Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship
2011-2013 Dietetic Interns
2012-2014 Dietetic Interns
- Prospective Dietetic Interns
- Mission Statement
- Program Description
- Application Information
- Program Concentration: Community Nutrition in the Cooperative Extension Service
- Sample Calendar and Rotation Schedule
- Cost to Students
- Becoming a Registered Dietitian
- Additional Information
Prospective Dietetic Interns
Dear Prospective Dietetic Intern,
Thank you for your interest in the Dietetic Internship at New Mexico State University. Our program combines the dietetic internship with a graduate program leading to a Master of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences. Upon successful completion of the Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship, the student qualifies to take the registration examination to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).
Our combined Master's Degree/Dietetic Internship has a concentration in the area of Community Nutrition in Cooperative Extension Service. New Mexico State University is the Land Grant University for the State of New Mexico. The dietetic interns accepted into this program will be given the unique opportunity to work with Cooperative Extension Service professionals at the local and state level to provide community nutrition programming and develop materials that can be used by the Cooperative Extension Service on a statewide basis. Experiences will include community needs assessments, program planning, and grant writing.
If you would like more information on the Combined Master's Degree and Dietetic Internship at New Mexico State University, please follow the links to the left.
The mission of the Dietetic Internship at NMSU is to support the mission of New Mexico State University, the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, and the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences through graduate education and supervised practice experiences in dietetics that will give program graduates:
- Knowledge and skills for entry-level dietetic practice and to pass the National Registration Examination for Dietitians
- Knowledge of entry-level dietetic practice in Cooperative Extension Service
- A commitment to lifelong learning and thought
- A scientific attitude and ability to evaluate and/or apply research in entry-level dietetics
- Competency to implement resources, critical thinking, cultural sensitivity and effective communication skills to promote client well being in entry-level dietetics practice.
NMSU Dietetic Internship Program Goals and Outcomes
Upon completion, graduates of the NMSU DI program will be qualified and prepared for a variety of entry-level career opportunities in the profession of dietetics to include entry-level practice in Cooperative Extension Service.
- 80% or more of interns enrolled in the DI program will complete all program requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion, which would be 36 months.
- Over a five-year period, the pass rate for program graduates taking the registration examination for the first time will be at least 80%.
- Over a five-year period, at least 80% of program graduates who practice dietetics in New Mexico will meet licensure requirements.
Graduates of the NMSU DI program will have a scientific attitude and be able to apply research and theory using evidence-based research while having the competencies to implement critical thinking, cultural sensitivity, and effective communication skills in their entry-level dietetics practice.
- Over a five-year period, 70% or more of program graduates who sought employment in dietetics will be employed within three months of program completion.
- Over a five-year period, 70% or more of program graduates who sought employment with the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) will be employed with CES within three months of program completion.
- 90% or more of DI graduates who start their first dietetics position as an RD will feel well prepared for their position.
- 90% of more of DI graduates who start their dietetic position in Cooperative Extension Service as an RD will feel well prepared for their positions.
The New Mexico State University Dietetic Internship is currently granted candidacy for accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).
Contact information for ACEND is:
The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone: 1-800-877-1600, ext 4727
Web site: www.eatright.org/CADE
The Dietetic Internship is housed within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. It is a graduate level practicum program, incorporating supervised practice with graduate coursework. Completion of the program requires 43 hours of graduate credit. Successful completion will result in a Master of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in dietetics. Graduates are eligible to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians.
Up to 12 full-time qualified interns who have completed a bachelor's degree and have received a verification statement signfying that the requirements of a CADE-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics have been met will be accepted into this program. The program, which approximates the NMSU schedule from mid-August to May, is located in southern New Mexico. 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 first spring, summer, and fall semesters (48 weeks). Rotations during the internship include: general clinical, renal, nutrition support, long-term care, WIC, child nutrition programs, general foodservice management, staff relief, food bank, and a concentration in Cooperative Extension Service nutrition programs. In addition, interns gain other skills through a variety of experiences and activities, including: Health Promotion & Education intervention, Recruiting, Community Health Activities, Menu Planning, Professional Development, and Leadership Activities.
