dietetic Frequently asked questions

We typically receive between 160- 200 applications. We are a large nationwide program and are approved to accept up to 45 interns annually.

The dietetic internship program participates in the preselect round which takes place in January of each year. Only graduates and current nutrition students (Didactic Program in Dietetics, Master of Science in Human Nutrition, or PhD in Nutrition Science) at the University of Delaware are eligible to apply during the preselect round of admissions. Admission is on a competitive basis. Once the position is accepted by the student, he/she cannot apply for other internship programs. We generally place approximately 17 students in the preselect round, leaving approximately 28 positions available for the computer matching round in February.

Our program considers a variety of factors including grades, relevant work or volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and the interview. It is recommended that you have an overall GPA and major GPA of at least a 2.75 in order to be accepted into the internship. Students with a lower GPA may be accepted with strong work or volunteer experience and demonstrated test-taking skills (ex: graduate coursework and/or successful completion of the NDTR exam). Please be sure to investigate the program to which you are applying to assure that it is a good fit for you.

We take great pride in the quality of our dietetic internship program!  Our distance and local options are exactly the same except the distance students secure their own preceptors.  Both local and distance interns follow the same accredited curriculum and receive supervision, guidance and support from our dedicated internship faculty.

Students have reapplied to our program and have been accepted after implementing suggestions for strengthening their application. If you do not receive an internship match, the best advice is to contact the program director and discuss your application materials. General advice; take graduate classes and/or obtain work experience.

Yes, it is possible that extensive work experience may be substituted for some rotation hours. We offer partial or rarely full exemption(s) from rotations depending on the type of experience. Once accepted into the internship, instructions for applying for prior assessed learning (PAL) credit are given. No PAL credit will be given for the clinical nutrition rotation.

The only time you need to travel to campus is for the one week orientation in mid-July. This is true for local and distance students.

The only difference between the local and distance options is that internship faculty will plan your schedule in Delaware for the local program. Distance interns are responsible for securing their own preceptors. Both programs utilize the same curriculum and support by our dedicated internship faculty. 

Most of the interns are placed in the northern part of the State (New Castle County) since the majority of practice sites are located in northern Delaware. We survey local interns to identify preferences, but internship faculty ultimately determines your rotation sites. Please note, if you apply and are accepted into the local program, your rotations will be in and around the State of Delaware.

Yes, but care should be taken to ensure that you are not performing your regular work duties on internship time. They must be kept separate. Internship activities are tracked carefully throughout the internship.

It is most appropriate to talk with the person who is most likely to be your preceptor, i.e. Clinical Nutrition Manager, Food Service Director or WIC supervisor. Do not be surprised if they do not agree right away. They may need to get administrative approval or talk with other staff prior to agreeing to sponsor you. Suggestions include: Send a letter of request along with your resume; follow-up with a phone call to make an appointment; offer to meet with them in person.

If another staff member is not available to take over as preceptor, then you will need to find another facility to complete the rotation requirements. You will be given time to find a replacement.

Once you are accepted into the program, you should begin to secure the remainder of the facilities for your internship experience. We expect rotations to be in place by May 31 of the year in which you are accepted.

No, small community hospitals can be acceptable sites for this rotation. You may be more likely to find these smaller facilities agreeable to sponsor you. An internship may already be in place in a larger hospital. We have not found any difference in pass rate on the RD exam or job placement as a result of completing the clinical rotation in a smaller facility.

Generally, distance programs service students who are location bound due to personal and work obligations. However, we have several new graduates who have been applying to our program as well. Some of the benefits include:

  • Not having to relocate for an internship which often times is less than a year in duration.
  • Network in your own community.
  • Select an area in the country to which you would like to relocate.
  • Many of our graduates have been offered a position as a result of the internship.
  • Planning your own schedule and selecting your own facilities.

Graduates are able to use the materials they accumulated in their internship to study for the registration exam. All interns are required to complete assignments using RD Exam preparation software. In addition, you will receive information on other resources to help you prepare for the RD Exam.

The Registration Examination for Dietitians is taken after you have successfully completed the dietetic internship. For more information on the exam, visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration website. The registration exam is offered in a computer based format and is administered by Pearson Vue at testing centers throughout the U.S.