Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements and Completion

Admission Requirements and Completion

Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements and Completion

  • You Must Be Admitted To The Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems: Dietetics Practice Emphasis Graduate Program at Southern Miss (Either regular or conditional admission) to be considered as a candidate for the Southern Miss Master’s Required Dietetic Internship (MS/DI). Admission to the graduate program may be granted pending receipt of final undergraduate transcript. Please apply for FALL TERM admission into the Dietetic Practice emphasis
  • 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 but not limited to:
      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. 
    • Participate in a virtual interview 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, applicants must hold a valid verification statement from a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) accredited through the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Application Steps and Deadlines for DI Application

Step 1: Apply to Graduate School for Fall Term Admission

  • Application to Graduate School Program 
  • Pay $60 Application Fee 
  • GRE Scores sent to graduate school
  • All college/university transcripts to graduate school (including fall grades)
  • All items must be received by the graduate school by 5 p.m. on January 3, 2018 for preselect and by February 15, 2018 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 for computer matching.
  • The fee to DICAS is $45 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 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 location for supervised practice placement  (1-page PDF). 
  • Complete the form and mail 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:

Roxanne Kingston, MS, RD, LD
Dietetic Internship Director
Department of Nutrition & Food Systems
118 College Drive #5142 
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

  • Postmarked date on the Supplemental Application Form must be on or before January 3, 2018 for preselect or February 15, 2018 for computer matching.

Pre-Select and Computer Matching

Preselect Option
Up to eight (8) of the twenty (20) 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 Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Systems,
  • Or a student planning to complete the Southern Miss DPD and will receive 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 $55.00 charge for computer matching that is due on February 15 with the applicant's prioritized ranking. 

Computer Match Code:

The University of Southern Mississippi- MS/DI (789)

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 tuition rates and other possible student expenses.

Course Fees (RD exam review session, course resources, rotations guides)







Housing and TransportationInterns are responsible for all housing, transportation, insurance (health and automobile) and professional dress expenses.

Background Check/drug screening


$100 (for Dietetic Internship) Separate check/screening needed for some facilities (Cost will vary)

Professional Meetings** 


The Food and Nutrition Conference & Exhibition (FNCE) of the academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and  Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MS-AND) Annual Conference are required professional meetings with the intern covering all expenses including registration, hotel, & travel

Malpractice Insurance



AND Pin for graduation


 * 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 on the USM Foundation website.  Additional professional scholarships may be available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation.  Information these ANDF scholarships can be found online. Students must be a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 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: 


Statistics (3)

NFS 630 Food Systems Management (4)

NFS 640 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (4)

NFS 662 Community Health and Nutrition (3)

NFS 664 Seminar in Food and Nutrition (1)

NFS 692 Special Problems in Nutrition (3)

NFS 703 Research Techniques for Nutrition and Food Systems (3)

NFS 713 Nutrition Education: Theory, Research, and Practice (3)

NFS 774 Management of Nutritional Services: A Behavioral Approach (3)

NFS 780 Advanced Practice in Nutrition and Food Systems (3)

NFS 810 Food and Nutrition Public Policy (3)

Supervised Practice

Interns are also responsible for all housing, transportation, insurance (health and automobile) and professional dress expenses.

Program Requirements

Graduate School Admission/Retention – Interns are responsible for assuring that they are admitted to graduate school.   All interns must have either regular or conditional admission to be ranked by this program. In addition, interns must meet all requirements during the internship to maintain graduate school admission throughout the internship.  Failure to maintain graduate school admission requirements will result in dismissal from the dietetic internship.

Course Requirements

Interns will start their graduate course work in fall of year one. Courses will include NFS 662 (Community Health and Nutrition), NFS 664 (Seminar), NFS 703 (Research Techniques for Nutrition and Food Systems), NFS 713 (Nutrition Education: Theory, Research, and Practice), NFS 810 (Food and Nutrition Public Policy) and Statistics.

In the second year, interns will be enrolled in NFS 630 (Food Systems Management) and NFS 640 (Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy) to help prepare for supervised practice. Once the interns begin their supervised practice they must enroll in NFS 567L (Practicum in Dietetics). Interns will also continue their graduate coursework in NFS 774 (Management of Nutritional Services: A Behavioral Approach) and NFS 780 (Advanced Practice in Nutrition and Food Systems).  In addition, students will be enrolled in NFS 692 (Special Problems in Nutrition) where they will complete their research requirement for the degree. This is a total of 33 hours of graduate credit.  All courses required as part of the MS program in Nutrition & Food Systems are available online.  Interns cannot expect to take graduate classes in Jackson or on the Gulf Coast.  Students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA for the entire internship to receive a verification statement.

Supervised Practice Requirements- All interns are required to participate in a minimum of 1200 hours of supervised practice while enrolled in the dietetic internship.  Interns are placed in supervised practice facilities for 32 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters.  Rotations during the internship include: orientation general clinical, renal, nutrition support, long-term care, WIC, child nutrition programs, general foodservice management, staff experience, food bank, and a 2-week special interest rotation at the end of the internship.  In addition, interns gain other supervised practice hours through a variety of experiences and activities, including: Health Promotion & Education intervention, Diabetes Camp, Recruiting, Community Health Activities, Journal Club, Menu Planning, Professional Development, and Leadership Activities.