General Characteristics of NMSU's Dietetic Internship Program
- Master's + DI program length: 2 years full-time (part-time not available)
- Minimum of 1200 clock hours of scheduled supervised practice hours
- Graduate level didactic course work to complete requirements for a Master's of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences with an Emphasis in Dietetics
- Sites for rotations vary and include locations throughout southern New Mexico (approximately 130 miles from Las Cruces, New Mexico)
- The Dietetic Intern will be assigned to supervised practice sites.
- Examples of towns in New Mexico where the supervised practice sites will occur include: Las Cruces, Silver City, Truth or Consequences, Alamogordo, Cloudcroft, Ruidoso, Roswell, and Carlsbad. A few supervised practice sites in El Paso, Texas may also be available.
- Dietetic Interns will be expected to maintain his/her own driver's license, mode of transportation, and liability insurance on their motor vehicle.
- Program begins in mid-August each year
Basic Rotations of Supervised Practice: 16 graduate credits
- Approximately 8 weeks of Community Nutrition rotations = 3 graduate level credits (includes 2-week WIC rotation and 2-week School Nutrition rotation)
- Approximately 8 weeks of Community Nutrition in Cooperative Extension Service rotations = 3 graduate level credits
- Approximately 16 weeks of Clinical Dietetics rotations = 6 graduate level credits
- Approximately 10 weeks of Food Service Systems Management rotations = 4 graduate level credits (includes 2-week School Foodservice rotation)
Additional Graduate Level Didactic Coursework: 27 credits
Includes graduate level statistics, research methods, seminars, and additional coursework in related subjects such as nutrition, dietetics, and food science.
Admission to the NMSU Dietetic Internship requires concurrent admission to the NMSU Graduate College. Applicants must complete two different online application forms, one for the internship (DICAS system - see below) and one for the NMSU Graduate College.
In addition, before beginning the NMSU Dietetic Internship, all students must provide official transcripts showing completion of at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and also a signed verification statement from a CADE-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics.
The NMSU Dietetic Internship will be using the online DICAS application system and D&D Digital computer matching for the application process, with a due date of February 15.
Applicants must also apply and pay the necessary fees online by February 15 to the NMSU Graduate College: http://prospective.nmsu.edu/graduate/apply/index.html.
- The NMSU DI program is using DICAS, the online centralized internship application at https://portal.dicas.org. E-mail DICASinfo@DICAS.org for more information about this system. DICAS will be available in December 2012 for the Spring 2013 Match. The online application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15, 2013. The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application. Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to: DICAS - Transcript Dept., PO Box 9118, Watertown, MA, 02472.
- When completing the application form, applicants 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 online. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.
- Applicants must also register online with D&D Digital for computer matching and select dietetic internship priority choices by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. There is a $50.00 computer-matching fee.
- Provide an ADA Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent to Complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) submitted with the DICAS online application.
- Provide official transcripts showing completion of at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (bachelor's degree must be completed before beginning the program in August) - submitted with the DICAS online application as well as to the NMSU Graduate College.
- Request 3 letters of recommendation - submitted with the DICAS online application.
- Provide a resume or curriculum vita - submitted with the DICAS online application.
- Provide a 1-2 page personal statement addressing the following:
- Describe significant professional responsibilities you have held.
- State your professional goals and reasons for desiring to enroll in the MS/DI program.
- Describe your strengths that will help you succeed in the program and in reaching your professional goals.
- This personal statement should be submitted with the DICAS online application.
- Apply online for admission into the NMSU Master of Science, Family & Consumer Sciences program with an emphasis in Dietetics, at http://prospective.nmsu.edu/graduate/apply/index.html, and the ADA DICAS system by February 15.
Requirements for Acceptance
Potential dietetic interns must have:
- Obtained a Verification Statement as evidence of meeting the minimum academic requirements from a CADE-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics within the past three years.
- Completed a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.
- Gained acceptance into the Graduate School at New Mexico State University and Graduate Studies in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, New Mexico State University.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the past five years.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher over the last 60 hours of academic work taken, whether undergraduate or graduate hours.
- Earned a minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) within two years prior to application if not a native English speaker.
