Department of Nutrition

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dietetic Internship Program

About the Program

The Dietetic Internship (DI) is a combined program which requires completion of a Master of Science or PhD degree from the Department of Nutrition. The Master of Science in Nutrition offers degree programs in Cellular and Molecular Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition, and doctoral degrees in Cellular and Molecular Nutrition or Community Nutrition. Study for the Master’s degree takes place during the first 4 semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall). A DI Course, introducing knowledge and skills to be used during the supervised practice is taken the 2nd Fall. The supervised practice follows, in the Spring from January-August (31 weeks). The Master’s degree and supervised practice are usually completed in two years. Note that Public Health Nutrition non-thesis students complete a 8-week block field experience the first summer which counts towards the supervised practice hours. These students complete the DI by June. There is an option to also complete a MPH degree or to complete the DI in conjunction with a PhD from the Department of Nutrition.

Internship Facts

  • The focus of the Dietetic Internship (DI) is Community Nutrition.
  • The program has a strong public health component, but also prepares interns for a career in clinical nutrition.
  • The DI accepts 10 interns each year. The first year students are in the MS Program. Spring of the second year is the DI, a 40 hour per  week experience for 31 weeks. Interns remain in the DI summer semester or may complete the Block Field Experience the first summer.
  • The DI is located in the Knoxville-Oak Ridge-Maryville area surrounded by the beautiful Smoky Mountains.
  • Over the past 5 years, 100% of graduates have passed the RDN exam within one year of first attempt.
  • Over the past 5 years, 100% of graduates seeking jobs in dietetics have obtained positions in the field.

Mission, Goals, Objectives and Outcome Measures

Steps to becoming a Dietitian Nutritionist RDN

DI Brochure

General Information

The DI program aims to provide an experience component in dietetics which culminates in registration eligibility. The experience provides dietetic interns with the clinical application of knowledge learned through their Didactic Program in Dietetics and undergraduate curricula. Emphasis is placed on the integration of knowledge and experience leading to a strong capacity to solve problems. As interns gain experience, increased responsibility for professional practice is provided. Individualized study is stressed to give the dietetic intern experience in integration of knowledge from many areas of study. An interdisciplinary approach assists the intern in development of innovative solutions to increasingly complex problems. This includes an increased understanding of self and one’s role as a member of the comprehensive health care team. Preceptor evaluation and student self-assessment contribute to this understanding in relation to meeting the life-time goals of a dietitian. The DI program provides flexibility for individual interests through individual enrichment, “personal choice” experiences.

The focus of the DI program is community nutrition.  Students completing the DI program will possess the knowledge and performance requirements necessary for entry-level practice in the dietetic profession. Each student completes a 31 week supervised practice experience, 1271 practice hours, including an 8 week staff experience which provides an opportunity to integrate and apply knowledge and skills at a staff level. At completion of the DI program and MS (or other advanced degree) requirements, the graduate will receive a verification statement and be eligible to sit for the RDN exam.

DI Open House

Our program does not schedule one specific date for an open house. Since the program is transitioning to the Future Education Model, please contact  Melissa Hansen-Petrik, at  for more information.

DI Application Procedure

We are no longer accepting applications to the Dietetic Internship.  The final class of interns will graduate Summer 2021.

Second Round Matching Procedure

Please note that we do not participate in the national second round match after the D&D digital internship match date.

Since 1897, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees.  For questions, contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500.

The DI program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is located at: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190 Chicago, IL 60606-6995.

Phone: 312-899-0040 x5400



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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
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