Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship

Get the hands-on training you need to achieve your career in nutrition.

Median Wage*
hours of supervised practice in 10 1/2 months
hours of master's level credit
Job Placement Rate**

*Wage and job growth based on Statistics from Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On November 3rd, 2023, the Cox College Nutrition Diagnostics Department received approval to reorganize into an ACEND accredited graduate program under the future education model. We will no longer be accepting applications into the existing MND + DI program or DI certificate program. Please click here to learn more and apply to our Master of Science in Nutrition Diagnostics Graduate Program (GP).

DI Program

About the Program

The Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship program is an advanced practice approach to nutrition diagnostics. Combined with our master’s degree coursework, this internship will prepare you with innovative problem solving skills to meet the demands of a registered dietitian nutritionist in an ever-changing healthcare landscape. Our program’s unique concentration in prevention will equip you with the practice skills you need to take the lead in emerging industry trends and priorities.

The internship includes both didactic and supervised practice components, earning you 12 hours toward a master’s degree in nutrition diagnostics. Plus, you’ll have all the knowledge and training you need to qualify for and ace the registration exam for dietitians.

Your DI Experience:

Throughout your 10 1/2 month internship, you will gain foundational and advanced skills to succeed as a registered dietitian. One day a week you’ll attend classes. You’ll spend the rest of the week in supervised practice rotation.

Through discussion, case studies, literature review, and small group work you’ll build a foundation of using diagnostic codes to write diagnostic statements and develop intervention strategies. The supervised clinical experience will provide an in-depth look at the role of nutrition in enhancing the wellness and management of your patients’ health. As you grow in skill, you’ll learn to administer the global nutrition-focused physical exam and treat nutrition-specific problems like protein-calorie malnutrition.

Apply now and complete your heroic journey of becoming a highly trained professional in the field of nutrition diagnostics!

Ready to learn more about us? The video below is from our virtual open house! The Nutrition Diagnostics faculty discuss everything you need to know about the student experience at Cox College.


". . . the Cox College Dietetic Internship program gave me an edge in the realm of clinical nutrition. The knowledge, skills and abilities I learned in my internship still help me conduct my duties as a dietitian."

Adam Pruett, MHA, RDN, LD

Master’s Degree Required

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website:


Coursework & Supervised Practice Requirements

In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at Cox College are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.


Licensure Requirements

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

Applicant Requirements

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent to Complete a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) 
  • A GPA of 3.0 preferred. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 are still encouraged to apply.  
  • A Master's degree is required to be completed before admission into the program  
  • Cox College requires US Citizenship for admission to the college 

Note: The GRE is not required

How to Apply

Cox College uses a centralized application system to accept student applications. To apply to our program, complete the following steps:  

  • Visit the DICAS portal here to get started.
  • Complete the four quadrants of the application. Key required elements of the application include the following:
      • Background and demographic information
      • Coursework and transcripts
      • Supporting information, such as work experience, memberships, achievements, certifications, and signed DPD verification statement (or declaration of intent)
      • Cox College admissions materials, which include a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.
  • Add Cox College Dietetic Internship (non-degree) and submit your application before the match date deadline of February 15th.

Selection Procedure

Selection of the successful applicants is made by a committee composed of the MND Chair, college faculty and internship preceptors who are RDs. Selection of the successful applicants is based on the committee’s assessment of the individual’s potential in the program and potential as a practicing dietitian. The committee will use grade point average (overall, science, MND/nutrition core courses), the personal statement, past work experience (employment in nutrition/dietetics in the past three (3) years is emphasized), and letters of recommendation as well as face to face or video conferencing interviews (conducted for students who are greater than 250 miles from Springfield) to make this assessment. Additional screening/evaluation pieces may be required and have associated fees. This selection process also follows the rules governing the computer matching process used by AND in cooperation with D&D Digital Systems.

      • Note: Admission to the graduate program in the College does not grant a student admission to the program. ND program applications are reviewed by a selection committee after admission to the graduate program. Program appointments are awarded on a competitive basis through computer matching process used by AND in co-operation with D&D Digital Systems, Ames, IA. Following computer matching appointment, students must pass a criminal background check and drug screen.

