Dietetic internship

This post-baccalaureate program is for students who have successfully completed an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics and wish to fulfill the supervised practice requirements and gain adequate knowledge to successfully take the dietetics registration exam in order to prepare themselves for meaningful and productive entry-level professional practice.

The dietetics internship at Bluffton University is currently designed as an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway internship and utilizes ACEND-developed guidelines and evaluation materials. The internship consists of 31-32 weeks of supervised practice under dietetics and food service professionals and 2-3 weeks of in-class orientation, seminar and instruction activities. Upon successful completion of the entire program, interns will receive a Bluffton University Dietetic Internship Completion Certificate. The internship has been approved for 18 hours of graduate-level experiential credit which may or may not be eligible for transfer to another university.

Program characteristics:

  • 10 interns accepted each program year
  • A concentration in community and public health nutrition
  • A full-time experience coordinator who arranges didactic experiences, supervised practice sites and preceptors; helps develop rotation experiences that meet competency requirements and provide meaningful activities for interns; and serves as an advisor to interns in the program. .
  • 9 months of full time (40 hours/week) supervised practice and didactic experiences from late August through early May .
  • 18 hours of graduate level credit for practicum experiences (9 in fall and 9 in spring)
  • Part of a campus community with access to career development, technology, library and financial aid services and with the availability of educational, recreational and spiritual activities
  • On-campus apartment-style housing and university dining meal-plans available to interns

2014-15 Schedule:

Aug. 25, 2014 - May 15, 2015 

Holiday breaks:
Thanksgiving Nov. 26-30
Christmas Dec 24, 2014 -Jan 4, 2015
Good Friday April 3, 2015.

NOTE: Because of the supervised practice hour requirements, dietetic interns holiday breaks do not always coincide with Bluffton University undergraduate holiday schedule.

Graduate credit:

All interns who maintain their supervised practice hours and complete appropriate activities and projects as assigned will receive 18 hours of graduate-level experience credit. The courses are as follows:
Fall semester:  
Spring semester:
Prerequisites: All dietetics interns are required to have successfully completed an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited undergraduate Didactic Program in Dietetics and obtained a baccalaureate degree. 


Course descriptions:

Note: All courses are taken on a credit/no credit basis.
NTR 501 Practicum in Clinical Nutrition 1    (3 credits)
Development and integration of clinical nutrition knowledge, skills and competency requirements in clinical settings. Credit/no credit.
NTR 502 Practicum in Food Systems Management 1   (3 credits)
Development and integration of knowledge, skills and competencies in food systems management practice settings. Credit/no credit.
NTR 503 Practicum in Community Nutrition/Public Health Nutrition 1   (3 credits) 
Development and integration of community and public health nutrition knowledge, skills and competency requirements in varied community and public health settings. Credit/no credit.
NTR 504 Practicum in Clinical Nutrition 2   (3 credits) 
Continuation of the development and integration of clinical nutrition knowledge, skill and competency requirements in clinical practice settings. Credit/no credit.
NTR 505 Practicum in Food Systems Management 2   (3 credits) 
Continuation of the development and integration of knowledge, skills and competency requirements in food systems management practice settings. Credit/no credit.
NTR 506 Practicum in Community Nutrition/Public Health Nutrition 2   (3 credits) 
Continuation of the development and integration of community nutrition and public health nutrition knowledge, skills and competency requirements in community and public health settings Credit/no credit.

Admissions process:

The following are the criteria for admission to the Dietetics Internship Program (see the website for the due date):]
  • Completion of a Dietetic Internship Centralized Application without previously being matched to a dietetics internship program participating in DICAS
  • Submission of a copy of the complete DICAS application with verification statement from DPD program, personal statement, resume and 3 letters of recommendation*
  • Transcripts sent to Dietetics Internship Experience Coordinator      
  • Payment of application fee


 * New copies of personal statement, resume and letters of reference may be requested to be submitted to Bluffton University's Dietetics Internship Experience Coordinator if items within the DICAS application are unusable or if  the information needs to be updated to be applicable to Bluffton's internship program.
A selection committee comprised of internship preceptors, alumni, dietetics program professors and the internship Experience Coordinator will select eight interns and two alternates from the pool of eligible applicants. Selection is based on personal statements, references, didactic dietetic and overall academic ability, related work experience, volunteer and leadership experience and the applicant s overall match with the emphasis and nature of Bluffton s dietetic internship.
Once selected, Bluffton University interns must contact the experience coordinator to accept their internship position and complete the following:

Completion requirements:

In order to complete the dietetics internship, interns must demonstrate the achievement of knowledge and performance requirements for entry-level dietitians through a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice and appropriate didactic experiences. In order to do this, interns must complete all activities successfully as assigned by the experience coordinator or within each supervised practice rotation, receive a rating of exceptional or competent in all areas as evaluated by preceptors on ACEND Competency Evaluation Forms, maintain rotation hours verification records and weekly log of conditions and populations served and record a journal of their supervised practice experiences.
For interns who successfully complete the dietetic internship, the experience coordinator or dietetic program director will submit a completed registration eligibility application to the Commission on Dietetic Registration via on-line process and mail supporting documents that will permit them to sit for the dietetic registration exam.


Dietetic internship tuition and fees for 2012-13:

Application fee (non-refundable, $50 pre-paid)   $50*
Tuition (2 Semesters Practicum w/18 credit hours) $15,000
Technology fee ($100 per semester) $200
Campus Parking Permit ($10 additional for second vehicle) $50
Optional campus housing in Elm St. or Schultz Hall
(private rooms $1890/semester or small rooms
Optional campus dining meal plan
     - 15 Meal Plan $2375/semester
     - 10 Meal Plan $2275/semester
     - Commuter Meal Plan $900/semester
Optional Student Health Insurance $1500
* The dietetic internship application fee is submitted with the application materials and will not appear as a part of the intern student account.
Additional costs:
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership ($50)
  • Professional Liability insurance ($20-60)
  • BCI and FBI background check ($60)
  • Flu shot for current season ($20-30)
  • Two lab coats (up to $80)
  • Books and supplies ($200-400)
Interns are expected to provide for their own housing and living expenses, transportation (with the exception of travel to MDS site rotation), physical examination and individual health insurance. Optional campus intern housing, meal plans and student health insurance is available through the university at the costs listed above. 

Financial aid/payment options:

While interns are not eligible for federal student financial aid, private education loans are available and interns are eligible for student loan deferment during the dietetics internship. As a Bluffton University student, dietetic interns also have the following payment plan options available:

Semester plan: The intern s costs are divided into 2 semester installments. The basic tuition/fee cost for each semester is $7,600, with $15 parking pass paid during the first semester. The first payment is due Aug. 20, 2012, the second semester payment is due on or before Jan. 2, 2013.

Monthly payment plan: The intern s total bill for tuition and fees is divided up into 10 equal installments due the first of each month, beginning in July 2012. There is a $25 per semester participation fee which is incorporated in this amount. For students receiving financial aid, the initial payment and the monthly installments will be calculated individually.

Note there is a penalty for late payment: An account is considered past due 30 days from the date of billing. Interest on past due accounts is computed at 1% per month (12% APR) from the date of billing until the payment is paid in full.
Effective August 2012
Updated July 2014