Graduate Certificate in Dietetic Internship

Helping others achieve healthier lifestyles.

The ACU Dietetic Internship (DI) graduate certificate program at CitySquare in Dallas equips you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to become a registered dietitian.

The mission of the Abilene Christian University Dietetic Internship is to equip interns who model Christian values to become Registered Dietitians/Nutritionists to lead and empower individuals, especially those with economic need, to achieve better nutrition and healthier lifestyles.

Throughout the 44-week internship program, you and your classmates will focus on “Poverty and Community,” the only program in the country to include poverty as part of its area of study.

Your academic and clinical training here is rooted in Christian values, and you will be prepared to serve the majority of the population, but especially those that have disabilities or are in poverty.

Learn more about ACU’s Dietetic Internship Certificate by watching these videos featuring our students and faculty.

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At CitySquare

Consistent with the mission of CitySquare, you will focus your time on the issues of hunger, health, housing and hope:

  • Hunger - work in the Opportunity Center Food Bank and the Summer Feeding Programs through CitySquare.
  • Health - Along with the clinical experiences, an outpatient counseling rotation will address health of the clientele using knowledge gained in the clinical rotations such as bariatric, cardiac, endocrinology, intensive care, oncology, pediatric, renal, surgical and general medical.
  • Hope - Gaining an education and skills can give people hope. You will be instrumental in helping teach basic culinary and foodservice skills in the food production kitchen and café at the Opportunity Center at CitySquare.
  • Housing - Indirectly, housing will be addressed through your involvement in teaching basic selection, procurement and preparation of healthful meals for home use in the CitySquare demonstration kitchen.

Successful Completion of Dietetic Internship

In order to successfully complete the CitySquare Dietetic Internship, all interns must receive an A or B on the graduate courses, complete all rotation evaluation forms and present the completed and signed evaluation forms (including self-evaluations) to the Dietetic Internship Director within the designated time frame; and have a satisfactory rating or above on all evaluations. The Dietetic Internship director will provide additional evaluations on projects and research that are required throughout the internship.

Path to Registration

Once interns have successfully completed the Dietetic Internship, the Dietetic Internship Director will report the appropriate information to the Commission on Dietetic Registration. Interns will then be notified by email of their eligibility to sit for the registration exam for dietitians and will be provided instructions on where and when to take the exam. Interns must pass the exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Some states also offer licensure once the exam is passed, therefore interns should check with the licensing board of the state in which they will be practicing, 

Students in a classroom smiling and laughing as they listen to their instrctor.

Students who successfully complete online classes typically have the following characteristics:

  • Self-motivated
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Self-disciplined
  • Enjoy being “online”
  • Have at least several hours each day to dedicate to study and assignments

Completion Requirements and Credit for Prior Learning or Competence

Each intern must successfully complete all supervised practice rotations and graduate courses associated with the DI.  The Abilene Christian University Dietetic Internship does not have a policy for assessing prior learning or competence.  No credit is given for prior learning experiences or competence.  The maximum amount of time for completing all DI requirements is 66 weeks from the time the student begins the internship.

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid is available to students through loans. For further information on financial aid, contact Student Financial Services at 325-674-2643.

Dietetic Internship Expenses Graduate Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosure
  • Accreditation

    The Abilene Christian University Dietetic Internship has been granted full accreditation by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

    Accreditation includes self-analysis, preparation of a self-study report, and an on-site evaluation visit by a team of professional peers. Dietetics educators and practitioners, appointed by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) board, participate in the peer review process to determine if a program is achieving its own educational objectives and meeting the accreditation standards. The ACEND board accredits programs that are able to meet these standards.

    Completion of the dietetic internship allows interns to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitians. Application for state certification/licensure (if applicable) may be made after credentialing.

    The contact information for ACEND is as follows:

        Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
        120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
        Chicago, IL  60606-6995
        800-877-1600, ext. 5400



  • Goals and Objectives
    • The program will prepare graduates to have commitment to utilize nutrition-related knowledge to improve the quality of the health and well-being among those who have limited resources. This goal is congruent with the Dietetic Internship mission concerning helping those in poverty.
      • Objective 1.1 — Eighty percent of graduates will be offering services to those in need in their church or their community.
    • The program will prepare graduates to obtain employment in dietetics or related field. This goal fits with the mission in the preparation of graduates for successful employment in the field.
      • Objective 2.1 — At least 80% of program interns complete program/degree requirements within 16.5 months (150% of the program length).
      • Objective 2.2 — Of graduates who seek employment, 80 percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
      • Objective 2.3 — Eighty percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
      • Objective 2.4 — The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
      • Objective 2.5 — Over a 5-year period, at least eighty percent or more of graduates who successfully complete the program will pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists on the first attempt.
      • Objective 2.6 — At least eighty percent of employers will express satisfaction by indicating graduates are prepared for entry-level practice in the workplace.
    • The program will prepare graduates for leadership in the field of nutrition and dietetics
      • Objective 3.1 — At least eighty percent of surveys returned from employers rated graduates as being good or excellent for competency and leadership potential
      • Objective 3.2 — At least eighty percent of graduates will pursue leadership roles in the community or profession within 2 years of completing the dietetic internship.

    All of these goals and objectives can also be found in the Dietetic Internship Handbook. The mission, goals, and objectives will be monitored at least annually for program effectiveness. Program outcomes data are available on request.

  • Admission Requirements

    Applicants must first apply on the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) online applicant portal. DICAS is a service of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and offers applicants a convenient, state-of-the-art, web-based application service. The DICAS application may be accessed at

    The admission requirements for the DICAS are:

    • Complete the online application and pay application fee;
    • Submit three letters of recommendation;
    • Submit any/all official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous college work. The transcript must indicate a bachelor's degree in Nutrition or related field from a regionally accredited college or university;
    • Submit a personal statement which includes the following: Short-term and long-term professional goals (after completing the dietetic internship); please address how faith can inform your work in the profession of dietetics, describe experiences you have had working with individuals who are dealing with poverty or are at risk for homelessness and how you felt about those experiences; and please explain your philosophy of working with the impoverished.
    • Submit a personal resume; and
    • Register with D&D Digital for the computer match and rank each of the dietetic internships that you are applying to by the computer match deadline date. D&D Digital is the company that matches applicants with Dietetic Internships. Use the following link to access the D&D Digital Web site:
    • Once the student has been matched with the ACU Dietetic Internship, he or she should apply separately for admission to ACU.

    The admission requirements for the ACU Dietetic Internship program:

    • Pay the $25 ACU application fee (in addition to the DICAS fee);
    • A cumulative undergraduate approximate 3.2 and a minimum grade of B in Didactic Program in Dietetics courses and supporting courses including the sciences, statistics, and management; and
    • Applicants must have completed Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements in an accredited program as specified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).


Degree Details

Required Hours

Program length: 12 months

Credit hours: 15

Current tuition per credit hour: $875

Program fee: $4,875

Example Coursework

Weight Management

Nutrition and Poverty

Dietetic Internship

Nutrition Research


Kinesiology & Nutrition

Application Deadlines

DICAS: February 15