Being a dietetics student at Bluffton University means taking a challenging curriculum in which you'll learn the scientific foundation knowledge and skills that prepare you for a dietetic internship. All of our students receive practical experience in hospitals and the community while at Bluffton. A post-graduation dietetic internship is a required step to becoming a registered and licensed dietitian. There are approximately 280 dietetic internships (also known as supervised practice programs) across the United States.
All dietetic internships are required to follow requirements of the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education of the American Dietetic Association and provide a foundation of experiences in clinical dietetics, community dietetics and food service management. A listing of all dietetic internships is available online or from the dietetics program director.
Internship placement is highly competitive. Students begin the formal application process as seniors. Individual guidance can be obtained from the dietetics program director. Be advised that no dietetics program can guarantee that you will be accepted into an internship. However, to increase your chances, you are advised to pay attention to the following, beginning with your first year of college.
- Earn good grades. An undergraduate grade point average of at least a 3.0 GPA is needed to be competitive. The higher the GPA, the better chance a student may have of gaining entrance into an internship.
- Gain relevant work experience. Paid work in the food service industry such as cooks and cooks assistants, servers, cashiers, cleaning and general workers can be beneficial.
- Gain dietetic-related volunteer experiences. Examples include assisting with health-related events at a local hospital or assisting with events sponsored by the health department.
- Get involved in extracurricular activities. Gaining leadership experience in your extracurricular activities can increase your interpersonal skills.
The more specific "Guide to the Dietetic Internship Application Process" is a detailed description of the application process. Beginning in September of the last academic year, the dietetics program director will meet with all students anticipating graduation and application to internships. The student is strongly encouraged to follow the process and timeline outlined.