Dietetic Internship

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The Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences (MSNS) program is designed to educate and form servant leaders in the field of health and wellness. The Dietetic Internship (DI) option is for students seeking to become registered dietitians nutritionists (RDN).

School of Health Professions
Registered Dietitians Nutritionists (RDN)
Dietetic Internship (DI) Quick Facts:

About Our Program

The dietetic internship program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU) is designed to prepare interns with the skills and tools needed to excel as entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. Specialty preceptors and simulated experiences in the Simulation Environment Teaching Hospital (SETH) offer premier learning strategies for students in all specialty areas of health care, followed by outstanding DI rotation cites. The combined online Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences degree offers advanced studies with a nutrition Capstone Research Project.

Program Description:

  • 36 total graduate credit hours awarded
  • Interns must complete a Capstone Research Project under the direction of an appointed faculty member.
  • This unpaid Dietetic Internship consists of 1,524 practicum hours that are assigned throughout the five major areas of Louisiana
  • Rotations consists of 32 hours/week, Monday through Thursday, 2 hour lab on Fridays, held on FranU’s campus in Baton Rouge
  • Applicants rank preference of city for major rotation site during the application process
  • Concentration emphasis is Community Nutrition
  • Successful completion of a MSNS degree is required to complete the Dietetic Internship Program and receive a verification statement.
  • Completion of the MSNS is required to complete the DI program and receive a verification statement, even if an intern has already earned a master’s degree.

Steps to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist:

  • Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a US regionally accredited university or college and course work accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • Complete an ACEND®-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation or combined with undergraduate or graduate studies. Typically, a practice program will run six to 12 months in length.The MSNS-DI program at Franciscan Missionaries or Our Lady University meets this requirement in the process to becoming a RDN.
  • Pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website at
  • Acquire a state license to be a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist (LDN) in the state where you reside.
  • Complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

Some RDs hold additional certifications in specialized areas of practice. These are awarded through CDR, the credentialing agency for the Academy, and/or other medical and nutrition organizations and are recognized within the profession, but are not required. Some of the certifications include pediatric or renal nutrition, sports dietetics, nutrition support and diabetes education.

For more information, please visit

Why FranU?

  • We are a faith based Catholic University, which is part of a health system embracing the Franciscan core values of justice, humility, reverence, love for all of life, joyfulness of spirit and service.
  • Interns rotate through diverse settings. Sites include hospitals, specialty clinics and management settings, food service administrative sites, community based settings, research, entrepreneur/private practice and specialty areas.
  • A verification statement is required for interns to apply for and take the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists.
  • Upon passage of the registration exam, the intern would be credentialed as a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).
  • The new RDN would then apply for a state licensure in the state that he or she will reside in, if applicable. Louisiana requires a license for all practitioners to practice as RDNs.

Admission Requirements

The dietetic internship program participates in a computer matching process. The steps to apply to the program are as follows:

1. Complete Digital Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) application by February 15th. For how to apply to DICAS, refer to

The following information must be included in DICAS:

  • Declaration of intent or verification statement from an ACEND accredited undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • BS degree granted by a US regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent, with an undergraduate minimum GPA of a 3.0, didactic courses of a 3.2
  • A minimum combined GRE composite of 290
  • Three letters of recommendation, one from a professor, from an employer and from any other professional
  • Resume to include work or volunteer experiences
  • Personal letter addressing the following:

- Why did you choose dietetics? What sets you apart from other applicants?

- What are your short and long term goals and strategies for achieving them?

- What strengths will you bring to the program and what areas will challenge you?

- How have your past experiences made you prepared for an internship?

- Who has impacted your life the most? How or in what way?

- What characteristics of the University have drawn you to this internship?

2. $40.00 non-refundable application fee. Attach check or money order to this cover sheet. Mail and make payable to the MSNS-DI Program, 7500 Hennessy Blvd., Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70808. Check must be postmarked by February 15th to be included for consideration.

3. Video addressing interview questions emailed to

4. Register with D&D Digital Computer on-line Dietetic Internship matching services for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. On how to register with D&D Digital, refer to

If a student matches with DICAS to the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University DI program, the student automatically gains entrance into the MSNS graduate program.

