Dietetic Internship (DI)

The Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate supervised practice program in dietetics offered at Southern University. This program incorporates the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics Standards of Education for student to acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies to function as entry-level registration-eligible dietitians.The Dietetic Internship Program at Southern University and A & M College is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).  The address and phone number of ACEND are 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000 Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312/877-1600, ext 4727 or 1-800-877-1600,

To become a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RD or RDN)

To become a registered dietitian/nutritionist (RD or RDN), an individual must complete a three-step process:

  • Complete the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics academic requirements; receive a verification statement signed by the Director of the Didactic Program; and obtain a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program (dietetic internship program), and receive a verification statement signed by the Director of the Dietetic internship program.
  • Obtain a passing score on the national registration examination for RD or RDN credential, as administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).


For Prospective Applicant:

We provide a challenging, future oriented internship, with a community emphasis. Students participate in meaningful learning experiences in nutrition therapy, food service systems management and community nutrition. The internship is ten months and includes 12 graduate credits. It requires a highly motivated individual with a great deal of stamina. We invite your application.



The mission of the Dietetic Internship at Southern University is to prepare diverse graduates to perform the specialized functions of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists in the evolving practice settings.  Diversity, communication, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking are fundamental to the program. 



  1. Prepare competent diverse entry-level dietetics practitioners.
    1. At least 80% of program graduates will complete the Dietetic Internship requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion.
    2. At least 75% of graduates will take the CDR exam within 12 months of program completion
    3. Over a five-year period, 80% of the graduates will have passed the registration examination within one year following the first attempt.
    4. At least 80% of the graduates will be employed within twelve months of graduation in dietetics-related jobs or advanced education.
    5. At least 90% of employers who respond to the survey, will rate graduates as ‘three or better’ indicating satisfactory or better for professional knowledge, skills, and competency level.
    6. At least 95% of employed graduates who respond to the survey, will rate themselves as prepared or well prepared for their first position.


  2. Prepare graduates to actively participate as a team member and leader in diverse settings and who contribute to the profession.

    1. Preceptors will rate 100% of students as ‘acceptable performance’ or high quality performance’ in supervised practice.
    2. At least 90% of students will rate opportunity to participate as a team member and develop leadership skills as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
    3. Employers who respond to the survey will rate at least 90% of graduates on their ability to integrate professionalism and leadership skills as ‘above average’.
    4. At least 80% of graduates who respond to the alumni surveys, will be members of the Academy and/or other related professional organizations.
  3. Provide learning experiences for the development of professional attitudes, skills, self-confidence, maturity, and instill a commitment to lifelong learning to increase knowledge and enhance professional competence.

    1. At least 95% of the responding graduates will indicate on the alumni survey that they are involved in lifelong learning activities.
    2. At least 40% of program graduates will pursue graduate school, an additional degree or specialty certification within two years.


Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Interns will model professional skills and behaviors, including social responsibility, ethical practice, a commitment to lifelong learning, and ability to work collaboratively with others.
  2. Interns will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and to use various communication tools.
  3. Interns will demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills to come to appropriate meaningful decisions and conclusions.
  4. Interns will demonstrate the ability to develop and implement food and nutrition programs to enhance health and promote wellness.

This application process includes:

Completion Requirements

The internship which begins in August and ends in May is a 10 month or 42 week program. The program accepts a maximum of 12 students in each new class yearly.

The requirements below must be achieved to successful complete the internship: 

  1. Complete all rotations and the minimum requirement of 1200 hours of supervised practice (32 hours for 40 weeks). 
  2. Complete the certification eligibility graduate courses (earn 12 graduate credits). FCSC-501 Preprofessional Practice: Clinical Nutrition and FCSC-502 Preprofessional Practice:  Food Service Systems Management during the fall and spring semesters, respectively.   
  3. Obtain an overall score of 80% on the comprehensive examination.  This examination is administered at the end upon completion of all rotations.
  4. Demonstrate and meet all the abilities and expectations below:Applicants must be able to observe demonstrations and procedures in the patient care and food service areas. 
  • Applicants must be able to learn, analyze, synthesize, solve problems, and reach diagnostic, therapeutic, and administrative judgments.
  • Applicants must have sufficient use of the senses of vision and hearing and the somatic sensation to perform clinical nutritional assessments or any food and nutrition service function.
  • Applicants must be able to relate reasonably to patients, health care professionals, and food and nutrition service staff and establish professional relationships with all groups.
  • Applicants are expected to be able to communicate the concepts of nutritional care to the patient and to his/her colleagues with accuracy, clarity, and efficiency.
  • Applicants are expected to display good judgment in the assessment and treatment of patients and management of food and nutrition service staff.
  • Applicants must be able to learn to respond with precise, quick, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
  • Applicants are expected to be able to accept criticism and respond by appropriate modification of behavior.
  • Applicants must be able to learn to recognize deviations from food nutrition service management standards.
  • Applicants are expected to possess the perseverance, diligence, and consistency to complete the Dietetic Internship curriculum and enter dietetic practice as a professional.

5. State Licensure

  • State Licensure is required for all Dietetics/Nutritionist in Lousiana

For more information on obtaining state licensure, visit


All Assessment Outcome Data for the goals and objectives of the Dietetic Internship Program are available upon request from the Program Director.

If you have any questions after reviewing the enclosed information, please contact me for further information at (225) 771-3168 or by email at

Cheryl Atkinson, Ph.D., RDN, LDN
Professor & Director,
Dietetic Internship Program


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