Dec 04, 2022  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (Post-Baccalaureate Program)

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Accreditation Status

The Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics at Life University have been granted initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
800/877-1600 ext. 5400



The Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is a 9-month program (32 weeks) 280 hours of didactic and 816 hours of supervised practice experience in rotations. The Dietetic Internship program provides interns with the necessary knowledge and skills to be eligible to sit for the national registration exam for dietitians and to pursue a variety of career opportunities in the field of dietetics. Up to 16 interns can be admitted to the program, which starts in early September, and is completed by end of May. The Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at Life University is a non-degree option program.

  • Non-Degree Option: The prospective interns opting for this track will be eligible for undergraduate financial aid and the tuition is $10,000 (2021-2022).
  • Graduate Degree Option: Students who are enrolled in the Dietetic Internship (DI) program may pursue the MS in Clinical Nutrition.  
    • MS in Clinical Nutrition: The interns of the Life University Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics have the opportunity to apply to the Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and receive 9-transfer credits from the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics toward completion of this degree.

If the Graduate Degree option is selected, a prospective intern must apply to the Master’s Program separately. The two programs (DI and MS) are not combined, therefore, acceptance to one does not guarantee acceptance into the other. In order to be accepted to either, the prospective intern must meet the admission requirements for the particular program. 

If the MS in Clinical Nutrition option is selected, a prospective intern will only have to pay for 43 credit hours to obtain the Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition (MS requires 52 credit hours). 

NOTE: The prospective intern must not work or take classes that conflict with the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics hours. 


Adjustments due to COVID-19:

The United States Department of Education (USDE) requires that ACEND monitor temporary changes that programs are making as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  These changes may include transitioning didactic coursework online, offering alternative grading options, and changing the total number of supervised practice hours and alternative experience hours. 

COVID-19 adjustments: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the ACEND Board had voted to temporarily reduce the required number of supervised practice hours for programs accredited under the ACEND 2017 Accreditation Standards.   The reduced hours from 1200 to 1000 hours has become a permanat change under the ACEND 2022 Accreditation Standards.  The Dietetic Internship is now in compliance with ACEND 2022 standards.

Life University’s Dietetic Internship (DI) program has applied the various changes relating to didactic coursework, grading, supervised practice hours and alternative experiences.  Orientation for 2022-23 will begin in early September and graduation will be end of May, 2023 to account for these adjustments. 

The following changes will be monitored by ACEND and are reported here as a requirement of the United States Department of Education (USDE): 

  • The DI program may incorporate alternate supervised experiences (i.e., simulation, case studies and/or role play).  No more than 600 hours of the total practical hours may be used for alternate supervised experiences.

Program Philosophy

The Department of Nutrition designed the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics to share knowledge and provide sound training to dietetic professionals in order to meet the increasing demand for nutrition experts. As students of the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics at Life University, one will receive a variety of experiences focused on clinical, management, and community nutrition. The program is nine months in duration and will include instructional and work-related experiences. Upon completion of the program, the student will have been exposed to the entire scope of practice in dietetics and will have a working knowledge of clinical, community, and administrative dietetics.

Mission Statement of the Dietetic Internship Program

The mission of the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics is to support the Life University mission and provide practical expeerience and training for the interns, so that the program graduates will have the knowledge and skills to effectivitgely meet the responsibilities of nutitionals services in community, clinical, manaderial postions and become leaders in their chosen field.  Upon completion of the program and receipt of the Verification Statement, the graduates will pass the National Registration Examiniation for dietitians.

The mission of the Dietetic Internship Program is to ensure graudates are adequately prepared with thorough didactic and supervised practd for entry level nutrition related positions where they will apply evidences based practiveto promot the health of both communitites and individuals.

Program Goals

Goal 1

Upon completion of the program, the dietetic internship graduate will be qualified and prepared for a variety of career opportunities in the field of dietetics.

  • Objective 1: 80% of the enrolled students will complete the IP program within 15 months of starting the program (150% of 10 months). 
  • Objective 2: 80% of the interns will pass the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam on the first attempt. 

