I am transitioning from a prior career. What is required to become a Registered Dietitian?
  • There are 3 steps necessary to become a Registered Dietitian (RD):

    1. Have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university and earn a verification statement from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). You may need to take additional leveling courses to meet this requirement (check with your college advisor/program director) . The DPD program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). You can search the ACEND Website for a list of accredited colleges/universities.
    2. Complete an ACEND accredited dietetic internship. Our NMSU Master's degree + dietetic internship is an ACEND accredited dietetic internship.
    3. After successful completion of an ACEND accredited dietetics internship, the individual must pass the national registered dietitians exam given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
Do I need to have a bachelor's degree before applying to the dietetic program?
  • You must have completed at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university (bachelor's degree must be completed before beginning the program in August). You also need a signed verification statement from an ACEND-Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. You may need to take additional leveling courses to meet this requirement (check with your college advisor/program director) .
Do I have to complete a thesis in order to graduate from the program?
  • The dietetic intern has 2 options for successful completion of the program: Pass a proficiency exam at the end of the DI program with a minimum score of 80%, or the thesis option.
Will I be considered a registered dietitian (RD) after completing the Dietetic Internship program at NMSU?
  • No, after receiving your verification statement from NMSU, you will be eligible to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination.
Is licensure required to become a registered dietitian?
  • Some states require licensure, which is an additional step necessary to practice as an RD/RDN. Be sure to check your state of residence to see if licensure will be required.
Can I work during the internship?
  • Dietetic interns may only work part time, up to 20 hours per week, during the first fall and spring semesters of the 22-month internship program. However, dietetic interns will not have outside employment during the 12 months of the supervised practice rotations.
How far will I have to travel for the internship rotations? Will I need a car?
  • 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 will be outside of Las Cruces.
Should I wait to apply to the graduate school until after acceptance to the internship program?
  • No, admission to the NMSU Dietetic Internship requires concurrent admission to the NMSU Graduate School.
How long does it take to complete the program? Is there a part-time option?
  • The Master's + DI program length is 22 months full-time. Part-time is not available.
What if I'm only interested in the internship and not the master's degree?
  • The NMSU program is a combined master's degree and dietetic internship. NMSU does not offer the option of a dietetic internship without the master’s degree component.
What rotations are the primary focus of the program?
  • Possible rotations during the internship may be some combination of the following: Acute care clinical, nutrition support, child nutrition programs, acute care foodservice management, school foodservice management, school wellness nutrition, food bank, long-term renal, and a concentration in Cooperative Extension Service nutrition programs.
Will NMSU provide my immunizations and medical expenses required prior to starting rotations?
  • The intern is responsible for completing required paperwork and the cost of all immunizations, background checks, and fingerprinting.
  • Costs for laboratory blood work, drug tests, and immunizations can be found by contacting the Campus Health Center at 575-646-1512, or campus_health@nmsu.edu.
  • Vaccinations/Immunizations, laboratory blood work, and other requirements may be available through your local Health Office.
Do the interns get breaks between rotations (i.e. winter break, spring break)?
  • Interns do get normal semester breaks during the first year. However, there may be times during rotations that interns are required to work additional hours to complete the requirements of the rotation.
Do I qualify for in-state (or lower) tuition rates?
  • There are several ways to qualify for in-state, or lower, tuition rates. Review the list of options in the academic catalog for Tuition, Fees, and Other Expenses. (scroll to heading at bottom of page titled “Ways to Qualify for Lower Tuition Rates”)
How many students do you accept into the program each year?
  • The program accepts approximately 8-12 interns.
Does the program require applicants to take the GRE exam?
  • Yes, the GRE is required for admission to the graduate school portion of the program.

Note: Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the GRE is currently waived

I noticed that NMSU is a land-grant university. How does this influence the DI program in working with the community?
  • NMSU is the cooperative extension 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 county 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 program delivery.
When do the interns present at the Research & Poster session convention?
  • The Research and Poster Session Convention takes place during the first Spring semester.
What is the local membership chapter of AND?
  • The local and state chapters include:
    • NMAND
    • TexasAND
    • El Paso Dietetic Association
Do you send students to conferences?
  • The New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NMAND) may, at times, send students to conferences.
Are uniforms required? Or is there a dress code? I noticed many of the photos show interns wearing black polo shirts.
  • DI polo shirts are required for some events (i.e. NMAND, etc.).
  • Interns will receive a handbook with the established dress code.