The Gulf Coast Dietetic Internship program is a post-baccalaureate, supervised practice program that qualifies graduates to take the examination to become Registered Dietitians. Dietetic Interns enroll in a full-time program requiring a minimum of 45 hours per week for 24 weeks (plus 1 week of orientation). The program goals reflect the major points of our philosophy: quality instruction with broad-based training concurrent with ongoing supervision, feedback, and evaluation.

The Gulf Coast internship program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) 120 South Riverside Plaza Ste 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 1-800-877-1600 ext 5400.

The program is comprised of a one week orientation, 10 weeks of clinical nutrition, 6 weeks of foodservice management, 5 weeks of community nutrition, and 3 weeks elective rotations in entrepreneurship.  Each rotation contains a series of competencies, objectives, activities, and assignments that must be completed in order to receive credit for the hours completed. Formal evaluations will be received by each intern at the end of each rotation, and will indicate whether or not the intern has successfully completed the competencies and objectives for that particular rotation. All interns will complete at least 1000 supervised practice hours during the 24 week period. Interns are required to submit journals at the end of each week that tracks progression.

Intern progress will be evaluated by the program director/coordinator(s) following each rotation and there will be a formal evaluation between the intern and director/coordinators at midterm and again at the end of the program. At the successful completion of all program requirements, interns are eligible for a verification statement and will be eligible to sit for the Registration examination for dietitians, administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Interns should contact the state affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) for information regarding licensure in their respective states.

Following the successful passage of the registration exam, students will be able to practice as Registered Dietitians/Nutritionist. 

Master's degree required for RD exam starting in 2024

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited [program type] program at [Institution name] are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

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