Completion of the MSNS is required, even if an intern has already earned a master’s degree


The mission of the MSNS-DI program is to educate and form entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists or dietetic practitioners to meet the core competencies for becoming servant leaders in health and wellness. With a concentration in community nutrition, graduates will be educated in the most rigorous, individualized, professional and comprehensive manner.

Goals and Objectives

The program outcomes data are available upon request.

Goal 1

The program will prepare graduates to be competent for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists.

Objectives for goal 1:

  • Over a five-year period, 80% of DI graduates will pass the CDR credentialing examination for dietitian nutritionists within one year following first attempt.
  • Over a five-year period, 80% of the DI graduates enrolled will complete the program/degree requirements within 150% of the time planned for completion, or 25.5 months.
  • Over a five year period, all of the DI graduates will pass a comprehensive entry level skills performance simulation with no less than a score of 80%.

Goal 2

The program will graduate compassionate, well-qualified professionals and servant leaders in health and wellness.

Objectives for goal 2:

  • Over a five-year period, 80% of DI graduates who seek employment will be employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within twelve months of graduation.
  • Over a five-year period, 100% of employers will rank DI graduates as ‘satisfied’ or above in preparation for entry-level practice.
  • Over a five-year period, 80% of DI graduates will take the CDR credentialing examination for dietitian nutritionists within twelve months of program/degree completion.
  • Over a five-year period, 60% of DI graduates will be involved as a leader in a community service and/or a professional organization in health and wellness.

Graduation and Program Completion Requirements

Graduation and program completion requirements include:

  • Successful completion of a MSNS degree, which includes no less than a GPA of 3.0 and no more than two “C”s in any of the graduate courses
  • Presentation and submission of a Capstone Research Project
  • Completion of 1,524 hours of supervised practice approved by the Program Director, Director of Clinical Education and preceptors
  • Successful mastery of the core and concentration competencies approved by ACEND
  • Practicing, honoring and portraying the Code of Ethics for Dietetics and the Standards of Practice

DI Rotations

The concentration emphasis is on community nutrition. The program provides 1,524 practicum hours of supervised practice experiences over the 17 month curriculum. Rotations are assigned throughout five major areas of Louisiana – Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Lafayette, Bogalusa and Monroe. Applicants rank preference of city for major rotation site during the application process, although first preference is not guaranteed.

Supervised practice experiences are divided into four semesters:

  • Fall 1 (16 weeks) – 500 hours
  • Spring (16 weeks) – 500 hours
  • Summer (8 weeks) – 262 hours
  • Fall 2 (8 weeks) – 262 hours

Interns rotate in supervised practice areas 32 hours/week, Monday through Thursday. Interns are also responsible for attending a two hour lab each Friday, located on the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University’s campus in Baton Rouge.

A more detailed breakdown of the supervised practice experiences by rotation area include:


(33%) 512 hours

16 weeks


(21%) 320 hours

10 weeks

Foodservice Management

(13%) 192 hours

6 weeks

Continuing Education/Professional Development

(16%) 240 hours

6 weeks


(10%) 160 hours

5 weeks


(3%) 36 hours

1 week


(4%) 64 hours

2 weeks

Total: (100%) 1524 hours


SemesterCredit HoursTuition/FeesCourse FeesTotal

*Tuition costs do not include textbooks or any additional costs associated with this program. Additional costs can be found in the Student Handbook provided below.
**Information about financing your education can be found by visiting the Office of Financial Aid

Core Faculty

Rachel M. Fournet, PhD, RDN, LDN

Director, Nutritional Sciences

(225) 768-1739

Kathryn Fakier, MS, RDN, CSO, LDN

Director of Clinical Education, Dietetic Internship

(225) 214-6984


Document Title Type File Size
Document Title: DI Cover Sheet Type: pdf File Size: 80.527 KB Download
Document Title: DI Handbook 2019 2020 Type: pdf File Size: 849.522 KB Download
Document Title: DI Brochure 2019 Type: pdf File Size: 999.754 KB Download


Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University.

The Nutritional Sciences Dietetic Internship Program is granted candidacy for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 312-899-0040 ext. 5400.

Note: Prospective students should visit the State Authorization page to verify that Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is authorized to offer online courses and programs in your respective state. Prior to enrollment, students are also encouraged to visit their state educational agency or licensing board to ascertain whether or not they can utilize their degree program for additional compensation, initial licensing or renewal, as well as any other benefits.