Dietetic Internship


Changes lives through the power of nutrition.

In a time when health is more important than ever, the world needs people like you to guide others toward holistic wellness, and nutrition is at the core of health.

The Dietetic Internship program, in concert with the Solmaz Institute, offers you the opportunity to meet the post-baccalaureate requirements necessary to allow you to sit for the registered dietitian certification exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

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Take the next step toward completing your dietetic internship at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

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Take the next step toward completing your dietetic internship at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

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The Dietetic Internship program offers location options in North Carolina (Asheville/Western NC, Hickory/Foothills, or Charlotte regions), South Carolina, or distance, which provides the opportunity to complete your supervised practice rotations wherever you are located in the United States. The distance intern secures preceptors and supervised practice facilities in their own geographic location with the guidance and support of program faculty.

LR’s Dietetic Internship program is the only program in the United States with a concentration in the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Program Overview


The Dietetic Internship program currently consists of the following components:

  • Full-time, nine-month program that begins each year in August
  • Online orientation held on the Hickory campus to learn about the program and prepare for supervised rotations in the following areas: Clinical (acute care facility/hospital), Community (health department, food bank or other community nutrition-related organization), Administrative (school/hospital nutrition)
  • 40 hours of supervised practice simulations
  • Enrichment and training activities in the area of childhood obesity prevention and treatment
  • Online capstone activities

After completing the Dietetic Internship program, you will be ready to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam. Between 2018 and 2020, 91 percent of students in LR’s Dietetic Internship program passed the CDR Credentialing Exam for Dietitian Nutritionists within one year of the first attempt.

The Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate program only at LR, and it does not alone lead to a graduate degree (although a number of interns do choose to complete their Master of Public Health (MPH) in concert with the DI program). Students earn 18 graduate credits upon completion of the dietetic internship, of which nine may be applied toward the MPH degree offered at Lenoir-Rhyne University. The remaining MPH degree courses are offered online.

Program Prerequisites


Completion of a bachelor’s degree, with coursework from an ACEND-accredited program, is required. Those who have successfully completed the required undergraduate coursework will have a Didactic Program in Dietetics Verification Statement. If you are interested in practicing in the field of nutrition and dietetics learn more about programs in your area that offer this coursework. The Dietetic Internship is a post-baccalaureate program only, and the required undergraduate courses are not offered at LR at this time.

New Credentialing Exam Requirements


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 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023.

For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website. 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 dietetic internship program at Lenoir-Rhyne are eligible to 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 visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Program Requirements

Offered in Hickory, Asheville and Columbia

The Dietetic Internship program requires 18 hours of course work which prepares the dietetics internship student to sit for the RD examination. Students completing the Dietetic Internship Program will be prepared for entry-level positions in dietetics.

Program Admission Requirements

Visit Graduate Admission for the most current Program Admission Requirements.

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