State Requirements for Nutrition and Dietitian Fields

Dietetic Internship (DI)

After completing your educational requirements, you must fulfill the dietetic internship (DI) requirement. (If you enrolled in a CP program, you will already have completed your DI). Under the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) rules, all Dietetic Internships must be at least 1200 hours in length. Each DI lasts from eight to 24 months. The DI must be an ACEND-accredited program, just as the educational program you completed was ACEND-accredited. Programs may be taken on a full-time or part-time basis. All DIs must provide a supervised, practical experience for the RD student.

Each DI has its own emphasis. When you are applying to DIs, consider each program’s emphasis and see if it aligns with your own career aspirations as a Registered Dietitian. Examples of possible emphases of DI programs include (but are not limited to):

  • Clinical Nutrition Research
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Communication
  • Information Technology Management
  • Clinical Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Wellness
  • Pediatric Nutrition
  • Diabetes
  • Geriatric Nutrition
  • Community Nutrition

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) uses a national computerized matching system to assign you to a DI, and the system is highly competitive. Make sure that you consult the schools in which you are interested to discover each school’s application deadlines, financial aid policies, tuition and program details. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ACEND provides a DI database that you may use to search for ACEND-accredited DIs in your state.


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