Program description

The Oregon State University Dietetic Internship 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

Program comparison between OSUDI (no degree DI) and MSN-PD (grad degree DI)

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  OSUDI Program
MS/DI Program
(combined internship/graduate degree)
Program Calendar 9.5 months long
September to June
22 months long
September Year 1 to June Year 2
Rotation Schedule September through June
40 hours per week
June (end of year 1) to March (year 2)
40 hours per week
Holidays/Vacations 2 weeks vacation over winter break, Thanksgiving and Friday after Thanksgiving, Memorial Day Follows OSU Academic Calendar during first year; during rotations (year 2), 2 weeks vacation over winter break, Thanksgiving and Friday after Thanksgiving
Didactic Hours Orientation, professional meetings (such as Oregon Academy Educational Conference), and monthly didactic classes Intern orientation, professional meetings (such as Oregon Academy Educational Conference)
Rotation sites 6-8 rotation sites plus staff relief and choice rotations 6-8 rotation sites plus staff relief and choice rotations
Graduate coursework None See details below
Capstone project None See details below

MS/DI Coursework and Schedule

(subject to change with schedule of offerings)

The MS/DI program curriculum is innovative in that the majority of coursework is offered online through OSU’s Ecampus. For the first two terms of the program, students can choose to live outside of Oregon. Starting in spring term of year 1, students will take on campus and hybrid courses at OSU and complete internship orientation. The internship rotations will then start summer term of year 1 and continue through to spring break of year 2. The majority of coursework planned during the internship rotations will be online. Students will then present their capstone project in spring year 2 and graduate in June.

Total program credit hours: 49-50

Year 1

Total year 1 credits: 38-39

Fall year 1

Living Location: Anywhere

Ecampus courses credit hours

  • H 524 Intro to BioStats 4
  • CITI On-line Research Program 0
  • NUTR 551 Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy 4
  • NUTR 505 Readings: Research Orientation 2
    (Choose research question. Research design and methods.)

Total credits: 10

Winter year 1

Living Location: Anywhere

Ecampus courses credit hours

  • NUTR 507 - Seminar 1
  • HHS 526 Linear Regression 2
  • NUTR 552 – Food/Nutr Program Management & Evaluation 4
  • NUTR 505 – Readings: Literature Review 1
    (Establish Methods)

Total credits: 8

Spring year 1

Living Location: Oregon

Hybrid courses credit hours

  • Elective 3 or 4
  • NUTR 617 Advances in Macronutrient Metab 3
  • NUTR 553 – Dietary Behavior and Counseling 4
  • NUTR 505 Readings 1
    (Journal club review of research related articles)

Total credits: 11-12

Summer year 1

Living Location: Oregon
Internship begins

Hybrid courses credit hours

  • H 533 Health Systems 3
  • NUTR 510 Field Experience -Internship 2
  • H 523 Foundations in Public Health 4

Total credits: 9


Year 2

Total year 2 credits: 11

Fall year 2

Living Location: Oregon

Ecampus courses credit hours

  • NUTR 510 Field Experience -Internship 2
  • NUTR 506 Capstone Research 2

Total credits: 4

Winter year 2

Living Location: Oregon

Ecampus courses credit hours

  • NUTR 510 Field Experience -Internship 2
  • NUTR 506 Capstone Research 2

Total credits: 4

Spring year 2

Living Location: Oregon

Ecampus courses credit hours

  • NUTR 506 Capstone Research 2
  • NUTR 507 Seminar 1

Total credits: 3

MS/DI Capstone Research Project

The expectations for the capstone scholarly endeavor are that the project must be a novel project, involving literature review and a scholarly presentation. The aim of the dietetics program is that the capstone project will be offered to the student as a choice of available practice-based projects, after being pre-identified by the Nutrition faculty and the internship preceptors. Students will begin efforts at searching the literature, considering methodological and human subject research project approval (as needed) early in their first year. The project may include data collection and analysis, taking place in a rotation site in an effort to evaluate the outcomes of care, effectiveness of treatment, service quality monitoring or evaluation or other project whereby the desired outcomes are manifested.

Presentation of the scholarly activity will involve writing a Capstone Report, following a format similar to a research paper. Presentation will involve a defense with presentation to the committee, and will be open to other faculty, students and the public. Presentations will take place in the spring term of the student’s second year.


Program rotation overview

The dietetic internship 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 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. Regular homework outside of the internship is a part of the curriculum.

Projects, derived from competency statements for the supervised practice component of entry-level dietitian education programs, are planned at each rotation.


The internship 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 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.