Grade Requirements – grade requirements are in place in order to maintain graduate student status.  Additional grade requirements are outlined in the DI Handbook.

Registration Exam Review Course-All interns will be assessed a fee for each semester to pay for a review course for the registration examination for dietitians.  All interns are required to attend the review which is typically held in the latter part of the spring semester.

Immunizations & Serv Safe® Certification-All interns are required to show verification of a negative TB test and Hepatitis B vaccine.  Additional immunizations may be required by supervised practice locations.  Interns WILL NOT be allowed to start in the facilities without verification of these.  In addition, all interns are REQUIRED to be ServSafe® certified PRIOR TO starting supervised practice in the fall semester.

Name Badges, Lab Coats, Scrubs, and/or Professional apparel - interns are required to provide their own name badge, lab coats and/or scrubs to wear in the facilities.  Some facilities require “professional dress.”  Interns are required to follow the dress code of the facility/rotation for which they are scheduled.  Uniforms or other required dress will be the responsibility of the intern.

Assignments to Jackson, Hattiesburg area, MS Gulf Coast, or other areas – Typically, there are 6-8 supervised practice slots in Jackson, 2-4 in Hattiesburg area, and 4-6 on the gulf coast.  However, with recent decreases in facility sites and preceptors, interns may also be placed in other areas such as Meridian, Slidell, Mobile, etc.  Interns admitted through the pre-select option will be placed first.  All other interns will know by the end of April.  However, interns will not know facility placement until the end of the summer semester.

Requirements of Clinical Facilities - interns are required to abide by all of the requirements of the facilities in which they practice.  For example, some facilities require drug testing; most hospital facilities and some other affiliations require a criminal background check including fingerprinting prior to reporting for work in the facility.  Each intern will have to bear the expense of this testing.

Criminal Background Check – A criminal background check will be completed in all hospitals as well as for Diabetes Camp.  If a background check reveals a felony, the intern will be dismissed from the program immediately, and no effort will be made to place the intern in a different facility.

Textbooks - interns are required to have appropriate references.  Textbooks are adopted and available in the Textbook Service for the Food Service Management and Medical Nutrition Therapy classes. 

Additional Course Fees - interns will be charged a class fees for certain classes.  The additional course fees are used to provide a module containing clinical class outlines & support materials and a supervised practice module containing objectives and evaluation forms.  Other fees are assessed for on-line course supplements for courses that are required as part of the internship.

MS-AND - interns are required to attend the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MS-AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Exhibits during the spring semester.  The meeting may be held in various sites around the state.  Each intern must provide for his/her own travel, overnight accommodations, and any other expenses.  Interns generally share rooms, and often car pool to the meetings.  They are expected to pay a reduced registration fee for the meeting, and may have to purchase meals during the meeting.

AND FNCE - interns are required to attend the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference and Exhibits (FNCE) in the fall of their second year.  Interns are encouraged to share rooms.  It will be to the intern’s advantage to monitor air fares and take advantage of booking a flight early.  As with MS-AND, interns are responsible for registration and all travel expenses.

Housing - interns must pay for their own housing during the internship.  The cost of apartments vary.  Interns may opt to share an apartment with another intern, Southern Miss student, or facility employee.

Transportation - All interns are required to have a reliable vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and insurance in order to travel.  Southern Miss in no way assumes any responsibility for the cost of the travel or for liability related to travel as part of the Dietetic Internship.  Travel will be required for the following practice-related & course-related experiences (at a minimum). Some examples of locations where interns will travel include but not limited to, seminar classes rotating through Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Biloxi (NFS 664), Rural field experiences (e.g. Child Nutrition Programs, WIC, and Long-Term Care),Field trips, Diabetes Camp, Pediatric Rotations at a separate hospital for those interns place at one of the VA medical centers.

Health Insurance – The dietetic internship does not assume any liability for any health issues or accidents (work or non-work related) during the entire program.  Health insurance may be required by some of the supervised practice sites.  Interns are responsible for obtaining health insurance.

Breaks from Supervised Practice - Interns are scheduled in supervised practice facilities during Southern Miss fall and spring semesters and may expect to have breaks from supervised practice during regular Southern Miss semester breaks, but not necessarily all university or student holidays.  Interns are not scheduled in facilities during the semester break.  However, any days that are typically considered as holidays MUST be made up by the dietetic intern.

AND Pin - At the end of the internship year, interns will be eligible to become Active members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and will be eligible to wear the AND pin.  A pinning ceremony will be held in honor of interns at the end of the internship year.  Interns will be asked to have someone significant to them “pin” them during the ceremony.  Interns will be required to purchase an AND pin (approximately $55.00) through the internship.  All interns are required to attend the pinning ceremony in order to receive their verification statement.