrition – Mississippi State Athletics, Starkville, MS | 6 weeks (optional)
- Starkville School District Food Service, Starkville, MS | 1 week
- Research, Starkville, MS | 2 weeks
Additional travel may be required to attend meetings. You are encouraged to carpool whenever possible. However, please be aware that you need to be at the site when preceptors or staff to whom you are assigned requires you to be there. Preceptors and others may not be able and do not need to change their schedules to accommodate your desire to carpool.
Fees and Financial Information
Tuition and financial aid information for graduate students is posted at www.sfa.msstate.edu/cost. Interns are classified as full-time graduate students for both semesters of the Internship. The MSU Office of the Graduate School also has financial and other information at www.grad.msstate.edu. Other fees may include, but are not limited to: living expenses, campus parking permit, textbooks, supplies, health and liability insurance, Academy membership, professional meeting attendance (in-state only), transportation costs to supervised practice facilities.
Internship fee $2,500.00 (payable in two installments $1,250.00 in Spring semester, $1,250.00 in Fall semester).
Transportation: Interns must provide their own reliable, sufficiently insured transportation between university and facilities. Some carpooling is possible.
Estimated Cost to Students
|Fees and Expenses||Resident||Non-Resident|
|MSU Dietetic Internship Program Application Fee, Graduate School application fee, DICAS, D&D matching||$210.00||$210.00|
|Summer (3 hours)||$1,535.432||$4,149.192|
|Fall Semester (9 hours)||$4,699.002||$12,722.002|
|Spring Semester (9 hours)||$4,699.002||$12,722.002|
|Other Fees and Expenses2|
|MSU Campus Parking Permit||$180.002||$180.002|
|Estimated cost for textbooks (Appendix), supplies (scrubs, etc.)||$500.00||$500.00|
|Student Health Insurance3||$1,201.00||$1,201.00|
|Professional Liability Insurance4||$24.00||$24.00|
|Living Expenses (housing, food, etc.)
Interns provide their own living arrangements
|Amount varies||Amount varies|
|AND Student Membership||$60.00||$60.00|
|Professional Meetings: FNCE (required), Mississippi Dietetic Association Annual Meeting (required,)) and Northeast District Dietetic Association Meetings (required)
Attendance at a Review Course for the Registration Examination
|Meeting expenses will be paid from internship fees||Meeting expenses will be paid from internship fees|
|Transportation||Amount varies||Amount varies|
|Background check, fingerprinting, drug testing||Amount varies||Amount varies|
|1Interns may not schedule additional responsibilities such as assistantships and full-time jobs as they will be working in assigned facilities Monday–Thursday and will have DI class on Friday mornings. Interns will take one graduate class each semester and summer (must take Advanced Clinical Nutrition in summer) in addition to FNH 8286 Supervised Practice Experience.|
|2These costs are estimated as average cost, based on the best available information and subject to change or personal difference or needs. Total shown includes tuition, activity fees and do not include course participation fees, special fees, or overload tuition. Additional information is available in the Graduate Bulletin at https://www.grad.msstate.edu and at https://www.controller.msstate.edu/accountservices/tuition (Prices may increase and may not be correct on this web page.)|
|3This insurance is sponsored through the MSU Student Association. It is a voluntary plan for students and their dependents. Prices may change. Information on student health services and student health insurance is available at https://www.health.msstate.edu or https://www.health.msstate.edu/healthcenter/insurance_student.php or by calling (662) 325-5895.|
|4Professional liability insurance is required for Dietetic Interns. One choice for insurance is Proliability, administered by AMBA Administrators, Inc. Information and registration for this insurance can be found at www.proliability.com. Individual quotes vary but typically range from $24-30 per year for students.|
|5Portion of this fee will be utilized to pay for educational opportunities, materials and travel necessary to complete the training competencies of the Dietetic Internship Program.|
Scholarships and Financial Aid
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Scholarship links for financial assistance can be found at: https://www.eatrightpro.org/acend/students-and-advancing-education/information-for-students/financial-aid.
Mississippi State University offers graduate students an array of financial aid opportunities found at: https://www.grad.msstate.edu/funding-tuition. For university Financial Aid see https://www.sfa.msstate.edu/.
The MSU Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; 1200 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190; Chicago, IL 60606-6995 | 312-899-0040 ext. 5400 | www.eatrightpro.org/acend. Program outcomes are available upon request.
Janice Giddens, a registered dietitian and alumni of the MSU Dietetics program is the Applied International Nutrition Research Fellow in Africa. Her work is featured in this video
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Hear what our students have to say about the program: