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, www.eatright.org/ACEND.
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 nine 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.
Goal 1. Prepare competent entry-level dietetics and nutrition practitioners.
- “At least (80%) of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 13.5 months (150% of the time planned for completion).”
- “Seventy five percent (75%) of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.”
- “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%.”
- “Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within twelve months of graduation.”
- Ninety percent (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 for entry-level practice.
- Ninety five percent (95%) of employed graduates who respond to the survey, will rate themselves as prepared or well prepared for their first position.
Goal 2. Prepare graduates to actively participate as a team member and leader in diverse settings and who contribute to the profession.
- Preceptors will rate 100% of students as ‘acceptable performance’ or high quality performance’ in supervised practice.
- Students (90%) will rate opportunity to participate as a team member and develop leadership skills as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
- Employers who respond to the survey will rate 90% of graduates based on their ability to integrate professionalism and leadership skills; as ‘above average’.
- 80% of graduates who respond to the alumni surveys, will be members of the Academy and/or other related professional organizations.
Goal 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, for entry-level dietitian/nutritionists.
- Ninety-five percent (95%) of the responding graduates will indicate on the alumni survey that they are involved in lifelong learning activities.
- Forty percent (40%) 0f graduates will pursue graduate school, an additional degree or specialty certification within two years.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Interns will model professional skills and behaviors, including social responsibility, ethical practice, a commitment to lifelong learning, and ability to work collaboratively with others.
- Interns will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively and to use various communication tools.
- Interns will demonstrate problem-solving and critical thinking skills to come to appropriate meaningful decisions and conclusions.
- Interns will demonstrate the ability to develop and implement food and nutrition programs to enhance health and promote wellness.
This application process includes:
- Application/Acceptance Procedures
- DICAS on-online application process
- Video Interview Questionnaire (SUDI)
- Estimated Dietetic Internship Expenses
- Internship Handbook--Policies and Procedures
Throughout the 18-month duration of the program, interns will undergo supervised practice in the Baton Rouge/New Orleans area, totaling approximately 32 hours per week from Monday to Thursday. This includes additional hours dedicated to didactic course instructions and MPA coursework. The program ensures a minimum of 1084 hours of supervised practice over at least 32 weeks, though the actual total hours may vary based on the availability of supervised practice sites. To accommodate absences and adverse weather conditions, the total weeks may extend up to 34 weeks. Rotations range from 1 to 6 weeks, and some learning experiences may necessitate evening or weekend participation to fulfill program objectives.
During the DI/MS program, interns typically enjoy designated days off, including Labor Day, one week for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Winter Break, one week for Spring Break, and at least one week over the Memorial Day holiday. However, these days off are subject to change based on the interns' rotation location. Interns generally adhere to the University's academic calendar, with most holidays listed on the Southern University Academic Calendar being observed.
It's important to note that due to official university closings resulting from mandatory evacuations or inclement weather, the program's duration may be extended beyond June of the following year. In such cases, makeup hours may be required during regularly scheduled breaks and holidays. The university calendar is accessible at,
The internship which begins in August and ends in May is a 9 month or 40 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:
- Complete all rotations and the minimum requirement of 1200 hours of supervised practice (32 hours for 40 weeks).
- 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.
- Obtain an overall score of 80% on the comprehensive examination. This examination is administered at the end upon completion of all rotations.
- 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.
- Clinical Rotation Schedule
- Community Dietetics
- Food Service Management
- DFCS Nutritional Science
- MPA Nutritional Science
- MPA Nutritional Science Degree Plan
5. State Licensure
- State Licensure is required for all Dietetics/Nutritionist in Lousiana
As of December 4, 2023, per the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) The Southern University Dietetic Internship program has been placed on probationary status for accreditation. The ACEND Board will meet in April 2024 to reevaluate the status of the Southern University Dietetic Internship.
For more information on obtaining state licensure, visit www.Ibedn.org.
All Assessment Outcome Data for the goals and objectives of the Dietetic Internship Program are available upon request from the Program Director.
Alexis D. Motley MS, RDN, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director/Instructor
College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences
Human Food and Nutrition Program
109F P.E. Thrift Hall
P.O. Box 9441
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70813