Prior to the start of the Dietetic Internship, the dietetic intern is required to submit the following paperwork:
- Immunization Form (sent to NMSU Health Services)
- Medical Form (sent to NMSU Health Services)
- Hepatitis B (proof of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd shots)
- Annual PPD (within 6 months of start date)
- Proof of Health Insurance (available through NMSU if needed)
- Back Page of DI Handbook signed
- Current ADA Membership Card
- DPD Verification Form from Didactic Director
- Two Official Transcripts with degree conferred date
- Fingerprint/Criminal Background Check
- Drug Screening Test
All paperwork is reviewed by the DI Director for completeness and must be completed prior to the start date of practicum rotations.
Verification Statements are viewed and accepted only if the signature is original and the date of program completion is written with month, day, and year.
Transcripts are accepted only if official with degree conferred date.
Medical and immunization records are reviewed by NMSU Health Services and must be complete. PPD and a physical exam must be within six months of the start date of the program, and the Hepatitis B series must include the first two inoculations. The 3rd of the Hepatitis B series must be completed before the end of the first fall semester.
Final admission in the program is contingent upon passing a drug screening and fingerprint/background check. All students are expected to remain drug free and in a suitable physical and mental condition for the learning environment. The intern is responsible for completing required paperwork and the cost of drug screening and fingerprint/background checks. This process is required prior to program admission and the results will be shared with the assigned facilities.
Dietetic Interns will not be permitted to begin practicum rotations until all paperwork is satisfactorily complete and approved by the DI Director.
It is the dietetic intern's responsibility to inform the DI faculty of any existing health problems that may affect the student's ability to perform in the various rotations.
Program Concentration: Community Nutrition in the Cooperative Extension Service
This concentration area was chosen as a way to meet the mission of the dietetic internship at New Mexico State University, by integrating graduate level education and research with supervised practice activities to prepare entry-level dietitians that work to improve the health of individuals, families and communities. In addition to helping the program achieve its mission statement, the concentration area draws on the strengths of the Cooperative Extension food and nutrition programs, whose research focus is on community-based nutrition interventions.
The areas listed below have a strong focus on health promotion and education of diverse populations across the lifespan. In addition, these rotations add to the competencies outlined for accredited dietetic internships and will enhance the intern's knowledge and skills. The variety of work settings will also improve research skills of the dietetic intern.
Cooperative Extension Service:
CES 1. Consult with organizations regarding food access for target populations.
CES 2. Evaluate the operation of Cooperative Extension Service nutrition programs in the areas of policies and procedures, staffing, scheduling, and recruitment/screening of volunteers/clients.
CES 3. Develop and deliver nutrition presentations to client/consumer audiences on various topics related to client/consumer needs.
CES 4. Ensure cultural relevancy and appropriateness of nutrition education.
CES 5. Assess educational needs and provide nutrition counseling based on individual needs, knowledge, medical needs, and socioeconomic status.
Sample Calendar and Rotation Schedule
Internship classes begin on the first day of classes of each of the five semesters of the program and end on the last day of classes of the academic calendar of each of the five semesters. For example, the first day of class for the fall 2012 semester is August 23, 2012, and the last day of the fall 2012 semester is December 14, 2012. NMSU's current academic calendar is posted at http://www.nmsu.edu/General/academic_calendar.html
If an intern has not completed all assignments and met all competencies associated with a supervised practice rotation, and has not completed the required number of supervised practice hours of a module, the intern may be required to complete assignments, competencies, and supervised practice hours during the semester breaks. All coursework and supervised practice hours must be completed within 36 months of beginning the internship.
|Fall Semester||Spring Semester||Summer Semester|
Cost to Students
The cost of the program for the 2013-2014 academic years is $261.60/credit for New Mexico residents and $780/credit for non-residents. The internship averages nine credits per semester plus student/wellness fees totaling $52 per semester. This includes use of the school facilities including the Technology Center, Activity Center and health services. The cost is subject to change yearly when the Board of Regents votes on a new budget. The dietetic interns will also pay a student fee of $600 per semester. This fee will cover the cost associated with facilitating the educational portion of the internship.
Dietetic interns should plan to purchase a variety of text and reference books (for example: clinical text, medical terminology, foodservice, and community nutrition). Many of these books will be used in more than one course.