Goal 2

Graduates of the Internship Program (IP) program who desire employment will obtain a position in the field of dietetics and will have the knowledge and skills to effectively meet the responsibilities of the position.  

  • Objective 1: 80% of graduates who desire employment in the field of nutrition will be employed within 12 months of program completion.
  • Objective 2: 80% of IP graduates who start their first position as a RD will feel prepared for the position.
  • Objective 3: 80% of graduates’ employers will feel that they were well prepared for the position. 

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics. For more information contact the Financial Aid Office.

Cost to Student

  1. The tuition-rate over the next three academic years is as follows (this fee will include instruction as well as work experience):
Academic Year Proposed Rate
2020-2021 $9,400
2021-2022 $10,000
2022-2023 $10,100
  1. Health insurance and professional liability insurance is mandatory. Students must obtain insurance coverage prior to admission to the program. Liability insurance can be obtained through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at a cost of approximately $75.00 for liability and $350.00 for health for the nine-month duration.
  2. Students are responsible for providing their own housing, meals, transportation, and gas costs to/from rotation sites. Costs vary based upon preferences. The approximate cost is estimated to be between $8,000 to 12,000. Information regarding housing can be obtained through the Life University Office of Student Affairs at 770-426-2700.
  3. Textbook(s) for the program will average $600.00.
  4. White lab coats, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer, and penlight or flashlight are required ($150). 
  5. Application fee for computer matching by D&D Digital Systems is $50.00.
  6. Application fee to use Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) is $40 for the first application and $20 for each additional application.
  7. Application fee for processing application by Life University is $65.00.
  8. Registration Exam Review ($350-450). Students must either take the review course within 1 month of graduation or show the registration receipt for payment of the course in order for the Verification Statement to be issued at the end of the program.
  9. Some rotation sites may require background checks for the interns and require the interns to pay for this cost, which could be between $20-200. Some rotation sites may also require the intern to repeat the TB test and/or any other immunizations, which may cost between $15-150.
  10. Upon acceptance to the Internship Program, 10% of your tuition is required prior to the start of the program to secure your position (this is nonrefundable if you decide not to continue with the internship).
  11. Students are required and responsible for becoming a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The fee is $50.00.

Credentialing Process for Registered Dietitians

Students are required to go through a sequential three-step process to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). Those steps are:

  1. Completion of the didactic program in dietetics with minimum academic requirements as set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  2. Complete an ACEND accredited internship.
  3. Pass the National Dietetic Registration Exam.

The completion of this program fulfills the second step in the process. This gives the student the competence and eligibility to take the national Dietetic Registration Exam.

Admission Requirements & Computer Matching

  1. Completion of the course work required for a Didactic Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (DP), which is accredited by the ACEND of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and having completed a Bachelor of Science Degree (transcripts must indicate BS Degree Completed). *If any applicants have graduated more than 5 years ago, they must take the following courses prior to the start of the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics at Life University:

When completing your application, you must include proof of taking these course or equivalent courses and must be completed by the start of the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics.

*If you are submitting a Declaration of Intent with your application, you must provide your Verification Statement before the internship starts. If the Verification Statement is dated prior to 1987, you must provide a Verification Statement indicating that you have completed current DP requirements (dated after 1987).  The program director’s signature must be in an ink color other than black to distinguish an original from a photocopy.

  1. Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent *issued by the Program Director of the school
  2. Grade point average in regard to completion of the academic requirements.
    • Overall GPA of 3.0
    • Science GPA of 3.0
    • Nutrition GPA of 3.25
  3. Three written reference letters - two academic and one from work supervisor or personal colleagues.
  4. A personal statement including 1,000 words or less that answers the following questions: 
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  5. Two copies of all official final transcripts. (If you have not completed the BS degree at the time of sending in the application, you must bring two copies of the official transcripts on the first day of the DI Program).
  6. Student must have access to SKYPE or OOVOO in order to have an interview via video conferencing or in person if required (if deemed necessary).
  7. Computer matching

NOTE: Foreign students who received their BS degree from other accredited universities in their country must have translation of their degree and transcripts by the following institution: 

Global Education Group, Inc.

