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Master of Science Dietetic Internship Program-LISLE

Hello from Benedictine University

I am delighted that you are visiting Benedictine University’s Dietetic Internship/Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition and Dietetics program website.  The Dietetic Internship (DI) is a unique program that has a general emphasis with a focus in Public Health & Community Nutrition. In just 16 months, students are able to complete the internship as well as their M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics.  The DI is currently granted accreditation status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400.

To be eligible for the Dietetic Internship and to participate in the Spring match process, you must have a verification statement or a declaration of intent from your undergraduate didactic program in dietetics (DPD). You can obtain information about the computer match process for the DI either from your DPD Director or by visiting the D&D Digital website at

Each year the DI program begins in August. Students begin by taking two courses in an accelerated 5-week format. Then for the remainder of the program, interns will be simultaneously taking M.S. courses in the evening or on weekends, while completing DI practical experiences during the day (Monday through Thursday). The DI rotations consist of experiences in hospitals, long term care/sub acute clinical, food service, maternal and child health, elderly nutrition, community, and much more!

Applying to our program requires that you complete two application processes as follows:

If a student does not match to the DI program, you may wish to pursue the Master of Science Nutrition and Wellness degree. Enrolling in this degree may be helpful in obtaining a future internship match. Also, by becoming a Benedictine University student you would then be eligible for our annual December pre-match application process. Our DI program may accept 6 Benedictine University students to the DI annually.

I am so pleased that you have visiting our website. Please consider visiting our campus at either a graduate admissions event or at our annual DI open house.

I am happy to address any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact me to learn more about our DI program. I look forward to your call or email.

Best regards,
Nikki DeWalt, MS, RD, LDN
Dietetic Internship Director


The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship program provides interns with more than 40 weeks of practical experience.  This is the second step in the credentialing process to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).  Upon satisfactory completion of the program, the intern will be a competent entry-level dietitian, eligible to apply for active membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and able to take the Registered Examination for credentialing as an RDN.

In the State of Illinois, one must be licensed by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation to practice dietetics.  Click for information about Illinois licensure for dietitians in Illinois.

Why the Dietetic Internship at Benedictine University?

Why should you consider the Benedictine University Dietetic Internship Program for your first choice? Consider the advantages of Benedictine University’s Dietetic Internship program...

  • Benedictine University is Highly Ranked! Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016.
  • The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, (800) 877-1600 ext. 5400). Upon completion of this master degree coursework, including the Dietetic Internship concentration, the student will receive a Dietetics Practice Verification Statement. This Verification Statement enables the graduate to take the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist examination administered by the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR). Upon receipt of a passing score, the student meets the eligibility requirements to become a nationally registered and state licensed dietitian nutritionist, and an Active Member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  • The program is a combined master degree dietetic internship. Thus students work towards both the Dietetic Internship Verification Statement and a degree in Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Beginning on January 1st. 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration is requiring a minimum of a masters degree to take the credentialing exam to become a Registered Dietitian.  The program at Benedictine University is a well established Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Dietetic Internship.
  • The program strives to develop an academic community that supports each person in the pursuit of knowledge, personal development, and a life lived in balance.
  • This program, as part of Benedictine University, prepares its students for a lifetime, as active, informed, and responsible citizens and leaders of the dietetics and world communities.
  • Although you will gain a solid practice experience base in medical nutrition therapy and management, through unique site rotations our program is designed to provide a strong community & public health emphasis, with a lifespan focus.
  • The program grants credit for prior learning experiences then providing interns with the opportunity to experience other areas of nutrition and dietetics rather than repeat skills they may already possess.
  • This program is designed for those persons whose career aspirations may include nutrition and health education assessment, planning, program delivery, counseling, outcome evaluation, and program administration in community, school, outpatient, corporate wellness, and private practice settings.
  • The program is supported by a large team of talented faculty, as well as site preceptors from more than 100 facilities in and around Benedictine University.
  • A 21 year history of excellence in preparing entry-level dietetics professionals.

DI Mission and Goals

The Dietetic Internship program is a concentration in the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program. The M.S. Foundation courses meet the M.S. program objectives.