Dietetic interns are responsible for transportation to all facilities, parking and meals. Generally this means having one's own car, as the hours of attendance do not always correspond to public transportation and some placements may be outside Las Cruces.
Dietetic interns will need to purchase a white lab coat or jacket to be worn in the hospital. Dietetic interns must attend a minimum of two professional meetings during the DI calendar year. Many are at no cost to the dietetic interns but others may charge a fee.
The faculty requires dietetic interns to join the American Dietetic Association as a student member. The yearly membership fee for 2013-2014 is $50. This membership includes a subscription to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Applications are available online at www.eatright.org. Students must be members before the start of the program.
Estimated Program Cost of the Dietetic Internship
The following is an estimated breakdown of costs for interns enrolled in the Dietetic Internship. Non-resident tuition applies to all interns who are not residents of New Mexico. Living expenses are only an estimate and will vary. Costs are subject to change.
|New Mexico Resident||Non-Resident|
|Application fees and one-time costs|
|Non-refundable NMSU Dietetic Internship application fee||$50||$50|
|NMSU Graduate Application fee||$30||$30|
|DICAS application fee of $40 if you are only applying to one program - NMSU.
Additional DICAS applications are $20 each.
|Fingerprint/Criminal background check||$75||$75|
|Medical examination and immunizations||Variable||Variable|
|Student fees $600 per semester||$3,000||$3,000|
|Total of 43 graduate credits||$11,509||$33,800|
|Textbooks for 5 semesters||$1,000||$1,000|
|NMSU parking permit for 5 semesters||$100||$100|
|Estimated living expenses|
|Housing and utilities for 22 months||$15,400||$15,400|
|American Dietetic Association, Affiliate Membership||$100||$100|
|Professional liability insurance||$48||$48|
If you are interested in obtaining financial aid or applying for scholarships, please refer to the NMSU Financial Aid and Scholarship Services website at http://fa.nmsu.edu.
Becoming a Registered Dietitian
The Dietetic Internship at New Mexico State University will fulfill the second step of a three-step process to become a Registered Dietitian.
- The first step is completion of a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and receipt of a verification statement from a Didactic Program in Dietetics accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation for Dietetic Education (CADE).
- The second step is completion of a CADE accredited dietetic internship as evidenced by a dietetic internship verification statement. To receive the dietetic internship verification statement from NMSU, the student must also successfully complete all coursework and the exit exam required for the completion of the Master's degree.
- The third step is the successful completion of the Commission on Dietetic Registration's examination for registered dietitians.
Some states require licensure, which is an additional step necessary to practice as an RD. Be sure to check with your state of residence to see if licensure will be required.
In New Mexico, licensure is granted through the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department - New Mexico Nutrition and Dietetics Practice Board. For more information, visit their website at http://www.rld.state.nm.us/nutrition/ruleslaw.html.
All interns who complete the dietetic internship with evaluations at or above "meets expectations" AND successfully defend their thesis OR pass the Master's final written and oral examination, will receive a Verification Statement. Receipt of the statement will allow the graduate to apply to write the exam to become a Registered Dietitian.
ADA Registration Exam
The application fee to sit for the registration examination is $200. The exam is given throughout the year by the Commission on Dietetic Registration's (CDR) testing agency, ACT, Inc. The program director submits registration eligibility forms for students at the end of the program. There are over two hundred (200) approved test sites nationwide, located in universities and communities. Refer to: http://www.cdrnet.org/programdirector/act_centers.cfm.
Candidates will receive the most updated test center listing at the time of test registration. If you experience difficulty either during scheduling or testing, please contact ACT at 319-337-1315.
ADA membership dues for active registered dietitians are $220 per year. CDR charges $50 per year for registration maintenance. Additionally, 75 accrued credit hours of approved continuing education must be completed every 5 years along with a Professional Development Portfolio.
For information on the graduation requirements for a Master of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences, follow the link to the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Graduate Program.
For information on the availability of financial aid and loan deferments, follow the link to the NMSU Graduate Catalog.
For answers to specific questions, please contact:
Wanda Eastman, PhD, RD, LD
Department of Family & Consumer Sciences
New Mexico State University
PO Box 30003, MSC 3470
Las Cruces, NM 88003