Course Catalog

Dietetic Internship Program


The Department of Nutrition offers an accredited dietetic internship program to prepare baccalaureate nutrition graduates for entry-level dietetic practice and eligibility for the registration examination. The internship is offered both as a stand-alone internship and combined with our master’s degree in an MSDI program. There are two concentrations available within the dietetic internship, including a concentration in community dietetics practice, health promotion, and wellness, and an accredited concentration in the treatment of eating disorders.
Up to twelve students may be accepted into our full-time standalone internship program. Up to another twelve students may be accepted into our combined MSDI track. Our students benefit from rotations in acute care, food service, public health, community health, state government-based or non-profit nutrition, counseling and education and research and professional practice.
As noted, we have two accredited concentrations within the dietetic internship. All interns are placed into our community nutrition, health promotion and wellness concentration upon accepting the match. In this concentration, our students learn to practice based on evidence-based research, using culturally and economically sensitive standards of practice. This concentration’s focus is on providing nutritional interventions which emphasize wellness promotion and disease prevention and management.
Students in the MSDI or who have previously taken NUTR 420 (Treatment of Eating Disorders), may choose to apply to the treatment of eating disorders concentration. Acceptance into the eating disorder concentration is based on space available and an application process to determine fit for the program. In this concentration, students spend 8-16 weeks in eating disorder treatment rotations in a variety of settings from in-patient to private practice. All students in this concentration must take NUTR 420 in addition to completing a minimum of 8 weeks in eating disorder treatment rotations.
Because of new operational standards of practice, the field of dietetics is constantly evolving. Students who complete either concentration of the dietetic internship program graduate as entry level practitioners ready to take the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. 

Learning Outcomes

For the program mission, goals and outcomes please see: programs/dietetic-internship-program

Admission Requirements

To be eligible to apply to the Dietetic Internship Program, applicants must hold at least an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or from an institution of higher education abroad which is recognized by the Ministry of Education in the home country. Additionally, the applicant must have completed the requisite courses from an ACEND-approved Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), and have a verification statement of completion from their DPD Director.

Admission Decisions and Matching Process: 
Matching Process: The Matching Day will occur through the DND Digital website in April 2021 and personal match results will be available to applicants.


Delivery Modes Available 

Both the DI and MSDI are full time programs. While the MS portion can be done online, students must be within driving distance of Simmons in order to complete the supervised practice portion



Program Requirements

Acute Care/Clinical Rotation (11 weeks) 

Interns are placed in a hospital setting, preferably a community teaching hospital. Affiliating hospitals offer a variety of services to ensure a well-rounded and varied experience. Interns gain experience in nutrition screening, charting, developing nutrition care plans, enteral and parenteral nutrition, and interacting with patients and health care professionals. They start their experience by working on simpler tasks and advancing to more complex tasks as their experience proceeds.  


Food Service Rotation (4 weeks) 

Interns are assigned to a community-based food service location to complete their food service requirements. The location may be a school food service, community hospital, long term care food service, or any other community-based organization that will provide an appropriate experience. Students learn how a foodservice operation functions and begin to develop managerial skills through observation and practice. Students also become familiar with the nutritional procedures and forms that are required by state and federal mandates in various facilities. 

Community Rotations (16 weeks for Community Nutrition Concentration, fewer for eating disorder concentration)

Interns are placed in a variety of community settings including community health centers, hospital outpatient departments, state and local public health agencies, food banks, and government agencies. Placement occurs based on preferences expressed by the incoming intern, ability to access a site based on the intern’s available transportation, and achievement of a balance of exposures to different demographic groups with consideration of factors such as age, socio-economic status, and ethnicity.

Professional Practice Rotations (1-2 weeks)

Interns will have the opportunity to choose a practice setting for their professional practice experience and set up their own rotation based on their interests.

Eating Disorder Concentration Rotations (8-16 weeks required for the eating disorder concentration)

Interns accepted into the concentration on treatment of eating disorders will spend approximately 12 weeks in specialty rotations that serve clients in treatment for an eating disorder. Interns will experience different levels of care which may include: hospitalized inpatient, residential programs, partial hospitalization programs, outpatient programs, and private practice. The exact number of weeks may change based on site availability, as well as the intern’s interests and professional goals. Interns will receive professional supervision from experts in treatment of eating disorders while in their specialty rotations.

Licensure, certification, etc.

The Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Our students complete this program as entry level practitioners ready to take the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. Once they have passed the RD exam, they are eligible for licensure states with licensure laws.