Our Program

All UMN Dietetic interns take part in the same supervised practice program requirements that will allow them to sit for the RDN exam. However, depending on the applicant's background and preferred timeline, there are four separate ways to apply for enrollment in our program:

We offer four options to enroll in our DI program:

View Application Timelines for all Admittance Options

Options 1 & 2 - Early & Regular Admittance:

The following options are available for applicants who meet Admissions Requirements. Of note, a master's degree completed prior to the start of the DI program year is required.

  1. Early Action Admittance: This option is for applicants who wish to take action early to secure a seat in the upcoming program year, before remaining seats are opened to regular decision timeline. Apply by Oct 9!
  2. Regular Decision Admittance: This option is for applicants wishing to enroll in any remaining seats available in the upcoming program year, beginning in fall. Apply by Feb 1!

Option 3 - MPS + DI Early Admittance:

The MPS+DI Early Admittance option provides the opportunity to complete the UMN-FScN Dietetics Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in the first year, followed by the DI program in the second year. This MPS degree was developed specifically for those pursuing a career in dietetics, and the DI prepares them to take the RDN Exam.

To be accepted into this MPS+DI option, prospective interns must submit two separate applications: one to the UMN-FScN MPS program by the early deadline (apply by Dec 1) , and one to the UMN DI through DICAS (apply by Feb 1).

This option is similar to 'Option 1 - Early Action Admittance' in that it guarantees a seat in the DI in advance. The DI portion would be the program year following successful completion of the one-year FScN Dietetics MPS.

Option 4 - ISPP:

The Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) option offers a unique pathway for those who hold a PhD in Nutrition or related field to obtain supervised practice experiences to meet eligibility requirements to take the RDN Exam.

Learn more about the ISPP Option

**Currently, priority consideration will be given to doctoral graduates of the University of Minnesota Department of Food Science and Nutrition to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

More about our program:

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  • Competencies for dietetics practice are facilitated and achieved by identified academic and supervised practice internship experiences.
  • Students and interns benefit from learning experiences when they have the opportunity to individualize certain experiences to their needs and interests.
  • Attainment of entry-level performance requirements for dietetics practice is enhanced by the variety of opportunities offered to interns within a diverse and well-rounded internship.
  • The interests of the interns and the public are best served through collaboration of University units and the community.
  • Commitment to ongoing evaluation and planning is necessary to assure program quality.


Consistent with the missions of the University of MinnesotaCollege of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Science, and Department of Food Science and Nutrition, the mission of the University of Minnesota Dietetic Internship is to maintain a high-quality program which integrates didactic education, supervised practice, and public service to prepare competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the food, health, and nutritional needs of the diverse communities they serve.

Goals and Objectives

Program graduates will be competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.

Outcome Measures:
  • DI Alone: At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 14 months.
  • MPS+DI: At least 80% of interns complete program requirements within 3 years.
  • At least 80 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • At least 75 percent of graduates responding to the U of MN DI Graduate Survey will give a rating of “satisfactory/meets expectations” or better when indicating their degree of “overall professional knowledge and skill demonstrated” in their work settings.

Program graduates will be well-trained to meet the food, health, and nutritional needs of the diverse communities they serve.

Outcome Measures:
  • Of graduates who seek employment, at least 75 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • At least 75 percent of graduates responding to the U of MN DI Graduate Survey will give a rating of “satisfactory/meets expectations” or better when indicating their competence to perform the nutrition care process and use standardized nutrition language for individuals, groups, and populations of differing ages, diversity, and health status in their work settings.
  • At least 75 percent of employers responding to the U of MN DI Employer Survey will give program graduates a rating of “satisfactory/meets expectations” or better when indicating degree of overall professional knowledge and skill demonstrated in their work settings.

Program outcomes data available upon request


We expect our students and interns to act in a professional manner. This includes dressing professionally, arriving on time, completing projects and assignments by the due dates, and communicating effectively with others.

We expect high motivation and a desire to help others. We expect an ongoing willingness to learn, accept challenges, and grow in skill and compassion. We require that interns uphold the confidentiality of all clients, and follow the internship program's policies and procedures, as well as requirements for each of our affiliated sites.