1650 Alton Road

Miami Beach, FL 33139 USA

Phone: (305) 534-974

Fax: (305) 534-3487


Josef Silny & Associates

International Education Consultants
7101 SW 102nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33173
 Fax: 305/273-1338 or 273-1984


World Education Services, Inc. (WES)

Bowling Green Station
PO Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-8057
Fax: 212/966-6100

NOTE: If you are sending translations of your degree, in the US Summary Equivalency section it must state what the international degree is equivalent to and that it is equivalent to at least a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited college or university (institution) in the United States (US). If the words Regionally Accredited are not there, then the evaluation reports are not valid and would not be accepted.

Selection Criteria

The selection process will be a two-phase process for the 16 slots. The initial phase will be based on the assessment of admission requirements 1 through 7. The final phase will be based on assessment of admission requirements 1 through 8. The names of the applicants selected during the final phase will be sent to D&D Digital Systems for computer matching. Computer literacy, volunteer and extra-curricular activities are also considered in selecting students.

Note:  COVID-19 Adjustment – the program will accept 11 interns for the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Computer Matching

All applicants to the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (IP) and most Pre-professional Practice Programs (AP4) must participate in computer matching. Applicants should request instructions and a mark/sense card to prioritize their IP or AP4 preferences. Applicants should request this material from any Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics approved Didactic Program in Dietetics or from D&D Digital Systems. This request should be made to allow turnaround time for submitting by the D&D Digital Systems postmark deadline. There is no charge for this material; however, there is a $50.00 charge for computer matching that is due with the applicant’s prioritized ranking. 

 Life University’s program code is 210 when completing the sense/mark card. 

Address requests to:
D&D Digital Systems
304 Main Street                             
Suite 301
Ames, IA  50010


Please remind your students – Applicants must create an account on EACH of 2 websites (different logins will be assigned for each website) to:

  1.  Submit applications to Internships
  2. Prioritize/rank Internships for matching

Application Procedures

To apply for the Life University Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics, students must do the following:

  • Student applying to the Life University Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics will need to apply through the online Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS). Students applying for the internship can go online to apply after December 1, 2021. The application must be completed by February 12, 2021. There is a $50 fee to use DICAS for the first application and $20 for each additional application.
  • Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS will be asked to complete a personal statement in 1000 words or less that answer the following questions:
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to: DICAS - Transcript Dept., P.O. Box 9118, Watertown, MA 02472.
  • The application must include three references with their names and contact information – including e-mail address. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form.
  • Applicants must also register online at for computer matching by February 1st. There is a $50 fee for this service and applicants can pay with a credit card. If you have questions regarding the computer matching process, contact D&D Digital at 515/292-0490.

Any questions regarding the application process should be directed to the nutrition department.

International Student Rules, Regulations & Procedures

International students are not eligible to apply to the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics only, but you can apply to the MS in Clinical Nutrition Program. The following year you will be eligible to apply to the IP Program, since you would be considered a degree-seeking student. Applicants must meet all admission requirements for the MS Program and then apply to the Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics. For additional information regarding the MS in Clinical Nutrition, contact the nutrition department.

Expected Competence to be Attained by Graduate

Scientific Evidence Based Practice: Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice:

CDRN 1.1: Select indicators of program quality and/or customer service and measure achievement of objectives.

CRDN 1.2: Evaluate research and apply evidence-based guidelines,systematic reviews and scientific literature in nutrition and dietetics practice.

CRDN 1.3: Justify programs, products, services and care using appropriate evidence or data.

CRDN 1.4: Conduct projects using appropriate research or quality improvement methods, ethical procedures and data analysis utilizing current and/or newtechnologies.

CRDN 1.5: Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice.

Professional Practice Expectations: Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the professional dietitian nutritionist level of practice:

CRDN 2.1: Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules, as applicable, and in accordance with accreditation standards and the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance, and Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.

CRDN 2.2: Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications.

CRDN 2.3: Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings.

CRDN 2.4: Function as a member of interprofessional teams.

CRDN 2.5: Work collaboratively with NDTRs and/or support personnel in otherdisciplines. 

