Dietetic Internship

Interested in Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?

Central Washington University prepares our students to become dietitians in diverse and professional fields within nutrition and dietetics.

CWU's dietetic internship focuses on placing our interns in areas throughout Central Washington state. Dietetic interns will have opportunities to complete supervised rotations in a variety of settings including clinical hospitals, outpatient clinics, WIC, school food service, hospital food service and more. Upon program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitian Nutritionists and become registered dietitian nutritionists.

Interested in Learning More?

This program provides: A certificate of completion of performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a 1000+ hour supervised practice and didactic experience. Accredited supervised practice experience required to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Graduates are eligible to take the RDN examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Please visit ACEND to learn The 5 Steps to Become an RDN. This program meets the requirement for Step 2: An ACEND Supervised Practice Dietetic Internship.
  • Mission, Goals, and Objectives

    CWU's Dietetic Internship is an integral part of the Health Sciences Department and strives to provide the highest quality program for our students which is focused on our mission, goals, and objectives.

    Mission: The mission of the dietetic internship is to prepare competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. 

    Program Goals and Objectives
    Goal #1 – Program graduates will become competent, entry level RDNs
    • At least 80% of students complete the stand-alone DI program requirements within ​​​12 months which is ​​​150 percent of planned program length.
    • At least 90 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
    • 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 percent
    • At least 90 percent of employers will express satisfaction with graduate’s competence in entry level practice, 1 year following program completion
    Goal #2 – Program graduates will obtain employment within the nutrition profession following program completion
    • Of graduates who seek employment, at least ​90​ percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation
  • Academic Curriculum
    Program Schedule

    Our DI consists of several supervised practice rotations that take place annually between the months of late September through late May. A two-week winter break and two-week spring break are included. Interns are expected to be at their supervised practice sites, working with their preceptors between 30-40 hours/wk. The stand-alone internship is considered post-bac program and students enroll in 54 credits of supervised practice experience over 3 quarters. (See schedule below).

    Credits Taken Quarterly (18)
    • Fall: NUTR 492A Dietetic Practicum, 18 credits
    • Winter: NUTR 492B Dietetic Practicum, 18 credits
    • Spring: NUTR 492C Dietetic Practicum, 18 credits
    Supervised Practice Rotations

    Dietetic interns complete their supervised practice experiences in a variety of sites under the direction of internship preceptors. Interns are primarily placed in three locations: Yakima Valley, Wenatchee, and the Tri-Cities. In each of these areas, the internship utilizes various health care facilities including hospitals, community clinics, health departments, and school district child nutrition service programs. Yakima Valley and Wenatchee are located in the midst of the Washington fruit and wine country. Tri-Cities is located further southeast of Ellensburg near the Columbia River. All three locations offer a variety of outdoor activities and natural, outdoor scenery and beauty. 

    Every attempt is made to assign students to one of the three areas they prefer and completing supervised practice activities with a limited amount of commuting. However, commuting distances vary within the areas and it is not always possible for the intern to obtain the location they prefer. Additionally, interns need to be prepared for commuting in winter driving conditions.

    Graduation and Program Completion Requirements
    DI Program Completion Requirements

    Students must successfully complete all supervised practice rotations within 12 months of beginning the program (150 percent of normal program completion).

    Students must receive an S (satisfactory) grade in each of the Dietetic Practicum courses (NUTR 492a, 492b, 492c), in sequence. To receive the S grade, interns must:

    1. Complete all assignments for each rotation in the assigned/designated length of time with an M (meets criteria). 
    2. Demonstrate entry-level knowledge and performance skills for competencies indicated for the rotation by receiving an M (meets criteria).
    3. Receive an S (satisfactory) score on each rotation evaluation that occurs within the Dietetic Practicum course period. 
    4. If any competencies on rotation evaluations are indicated as U (unsatisfactory) but the preceptor has determined the student to have an S score for the rotation, those U competencies must be improved and rated as S in the subsequent rotation.
    5. A student must arrange in advance, with the internship director, to correct or make up missed assignments or assignments which do not meet the completion criteria.
    6. Additional time in any rotation must be arranged in advance with the dietetic internship director.  Additional time will be allowed only for extenuating circumstances and when good progress has been made during the rotation.
    7. In the event a dietetic practicum course is not successfully
    Internship Rotation Descriptions
    Medical Nutrition Therapy - 11 weeks

    Over an eleven-week period, the dietetic intern will gradually assume the responsibilities of the clinical dietitian and will develop the competencies for an entry-level dietitian. Medical nutrition therapy is completed in smaller community hospitals as well as larger hospitals, so the dietetic intern obtains a well-rounded experience.

    Alternate Rotation  - 3 weeks

    The dietetic intern will spend 3 weeks working with a registered dietitian in a setting of their choice which may include: renal dialysis, outpatient counseling, diabetes education, sports nutrition, cardiac rehab, wellness, long term care, oncology, home infusion, or eating disorders.

    Community Nutrition - 8 weeks

    Over an eight-week period, the dietetic intern will actively participate and gradually assume the responsibilities of a dietitian in a community clinic. The intern will provide nutrition care to WIC clients and clients needing medical nutrition therapy education.

    School Foodservice Management- 6-7 weeks

    Over a nine-week period, the dietetic intern will actively participate in the responsibilities of a school nutrition director. During this rotation, the intern will have an opportunity to develop his or her foodservice management skills including skills in menu planning, food production and service, food and equipment purchasing, and human resource management.

