PA DOH WIC Dietetic Internship


The PA WIC Dietetic Internship provides an opportunity for PA WIC local agency employees who have met the eligibility requirements for Registered Dietitians to participate in an ACEND accredited program that engages them in core competencies through a supervised practice program.

Throughout the program, dietetic Interns develop the necessary competence in various areas and populations providing dietetic services. Professional development is attained through self-assessment and preceptor evaluation to provide self-development to improve skills and knowledge. The supervised practice program prepares Dietetic Interns for the CDR credentialing examination.

PA WIC is well represented in all 67 PA counties consisting of 218 clinics; 104 are primary sites and 114 are satellite sites. Staff throughout the PA WIC program help employees overcome financial, geographical, and personal barriers.

NOTE: The PA DOH WIC DI program may be available to non-PA WIC employees and college students if insufficient applicants have been accepted. Vacancies will be posted on this website if available. Non-WIC employees or college students must apply to DICAS and D & D Digital for the spring match.

The program is an intern identified supervised practice program; therefore preceptors/preceptor sites will be identified with the help of the DI Program Director. Please see the PA DOH WIC DI Handbook for more information.


To provide a Community Nutrition/Public Health focused Dietetic Internship Program that fosters development of entry level registered dietitians to promote healthy lifestyles and outcomes for Pennsylvania's most vulnerable citizens.

NOTE: Program outcome data are available upon request

Program Schedule:

The PA Department of Health WIC Dietetic Internship Program is a 31-week internship consisting of a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practice.

  • 240 hours in community nutrition and public health
  • 304 hours in food service management
  • 440 hours in clinical nutrition
  • 16 hours of alternative Practice Hours during orientation and exits for supervised practice hours
  • The entire program is full-time 40 hours per week

*Please see DI Handbook for more information about the hours

Note: Needs based tuition assistance is available. Please contact the DI Director for more information.

An emphasis is placed on the skills and competencies common to community nutrition and public health. This learning experience focuses on the development and practice of problem solving and critical thinking required of an entry level Dietitian Nutritionist. This supervised practice also provides experience to accept and value social, cultural, and various economic backgrounds to better understand human behavior. Lastly, by observing and working alongside other Registered Dietitian Nutritionist role models as well as with regulatory public health care teams, interns will experience firsthand professional regulatory and ethical practice.

DI Program Handbook:

A wealth of program details can be found in the DI Handbook, including information regarding the program cost, the program mission and goals, admission and completion requirements, the program calendar, and guidance about remote education/teaching components.

ACEND Accreditation

The Pennsylvania (PA) Department of Health (DOH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Dietetic Internship (DI) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Education for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). The PA WIC Dietetic Internship program is a remote intern identified supervised practice program that qualifies graduates to take the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) credentialing examination to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. The program is approved for a maximum of twelve (12) interns each year.

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.

In addition to RDN credentialing, many states have regulatory laws for dietitians and nutrition practitioners. Frequently these state requirements are met through the same education and training required to become an RDN. Information on licensure statutes and information by state can be found here

In Pennsylvania, the licensure statute is a Title Protection Act. Licensure is not required in our state to practice and is therefore voluntary. Some employers may require an RDN to apply for licensure, and the requirement for this is the RDN credential. Any student who successfully pursues the RDN credential can apply through the PA State Board of Nursing for the license.

More information about educational pathways to become an RDN

Contact Information:

Dietetic Internship Director
Stephanie Bender, MS, RDN, LDN
(717) 941-9207
(717) 836-3573

Accreditation Council on Education for Nutrition and Dietetics
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
(800)877-1600 Ext 5400
Fax: (312)899-4817