Program Requirements

Once you’re admitted, you’ll submit a Certificate Plan of Study to the Graduate College. Your advisor can assist you.

Travel is required

The majority of internship rotations are completed within a 110-mile radius of Springfield, Mo. Make sure you’re able to travel to your sites.

Distance education components

We use some supervised practice sites that are over 100-miles away from Missouri State University. At some of these sites the program has temporary housing for the intern while other sites the program uses only if the intern has housing. If an intern has housing, then the clinical coordinator meets with the intern to determine what sites to use based upon where the intern will be residing.

Interns who are at sites over 100-miles away from Missouri State campus will meet via Zoom for didactic courses that are scheduled to meet in-person.

Regardless of where the interns supervised practice occurs, all interns are required to attend orientation in August, at Missouri State campus in Springfield, Mo. Additionally, all interns are required to attend a one week review week in early January and a 4-day capstone week in May.

Certificate in Dietetic Internship

Program accreditation

The Missouri State University Dietetic Internship Certificate Program has been granted Full Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or dietetic technicians, registered. ACEND serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs. Programs meeting those standards are accredited by ACEND.

Program goals

The Dietetic Internship will:

  1. prepare graduates to be competent for practice as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.
  2. prepare graduates with life-long learning skills which will enhance the dietetic profession and demonstrate leadership in the field of dietetics.
  3. emphasize and model a commitment to community engagement, preparing graduates who are socially accountable to their community and the profession.

Admission requirements

  1. Evidence of meeting the minimum academic requirements from an ACEND-approved Didactic Program in Dietetics by a "Verification Statement" or "Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree" and/or ACEND-approved "Minimum Academic Requirements" within five years of application.
  2. Completion of the baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
  3. Cumulative GPA of 3.00 over the last 60 hours of academic work taken.
  4. Completed application form.
  5. A personal philosophy statement addressing the applicant's professional career goals and how the DI program will help accomplish these goals, in addition to discussing the applicant's strengths and areas of improvement.
  6. Students for whom English is a second language must earn a minimum score of 79 on the internet-based within two years prior to application on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL website is https://www.toefl.org.
  7. Three written recommendations received with the application must be without significant reservations/concern.
    1. Dietetic academic reference
    2. Work or volunteer reference
    3. Final reference is the applicant’s choice
  8. Resume which includes:
    1. Work experience in dietetics, including paid and volunteered work
    2. Involvement in college and/or community activities
  9. After the application period closes, the selection committee will review all of the applications and select students for an interview. Interview will be conducted via telephone.
  10. Following admission to the Missouri State DI, interns will complete the Graduate College Application for Admission and be enrolled in the graduate college.
  11. After formal admission to the University and the program, interns will submit a completed Graduate Certificate Plan of Study.
Upon acceptance to the DI, additional requirements include:
  1. Meet technical standards of the program in order to successfully undertake the course of study including evidence of good health. These standards are available upon request from the program.
  2. Evidence of immunization or vaccination for vaccine-preventable diseases to include MMR, tetanus, TB test, Hepatitis A, and a complete Hepatitis B series including a titer demonstrating immunity. Other vaccinations may be required such as a seasonal flu vaccine.
  3. Evidence of professional liability and health insurance, including hospitalization.
  4. Provide documentation of negative tuberculosis status or evidence of appropriate follow-up.
  5. Hold and maintain infant, child and adult CPR certification valid throughout the DI.
  6. Hold ServSafe Certification valid throughout the DI.
  7. Interns must have reliable transportation and provide evidence of vehicle liability insurance that meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of the State of Missouri.
  8. Student membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  9. Interns must enroll on a full-time basis and progress through the program as a cohort group.
  10. Submit a drug screening test and criminal record check* and receive response that the applicant has not been convicted of any crime pursuant to Section 324.217 or other disqualifications that would prohibit licensure as a registered dietitian.

*Students who fail these checks or procedures will be subject to further review by the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Program retention and completion requirements

  1. Interns must satisfactorily complete all assignments and experiences for each internship rotation. Satisfactory completion will be based on performance appraisal which meets standards identified in appraisal rating criteria.
  2. Assignments or experiences which were not satisfactorily completed must be corrected or repeated. No more than one graduate course may be repeated.
  3. Maintain a GPA of 3.00, with no more than 3 semester hours of graduate work below a grade of "B", and no hours of graduate work below a grade of "C".
  4. Receive a satisfactory (3) or higher rating in all required competencies as set forth by ACEND.
  5. Students must successfully complete all rotations and all course work in order to receive the verification statement and graduate certificate of completion.
  6. All work must be completed and competencies met within 150% (13.5 months) of the time planned for completion.

Required Courses - 18 hours

Course Code Course Title Credits
DTN 740 Medical Nutrition Therapy I Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 741 Medical Nutrition Therapy II Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 742 Population Health Nutrition Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 743 Food Service Management Practicum 3 hrs
DTN 744 Practicum in Area of Concentration 3 hrs
DTN 750 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 1 hr
DTN 752 Advanced Population Health Nutrition I 1 hr
DTN 753 Advanced Foodservice Management 1 hr

Practicum Calendar

This is the practicum calendar, not MSU's academic calendar.
Date Activity
Aug 15 - Aug 26, 2022 Orientation I
Aug 29 - Oct 7 DTN 740: MNT I Practicum
*Saturday, Sept 17 NFPE Workshop in Springfield
Oct 10 - Oct 14 Fall Break
Oct 17 - Nov 18 DTN 743: Foodservice Management Practicum
Nov 21 - Nov 25 Thanksgiving break
Nov 28 - Dec 16 DTN 742 Population Health Nutrition Practicum
Dec 17 - Jan 6, 2023 Winter break
Jan 9 - Jan 13 DTN 742 Population Health Nutrition Practicum
Jan 17 - Jan 20 Intersession – Orientation II
Jan 23 - Feb 3 DTN 742 Population Health Nutrition Practicum
Feb 6 - March 10 DTN 744 (5-week practicum) or DTN 741 (8-week practicum)
March 13 - March 17 Spring Break
March 20 - May 12 DTN 744 (5-week practicum) or DTN 741 (8-week practicum)
May 15 - May 18 Review Week

Completing your certification

During the semester in which your final course requirements are being completed, a Notification to Complete a Certificate Program form must be submitted to the Graduate College.

The Graduate College will then verify that you have completed all required courses.

The information on the Notification to Complete a Certificate Program form is also used to generate your formal certificate.

Verification statement

After you complete all program requirements, you will receive your verification statement and the program director will submit the required paperwork to the Commission on Dietetic Registration for eligibility application for the Registration Examination for Dietitians.

The program director will keep a copy of all verification statements indefinitely.

Registration exam and licensure

You must pass the registration examination for dietitians to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

After passing the registration exam, you may need to obtain state licensure or certification to practice nutrition and dietetics.

Prior learning and transfer credit

Missouri State University does not grant exemption from dietetic internship (DI) rotations or the didactic curriculum for prior education or experiences.

Missouri State University does not accept transfer credit for the DI didactic coursework or for the required supervised experiences.