Ball State’s full-time dietetic internship is designed to prepare you for successful practice as a professional dietitian nutritionist. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), successful completion qualifies you to sit for the exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Program Mission, Goals, and Objectives

Mission:  The mission of the Ball State Dietetic Internship Program (IP) is to prepare competent entry-level dietetic practitioners that meet or exceed the ACEND-required competencies.  The competencies are to be achieved in an ethical manner following the Code of Ethics, the Scope/Standards of Practice and the Standards of Professional Performance of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

Program Goals:

  1. The program will prepare interns to meet or exceed the standards of entry-level dietetics professionals.
  2. Recruit, retain and graduate a successful population of dietetic professionals.


Program Goals and Objectives*: 

  1. The program will prepare interns to meet the high standards of dietetic entry level professionals.
    • 1.1.Over a five-year period program graduates will achieve a pass rate of 80% or higher, for first-time test takers on the registration exam for dietitians
    • 1.2.Over a five-year period, 80% or more of program graduates who sought employment in dietetics will be employed within twelve months of program completion
    • 1.3.Over a five-year period 80% of employed graduates will rate themselves as prepared for entry-level positions
    • 1.4.During their first year of employment, program graduates will be ranked as above average in professional knowledge and skills by at least 75% of employers
  2. Recruit, retain and graduate a successful population of dietetic professionals
    • 2.1.The program director or associated faculty will participate in at least two internship recruitment activities per year.
    • 2.2.Ninety percent of the students who start the internship will complete the program within 72 weeks of beginning the program
    • 2.3.Following the completion of the program, 75% of the program graduates will agree that the internship prepared them for the Registration Examination for Dietitians

*Program outcomes data is available upon request.

Requirements and Timing

You must complete 9 hours of graduate credit at Ball State before beginning your internship. Six of those 9 hours—including FCFN 642 - Nutrition Assessment—must be completed within the Department of Nutrition and Health Science), and you must have a graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Ball State is the only university in Indiana that offers 9 credit hours for completion of a dietetic internship.

Two dietetic internship classes are offered each year—one beginning in January and one beginning in May. After a week of orientation, each intern will complete 30 weeks of supervised practice, followed by four days of evaluation activities in the final week. All interns are expected to work 40-hour weeks during their supervised practice, which will be broken down as follows:

  • Nine weeks (360 hours) in hospital food systems management rotation
  • 12-13 weeks (520 hours) in hospital nutrition therapy rotation (12 weeks for those attending the diabetes camp)
  • Two four-week (320 hours) rotations in community/business nutrition

Site Selection and Exam Prerequisites

Your internship can take place at various sites throughout Indiana; to determine your placement, our site selection committee will use your input, work experience, and career goals.

You will be eligible to take the exam after you've:

  • Completed 9 Ball State graduate credit hours earned through the dietetic internship supervised practice with a grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Completed the prerequisites of 9 graduate credit hours (6 of them from the Department of Nutrition and Health Science) with a grade point average of 3.0 (grade B) or better
  • Received a verification statement of successful completion of the dietetic internship from the program director

More Information

Download our dietetic internship program handbook (PDF), and contact dietetics internship director Lydia Ballenger for more information.


If you’re ready to apply for Ball State’s nutrition and dietetics program, learn more about the process.





Ball State University’s Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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