Completion of the UMN DI Program

For successful completion of the DI program and to receive a verification statement, the following requirements must be met:

  • Interns must be enrolled full-time in the U of M DI program and complete all requirements prior to graduation. Extensions beyond one year from the ORIGINAL program start date may result in re-applying to the program and paying program fee again. Refer to the Leave of Absence Policy as necessary.
  • Successful completion of all rotations. Successful completion of each rotation will be determined by the preceptor for that rotation and by Program Leadership. It will be based on attendance and the learning accomplished in that rotation. For rotations with multiple preceptors, a joint decision by all the preceptors will be made. Successful completion will also depend upon:
    • Satisfactory and timely completion of assignments, projects, case studies, or any other assigned task(s).
    • Completed rotation evaluation forms. Preceptors will determine if the intern has passed a rotation or not. If an intern is required to extend or repeat a rotation, it will be done at the convenience of the preceptor(s). Furthermore, due to challenging circumstances securing sites and preceptors, the original schedule may be modified, with alternative sites/experiences utilized. Successful completion is based on passing every rotation. Repetition of rotations may result in a delay in graduation from the program.
  • All interns will prepare and present concentration-specific case studies during the course of the internship. A case study oral presentation will be evaluated by DI Leadership, any preceptors in attendance, and peers. The written report will be reviewed by preceptors and staff, and evaluated by the Internship Director.
  • Successful completion of clinical staff relief, food service theme meal, and community project(s) as determined by preceptor(s) and Internship Director.
  • All interns must complete a minimum of 1000 practice hours.
  • Involvement at internship classes and additional experiences, and successful completion of any quizzes and exams given.
  • Satisfactory participation in special duties, which may include National Nutrition Month, MAND meetings, legislative advocacy, public presentations, site activities, and other projects as determined by Internship Leadership.
  • Assignments and projects must be at 80% possible points or higher, and evaluations from site preceptors must be at level “3” or better for satisfactory completion of the dietetic internship, with no more than five “2’s” given. In the event this is not achieved, the intern may be placed on probation, with the expectation to determine with the Internship Director how satisfactory completion can be achieved. Please refer to the Program Retention and Remediation Policy for additional details.
  • Compliance with policies as outlined in the Policies and Procedures Manual.
  • Professional and ethical behavior throughout the program.
  • For U of M graduate students preselected as interns, the Completion of U of M Dietetic Internship Form may be requested based on individual circumstances at the discretion of DI program leadership.
  • Full payment of program fees is required by Nov 30 of the semester the internship began.  In rare circumstances, an intern may petition for an individual contract to extend beyond this date. In that case, the contract will be signed by DI Leadership and Intern, and will be on file with the DI.

Intern performance is evaluated at regular intervals throughout the program year. Refer to Assessment of Learning During Program Policy for details. Upon successful completion of all learning experiences, graduates receive verification statements, and the Internship Director initiates the registration eligibility process for candidates to schedule their Registration Examination for Dietitians. The DI program has the right to withhold verification statements if any the above requirements are not satisfactorily met.

The Process of Becoming an RDN

Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following educational and professional criteria to earn and maintain the RDN credential.

  1. Completion of a master's degree* (at minimum) from a U.S. regionally accredited university or college
    For more information about this requirement, visit  CDR's website.
  2. Completion of accredited DPD coursework as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, such as the Didactic Program in Dietetics housed within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition (FScN) of the University of Minnesota.
  3. Completion of an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (This step is us, the UMN Dietetic Internship Program!)
  4. Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
  5. While state interpretations of statutes may vary, it is ACEND's considered opinion that the program meets the educational requirements for dietetics licensure and certification in all states. However, completing an ACEND-accredited academic program alone does not qualify an individual for licensure or certification as a dietitian in any state. Individuals should review their state's licensing statutes and regulations to understand the specific requirements, including supervised practice and examinations, needed to obtain a dietetics license. More information about state licensure and certification can be found at this link: Minnesota Board of Dietetics and Nutrition Practice.
  6. Obtain 75 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) every 5 years to maintain registration status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Continuing professional education is essential for lifelong development to maintain and improve knowledge and skills for competent dietetics practice.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.