Winthrop University: Department of Human Nutrition - Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Internship

The Winthrop University (WU) Department of Human Nutrition offers a highly competitive dietetic internship (DI) program, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for those individuals seeking a career in the rapidly growing and high-demand field of nutrition and dietetics.

ACEND is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians or dietetic technicians. ACEND is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. ACEND exists to serve the public by establishing and enforcing eligibility requirements and accreditation standards that ensure the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs. Programs meeting those standards are accredited by ACEND. ACEND meets national standards and is a reliable authority on the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs.

The Winthrop University Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The address and phone number of ACEND are:

The internship provides applied professional experiences that build on the theoretical knowledge of an undergraduate degree and a didactic program in dietetics. Interns enroll in 12 semester hours of graduate credit during the program, of which six hours may be applied to the Winthrop University Master of Science in Human Nutrition degree program. Interns completing the Winthrop University, Department of Human Nutrition, post-baccalaureate Dietetic Internship Certificate Program receive a Verification Statement and are eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the AND. Upon successfully passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, the graduate is credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Must Have or Complete:

1. Bachelor's Degree from an accredited university.

2. Receive a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD).

3. Match and complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program or other ACEND-approved supervised practice.  

4. Pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam.

5. If applicable, apply for state licensure to practice as a licensed dietetian/nutritionist. 

6. Maintain ongoing continuing education.

The path to becoming a registered dietitian (PDF - 333KB)

Winthrop University Dietetic Internship Mission Statement

The mission of the Winthrop University Dietetic Internship Program is to prepare competent entry-level dietitians for entry into the profession by providing applied professional experiences and to satisfy requirements for eligibility to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination for dietitian nutritionists.

Program Goals and Objectives:

Program Goal #1:  The program will produce competent graduates that are ready for entry-level positions in the field of nutrition/dietetics or advanced degree programs in nutrition/dietetics or other related fields.

Objectives to meet the goal:

1. At least 80% of program interns complete program requirements within 12 month (150% of the program length).

2. 90% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

3. 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%.

4. Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

5. Over a 5-year period, 80% of program graduates responding to an alumni survey will answer "yes" regarding their preparedness for entry-level practice one year after program completion.

6. Over a 5-year period, 80% of program graduates, responding to the alumni survey will rate their overall level of professional competence in dietetic practice/management at or above 3.0 overall on a scale of 1-5 (high = 5) one year following program completion.

7. Over a 5-year period, 80% of employers of program graduates responding to the Employer Survey will rate the overall job performance of alumni at or above a 3.0 overall on a scale of 1-5 (high = 5) one year post-graduation.

8. Over a 5-year period, 20% or more of program graduates not holding an advanced degree will have either started or completed a graduate degree program in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field.

Program Goal #2: The program will produce graduates that provide leadership and/or professional and community service within the field of nutrition and dietetics.

Objectives to meet the goal:

1. At least 25% of program graduates, who respond to the 2-year post-graduate survey, will indicate that they are involved in service to the profession through activities such as precepting dietetic interns or DPD students, dietetics or nutrition related community service, or involvement in district/state/national nutrition related organizations.

2. At least 25% of program graduates, who respond to the 2-year post-graduate survey, will rate their overall professional leadership skills at or above a 3.0 on a scale of 1-5 (high = 5).

Program outcomes data are available upon request. Contact the Dietetic Internship Director, Stephanie Nielsen, at nielsens@winthrop.edu or 803/323-2101.

The Winthrop University Dietetic Internship provides a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice experience in order to meet entry-level practice competencies. The program emphasis is on Nutrition Therapy in both inpatient and outpatient nutrition care practice. The program follows the university calendar for fall and spring semesters beginning with an orientation during the first week of fall semester (typically the third week in August) and concludes at the end of the spring semester (typically during the first week of May). This is approximately 36-37 consecutive weeks.

WU dietetic interns work under the supervision of outstanding practitioners from diverse academic and professional backgrounds, many of whom have active leadership roles within the region and profession. This internship is ideal for individuals who are capable of functioning independently and who demonstrate self-directed learning and leadership qualities.

The program combines theoretical and practical experiences that enable future dietetic professionals to expand their knowledge in areas of dietetics such as medical nutrition therapy, public/community health nutrition, corporate wellness programs, sports nutrition, and food and nutrition management.

For more detailed information please see the Application Checklist and "FAQ" links below. 

Licensure

The State of South Carolina requires registered dietitian nutritionists to be licensed. For detailed information on becoming licensed to practice in the State of South Carolina as a registered dietitian nutritionist, please access the South Carolina Labor Licensing Regulation website.

Admissions

Students are required to have a baccalaureate degree conferred by a regionally accredited college or university before they enter the Dietetic Internship program. Applying for this program is a two-step process: 

1. Applicants should apply through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) at https://portal.dicas.org/. Internship applications are accepted by DICAS between December and February; applicants should see the DICAS Web site (See application checklist) to register and to obtain specific dates for portal openings for the spring match. Winthrop's program does not participate in the fall match. 

The D&D Digital Internship Matching serves as a clearinghouse to help applicants obtain an Internship (supervised practice position) from their rankings to help Dietetic Internships (DI) obtain applicants from their choices.  It eliminates unfair pressures and premature decisions in appointments by internships and acceptance or rejection of appointments by applicants. 

There are two components to applying to a Dietetic Internship (DI) and an applicant must complete both components to participate in DI Matching.

1.  Most internships participate in an online Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) to receive your application.

2.  Each applicant must also register for Dietetic Internship matching with D&D Digital to create/edit/verify their prioritized list of Dietetic Internships to participate in DI match.