Dietetic Internship Concentration course outcomes have been designed to meet the specific competencies / learning objectives as outlined by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. These competencies/learning objectives are listed in rotation packets.

Based on program priorities, a five-year timeframe for assessment of all key learning outcomes for the program is planned. Numerous benchmarks are prioritized and tracked as part of the annual program assessment improvement plan.

As part of the practice of effective teaching to foster and improve learning, all faculty are encouraged to engage in assessment of their own courses. There are numerous ways to measure course improvements. The Dietetic Internship rotation outcomes and courses in the concentration directly contribute to meeting Dietetic Internship program objectives (i.e., they are aligned).

Dietetic interns are evaluated frequently throughout the internship program. Numerous measures are employed to assist in this process, producing direct and indirect evidence of learning. Our program employs multiple assessment measures to examine student learning in the dietetic internship program, including portfolio, authentic case studies, projects, and tests. We use project descriptions, criterion grade sheets, and/or rubrics as tools to assess learning throughout the program.

Evaluations of interns by supervisors and self, and evaluation of rotations by interns are regularly conducted.

For more information, visit the "Nutrition Preceptors link" (in the resources tab on the left hand side).

An evaluation is sent to the employer of our graduates following program completion, the program Director also tracks:

  • Enrollment Trends,
  • Conducts Student Surveys,
  • Collaborates in the Collection of Alumni Surveys, and
  • Examines the Pass Rate of the RDN Exam. Data collection and analysis is ongoing.



The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship will provide a high quality program that is recognized as a superior model for the preparation of entry-level dietitians, and through the community and public health nutrition program concentration display excellence in provision of community and wellness initiatives and interventions across the lifespan    

Goal #1 – The Dietetic Internship will prepare highly qualified entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.     
  • Based on the most recent seven year period, 100% of Benedictine University (BenU) graduates will successfully complete the program within 27 months or 150% of the anticipated 18 month program completion length.
  • Based on the most recent seven year period, at least 80% of graduates will pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within one year following first attempt.       
  • Based on averages from the most recent seven year period, 100% of BenU graduates, will take the Registration Examination within 1 year of program completion.       
  • Based on the most recent seven year period, using data obtained by both the BenU graduate survey and other information from professional networks, 75% of graduates will seek employment in dietetics within the first 12 months after program completion.       
  • At least 90% of graduates will become skill entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, as evidenced by one or more of the following…

·    Being hired by site preceptors
·    Receiving a work or professional organization award
·    Receiving a work promotion
·    Employer survey rating of "outstanding" or "above average" entry level dietitian    

Goal #2 – Benedictine University's Dietetic Internship will prepare graduates who demonstrate professionalism through their interpersonal relationships with patients and the health care team, as well as encouraging our graduates to participate in the mentoring of future dietetics professionals.       
  • Based on returned BenU Employer Surveys completed one year post BenU program completion, 90% of employers will rate graduates at 4 on a 5 point scale for "developing interpersonal relationships" and "practices professionalism".       
  • Based on returned BenU Employer Surveys completed one year post BU program completion, 90% of graduates will rate themselves 4 on a 5 point scale for "interacting effectively with health care disciplines".        
  • Based on data collected annually from a "Graduate Update Survey", 50% of graduates that respond to the survey will have experience serving as mentors for dietetic student education.    


Goal #3 –The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship program will prepare dietetics professionals with knowledge and skills in community and  public health nutrition as defined by Benedictine University's public health nutrition competencies.       


  • Based on returned BenU Graduate Surveys completed one year post BenU program completion, 90% of graduates will rate themselves 4 on a 5 point scale for "The DI experience increased my knowledge related to community and public health nutrition?" AND 4 on a 5 point scale for "The DI experience increased my skills related to community and public health nutrition?"    



NOTE: Outcome data measuring achievement of program objectives is available to interns, prospective interns, and the public upon request.



Degree Requirements

The combined Dietetic Internship (DI)/ M. S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program provides the applied knowledge and experience for practice as a registered dietitian. The M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program requires a total of 35 semester hours.

