Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements and Completion

Requirements for Admission to the Southern Miss Dietetic Program

  • You Must Be Admitted To The Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems Graduate Program at Southern Miss  (Either regular or conditional admission) to be considered as a candidate for the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship (DI). Admission to the graduate program may be granted pending receipt of final undergraduate transcript. Please apply for summer term admission. 
  • A Verification Statement signed by the DPD Program Director.  If you have not yet completed your DPD, you must be able to submit a Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree signed by the DPD Program Director, and submit the Verification Statement following completion of the program.
  • Minimum academic records for admission to the program are:
    • GPA of 2.75 on the last 65 undergraduate hours (graduate school requirement)
    • GPA of 3.00 on didactic coursework (dietetic internship requirement), and you must have a minimum GPA of 2.70 on required science prerequisites, with no grade lower than "C" in ANY of those courses.  The following courses are included:
      General Chemistry (at least 1 semester)      
      Anatomy & Physiology (at least 1 semester)
      Organic Chemistry (1 semester)
      Microbiology (1 semester)
      Biochemistry (1 semester)
    • Apply for preselect or computer matching. 
    • Have a personal interview on selected dates with Southern Miss Internship selection committee.

International Students

In order for an individual educated outside of the United States to become a Registered Dietitian, registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), they must first meet certain requirements different from US students.  International students who wish to apply for a position in the southern Miss Dietetic Internship must first meet all requirements for an international student at the university.  In addition, he/she must hold a valid verification statement from a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) accredited through the Accreditattion Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Steps and Deadlines for DI Application

Step 1: Apply to Graduate School for Summer Term Admission

  • Application to Graduate School Program and fee of $50
  • GRE Scores sent to graduate school
  • All college/university transcripts to graduateschool (including fall 2012 grades).
  • All items must be received by the graduate school by 5 p.m. on January 3, 2014 for preselect and by February 15, 2014 for computer matching.

Step 2: Centralized Application: DICAS

  • The Dietetic Internship Program at The University of Southern Mississippi uses the online centralized internship application, referred to as DICAS(The online application MUST be completed by 11:59 pm Central Time on January 3 for preselect or February 15, 2014 for computer matching..

  • The fee to DICAS is $40 for the 1st application submitted and $20 for each additional application.

  • On the DICAS application – applicants will be asked to complete a personal statement in 1,000 words or less.  Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:
    • Why do you want to enter the profession of dietetics?
    • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  • Official Transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended (including fall 2010 grades) should be sent to:

    DICAS – Transcript Dept
    PO Box 9118
    Watertown, Ma  02472

  • When completing the application form, you must include the name and contact information (specifically an e-mail address) for each reference.  This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed on-line.

  • When contacting your references , please indicate they need to comment on the following qualities in the letter:

    (a) Knowledge in chosen field, analytical ability, ability to plan and conduct research, creativity, imagination, and
    intellectual ability
    (b) Motivation, perseverance toward goals, ability to work independently and potential for success in career field
    (c) Ability to express thoughts clearly in spoken and written English, ability to work with others and potential for
    college teaching

  • Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

Step 3: Supplemental Internship Application

  • Download the Preferred Placement for Supervised Practice Form (1-page PDF).

  • Complete the form along with a $50 check made payable to the Dietetic Internship Program at Southern Miss. This fee is non-refundable.

  • The form and the application fee must be mailed to:

    Elaine Fontenot Molaison, PhD, RD
    Dietetic Internship Director
    Department of Nutrition & Food Systems
    118 College Drive #5172
    Hattiesburg, MS 39406

  • Postmarked date on the Supplemental Application Form must be on or before January 3, 2014 for preselect or February 15, 2014 for computer matching.

Pre-Select and Computer Matching

Preselect Option
Up to eight (8) of the sixteen (16) Southern Miss Dietetic Internship positions may be filled by the Preselect Option rather than Computer Matching.  There are two ways to qualify for preselect:

  • A student must have completed at least six (6) hours of graduate classes and be currently enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi in a curriculum designed to lead to a Masters Degree in Nutrition and Food Systems,
  • Or a student planning to complete the Southern Miss DPD and will recieve a verification statement from Southern Miss.