Onboarding Requirements after Matching

After matching, the student will be required to complete several steps to get onboarding into the college system as well as to have documentation required for clinical sites. All requirements must be met prior to program start. We will email a comprehensive list of instructions of all requirements soon after our cohort is set. Requirements include (but are not exclusive) to the following: 

  • Consent and disclosure form
  • Satisfactory background check 
  • Negative drug screen 
  • Proof of immunizations 
  • Submit final transcripts showing successful completion of your masters and DPD degree programs
  • Submit DPD verification statement  

The Cox College Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship plan of study is outlined below.  The program does not award credit for prior learning experiences including coursework and supervised practice hours.  

Semester Didactic Courses Supervised Practice Courses
Fall MND 535: Nutrition Diagnostics &Assessment 1 – 3 credit hours MND 526 - DI Supervised Practice I
MND 552 - Medical Nutrition Therapy in Chronic Disease – 3 credit hours
Spring MND 502: Nutrition Counseling and Education Methods –3 credit hours MND 527 - DI Supervised Practice II
MND 541: Nutrition Diagnostics & Assessment 2 – 3 credit hours MND 528 - DI Supervised Practice III
Summer MND 529 - DI Supervised Practice IV


The Nutrition Diagnostics Programs follow the Cox College academic calendar including scheduled breaks for Fall break, Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, and Spring break. The academic calendar is available here.

Cost Breakdown

Tuition: 12 graduate credits  $7,380* 
Internship fee  $11,000* 
AND DICAS application fee  $50 for first application ($25/each after) 
D & D matching fee  $50 
Program acceptance, drug test/criminal background fee  $175 
Cox College application fee  $50 
Student Services fee  $110/credit hour ($1,320) 
Clinical fee  $185 
Other expenses & approximate costs*   
Zotero  $30 
Trajecsys  $100 
EHRGo  $120 
MyClinicalExchange  $25/semester 
RD Exam prep course  $160 
Skills Kit: Fall  (polo, lab coat)  $53 
Skills Kit: Spring (magnifier, tape measure)  $57 
Textbooks  $~250 (total program) 
AND student fee  $58 
Total for 22 month program:   
Tuition and fees  $20,080* 
Additional costs $903* 
Total estimated program cost $20,983

*Expenses listed are not an official quote and are provided as a guide only.

Potential cost not included above:

Housing: $600-$1000/month

Transportation: Varies

Financial Aid Information

The dietetic internship does not meet criteria for Federal Student Aid. Financial Aid is available in the form of private student loans and scholarships.


Cox College awards over $250,000 in scholarships from the CoxHealth Foundation and the CoxHealth Auxiliary. This is made possible by our loyal supporters. See the Cox College Financial Aid and Bursar Information page for more information.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, through its many association groups, offers a variety of scholarships to individuals pursuing degrees in food and nutrition related areas. General scholarship and educational stipend information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation, the dietetic practice groups and affiliate (state) and district dietetic associations can be accessed from the respective group’s website:

Our Mission

The Cox College Master’s in Nutrition Diagnostics/Dietetic Internship and Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship are dedicated to excellence in the preparation of competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists committed to serving their communities, their profession and to transforming the future of nutrition in healthcare.

Our Philosophy

To structure a learning environment to promote critical thinking and inquiry, self-improvement, self-reliance, collaboration and lifelong learning.

Goal #1 – Prepare graduates to become competent entry level dietitians

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%
90 % of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
80% of employers will rate graduate preparation for the profession as adequately or well prepared
At least 90% of program interns complete the program in 16 months (DI).


Goal #2 – Develop skill in the nutrition diagnostic approach to the practice of clinical nutrition

80% of employers will rate graduate practice experiences in nutrition diagnostics as adequate or very adequate
80% of graduates will rate preparation in nutrition diagnostics as adequate or well prepared
Of graduates who seek employment, 70 % are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.


Goal #3 – Prepare graduates to effectively utilize current and pertinent scientific literature in practice as a clinical nutrition practitioner

80% of employers will agree/strongly agree that graduates are able to incorporate scientific research in their clinical practice
80% of graduates will agree/strongly agree that they feel competent to evaluate and incorporate current and relevant literature in their clinical practice
25% of graduates will pursue advanced/specialty positions/certifications or further graduate education over a 5 year period


Goal #4 – Support the need for clinical nutrition practitioners in southwest Missouri and the Midwest region.

