Immaculata’s full-time dietetic internship, currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, will give you 1,008 hours of supervised practice in a hospital, food service and community settings with an emphasis in cultural competence and diversity in dietetics practice. The dietetic internship includes coursework that fulfills requirements for your master’s degree, prepares you for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam, and will help you secure a job in the field of nutrition and dietetics.
Following the successful completion of the supervised practice portion of the internship, you will receive a verification statement that will be submitted to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for eligibility to take the national registration examination to be a registered dietitian nutritionist.
This Dietetic Internship and RDN credential meet the educational and supervision requirements for licensure in the state of Pennsylvania. Students from other states should check their licensure/certification boards.
This full-time internship begins in late August and can be completed in approximately 10 months.
Please review the minimum qualifications and submit your application materials no later than the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) deadline.
Internship Mission and Goals
The mission of the Immaculata Dietetic Internship is to prepare interns to meet the standards of performance for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionists; to promote a spirit of leadership and participation in service to the profession of dietetics and to the community; to encourage them to engage in lifelong learning; and with an emphasis on Cultural Competence and Diversity in Dietetics Practice, to empower them to assume useful and meaningful roles in a diverse world.
The mission of the DI is compatible with the mission of the university in encouraging lifelong learning and service. It is compatible with that of the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science in promoting a spirit of professional leadership.
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Goals and Outcomes
Goal #1: The program graduate will be competent for entry-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist practice.
- Objective 1a: The program’s first attempt pass rate on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
- Objective 1b: The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration examination within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80 percent.
- Objective 1c: 93 percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
- Objective 1d: 93 percent of program graduates will obtain a position in the dietetics profession within one year after completion of the internship.
- Objective 1e: 80 percent of program student’s complete internship program and graduate degree requirements within 36 months (150% of the program’s projected length of 24 months).
- Objective 1f: 80 percent of all program graduates’ employers will rank the level of preparation for entry-level practice as satisfactory or above.
Goal #2: The program graduate will promote the spirit of service and continued learning.
- Objective 2a: 20 percent of program graduates will actively participate in a professional organization within one year from program completion.
- Objective 2b: 50 percent of program graduates who do not already possess an advanced degree, will complete Immaculata’s Master’s Degree program within five years after the dietetic internship program completion.
- Objective 2c: 80 percent of program graduates will response “yes” or “yes, but” to feeling better prepared to lived and work in a culturally diverse environment on the annual Post-Dietetic Internship Alumni Survey.
The practice component of the internship is designed to respond to changes in the evolving profession of dietetics, to lead students to become translators of the theories and content of nutrition science to the public and other professionals, and to provide students with the opportunity to develop strong, appropriate entry-level dietetic performance skills through 1,008 hours of supervised practice in clinical dietetics, food service management, and community nutrition. The Internship begins in late August and can only be completed full-time.
Following the successful completion of the supervised practice portion of the internship and all graduate courses for the master’s degree, interns will receive verification statements, and their names will be submitted to the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for eligibility for the RDN registration examination.
The Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995, 800-877-1600, ext. 5400, a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education.
- Completion or anticipated completion of an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics
- Application and acceptance or pending acceptance to the College of Graduate Studies
- Completion of the Dietetic Internship application via DICAS and submission of required information to D&D Digital Systems for computer matching.
- Experience (paid or volunteer) in a food service or clinical setting
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.2 in DPD (on a 4.0 scale) *
- Current Immaculata University graduate students must have a minimum grade of “B” in required courses and a minimum GPA of 3.0.
*May be waived for a student who has completed at least 12 graduate credits with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
Suggested Achievements for Application
- 500-plus hours of experience (paid or volunteer) in clinical, food service and/or community nutrition setting
- 50+ hours shadowing a clinical or out-patient registered dietitian nutritionist
- Graduate coursework with excellent grades (A or A-)
- Fluency in a foreign language or American sign language
Selection is based on:
- Scholastic achievement
- Work experience
- Leadership ability
- Written communication skills
A selection committee reviews applications and interviews candidates to make the final selections.
