Students planning to become Registered Dietitians need to complete an ACEND accredited supervised practice program after graduation from SIUC and prior to taking the National Registration Exam. Increasing the chances of being a successful applicant to a supervised practice program begins in the first year of college by working to obtain and maintain the best possible GPA, acquiring extensive volunteer and work experience, being active in student organizations, and working closely with dietetics faculty.
An internship is designed to expand the knowledge base gained from college course work and apply this knowledge to real-life situations. This is achieved through 1200 hours of class work, seminars, medical lectures, tours, special projects, and experience in clinical, management, and community areas of dietetics. You will apply for internships during your senior year. There are over 260 ACEND accredited internships located across the country and in Puerto Rico. Programs vary in length from six to 24 months, with the longer programs often offering credit towards the master's degree.
The Program Director assumes the primary role in the Department (through HND 400 Senior Seminar) assisting students with the dietetic internship application process. REMEMBER that completion of the undergraduate academic requirements does not guarantee acceptance or a position in an internship program.
Admittance to an internship is highly competitive and is based on undergraduate academic records, leadership experiences, and dietetic-related work experiences. Possession of related job experience, a 3.0/4.0 GPA, and evidence of leadership skills are favorable attributes for acceptance into an internship.