Appalachian State University Dietetic Internship

a view of appalachian state university dietetic internship

Happy Tuesday, y’all! I hope you’re enjoying fall right now. Here in Southeast Texas, it’s finally cool enough to wear sweaters. Today’s post covers a dietetic internship in a much cooler part of the country: the Appalachian State University Dietetic Internship.

Appalachian State University (ASU) is a school of about 19,000 total students in Boone, North Carolina. The university is an hour east of Johnson City, Tennessee and a two-hour drive northwest from Charlotte. The school accepts to 20 interns every spring out of 40-50 applicants.

ASU DI Requirements

The Appalachian State University Dietetic Internship looks for students with a minimum 3.0 overall GPA and 3.0 GPA for all DPD courses. Applicants must have a GRE, but rather than asking for a minimum score, the school’s website requests a “competitive score.”

The internship has a concentration in Rural Health, which makes sense given the school’s location in the Blue Ridge Mountains. While at ASU, interns have the chance to learn about how to apply the Nutrition Care Process to a rural healthcare setting and work with community members to appropriately apply nutrition interventions.

ASU offers a Combined MS/DI program. This means that over 21 months, interns take a total of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework to earn their MS in Nutrition. During the first year and summer in the program, students take 20-21 hours of their graduate coursework. During this year, students have the opportunity to either write a thesis or conduct a research project.

In August of their second year, the interns complete a 5-day on-campus orientation, which includes a White Coat ceremony. Then, everyone moves to regions throughout Central and West North Carolina to complete their rotations.

ASU’s website doesn’t specify where exactly interns rotate and what specific facilities they work at. However, regardless of particulars, every intern will receive the same number of hours in four different types of rotations. Each intern will spend 360 hours/12 weeks in Clinical Dietetics, 360 hours/12 weeks in Foodservice Management, 260 hours/9 weeks in Community Dietetics, and 220 hours in Professional Development. The final category, Professional Development, includes 100 hours of supervised practice in professional skills, and 120 hours research. Interns complete the requirements for those throughout the year alongside other rotations.

Anything Else I Should Know?

Intern-Identified Pathway (IIP)

In addition to offering a traditional internship, which chooses the sites and locations for interns, ASU also offers the chance to choose rotation sites. While interns can’t switch between the IIP and the traditional Program-Identified Pathway, the IIP gives the student more flexibility or increased odds of working with an RD or at a facility they enjoy.

Graduate Assistantship

If you’re worried about the costs of a DI, ASU has options! One of these is graduate assistantships. The Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management offers them during the first year of the internship, when students are completing 9-12 graduate credit hours. An assistantship provides 10-20 hours per week and $9000 per year before taxes for a 20 hour workweek.

Life in the Mountains

I thought I’d mention this since ASU likes to point it out. Boone, North Carolina is in North Carolina’s High Country. This means it’s home to beautiful scenery that includes places for skiing and hiking. Additionally, because of the school’s location within the Blue Ridge Mountains, interns engage with historic Appalachian culture. Bluegrass music festivals, amazing food, and arts and crafts are all things that an ASU intern can learn more about in their time in North Carolina.

Why Should I Choose Appalachian State University?

The Appalachian State University Dietetic Internship’s mission is “to prepare graduates to function as dietetics professionals utilizing rigorous academic preparation, research experience, and guided practice in rural health settings to enhance future careers in nutrition.” Therefore, ASU may be a good fit for you if you…

  • Enjoy North Carolina’s High Country or Appalachian Culture
  • Want to focus on aspects of Rural Health
  • Are interested in research
  • Would like to complete your DI and M.S. in two years

Resources

Interested in learning more about ASU and their dietetic internship? Here’s some websites that I sourced for information or found useful!

Thinking about applying to ASU? What do you like about their program?

Until next time,
Emmalee

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