All dietetic interns must attend on a full-time basis. The course schedule enables completion of the required graduate courses and dietetic internship in 16 months. This concentration is available on campus (Lisle).

The DI Program Director serves as academic advisor of those in the Dietetic Internship concentration, assisting students through advisement about course options, sequencing, and registration.

The Dietetic Internship rotations span over the entire program and each intern will complete about 40 weeks of internship rotation work. For more information about the types of internship rotations, click here.

Information about the M. S. curriculum requirements and sample course sequences is found in the program guides. The M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics Checklist allows you to record completion of courses as you progress through the program.

Practice Experience

Our Dietetic Internship program has a public health and community nutrition emphasis, exposing the intern to a vast scope of available career options. The Dietetic Internship provides supervised field placement in community, health care and management organizations.

Internship site placements include both traditional and non-traditional settings, located in both suburban and city locations in the Chicago area.

Program Length: 16 months (over 40 weeks of internship rotations).
Entrance Date: Program begins in August
Class Size: 14 interns per spring match period; six slots may be filled via pre-match.
Work Schedule: Dietetic Internship rotations take place Monday through Thursday. Friday is a classroom and/or seminar day. Student will attend graduate classes some evening and/or weekends in each quarter of the program.
Vacation: There is a two-week break around the winter holidays each year. Interns may request one additional week of vacation. All vacation requests must be approved by the DI Director in advance.
Health Insurance: Interns are required to obtain and maintain their own health insurance.
Automobiles: A car is required for the DI program, as interns must travel to their sites. Interns are required to obtain and maintain automobile insurance.

Financial Assistance

Information regarding the Tuition and Fees for the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics / Dietetic Internship Concentration can be found by clicking here.

Many opportunities exist for nutrition students in need of financial assistance. You are strongly encouraged to apply for grant money, low interest bank loans, and scholarships - may be available from the government, corporations, community or civic groups, philanthropic and religious organizations.

To start the financial aid process, please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can access the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at

If you are entering the university to pursue the Lisle campus degree program, contact a representative in the University Financial Aid Office at (630) 829-6100 for a consultation.

For more information on how to begin the financial aid application process for the online program, please call (866) 295-3104 to speak with an Admissions Advisor.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy) offers students the opportunity to apply for Academy scholarships. To qualify, students must be at least junior standing and enrolled in an accredited undergraduate nutrition program, Dietetic Internship program, or master degree program, depending upon the scholarship. Due to the limited number of available scholarships, these are quite competitive and thus prestigious to receive. Refer to the September Supplement of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or the Academy web site for more information. Generally, you must be a member of the Academy to receive an Academy or local dietetic association scholarship. Membership information is available on the Academy website or through the Nutrition Department.

  • There is a required reference list for the Dietetic Internship. Costs vary based on how many of the books the students purchase during their undergraduate studies.
  • Contact an Apartment Finders organization. Fully furnished on-campus apartment living (12-month lease) is available for students in Founders' Woods.
  • Interns must provide proof of medical insurance coverage throughout the Program, as well as a physician statement of health status, MMR vaccine, 2-step TB, flu shot, Hepatitis B vaccine, and COVID vaccination.
  • Fingerprinting and police clearance will be required prior to the start of the internship and perhaps the research if the work involves children.

Admission Procedures

Thank you for your interest in to the Benedictine University combined Dietetic Internship / Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics Program

Please note that to apply for the Dietetic Internship (DI )/ Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition and Dietetics Program, you will be required to submit two separate applications.

For detailed information on the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics Application process- Click Here and tab to "Admissions" section!

The following information will help to guide you through the DI application procedures.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor's or advanced degree from an accredited institution
  2. 3.0 overall GPA; Didactic Program in Dietetics GPA 3.2.
  3. Minimum academic requirements established by ACEND, as evidenced by a DPD verification statement or intent to complete statement.
  4. Additional coursework in medical nutrition therapy is required when a degree has been completed five or more years prior to internship application.

