Department of Nutrition

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Dietetic Internship Program

About the Program

The Dietetic Internship (DI) is in conjunction with the Master of Science in Nutrition (Cellular and Molecular Nutrition or Public Health Nutrition) and doctoral graduate degrees. 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 internship is taken the 2nd Fall. The internship follows, in the Spring from January-August (30weeks). The Master’s degree and internship are usually completed in two years. Note that Public Health Nutrition students complete their 7-week block field experience the first summer which counts towards the internship hours. Hence they are complete with 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 Clinical and Community with emphasis on developing nutrition assessment, counseling and presentation skills.
• The program has a strong public health component.
• The DI accepts 10 interns each year. The 1st year students are in the MS Program. Spring of the 2nd year is the DI, a 40 hour per week experience for 30 weeks.
• 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 RD 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 will provide 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 will be given. 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 clinical and community.  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 30 week experience, 1200 practice hours, including a 5-7 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 requirements, the graduate will receive a verification statement and be eligible to sit for the RD exam.

DI Open House

Our program does not schedule one specific date for an open house. We are available throughout the year to meet with you. Please contact Karen Wetherall, DI Director, at kbalnick@utk.edu. She will coordinate appointments for you to meet with faculty to discuss your interests at your convenience.

DI Application Procedure

Once you have been admitted into graduate school and have submitted your DI application through DICAS the DI Selection Committee will review and rank your application. We utilize the D&D digital matching system. Please note that we do not conduct individual interviews for the DI program.

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 applicants need to be admitted into graduate school prior to being accepted into the DI Program we select interns who are current graduate students to fill any open positions.

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) & Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is located at: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000 Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: 800-877-1600 ext. 5400

Website: www.eatright.org/acend

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.