    Hospital Foodservice Management- 3-4 weeks

    During the time spent in the healthcare setting the dietetic interns will also spend 3 weeks in hospital foodservice. This experience will include food production and service, quality assurance, foodservice sanitation, menu planning, and budgeting. This also gives the intern an idea of hospital diets, regulations etc. that will be useful when they start their clinical rotation at the hospital.

  • Application
    Are you Eligible to Apply?

    Please visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to learn The 5 Steps to Become an RDN.  

    Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements

    Admission Policy: All required documentation is due prior to beginning the internship by Sept 1.

    • Baccalaureate degree from a US regionally accredited institution, or other official verification from the Office of the Registrar
    • Master’s degree in nutrition or related area from a US regionally accredited institution, or other official verification from the Office of the Registrar
    • DPD Verification Statement with completion date within the last five years.  If DPD is >5 years old, applicants must have recent dietetic work experience andcompletion of an MNT course within the last 3 years, to be considered.
    • GPA of 3.0 or higher (4.0 scale) in DPD courses and overall
    • A strong background in sciences and evidence of ability and willingness to work productively are expected for admission to the dietetic internship. Experience, whether paid or volunteer, in clinical nutrition, food service management, or community nutrition is highly desirable.
    • Applicant finalists will be evaluated in a short web interview 
    How To Apply

    CWU offers two options for completing the dietetic internship:

    Pre-Select Option: Dietetic Internship

    Students who are accepted into CWU’s 14-month or 2-year MS in Nutrition graduate program are eligible for our pre-select option. If accepted, upon completion of their graduate degree and DPD courses, students will enroll in our 8-month dietetic internship starting in the Fall. The CWU DI offers up to 10 out of 10 intern positions to qualified CWU applicants. If any positions remain, they will be filled through computer matching through DICAS. Pre select applicants must apply to the DI Director by January 1st, 2024. Interviews will be held in mid-January. Applicants will be notified of their status by Friday, January 26th. Applicants offered a position in the program through the pre-select option must confirm acceptance via email by January 26th. If the student fails to notify the program director by January 26th, the position will be filled by another candidate. Once pre-select applicants are confirmed, names and email addresses of interns will be submitted to D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by January 30th and they will be removed from the computer match.

    Standard Dietetic Internship

    Already have a graduate degree or interested in getting a graduate degree in another field? Students who have a graduate degree and DPD verification statement can still opt to apply for our stand alone, 8-month dietetic internship which begins every September. Applicants who are interested can apply through DICAS. "DICAS is a web-based application service that allows DI applicants to apply to multiple participating DI programs by completing a single application". Students must also complete & submit D&D Matching Process & Fee. "The D&D Digital Internship Matching serves as a clearinghouse to help applicants obtain an internship (supervised practice position) from their rankings and 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" ( Applications are due on February 15, 2024 at 11:59 CST.

  • Approximate Program Costs

    Dietetic internship program costs are calculated based on tuition and fees of 2023-2024 (current tuition can be found here). Any of these costs may change without prior notice. The dietetic internship director makes every attempt to minimize costs to the student while maintaining quality of the program. Additional costs are associated with resources that are considered to be essential for successful completion of the internship.


    • Post Bacc Tuition: $9050
    • Lab Fees: $405 ($135 for 3 quarters)
    • Total: $9455 
    Out of state:
    • Post Bacc Tuition: $26,464
    • Lab Fees: $405 ($135 for 3 quarters) 
    • Total: $26,869

    Additional Fees:

    • Application Fee (DICAS, D&D): varies, typically $150-200 total
    • Professional Liability Insurance: $15 per year
    • Housing: rent $700-1000/mo, plus ~$200/mo utilities (actual cost varies depending on site)
    • Health insurance: ~$50/mo (plans vary, student health insurance is available through CWU)
    • Academy Student Membership: $58/year
    • Professional Meetings: ~$500 (covers registration, travel, lodging)
    • Immunization/Titers: TDAP, MMR, COVID, chickenpox immunity titer, hepatitis B immunity, or titers up-to-date annual 2-stepTB testing.  <$200 (cost will vary greatly depending on what immunizations/titers are needs and the health insurance plan of the student)
    • Transcripts: ~<$20 (exact cost will vary between institutions)
    • Car insurance & expenses: $200-400/mo (includes gas/insurance, varies depending on commute)
    • Healthcare Provider CPR: $50-100
    • 12-Panel Drug Screen: $40
    • HIPAA/OSHA Training, background checks and document management via Castlebranch: ~$130-150
    • WA Food Handler's Permit ~$10
    Financial Aid and Loan Deferment

    As enrolled post-bacc or graduate students, CWU graduate students and/or dietetic interns qualify for financial aid (as subsidized and unsubsidized loans) and loan deferment, if loan limits have not been previously met.  Please see information here on types of loans and limits: Federal Financial Aid

    In addition, the CWU DI meets the eligibility requirements to be a Dept of Education's Gainful Employment Program: Gainful Employment Program Disclosure

    Applicants are referred to the Financial Aid and Scholarships Department for further information on their specific eligibility and the application process for financial aid and scholarships.

    All current CWU interns are eligible to apply for a $500 scholarship from the CWU Nutrition Shoudy Scholarship fund.

  • Preceptor Hub

    CWU's Dietetic Internship program excellence comes from our 70+ outstanding preceptors!  Thank you for being gracious volunteers, mentors and experts for the future of dietetics. 

ACEND Accredited Program

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, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). For more information about educational pathways to become an RDN please reference ACEND's information on Students and Advancing Education. Applicants are encouraged to explore our 14-month or 2 year Master of Nutrition program that can be combined with our Dietetic Internship.

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Katy Williams, MS, RDN, CD, CSSD, CDCES, Nutrition, Director of Dietetic Internship

Health Science 302G