To apply:

  • Benedictine University’s DI Program is using the on-line centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at , e-mail The on-line application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15, 2019. The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application.
  • 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 on-line. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

    Please provide recommendations that meet the following criteria:
    1. One from a nutrition professor who can discuss: (a) your academic ability and potential; (b) professionally related memberships and involvement; (c) resourcefulness and initiative; and (d) personal attributes, including strengths, limitations, and leadership ability and potential.
    2. A work/volunteer/practicum experience supervisor/manager.
    3. An academic professor in nutrition, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or written communications.
  • Applicants who apply to Benedictine University’s DI program need to individualize their application letter. The letter, which has a 1,000 word limit, needs to be a professional typewritten business letter, which states:
    1. Why you chose to study nutrition and dietetics.
    2. Both short (5 years) and long term (10 years) career aspirations/goals.
    3. A description of how your unique characteristics and/or experiences (e.g., diabetes camp counselor, teaching nutrition to children, academic minors or concentrations or double majors, bilingual skills, study abroad, certification in sanitation and related fields, such as fitness, leadership positions, regularly scheduled volunteer experience in health care or community based facilities, coaching sports teams, supervisory experience, culinary arts experience, people-orientated experiences, etc.) and/or personal strengths could contribute to this Dietetic Internship and your career goals.
    4. An honest assessment of your limitations and what we need to provide to help you to succeed. Remember, we are trying to make certain that we can provide you with the experience you need and desire!
  • In order to assure our program matches your needs, you may be invited for a phone interview. If we interview you, we will notify you by e-mail or telephone.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to:

    DICAS - Transcript Dept
    PO Box 9118
    Watertown, Ma 02472

    International students must also provide transcripts evaluated in detail by ECE.
  • Applicants must also register online 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.
  • We require a $40.00 nonrefundable application process fee. A check payable to Benedictine University Nutrition Department must be sent to:

    Benedictine University
    Attn: Nikki DeWalt
    5700 College Road
    Lisle, IL 60532

    After acceptance into the program, the applicant must send the following:
    1. Applicants are responsible to call the program director within 24 hours of notification to accept. Please call during business hours (8:00AM to 4:00PM Central Standard Time).
    2. A letter accepting the appointment postmarked within 48 hours of the appointment date.
    3. Official college transcript that shows receipt of baccalaureate or advanced degree.
    4. A completed verification statement indicating compliance with current academic requirements by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Benedictine University Pre-Match


PLEASE CLICK ON HYPERLINK ABOVE IN TITLE.  (Information updated 9.13.2018)


Benedictine University Post-Match


PLEASE CLICK ON HYPERLINK ABOVE IN TITLE.  (Information updated 04.12.21)




Kelly Knopf, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.
Nutrition, Class of 2010
M.S./DI, Class of 2011

"Benedictine University's Nutrition Programs helped me achieve my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian. The small class sizes and knowledgeable faculty made my education very accessible.  And as a result of my combined Masters - Dietetic Internship program, I am well prepared for my current position as Clinical  Dietitian and Dietary Manager at Alden Estates of Shorewood, a brand new rehabilitation facility in Shorewood, IL."

"This Dietetic Internship program is designed as a future-orientated, comprehensive, dynamic curriculum that is interdependent with the surrounding community. Leadership skills are fostered, cooperative learning from peers and mentors is encouraged, and self-responsibility is stressed."

Over a five year period, the one-year average pass rate for the registered dietitian examination of the graduates of our combined M.S. Dietetic Internship program is 96%




"The Benedictine University Dietetic Internship will provide a high quality program that is recognized as a superior model for the preparation of entry-level dietitians, and display excellence in provision of community and wellness initiatives and interventions across the lifespan."


The Benedictine University Nutrition Programs will be recognized at the community, state, national, and international level for their leadership in developing optimal teaching and learning within nutrition programs. The programs will prepare future nutritionists, registered dietitians, and nutrition managers to address important food and nutrition issues that impact the quality of life of people.

Department of Nutrition
Benedictine University

Catherine Arnold, MS, EdD, RD.
Department Chair


Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 224
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6595