CRDN 2.6: Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are beyond individual scope of practice.

CRDN 2.7: Apply change management strategies to achieve desired outcomes.

CRDN 2.8: Demonstrate negotiation skills.

CRDN 2.9: Actively contribute to nutrition and dietetics professional and community organizations.

CRDN 2.10: Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice.

CRDN 2.11: Show cultural humility in interactions with colleagues, staff, clients, patients and the public.

CRDN 2.12: Implement culturally sensitive strategies to address cultural biases anddifferences.

CRDN 2.13: Advocate for local,state or national legislative and regulatory issues or policies impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.

Clinical & Customer Services: Development and delivery of information, products, services to individuals, groups and populations:

CRDN 3.1: Perform Medical Nutrition Therapy by utilizing the Nutrition Care Process including use of standardized nutrition terminology as a part of the clinical workflow elements for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety of settings.

CRDN 3.2: Conduct nutrition focused physical assessment.

CRDN 3.3: Perform routine health screening assessments including measuring blood pressure, conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol), recommending and/or initiating nutrition-related pharmacotherapy plans (such as modifications to bowel regimens, carbohydrate to insulin ratio, B12 or iron supplementation)

CRDN 3.4: Provide instruction to clients/patientsforself-monitoringbloodglucose,considering diabetes medication and medical nutrition therapy plan.

CRDN 3.5: Explain the steps involved and observe the placement of nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes;if available, assistin the process of placing nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tub.

CRDN 3.6: Conduct a swallow screen and refer to the appropriate health care professional for full swallow evaluation when needed.

CRDN 3.7: Demonstrate effective communication and documentation skills for clinical and client services in a variety of formats and settings, which include telehealth and other information technologies and digital media

CRDN 3.8: Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience.

CRDN 3.9: Develop nutrition education materials that are culturally and age appropriate and designed for the literacy level of the audience.

CRDN 3.10: Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change.

CRDN 3.11: Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management.

CRDN 3.12: Deliver respectful,science-based answers to client/patient questions concerning emerging trends.

CRDN 3.13: Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and services, demonstrating and promoting responsible use of resources.

CRDN 3.14: Develop and evaluate recipes, formulas and menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations, groups and individuals

Practice Management & Use of Resources: Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations:

CRDN 4.1: Participate in management functions of human resources (such as hiring,training and scheduling).

CRDN 4.2: Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that affect employees, customers, patients, facilities and food.

CRDN 4.3: Conduct clinical and customer service quality management activities (such as quality improvement or quality assurance projects).

CRDN 4.4: Apply current nutrition informatics to develop, store, retrieve and disseminate information and data.

CRDN 4.5: Analyze quality, financial and productivity data for use in planning.

CRDN 4.6: Propose and use procedures as appropriate to the practice setting to promote sustainability, reduce waste and protect the environment

CRDN 4.7: Conduct feasibility studies for products, programs or services with consideration of costs and benefits.

CRDN 4.8: Develop a plan to provide or develop a product, program or service that includes a budget, staffing needs, equipment and supplies.

CRDN 4.9: Engage in the process for coding and billing for nutrition and dietetics services to obtain reimbursement from public or private payers, fee-for-service and value-based payment systems.

CRDN 4.10: Analyze risk in nutrition and dietetics practice (such asrisksto achieving set goals and objectives, risk management plan, or risk due to clinical liability or foodborne illness).

Leadership and Career Management: Skills, strengths, knowledge and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner

CRDN 5.2: Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.

CRDN 5.4: Advocate for opportunities in the professional settings (such as asking for additional responsibility, practicing negotiating a salary or wage or asking for a promotion).

CRDN 5.5: Demonstrate the ability to resolve conflict.

CRDN 5.6: Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.

CRDN 5.7: Mentor others.

CRDN 5.9: Identify and articulate the value of precepting.


