Dietetic Internship


This dietetic internship is a post-baccalaureate, supervised practice program, and is designed to allow students to complete the requirements for the Dietetic Internship (DI)  in 15 months. This 15 month program begins in May of one year and comes to completion at graduation in August of the following year.  The UCA MSDI is currently accredited for 12 master’s eligible interns and one doctoral prepared intern via ISPP.

Graduates of the DI receive a verification statement and are eligible to sit for the national exam for Registered Dietitians.  Interns selected for the UCA MSDI program will enroll as a graduate student at UCA.  Completion of the Master’s Degree will be required for entry-level practice starting in 2024. 

2024 CDR Mandate (Standard 9, Required Element 9.3.d): 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). 

There are two components of the MSDI , a supervised practice portion and a didactic portion.  The didactic portion includes two graduate courses, completed in the fall and spring semesters as well as weekly class meetings during the 12 week summer sessions.  The supervised practice component includes practice hours accumulated during assigned rotations.

Interns are evaluated on each rotation by Preceptors and/or the MSDI Director.  Successful completion of the required supervised practice hours and all didactic work is required for program completion.  After passing the Registration exam, graduates may apply for Arkansas licensure.  Details on requirements for Licensed Dietitians in Arkansas can be found at

We have several scholarship opportunities for Dietetic Interns, see the video here for more information.


The UCA MSDI is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), formerly the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetic Education (CADE), of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Post-secondary Accreditation and the United States Department of Education.  Contact information for ACEND includes:

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL  60606-6995

Phone:  312.899.0040, X 5400; 800.877.1600 X 5400




The mission of the UCA MSDI is to maintain a high quality program in dietetics, dedicated to assisting interns with  development of needed skills for the varied roles of the dietitian in today’s society, and  which ultimately culminates in registration eligibility with the  Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).    Interns will be provided opportunities to develop expertise in nutrition therapy, community nutrition, foodservice systems management, and business/entrepreneur competencies while developing professional attitudes, maturity, and competent professional behavior.

The dietetic internship implements its mission through the establishment of the following goals and outcome measures:


Goal #1 – Prepare graduates to be competent, professional entry-level dietitians.

Desired-Outcome Measures

  1. Eighty percent of students initially enrolled in the MSDI will complete the program within 24 months (150% of time planned for completion).   (1.3.1)
  2. Within 12 months of completing the program, a minimum of 70% of graduates will have taken the RD exam.
  3. Over a 5 year period, 70% or more of program graduates who sought employment in dietetics will be employed within three months of program completion. (1.3.2)
  4. Over a 5-year period, the pass rate for program graduates taking the registration examination for the first time will be at least 80%. (1.3.3)


Goal #2 – Provide graduates with a basic knowledge of a broad range of career opportunities in the field of dietetics.

Desired-Outcome Measures

  1. A minimum of 70% of dietetic interns will indicate on exit interviews or surveys a rating of “satisfactory” or above with respect to whether a broad range of career opportunities were presented to them.
  2. Seventy percent of dietetic interns will score a “satisfactory” or above rating on non-traditional rotation evaluations.


Goal #3 -Prepare graduates for employment in a community-based setting. 

Desired-Outcome Measure

  1. Seventy percent or greater of employers will rate program graduates at “satisfactory” or above on performance on employer surveys.

Program outcomes data are available on request.