25% of graduates will seek employment in southwest Missouri or the Midwest region
At least 90% of program interns complete the program within 2 years and 9 months (planned program is 22 months). (MND/DI)
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%
90 % of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion
Of graduates who seek employment, 70 % are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

Program outcomes data are available on request.

The Nutrition Diagnostics Dietetic Internship program provides 1,025 supervised practice hours spread throughout the program which comes from a combination of professional work settings, simulation, case studies, and role playing. The Cox College faculty schedules all the supervised practice rotations for you

The Additional Supervised Practice Experiences are accrued over the length of the program.  This allows for students to choose some events and/or rotations in which they have a particular interest.   In addition, it includes some required events that do not fit into the typical workday or work week. Examples of additional community experiences include Price Cutter food demos, KGBX Women’s Show, Legislative Day, Midwest Dairy Farm Tour & Media Training, National Nutrition Month projects, and CoxHealth Nutrition blog posts.

Successful Completion

The ACEND competencies reflect the minimal level of expertise the intern must achieve as stated in the Cox College Nutrition Diagnostics Department Student Handbook. In addition to the minimal level of expertise required by ACEND, satisfactory performance is required in the following if a student wishes to receive a verification statement and graduate degree from Cox College (verification statement granted upon completion of all of the criteria listed below):

  • Satisfactory completion of all supervised practice rotations, as evaluated by ND program director, college faculty and preceptors
  • Successful completion of all CDRN and program-specific competencies
  • Attendance at all required internship/program meetings
  • Satisfactory completion of all courses required in the ND-DI plan of study
  • Graduate GPA of 2.7 or greater
  • Completion of all other degree requirements
  • Successful passing of ND-DI Comprehensive Exams

Note – the maximum time allowed to complete all program requirements (defined above as successful completion) is 3 years.

Successful completion of the program should equip the student with the skills and ability to apply the knowledge in nutrition and dietetics as measured by the Registration Examination for Dietitians. The graduate of Cox College’s Nutrition Diagnostics-Dietetic Internship program is prepared to practice in multiple areas of dietetics, including foodservice systems management, therapeutic clinical practice, and normal and preventive nutrition in a variety of settings. The program concentration and Master’s in nutrition diagnostics will prepare the graduate for an emerging area of clinical practice.

This Dietetic Internship program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and is designed to meet the eligibility requirements for the registration examination for dietitians. Education programs and supervised practice programs must be ACEND-accredited. Registered dietitian exam requirements are set by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) and include:

  1. Completion of an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)
  2. Completion of an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) (minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours)
  3. Effective January 1, 2024, CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the exam. 

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) 

Phone: 800/877-1600, ext. 5400 

Mail: 120 South Riverside Plaza
Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995 


Cox College programs are accredited by the North Central Higher Learning Commission

Kyle Brashear, DHSc, MS, RD/LD

Chair & Professor
(417) 269-8482

Lindsey Kelsay, MS, RD, CSG, LD

Assistant Professor
(417) 269-3451

Shannon Crosby, MPH, RD, LD

Clinical Dietitian Preceptor

Amanda Allen, MS, RDN, LD

Dietetic Assistant Professor

Jordan Mize, MS, RDN, LD

Associate Professor
(417) 269-3040

Cox College’s Nutrition Diagnostics programs that include a dietetic internship will fulfill state educational requirements for professional licensure in the state of Missouri.  However, many states have adopted licensure laws and regulations specifying the minimum credentials required to (1) use various titles, such as "dietitian," "nutritionist," "licensed dietitian nutritionist" or "registered dietitian nutritionist" and (2) provide MNT or other dietetics and nutrition services. Other states take a less protective approach, such as regulating the practice of licensed RDNs and other nutrition service providers and offering licensees the ability to use certain protected titles.  Continuing education may also be required by some states for maintenance of certification/licensure.

Prior to enrolling in Nutrition Diagnostics programs, make sure you understand and review any additional requirements for your intended state/territory, should you plan to relocate after program completion at Cox College.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) provides information on licensure and professional regulation of dietitians here.

The Academy also maintains an active listing of individual states licensure information.  The State Licensure Agency Map and Contact List can be accessed here or by viewing its licensure spreadsheet here.

Our program uses technology to support and enhance learning. The online technical requirements for Cox College can be found here



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