Dietetics and Nutrition
Upon successful completion of the program and receiving a verification from the program director, you may apply for ACEND-approved dietetic internships. (For more information about dietetic internships, go to the AND website at www.eatright.org and select the student tab.)
After completing the dietetic internship, you become eligible to take the national registration exam and become a registered dietitian (RD).
The process of becoming a registered dietitian involves a number of steps.
- Step 1: Choose Dietetics and Nutrition as a degree within the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management by going to the School of Applied Sciences in the George Street Building (next to the library). There you will complete a “Change of Major Request form.” Student changing their major must have at 2.0 overall in residence grade point average. Once your form is submitted to the Dean’s office, the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management will be notified and you will be assigned a professional/career advisor.
- Step 2: Meet with your assigned Dietetics faculty advisor to develop your plan of study.
- Step 3: Attend classes and study hard! Internships are very competitive; maintaining a high grade point average is critical. A 3.2 GPA is suggested for success.
- Step 4: Participate in leadership opportunities provided by the department, School of Applied Sciences, and the University. Dietetic students have opportunities to participate in district, state, and national dietetic meetings and conferences.
- Step 5: The year you graduate complete a “Candidate for Degree” application available in the Dean’s office. The application will identify all courses to be completed prior to graduation. As soon as the Dean’s office sends you the list of the remaining courses needed, you will forward the list to the DPD Director for his/her files.
- Step 6: Apply for dietetic internship in February of your senior year. Make an appointment with your academic advisor to discuss the internship applications process, computer matching procedures for internships, and other helpful information. As part of the Internship application process, the DPD Director will complete and submit a “Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree“ form that lists the coursework you must complete in order to graduate from our didactic program. You will also need letters of recommendation from instructors and professionals with whom you have volunteered or worked with such as dietitians. You will need to include this for with your internship application. Provide your resume to all individuals that agree to write recommendation letters. Please allow at least 2 weeks notice for recommendation letters. For students who graduate in August or December, Internship applications may be submitted in September.
- Step 7: In April you will be notified of acceptance (a match) or no acceptance to an internship. If you do not receive and internship, you may send a copy of your application to internships that still have openings for what is referred to as the “second round,” or you may wait until next application date (February or September). Your DPD Director will guide you through the second round.
- Step 8: Complete dietetics coursework and graduate!
- Step 9: Receive your verification statement and send it to your internship site. The Program Director (Dr. Laurel Lambert) will provide this to you after you have officially graduated. Official notification of graduation is provided by the Dean’s office and takes 4 to 6 weeks for the DPD Director to receive.
- Step 10: Complete internship!
- Step 11: Complete registration exam and pass! Congratulations, you are now a registered dietitian (RD). Career opportunities for dietitians range from employment in small communities to large cities, in hospitals, wellness centers, health agencies and public health programs, long-term care facilities, food industry companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the Armed forces. Other career opportunities are available in research, consulting, and business.