For deadlines related to matching, contact: 
D & D Digital Systems
304 Main St. 
Suite 301 
Ames, IA 50010-6148 
515/292-0490

Winthrop University DPD applicants interested in the early acceptance/pre-select option must contact Stephanie Nielsen, Internship Director, at nielsens@winthrop.edu. For more details on the early aceptance/pre-select application process, see the Early Acceptance/Pre-Select links below.  

2. Acceptance into the program is highly competitive. Selection criteria are based on:

1. Strength of the undergraduate academic record
2. Relevant work and volunteer experiences in the field of dietetics

3. A personal statement detailing your preparedness to be an outstanding intern in this program
4. Three letters of recommendation
5. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
6. Personal interview on campus, by invitation only*

*The selection committee, composed of professionals in the field of dietetics and faculty members, evaluates the applications, interviews the candidates, and ranks them accordingly. The selections are then submitted to a computer matching service contracted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants and the dietetic internship program director are notified of the results in mid-April.

A maximum of 21 interns are selected for the internship each year. Completion of a graduate degree in human nutrition is not required but is strongly encouraged.

3. Interns who are accepted by DICAS and matched with Winthrop University will be contacted and instructed to apply for admission to Winthrop's Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate Program through the Winthrop University Graduate School application process. Please note that this process also applies to those already holding a graduate-level degree. This includes the Graduate School application, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and official transcript(s) sent directly to Winthrop from the issuing institution(s). Students must complete their application to the Dietetic Internship Certificate Program by June 15. Internship applicants should seek admission for the fall semester during which they would start the internship. To obtain information on courses in the MS program in the WU Department of Human Nutrition, students should contact Dr. Wanda Koszewski at 803/323-4520. 
NOTE: Application to the Winthrop University Graduate School requires separate copies of official transcripts and a separate GRE score report.
4. Dietetic interns are eligibile for financial aid as graduate students of Winthrop University.

For more information please feel free to contact the internship director between August 15 and June 15. Questions about the dietetic internship should be directed to Stephanie Nielsen, Dietetic Internship Director, at 803-323-4521.
The mailing address for the WU Dietetic Internship is:
Department of Human Nutrition 
Winthrop University 
302 Dalton Hall  
Rock Hill, SC, 29733
803/323-2101 (Department office)

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to visit ACEND for important information on the previous match rates of accredited internship programs and for a list of suggestions to assist in preparing applications.

Applicants are encouraged to apply to more than one internship program and to begin preparing themselves early to increase their chances of obtaining a position in a supervised program/internship. Some applicants must apply more than once in order to match with a program so prospective applicants are encouraged to obtain dietetics-related experience to enhance their applications. 

A Winthrop University Dietetic Internship application checklist is available here.

 

Recency of education course requirements:

Internship applicants must be able to demonstrate successful completion of coursework in dietetics or advanced nutrition, and/or sufficient evidence of clinical practice within three years prior to the starting date of the internship. Students who need to improve their knowledge and/or skills will be advised by the faculty in the Department of Human Nutrition as to which DPD-required courses should be successfully completed in order to meet eligibility requirements.

Required Courses

Dietetic Internship Courses* required in the program include the following:

NUTR 528 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience I
NUTR 529 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience II
NUTR 530 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience III
NUTR 531 (3). Dietetic Internship Supervised Practice Experience IV
*Dietetic Interns complete NUTR 528 and 529 in the fall and NUTR 530 and 531 in the spring.
Six hours of course work may be counted toward the M.S. degree in Human Nutrition.

Program Completion Requirements

Upon successful completion of the program's learning experiences, the Jean Inman RDN Exam review course, and ACEND competencies, interns receive a verification statement. Interns must also apply to complete (PDF - 81KB) the Graduate School requirements for the Certificate Dietetic Internship. Upon validation by CDR, they are eligible to take the national registration examination for dietitians (RDN exam). Upon satisfactory completion of the internship, six graduate hours may be applied to an M.S. degree in Human Nutrition at Winthrop University. Successful completion of the internship meets the requirements for the Dietetic Internship Certificate Program. Completion of a graduate degree is not required but is strongly encouraged.

Additional Expectations

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 at various facilities within their specific geographical area in the Carolinas, they are required to attend seminars on campus and participate in selected program activities. Access to reliable transportation is necessary. Interns must commit to a 36-week time frame including orientation, supervised practice (rotations), written assignments, scheduled seminars, professional activities, and Jean Inman's RDN exam review course. Interns must be aware that rotations are tightly scheduled and time does not permit week-long vacations other than what is scheduled. Interns should not hold jobs during the program as they are assigned for a minimum of 40 hours per week including weekends and shifts in various rotations. The internship requires full attention and dedication in order to meet program expectations. Any absence from the program must be made up. Interns who do not meet competency requirements at any point throughout the program will follow procedure for meeting with the preceptor and DI faculty to develop a plan of action, which may include the following options: alternate site placement, additional coursework, extended rotation experience to evaluate competency progression, additional services as deemed appropriate to the individual case, counseling for alternate career paths, and possible dismissal from the program. Program completion is expected to occur within 12 months from start of program (program length = 8 months; 150% = 12 months).

Graduate Admissions

Application Checklist for DICAS applicants

Disclosures

Dietetic Internship Handbook (PDF - 420 KB)

Early Acceptance/Preselect Option

Early Acceptance Option Checklist

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

Financial Aid

Locations

Testimonials

University Calendar

Program Expenses (adjusted annually)

 

Last Updated: 10/16/19