Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Program
Attention Spring 2023 DICAS applicants: The WMU Dietetic Internship Program does not interview any applicants. We hope you take this into consideration as you rank-order your internship choices.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In addition to the master’s degree, CDR will continue to require (1) completion of an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) that most dietetics students complete as undergraduates, and (2) completion of an ACEND accredited dietetic internship. The WMU dietetic internship program satisfies this second requirement. Completion of WMU’s master’s program in Family and Consumer Sciences with emphasis in dietetics will satisfy the master’s requirement. In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. More information can be found at CDR’s website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.
Applicants: Please note that the WMU Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Program does not contact any applicants to conduct interviews.
This program is offered in-person.
The Nutrition and Dietetics internship program participates in DICAS, the Dietetic Inclusive Centralized Application System. Application deadline for WMU, DICAS, and D&D Digital is Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Current WMU seniors may be eligible for the pre-selection process.
- WMU's Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' accrediting agency for education programs. Recognized by the United States Department of Education, ACEND assures the quality of nutrition and dietetics education programs for students and the public.
- WMU accepts up to 10 interns each Spring. During the program, interns will complete a series of experiences that will enable them to enter the work force with at least entry-level competence in dietetics. Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration's credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.
- WMU’s dietetic internship provides well-rounded supervised practice experiences in clinical and long-term care, community nutrition, food service management, wellness, and school food/nutrition. The program's concentration area is in sustainable food systems.
- Individualized learning opportunities are also provided through independent projects and an elective two-week rotation.
- The internship practicum begins in late August and finishes in late May of the following year. The remaining graduate courses can be taken on your own time and can be completed within 18-24 months of starting the master's degree. These courses can be taken online and can be taken anywhere there is internet access.
- Upon completion of the internship, interns will have earned 18 hours of graduate credit toward the completion of a Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics as shown below.
Why the Dietetics Internship Program at Western Michigan University
- Program completion rate of 100% over five years
- Average pass rate of 95.7% on Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam within one year of first attempt (2017-2021)
- 80% of graduates employed in dietetics or related field within 12 months of graduation
- Graduate satisfaction rating of 4.4/5 of “met expectations" or "satisfied with match” (2017-2021)
- Over 30 percent of 2013-17 graduates have earned a master's or advanced practice certificate; 60 percent are enrolled in a graduate program and/or are working toward certification.
Mission, goals and philosophy
The mission of the Western Michigan University Dietetic Internship Program is to prepare self-directed entry-level nutrition professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to practice as competent registered dietitian nutritionists in diverse and changing health care, community, and food service environments.
WMU DI program goals are that upon successful completion of the Western Michigan University dietetic internship program, graduates:
- Are competent for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists in all core performance areas;
- meet employment needs and opportunities in dietetics, nutrition, health, and food in Michigan and beyond;
- demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.
The WMU Dietetic Internship Program seeks to: help students build on the knowledge already gained in meeting the academic requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, provide opportunities for the application of that knowledge in a variety of settings, and develop the clinical and management skills essential for quality dietetics practice. The program includes both supervised practice and didactic opportunities in clinical nutrition (acute care and long-term and-community care), community nutrition, food service management, wellness, and school food and nutrition. A one-to-one preceptor-student ratio enables interns to build skills and achieve core competencies for the RDN required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
WMU’s internship provides a concentration in Sustainable Food Systems per ACEND requirements. This is integrated into the current core curriculum where possible. More information on this is located later in this manual.
Academic credit is earned during the internship. Graduate classes:
FCS 6010 Basic Research Methods and Design, three credit hours
FCS 6140 Nutrient Metabolism I, three credit hours
FCS 6230 Practicum (Internship), three credit hours
FCS 6150 Nutrient Metabolism II, three credit hours
FCS 6230 Practicum (internship), three credit hours
FCS 6900, Seminar in FCS, three credit hours
Those who complete the internship and above 18 graduate credits have an additional five years to complete the master’s. However, they must take and pass the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist before January 1, 2024 if they have not yet earned their master’s by then.
Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6695
Questions? Please contact:
Meghan Wilkinson, MS, RDN, CNSC
Dietetic Internship Program Coordinator