Registration Examination Eligibility

After completion of the program, the director of the program will provide the student with a student exit packet. The student must then do the following:

  1. Complete the Name/Address Verification Forms provided by the Program Director.
  2. Return the CDR Copy (this copy to be returned to CDR by the Program Director) to the Program Director on or before the deadline. The Program Director will submit this original form to CDR.
  3. Retain the Name/Address Verification Form, Student Copy for student records.
    • The “Student Copy” is to be used when you have a name/address change after you have submitted the original CDR copy to your Program Director.
    • When a name/address change occurs, notify the Program Director of the change(s) via FAX so that he/she can revise your student record and advise CDR by attaching this fax copy to your original form. If you are unable to contact your Program Director, please FAX the form to CDR, attention Peggy Anderson, at (312) 899-4772. Make sure you complete ALL areas of the Change Form, including previous address (the address you submitted to your Program Director) and new address, Program Director’s name and four-digit program code found on your Verification Statement from your Program Director indicating completion of your supervised practice
  4. Program Directors will forward the Computerized Registration Eligibility Application to CDR. You will receive a letter confirming your registration eligibility from CDR approximately two to three weeks following Program Director submission to CDR.
  5. Refer to the February 1999 JADA, page 156, for an article entitled, “Computer-based testing: A new experience in 4 easy steps” and the October 1998 JADA, page 1102, for an article entitled, “Computer-based certification tests integrate testing and scoring, increase convenience” for a detailed description of the eligibility process.
  6. Inquiries should be directed to Peggy Anderson at (312) 899-0040, extension 4764 or email Peggy at

The Registration Examination for Dietitians is given year-round at over 200 approved Sylvan Learning Corporation sites nationwide. All test sites are open Monday through Friday and the eligible candidate must call the Sylvan testing site to schedule an appointment to take the examination.

Applicants should keep the following in mind:

  1. Make certain the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is furnished with a current mailing address.
  2. The examination fee is approximately $200.
  3. The test is multiple choice, with a minimum of 125 questions.
  4. The authorization to take the examination expires after the test is taken one year after authorization.

Policies & Other Requirements

Program Outcome Data

Data is available as requested in writing, you can send an email to to obtain this information.

Grievance Procedures

Any problems including ACEND accreditation issues that the student cannot resolve should be brought to the attention of the Program Director. If the problem cannot be resolved between the Program Director and the student, the student should notify the Assistant Dean. If the Assistant Dean is not able to solve the problem, then he/she will refer the matter to the Dean of College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, who has the final authority. If the Dean is not able to resolve the problem, then the matter will be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). If the VPAA cannot resolve the problem, then student is referred to the President of the Life University. If the President cannot resolve the problem, then the student can make a written complaint to the ACEND. The name and address where the complaint should be filed is given below:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
800/877-1600 ext. 5400

Program Description for the Dietetic Internship Program

First four weeks of the program 136 hours
Every 2nd Monday (13) 104 hours
Final Weeks (graduation week) 40 hours
Total Didactic: 280 hours
*Supervised Practice  
Food service 264 hours
Clinical 264 hours
Community 256 hours
Elective 32 hours
Case Study / Literature Review / Advocacy / Social Campaign Assignments Part of didactic
Total: 1096 hours

Food service – exposure to different areas of food service including purchasing, inventory, production, safety, quality measures and customer service.

Community – exposure to community nutrition in various settings including, senior centers, state department of health, food banks and other community organizations.

Clinical – Exposure to different areas of clinical nutrition such as general medicine, acute care, endocrinology, long-term care, pediatrics, renal, oncology, and critical care.  Elective – Interns will discuss an area of special interest when onboarding into the program, and may have the opportunity to complete a supervised practice rotation in that area.

Special Interest/Electives may be extraordinary to the offerings of clinical, food service, and community eg. Sports Nutrition, Diabetes education, etc.

At the end of all supervised practice rotation the intern will be evaluated by the preceptor. The intern is required to obtain a score of 80% or better or they will be required to repeat that rotation which would delay the completion of the program. 


COVID adjustments as described above have been applied.  The program is providing the above hours to each intern in this regard.  This was a decision made by DIP faculty based on the USDE and ACEND guidelines.  (Reduced requirement from 1200 hours to 1000 hours has become permanent for the current cohort as well as future interns.)

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