Program description

The Oregon State University Dietetic Internship (OSUDI) is one of a few dietetics internships with emphasis on the preparation of practitioners in senior care services. In addition, students can opt for a concentration in community and primary care nutrition practice.

All interns rotate through sites, with training provided primarily as one-on-one with preceptors. All core competencies and learning outcomes for Dietetic Internship Programs as specified in the 2017 ACEND Standards are met over the series of rotations.

The internship has two concentrations. One concentration, in senior nutrition care, provides interns with additional experience with the geriatric population in a variety of settings. Another concentration in community and primary care nutrition practice is met through rotations at OSU Extension, WIC programs, Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, University Housing and Dining, as well as primary care sites including Metropolitan Pediatrics, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, and Salem Health.


Program curriculum/schedule

The internship curriculum covers the required ACEND competencies and learning outcomes consistent with the 2017 Standards and with the following schedule:

  • Approximately 9.5 calendar months in supervised practice, didactic courses and staff relief beginning mid-September and going through June.
    • Two weeks of vacation over the December holiday,
    • Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving
    • The OSU recognized Memorial Day holiday
  • Didactic hours include
    • Orientation, professional meetings, didactic classes 1-2 times per month, and additional training/seminars as scheduled.
      • An orientation is included in the internship calendar.
      • Approximately two classes per month (6 hours each) from October through May with speakers, Nutrition Graduate Seminars, sharing of experiences, and development and implementation of a research project.
      • Projects, derived from competency statements for the supervised practice component of entry-level dietitian education programs, are planned at each rotation.
      • Interns also attend professional meetings such as the Oregon Academy Educational Conference and other appropriate meetings, events, or trade shows.
  • Supervised practice hours include
    • Various scheduled (6-7) rotation sites
      • Staff relief and choice rotations are planned at the end of the internship based on mutually (intern/preceptor) agreeable assignments.
    • Regular homework outside of the internship is a part of the curriculum.

The internship can be completed on a full-time basis in approximately 9.5 months (including planned experiences, orientation, didactic hours, vacation, and staff relief).

The schedule will be developed to have only one intern at a rotation site with minor exceptions where there may be overlap of interns, due to the length of the rotation.

The internship does not offer health insurance for the interns. Interns must provide their own health insurance throughout the internship, and are required to have it at some rotation sites.


Program rotation overview

The OSUDI program structure reflects the recognition that entry level Registered Dietitians (RD) require a diverse repertoire of skills to meet future practice needs.

Rotation sites include facilities encompassing long-term health care, Women Infant and Children’s Supplemental Food Program, sanitation and menu planning, school foodservice and community nutrition education programs. In addition, traditional acute care settings round out the program developing intern skill in nutrition care for individuals. Interns gain insights into traditional practice in clinical, community and foodservice services, as well as in innovation and newer practice areas such as primary care. They gain experience delivering food and/or nutrition services to pediatrics, adults, and geriatric populations in both preventative nutrition and treatment (medical nutrition therapy).


The OSUDI rotation sites

An intern will only rotate through 6-7 sites. Rotations are located throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley. All interns should expect some commuting. If you plan to move to Oregon for the internship, locating near Salem, OR would be most central for the majority of the rotations.

A typical intern schedule may include the following:

  • Clinical sites – 10 weeks
  • Primary care sites – 9 weeks
  • Community sites – 4 weeks
  • Foodservice sites – 4 weeks
  • Clinical Management – 2 weeks
  • Concentration (senior care or additional community): 4-6 weeks
  • Staff Relief/Intern Choice – 2 weeks


Intern completion requirements

Interns are evaluated using a competency-based rubric, which documents that each intern has achieved a “proficient” score (of 3 or higher) on all competencies and post-assessments. Site evaluations for interns are kept to ensure that all interns have met this requirement. This must be completed in order to earn a Verification Statement of completion. The director evaluates intern assessments, completes documents verifying completion and provides an exit interview for each intern. A signed Verification Statement documents completion and is sent in a timely manner to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to register interns for the RD exam.

Interns who do not complete assignments satisfactorily may be asked to extend the internship time until satisfactory completion can be attained and/or to re-do assignments.  Interns who are not proficient in specific competencies are told this during preceptor evaluation and the mid-year evaluation and may dictate the need to extend the internship rotation. Specific meetings with the director may be scheduled to ensure interns meet all internship requirements.

The DI director provides each student with the most current Credential Registration Management System (CRMS) Registration Eligibility Application documentation from the (CDR). These forms are also available online at

Information about program evaluations and outcomes, program rules and requirements, Program Support Services, Information Management, Grievance Procedures and Program Assessment for Interns can be found in the OSUDI Student Handbook and the OSU Academic Regulations and Academic Calendar. Interns are expected to conduct themselves according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Code of Ethics.