The mission of the Dietetic Internship program is to prepare a diverse group of students as entry level registered dietitian nutritionists for successful careers in dietetics and encourage students to assume leadership roles in their profession and in society.

Program Requirements

  • Students will complete all program requirements for the Ph.D. as well as the additional requirements for Dietetic Interns listed below. 
  • Dietetic Interns must register for an additional 18 credits of FDNS 7910 (9 credits for each of 2 summers). 
  • Dietetic Interns must register for additional 8 credits of FDNS 7911 (2 credits FDNS7911, fall and spring semesters, for two years). Consult Dr. Barbara Grossman: bgrossma@uga.edu.

Goals

  • The program will prepare graduates to be competent entry level dietitians or professionals in fields related to dietetics.
  •  Program faculty and staff will provide guidance and support that will motivate a diverse group of students to complete the graduate program and dietetic internship and to assume leadership roles in the dietetics profession and society.
  •  Students will demonstrate proficiency in understanding and communicating current research findings.

How long does it take?

This full-time program is completed as part of a PhD. The PhD program is typically completed in 4-5 years. The internship is completed during the first 24 months of the program with some additional coursework during the academic year for a total of 1220 hours. Your Dietetics Internship Program Director must receive your official transcript confirming completion of your Ph.D. in order to issue a Verification Statement, which is neccessary in order to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians. 

Fast Facts

We have a wide variety of supervised practice sites in the Athens and Atlanta areas
We have 2 concentrations: Medical Nutrition Therapy and Community Intervention and Research
We accept 6 new interns each year, to start in August
Graduates are eligible to sit for the Registration Exam for Registered Dietitians

Accreditation

The Dietetic Internship Program is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600 ext 5400.

Outcome Measures

  1. At least 90% of interns will be rated, on average, as “excellent” or “good” in “Overall Potential as a Professional” by supervised practice preceptors

  2. At least 90% of interns enrolled in the DI program are expected to complete all program requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion (150% = 36 months)

  3. Over a five-year period, the pass rate for DI graduates taking the registration examination within one year of their first attempt will be at least 80%

  4. Over a five-year period, 70% or more of DI graduates who sought employment in dietetics will be employed within three months of program completion

  5. Eighty Percent ( 80%) of DI graduates will take the registration examination within 12 months of program completion

  6. The dietetic internship program will maintain a diversity of our internship that is equal to or greater than the diversity of the University of Georgia student population.

  7. At least 50% of graduates will pursue further education, additional degrees or certifications, be active in professional organizations or in legislative activities

  8. At least 90% of alumni will be rated as “more than satisfactory” or “outstanding” by their job supervisors in 19 selected knowledge and skill areas

  9. At least 80% of students will be rated as very good or excellent on their seminar presentation to the Foods and Nutrition department

  10. At least 50% of students will present research findings at a local, regional, state or national level within one year of graduation

Calendar

The DI takes 2 years (24 months) to complete and is completed in the first 24 months of the program. The verification statement will not be issued until the doctoral degree is completed, hence the RD exam will be taken 2-3 years after meeting the DI requirements.  The Supervised Practice rotations are scheduled over 2 consecutive summers, starting on the Monday after finals week in May, and ending on the Friday before classes start in August.  Summers typically cover 10 weeks of rotations, for a total of 20 weeks (40 hr/wk) during the 2 summers. Some additional supervised practice hours are completed during the two academic years.

See Dietetic Internship Handbook for sample rotation schedule.

Internship Expenses

Students will be responsible for living expenses and transportation during the Dietetic Internship. Students are not usually eligible for assistantships in summers while they are doing their internships. Some internship sites are outside of the Athens area, so it is necessary for students to have a vehicle to get to internship sites. 

  • Housing averages $500 per month for a single room
  • Meals at the Internship facilities average $6 to $10 per day
  • Public transportation costs about $4 per day
  • Liability insurance is about $38 per year
  • Required Immunizations are ~$150 total for three Hepatitis B vaccinations and ~$25-$45 for 2 TB tests, each spring
  • Required CPR certification cost is about $85
  • Many internship sites require criminal background checks and drug tests (~$100), flu shots (~$25-$45) or fingerprinting (~$50) or a test of varicella titer (~$35).

Financial Aid

In select cases, graduate-dietetic students may receive financial aid in the form of teaching and research assistantships.  When receiving an assistantship, tuition (but not fees) are waived.  Additional scholarships and several types of low interest loans are available through the Student Financial Aid Department.

Visit Financial Aid

Completion Requirements

In order to complete both the graduate degree and dietetic internship and to receive a Verification Statement the following are required:

  • Successful completion of all rotations
  • Submission of Evaluation Forms, Competency Checklists, Work Samples as required from each rotation
  • Complete and Exit Interview with the Program Director and complete requisite ADA forms
  • Completion of 55 semester credit hours, plus 14 semester credit hours for the the internship for a total of 69 semester credit hours
  • Maintain a minimum of 3.0 GPA with no incompletes in any graduate course
  • Successful completion and defense of dissertation
  • Submission of all requisite forms to the Graduate School

Becomming an RD

Students completing the program requirements receive a Doctoal degree and have met the supervised practice requirements to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Upon completion of the PhD/DI, students must pass the Registration Examination for Dietitians. The state of Georgia also requires licensure for dietitians. A Provisional Licensure (to practice under an RD) can be applied for upon completion of the degree, and Full Licensure (to practice independently) can be applied for after passing the RD exam.