Nutrition and Food Science

Dietetic Internship

Notification of Program Changes

The Department of Nutrition and Food Science is in the process of making significant changes to the Master’s Program. We anticipate the approval of a combined program (Dietetic Internship and MS degree) that will be completed over two academic years and one summer and start in the academic year 2024-2025. Students eligible to apply to the combined program must have completed an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics.

The Department of Nutrition and Food Science will continue to offer a separate MS program in Nutritional Science with an option in Nutrition Education or General Nutritional Science. The MS program is for:

  • Students wishing to complete an MS degree prior to applying to non-degree granting Dietetic Internship programs
  • Preparing students for careers in college teaching, healthcare, industry, community agencies, or graduate study beyond the master’s degree

The final year for our current post-baccalaureate Dietetic Internship will be 2023-2024. Current CSU, Chico graduate or undergraduate students wishing to apply to the post-baccalaureate DI must meet admission requirements by early November of 2022.

Eligibility and Selection

This CSU, Chico Dietetic Internship is only available to CSU, Chico students.

All applicants to the CSU Chico DI are pre-selected (both graduate and undergraduate students) with priority being given to the CSU, Chico graduate students. If all slots to the CSU, Chico DI are not filled by graduate students, undergraduate students may apply.

In the last four cycles of the internship selection process, six out of 27 students selected for a CSU, Chico dietetic internship slot were undergraduate students.

Brochure and Selection Criteria 

The DI Program Outcomes data are available on request.

Fully Accredited

The California State University, Chico Dietetic Internship is Fully Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)(opens in new window) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL  60606-6995
312-899-0040 - ext. 5400
312-899-4817 (fax)

Apply to Graduate Program

Learn how to Apply to Graduate Program and about selection criteria.


How to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in California

There are four steps to becoming an RDN in California:

1. Complete an ACEND Accredited Dietetics Program

CDR mandates that all Registered Dietitians Nutritionists in California complete education that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

The educational tracks to become an RDN in California are through a Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP) or through a Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD).

California State University, Chico offers the DPD track that results in either an undergraduate or graduate degree which must be followed by separate supervised practice rotations [a Dietetic Internship (DI)].

2. Complete a Dietetic Internship

After completing your DPD coursework to become an RDN, you must complete a DI which is offered at CSU, Chico.

The CSU, Chico DI follows a pre-select process (the DI Program does not participate in the DICAS match process) and priority is given to CSU, Chico Graduate students (Undergraduate students may apply if all slots have not been previously filled by Graduate students).

The CSU, Chico DI consists of 1200 hours of supervised practice and is 9 months long. The DI is a full-time, non-degree program with an emphasis in Nutrition Education and consists of supervised practice rotations in Medical Nutrition Therapy, Foodservice Administration, and Community Nutrition.

During the DI, the Intern will gain valuable experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics.

At the completion of your 1200 hours, the DI Director will provide you with a Verification Statement indicating that you are eligible to sit for the RDN Exam.

3. Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Certification

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) requires that you pass the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist exam to practice in California. You will receive an e-mail from CDR when you have completed steps 1 and 2 above indicating you are eligible to take the exam. You have one year from your date of eligibility status to complete the exam.

The exam payment is $200.00 and once received, you will be sent an e-mail from PSI Exams Online, the centers that host the online exam. Exam Centers near Chico, California include Redding and Sacramento, California.

4. Maintain Your California (CDR) Certification

To maintain your CDR certification in California, you must complete 75 continuing professional education units (CPEU's) every five-year cycle. One unit every five years must be in ethics.

According to the California code, dietitians must be registered if they want to practice in the state. RDN's practice under California Business and Professions Code Section 2585-2586.8. California does not have a state licensure requirement for RDN's.