East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship

East Tennessee State University campus, home of the ETSU dietetic internship

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope your summer is going as well as it can be. Today, I’ve got another dietetic internship overview for you. This time, I found the East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship in Johnson City, Tennessee and thought it looked interesting. So of course I had to do some more research and share with y’all! Here’s all you need to know about this school’s DI.

Internship Basics

The East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship offers a combined master’s degree and dietetic internship (MS/DI) program that takes over twenty-two months. The program accepts 12 students each spring out of anywhere from 20-35 applicants over the past two years (34-60% acceptance rate).

Students who complete the 40-46 credit master’s degree will earn a M.S. in Clinical Nutrition. The degree covers topics in depth like the creation of nutrition programs, maternal nutrition, complex adult care, and nutrition counseling. ETSU also offers a thesis option (the reason for the extra 6 credits).

As part of the MS/DI program, students complete their 27 credits of classes during their first year of enrollment. Afterwards, the remaining credits come from the internship.

ETSU DI Rotations

After two full semesters of grad courses, program participants spend two semesters completing their dietetic rotations. With rotations, the ETSU internship sticks pretty closely to three areas: clinical, public/community health, and food service management. In fact, the internship concentration is in clinical practices, with most of the internship time spent there. Here’s a little more about each rotation area.

Clinical Rotations

Interns spend 22 of their 34 weeks of rotations in clinical settings such as hospitals, rehab facilities, and long-term care facilities (LTAC). Within those spaces, interns learn and work with dietitians in areas including:

  • Cardiac
  • Diabetes
  • ICU and NICU
  • Nutrition support
  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • And many more!

Additionally, interns get to practice some nutrition education at both in-patient and out-patient education centers.

Rotation sites are anywhere from Johnson City to Knoxville and Asheville (both around 1 hour away) to even all the way in Seveierville and Oak Ridge (both around 2 hours away).

Public Health Rotations

In their rotations, interns spend six weeks on public health. Compared to clinical rotations, the internship website is less specific about where interns will be for these rotations. However, they do mention that interns will spend some time at one of the county health departments in the region, as well as regional children’s special services, community groups, and public schools. Part of these rotations will include practice assessing the nutritional needs of the community and working with a consultant/private practice dietitian.

Food Service Management

Like the public health rotations, the East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship devotes six weeks to food service management rotations. This includes time at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center, Mountain States Health Alliance, and Covenant Health Systems, all of which interns will earn clinical hours at as well. Interns also work in Kingsport City Schools’ food service sites, about 30 minutes away from Johnson City.

As part of food service management, you’ll learn a couple different things. First, of course, is how to run a food service operation. That means interns can expect to be a part of training team members and helping with day-to-day operations. Interns could also expect to develop meals and focus on the nutrition-related aspects too. Finally, sanitation helps keep customers safe and businesses open, so interns would learn about what goes into maintaining that.

What Stands Out at East Tennessee State University

If you’re looking for an inexpensive internship, ETSU honestly does a great job of keeping the cost low. The school has a relatively low in-state tuition to begin with. They also offer 10 hours-a-week graduate assistantships for anyone who’s interested in applying. Additionally, one bonus of those assistantships is that students who receive them get out-of-state tuition fees waived. Additionally, besides the tuition and fees and some small one-time costs, the program doesn’t have appear to have a program fee or any other major expenses.

Why Choose the East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship?

The East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship’s mission is “To integrate graduate education and research with supervised practice to prepare entry-level dietitians with advanced nutrition knowledge and clinical skills to benefit the nutrition and health status of individuals and communities.” Therefore, ETSU’s internship might be a good fit for you if you…

  • Enjoy Tennessee
  • Would like to focus on clinical settings
  • Are interested in a master’s degree
  • Need a reasonably priced internship


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

Interested in the East Tennessee State University Dietetic Internship? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Until next time,

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