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Dietetic Internship

The WVU Dietetic Internship is currently granted continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information, visit the ACEND website.

ACEND® can be contacted by:
Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Email: ACEND@eatright.org
Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400


Program Overview

The WVU Dietetic Internship program is a two-year combined master’s and internship in dietetics. The dietetic internship provides the supervised practice experience that is required in order to be eligible to take the registration examination for dietitians.

Internship candidates must have:

  • completed at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) coursework requirements from an accredited program.
  • received a verification statement from their university.

The combined program offers interns the opportunity to complete a master of science degree (thesis or non-thesis option) in addition to the required supervised practice component. Those who choose a thesis option will have an additional year to complete (total of three years). The program's supervised practice experiences will provide interns with approximately 1,200 hours of accredited supervised practice experience.

The first year of the dietetic internship will consist mainly of graduate coursework at WVU. Courses typically include biochemistry, physiology, statistics, nutrition and seminar. Second year coursework typically includes a nutrition course, research, and independent studies.

Supervised practice placements for the internship begin the summer between the first and second year. Those interns completing research will do so under the guidance of graduate nutrition faculty whose interests include nutritional biochemistry, food science, and community nutrition.

The intern must successfully complete the objectives for each supervised practice experience and meet all requirements for the master’s degree. They must also defend and pass a thesis defense (thesis-option) or a problem statement defense.


Program Mission

The mission of the dietetic internship program is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to be a competent registered dietitian through quality experiences that enhance professional excellence. The completion of a graduate degree along with the experiential component provides a foundation for future advances in dietetic practice. Equally important, successful completion of the program prepares students to sit for the registration examination. The mission is consistent with the missions of WVU, the Davis College and the Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences; to provide a high quality, student-centered educational experience and to bring the resources of the University to all segments of society through providing high quality programs of instruction.


Program Goals and Outcomes

The goals of the program include:

    Program Goal 1:  West Virginia University internship program graduates will have acquired the necessary skills for dietetics practice at the entry level.

    PROGRAM OBJECTIVES FOR GOAL 1:

    • Over a five-year period, 80% of the DI graduates will successfully complete the registration examination on the first attempt.
    • Of the graduates who seek employment 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within twelve months of graduation.
    • During the first year of employment, program graduates will be ranked by at least 75% of their employers as above average in professional knowledge and skills as compared to other entry-level dietitians and rate them as satisfactory or above.
    • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam is at least 80%.
    • When surveyed, 90% of employed graduates will rate themselves as prepared or well prepared for their first position.

    Program Goal 2: The West Virginia University internship program will prepare graduates with skills as life-long learners, communicators of evidence-based recommendations to the public, and advocates of nutrition-related research.

    PROGRAM OBJECTIVES FOR GOAL 2:

    • At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 3 years of beginning the program. (The DI is designed to be completed in 2 years: 3 years is 150% of the planned time).
    • When surveyed, 100% of graduates that are practicing in the field of nutrition and dietetic will be recommending evidence-based guidelines to the public.
    • When surveyed, 100% of graduates who are registered will have submitted a learning plan with the CDR within 12 months of program completion.
    • Eighty percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. 

Program outcome data is available upon request.


Becoming a Dietitian

The path to become a registered dietitian nutritionist includes a college degree, completing a dietetic internship from an ACEND-accredited program, and passing the national registration exam. At WVU, students who wish to become a registered dietitian nutritionist must: 

  1. earn a bachelor’s degree and complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics with a cumulative GPA of 3.0;
  2. apply for and complete an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program or Individual Supervised Practice Pathway;
  3. pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s dietetic registration exam;
  4. gain licensure if required in your state of practice;
  5. maintain continuing education. Note that in 2024, a graduate degree will be required to be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam. In addition to the ACEND-accredited DPD, WVU offers an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship associated with a master’s degree. An undergraduate degree from WVU does not guarantee acceptance into the WVU dietetic internship.

2018-2019 Estimated Dietetic Internship Costs

Graduate Tuition for Academic Year 2018 - 2019

Resident
per semester--$4995
per credit hour--$555
Non-Resident
per semester--$12885
per credit hour--$1432

More information about Graduate Tuition and Fees can be found at:  https://tuition.wvu.edu/graduate.

Estimated Cost and Financial Aid


Estimated costs to students and information about financial aid, scholarships, stipends and other support is available on the WVU Admissions and Davis College websites. 

Below is a list of additional estimated expenses and costs:

Expense
Cost to Intern
Background check, federal and state
$58.00
Lab coat
$50.00
SafeServ text and examination fee
AND Food Handler’s Permit (Health Dept.)
$161.00
$86.00
AND Student Member Fee
$50.00
Physical Exam, vaccinations/titers, TB test (estimated)
$275.00
Travel to supervised practice sites
Mileage and gas price dependent
Processing Fee for Dietetic Registration Examination
$200.00
Name Tag
$12.00
Mon General testing
$5.00


Admissions

Admission to the internship requires concurrent admission to graduate school. Applicants must complete two different application forms - one for the internship and one for graduate school. 

Apply online for graduate admission at WVU.

The program will participate in the web-based Dietetic Internship Computer Application Service (DICAS). No applications will be accepted by mail (USPS). The graduate admission application should be filed on or before the internship application deadline. When applying for the internship program, the program code to be used is  479 . It is a requirement that you apply to DICAS for consideration to this program. You will need to supply a DPD verification statement and undergraduate transcripts. 

When completing your personal statement, make sure to include: 

  1. Why do I want to enter the field of dietetics. 
  2. What are some experiences that helped prepare you for your career
  3. What are your short-term and long-term goals
  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses or what are your areas needing improvement

Program Completion Requirements

For completion of the Dietetic Internship, a student must successfully pass all rotation with a satisfactory or better. They must also defend and pass a thesis defense (if they choose this option) or a problem statement defense as well as all courses taken during their graduate program equal to 30-36 hours for thesis and non-thesis respectively and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. After all requirements are completed, a verification statement will be authorized.


Academic Calendar

The Dietetic Internship follows the WVU Academic Calendar.


Computer Match Program

The WVU Dietetic Internship participates in the D&D Digital computer match. Applicants must register with D&D Digital online, pay the $50.00 computer matching fee by credit card, and enter their contact information and DI priority choices by 11:59 PM CST on February 15.


Additional Information

The WVU Dietetic Internship does not require student to find their own distance rotations. The DI director places interns in each of their rotations. However, if an intern would like to do experiential learning at an alternative location of their choice (week of choice), a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) can be arranged and the intern will be responsible for all remaining arrangements.

Students in the WVU DI are not required to find their own experiential learning supervised practice sites.

Distance education is not available

WVU Dietetic Interns will need to have their own car insurance.