Dietetic internship graduates meet or exceed entry-level competency standards for dietitians, as established by the Accreditation Council for Education and Dietetics (see Accreditation). The hands-on and didactic learning experiences for the program are guided by a set of competencies structured within four graduate courses. The emphasis of the program is nutrition therapy for inpatients and outpatients. Upon successful completion of the program's learning experiences, internship graduates are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians (RD exam). Participants in the internship are directly supervised and evaluated by well-qualified preceptors/registered dietitians in conjunction with WU faculty.
Over the past two years, the first-time pass rate of Winthrop University internship graduates on the RD exam is 95% and of those seeking employment 93.7% were working in dietetics within three months of program completion.
Interns, even those holding advanced degress, are required to be accepted to the Winthrop University Graduate School as either a degree-seeking student or as a student pursuing the Graduate Ceritificate in Dietetics. The primary program costs are based on tuition (12 credit hours) and laboratory fees; these fees are set by the university so they vary annually. Upon satisfactory completion of the internship six graduate hours may be applied to an M.S. degree in human nutrition at Winthrop University. Completion of a graduate degree is not required but is strongly encouraged.
Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing accommodations. Rotation assignments are not all based near campus; each individual student is assigned to a specific geographical location in South Carolina or in the southern region of North Carolina. Interns may, or may not, be paired with another intern. Since interns rotate in various facilities within their specific geographical area in the Carolinas, access to reliable transportation is necessary. Interns must commit to a 36-week timeframe including 30 weeks of supervised practice (rotations) along with an orientation, written assignments, scheduled seminars, professional activities, Inman's RD exam review course in addition to various holidays and a winter break.