Our mission: preparing confident, competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who can balance evidence-based practice with client-centered care.

Our internship program, which offers two distinct locations in Blacksburg and Northern Virginia, provides interns the variety and depth of experiences needed to work in different dietetics practice settings.

The program builds on the unique experiences and interests of each intern and provides solid preparation in all areas of dietetics. The leadership and professional development emphasis enables graduates to enter the field ready to influence the workplace, profession, and food and nutrition policy. Interns achieve leadership skills through a leadership project or role, reading and reflecting on leadership concepts, planning their own two-week elective rotation, and participating in nutrition advocacy initiatives.

Interns benefit from the varied experiences and skills of two directors overseeing the two separate locations. Interns apply to either the Blacksburg or Northern Virginia site. Those enrolled in the Blacksburg site attend class there with rotations in Southwest Virginia; interns enrolled in the Northern Virginia site attend class in Falls Church and have rotations around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Some unique qualities of our program:

  • Rotations are tailored to individual learning needs and interests.
  • Weekly class meetings provide frequent opportunities for guest speakers, sharing of experiences, and field trips.
  • Interns work with a wide variety of preceptors and are able to experience various professional roles through 16 weeks of clinical rotations (including both in- and outpatient experiences), eight weeks of community rotations (usually in two different practice settings), and seven weeks in the management of food and nutrition services.
  • Interns design a two-week elective experience in the practice area and geographic area of their choice.
  • Orientation experiences before each major component prepare interns to begin rotations with adequate training and confidence.
  • A compact program (beginning in late August and ending in early May) results in early job availability.
  • Vacation breaks throughout the program (Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break) promote work-life balance.

Program completion requirements:

Interns are expected to complete all rotations and assignments, pay all fees, and attend all classes. In doing so, they will achieve the competencies identified in the Accreditation Standards for Internship Programs in Nutrition and Dietetics (2017) established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Graduates will be issued a verification statement and are eligible to sit for the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.


Carol B. Papillon, MPH, RD
Internship Director

Amy LaFalce, MS, RD
Northern Virginia Internship Site Director

The Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is currently granted accredited status by the Accreditation for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606, 312/899-5400, www.eatrightpro.org/acend

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