Step 4: Computer Matching
Applicants who do not participate in or qualify for preselect MUST participate in computer matching.  There is a $50.00 charge for computer matching that is due on February 15 with the applicant's prioritized ranking. 

D&D Digital Systems
304 Main Street, Suite 301
Ames, Iowa 50010-6148

Applicants will be advised of computer match/no match from D & D Digital.  After the computer match applicant must notified the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship Director of his/her acceptance of the computer match. He/she will receive a letter of appointment from the Internship Director.

Costs and Financial Aid


Please refer to Business Services for current tutition rates and other possible student expenses.

Course Supplements/Fees




Professional needs


Housing and TransportationInterns are responsible for all living expenses and travel associated with the dietetic internship
RD Review Course$430 cost will be included as part of course fees

Professional Meetings** 

AND Food and Nutrition Conference & Exhibition / MS Dietetic Association Annual Meeting Registration, Hotel, & Travel

 * Fees subject to Change without notice
** Registration, hotel, meals, & travel cost will vary

Southern Miss Tuition Rates

Financial Aid

Full-time graduate students are eligible for federally guaranteed student loans and other forms of financial assistance.  Those interested in such assistance should contact the Southern Miss Office of Financial Aid at 601-266-4774.

In addition, scholarships are offered through the Department of Nutrition and Food Systems.  Applications are available in the department office early in the year.  Additional professional scholarships may be available through the American Dietetic Association Foundation.  Information these ADAF scholarships can be found online. Students must be a member of the American Dietetic Association to be eligible to apply for Foundation scholarships.

Calendars and Schedules

Since interns must be admitted to graduate school as part of the admission process, they must follow the university’s academic calendar. As part of the internship, these students will be enrolled in three semesters of course work.  A typical schedule for an intern may include the following courses: 

Semester Course TitleCredit hours
NFS 630Food Systems Management                          4
NFS 640Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy  4
NFS 567LPracticum in Dietetics                               3
NFS 664 Seminar 2
NFS 694Current Topics in Food Systems Management  3
NFS 567LPracticum in Dietetics                  3
NFS 664 Seminar 2
NFS 715Recent Developments in Applied Nutrition 3

Program Completion Requirements

Interns may be admitted to the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship with conditional admission to graduate school.  Those interns must meet all of the conditions of their graduate school admission in order to remain in the dietetic internship.  If the conditions of the intern’s graduate school admission status are not met, they will be forced to resign their position in the dietetic internship.  In order to re-enter the program, they will need to go through the application and selection process during the next year.  In addition, if an intern is placed on academic probation, it is the intern’s responsibility to determine and achieve the grades needed to remove the academic probation. 

In order for an intern to successfully complete the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship and receive a Verification Statement to that effect, he/she must complete at least 1200 hours of supervised practice experience, documented by submitting the completed NFS 567L Practicum in Dietetics Time Log for each semester.  He/she must also attend all scheduled orientations and seminars (NFS 664), the pinning ceremony and receive a passing evaluation on each of the competencies, objectives, and learning experiences in each rotation.  Successful completion of objectives must be verified by a Facility Preceptor or Facility Coordinator, as well as the Southern Miss Clinical Instructor or Southern Miss Internship Director. 

All interns are required to make a B (3.0 or better) in both NFS 630 and NFS 640 during their first semester of the dietetic internship.  Interns failing to maintain a B (3.0) or better in these classes will be dismissed from the internship and will not begin supervised practice in the fall semester.  Interns must also maintain a 2.75 GPA in concurrent graduate classes to meet all other academic standards of the internship.  If interns are conditionally admitted to the graduate program, they must adhere to all policies and procedures set forth by the Department of Nutrition & Food Systems and the Graduate School to maintain admission.

Successful completion of the Southern Miss Dietetic Internship qualifies a intern to take the examination to become a Registered Dietitian. Upon successful completion of the internship the intern will receive copies of a Verification Statement indicating that he/she has completed the internship. 

Any intern failing to remove the conditional admission status, remove academic probation, meet any of the above conditions,  or maintain a 2.75 overall GPA during the internship (summer, fall, or spring semesters) will not receive a verification statement at the completion of the internship.