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Program Information

Program Information

The Dietetic Internship (DI) at Western Kentucky University (WKU) resides in the Department of Applied Human Sciences (AHS) within the College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS).  

The DI program is a part-time, 15-month program, and starts in July and ends the following August. The program accepts ten interns each year. Students complete 15 months of supervised practice and graduate work.  Supervised practice will include rotations in: Medical Nutrition Therapy, Community Nutrition, Food Systems Management, and Leadership. Supervised practice hours are 24-32 hours/week.  The program is a total of 15 months from July through August of the next year.  The program includes 1050 hours of dietetic supervised practice experiences and 160 hours of alternate supervised experiences. The DI has a concentration in Business Leadership. 

This DI is a post-baccalaureate program, leading to a Graduate Certificate in Dietetic Practice and a Master’s in Business Administration.  Interns will be enrolled in two programs the Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in dietetic practice housed in the Gordon Ford College of Business and the Graduate Certificate in Dietetic practice program housed in the College of Health and Human Services.  The 12-hour graduate certificate includes the following didactic courses:

  • HMD 583 Foodservice Systems Management (3)
  • HMD 584 Community Nutrition (3)
  • HMD 585 Medical Nutrition Therapy in Practice (3)
  • HMD 587 Seminar in Concepts and Methods of Dietetic Practice (3)

 The classes for the Dietetic Practice Certificate are delivered in hybrid format.  Two weeks of intense face-to-face classroom work during the 1st summer with continuation of the classes online.

The MBA program is a 30 credit hour program that utilizes 9 credit hours from the Certificate of Dietetic Practice program.

 MBA Required Courses

  • BA 510           Advanced Organizational Behavior (3)
  • BA 511           Applied Micro Economic Theory (3)
  • BA 513           Information Technology & Data Analytics (3)
  • BA 515           Managerial Accounting (3)
  • BA 517           Advanced Marketing (3)
  • BA 519           Advanced Managerial Finance (3)
  • BA 590           Strategic Business Concepts and Applications (3)

Concentration      9 hours (fulfilled by the classes required for the Certificate of Dietetic Practice)

Total Hours          30 hours

 Interns are required to attend the 2-3 day orientation class, which precedes start of supervised practice hours.

The interns are in Bowling Green for 2-3 weeks during the 1st summer session for classwork and orientation.  The interns will also be in Bowling Green during the final week of the internship. Interns are also on campus 5 days during the two semesters for educational opportunities and interaction with their peers.  For the remainder of the internship, students complete their required supervised practice hours at their assigned supervised practice sites.  MBA classwork can be completed either Face-to-Face or online.

Estimated Program Costs

It is the responsibility of the intern to pay the stated program fees.

  •  WKU Graduate Studies application fee (only after being matched to WKU’s DI program)…..$65
  •  Tuition……$20,346 ( all students )
  •  WKU Application for graduation, certificate…..$15
  •  Living expenses…..$5000-7000 
  • TB skin test series…..$20
  • Student liability insurance…..$35+
  • Background check.....$50
  • Academy student membership.....$50
  • Parking on campus ( one day permit  - $2.00).....$20
  • Medical/Lab coat.....$50
  • Hepatitis B vaccine (at local health department).....$225 (3 shots @$75)
  • Books.....$200-300
  • Drug Screen…..$55
  • Registration, Lodging, Transportation for State Dietetic Meeting… $250-400
  • Health Insurance…..$1,500.00 varies
  • Immunization Fees…..$68
  • Transportation Costs…..$1500 varies

Estimated Total Expenses ~$32,000 – $34,000

 Financial Assistance

Financial aid is available through the University.   https://www.wku.edu/financialaid/types/loans.php

A limited number of professional scholarships are available through the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics.  Application qualifications and forms are available at the following link:


 Student Health Services

Dietetic interns, as WKU students, have access to Student Health Services as described in the WKU Student Handbook under WKU Health Services.

Student Health Insurance

Dietetic interns must have personal health insurance prior to beginning the internship. This insurance is required by some of our clinical agencies and is needed to defray the cost of hospital and medical care for any illness or injury that might be sustained while in this program and the substantial monetary liability that you, as a student, might incur as a result of failure to have such insurance.

 Student Professional Liability Insurance

Interns are required to purchase professional liability insurance. Proof of insurance is required before you can begin your supervised practice experiences. One source is www.proliability.com ; with a minimum insurance of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate.

 Drug Testing and Criminal Background Checks

A background check and drug testing are required of all interns.  Drug screening is available at CastleBranch www.castlebranch.com. CastleBranch provides both drug and background services. Other providers may be used.

Supervised Practice Sites

Most of the internship sites will be within two-hours driving time from WKU (Bowling Green). The interns will register for the courses during the semester in which they complete the respective supervised practice hours. 

Interns will be assigned to supervised practice sites throughout Kentucky. Every effort will be made to accommodate intern requests for site locations.

 Location tracks include:

Louisville Area - 120 miles

Elizabethtown Area - 70 miles

Glasgow Area - 36 miles

Bowling Green Area - 5 miles

Owensboro Area - 76 miles

Leitchfield/Grayson Co. Area - 62 miles 

 Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the following requirements for entrance into the Internship:

  • A minimum of a Baccalaureate degree.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A minimum of  142 on Quantitative and 144 on Verbal on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  A minimum of 800 on the GRE, if taken prior to August 1, 2011.    All scores must be within 5 years of the time of application.
  • Completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) prior to the start date of the internship.
  • A signed "Verification Statement" or "Declaration of Intent" to complete degree. 

Admissions will also be based upon the application, resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and work experience, preferably paid. 

Interns will apply to the WKU Graduate School after acceptance into the Internship. More information about the WKU Graduate School and the online Application for Admission may be found at:  http://www.wku.edu/graduate/ 

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and Verification Statement are only granted under the following circumstances (receipt of the Verification Statement allows a graduate to apply to take the written exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionists):

1. Completes a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours/alternate supervised practice experiences

2. Meets performance standards and receives a minimum satisfactory score (3/5) on all CRDNs.

3. Completes and receives a satisfactory score (70%) or above on all course assignments

4. Maintain professional and ethical standards as outlined in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics

5. Completion of all required coursework with an average GPA of 3.0 or greater.

6. The dietetic intern has discharged all indebtedness to Western Kentucky University.

 All dietetic interns must complete an Application for Graduation in the WKU Office of the Registrar.  

 Verification Statement Procedures

Upon successful completion of graduation requirements, the Internship Director will electronically notify the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) that the intern has met the graduation requirements. The Internship Director will issue the intern a “Verification Statement” documenting completion. CDR will notify the intern within 15 days of their eligibility to take the national registration exam for dietitians.  

The Western Kentucky University Dietetic Internship is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

NOTE: 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 addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). In most states, an RDN must also obtain licensure to practice. For information on dietetic program accreditation, refer to: http://www.eatrightPRO.org/ACEND 

Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics

120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190

Chicago, IL 60606-6995

(800)-877-1600 (ext. 5400)

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 Last Modified 1/6/21