Immaculata participates in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System. Applicants (DICAS) must submit their application via the DICAS portal. Information on GRE scores is not required and is not considered in Immaculata’s intern selection process. Completing the section on Awards, Experience, and Volunteer Activities is not required, but information entered will be used in evaluating applicants.
Graduate school admission will be determined through DICAS application materials for internship candidates except pre-selected interns.
DICAS and Computer Matching
All applicants to Immaculata University’s M.S.+DI combined program must submit their application via DICAS. The fee is $40 for the first application + $20 for each additional application. The application must be completed by February 15. The resume and personal statement of candidates who are accepted will be provided to their clinical and foodservice preceptors.
All applicants to Immaculata University’s M.S.+DI combined program must also participate in computer matching. A $55 fee is charged by D&D Digital Systems for this service. Applicants can register online with D&D Digital to prioritize their dietetic internship preferences. The deadline is 11:59 PM CST on February 15.
Pre-selection Process for IU undergraduate nutrition students
Immaculata University’s undergraduate nutrition students may apply for the two-year M.S. in Clinical Nutrition with Dietetic Internship program (the M.S.+DI combined program) in the last year of their B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program.
Applications must be submitted by Oct. 1 and include the following materials:
- 2 recommendation letters
- Essay stating your personal goals and qualifications for the M.S.+DI combined program
To be pre-selected for the M.S.+DI combined program, you must:
- Anticipate completion of an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics
- Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.2 in DPD (on a 4.0 scale)
Suggested Achievements for Application
- 150-plus hours of experience (paid or volunteer) in clinical, food service and/or community nutrition setting or shadowing a clinical or out-patient registered dietitian nutritionist
- Anticipated 300-plus hours of experience (paid or volunteer) upon earning the DPD verification
- Fluency in a foreign language or American sign language
- An interview will be conducted by Nov. 15, and a decision will be announced by Dec. 1. Up to 8 students can be pre-selected each year.
NED 659 Preparation for Internship (3 credits, pass/fail grading)
Requires acceptance into the Dietetic Internship Program. Provides an orientation to the internship process and requirements, and overview of topics and skills that will be applied to the internship experience. (Fall semester)
NED 662-664 Internship Experience in Nutrition I, II, III (3 credits each, pass/fail grading)
Includes a seminar class and placement as a full-time dietetic intern in a hospital/community setting (total of 1,200 hours). (Fall, spring and full summer semesters respectively for full-time interns. Fall, spring, full summer and fall respectively for part-time interns.)
ROTATION DESCRIPTIONS Clinical (70 days)
During the clinical rotation, interns progress from screening and assessing patients to providing medical nutrition therapy to patients with complex medical conditions. Interns function as members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team. The rotation culminates in staff relief when the intern performs as an entry-level dietitian. Major projects include completion of two case studies. The clinical rotation is completed in acute care hospitals or medical centers and includes at least two days of outpatient and four days of clinical pediatrics.
Foodservice (45 days)
The foodservice rotation provides experience in all aspects of foodservice operations and management. The interns participate in all foodservice sub-systems including procurement, production, distribution, service, and sanitation. Interns function as members of the management team through their involvement in employee training programs, human resource functions, quality control and customer satisfaction. Major projects include the development and implementation of a product, program or service plan and the completion of a QI project.
Community (27 days)
The community rotation provides exposure to the role of the dietitian in providing nutrition education, medical nutrition therapy, and management in non-acute care settings. Interns work in long-term care facilities, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinics, school districts and supermarkets. The final eight days are at a setting (with the approval of the internship director) of the intern’s choice.
Interns are usually assigned to one facility for both the clinical and food service rotations. However, occasionally an intern may complete these rotations at different facilities. The following hospitals have been used as supervised practice facilities within the past few years. The sites may change yearly. Clinical and Food Service Facilities
- Abington Memorial Hospital
- Chester County Hospital
- Cooper Hospital University Medical Center
- Crozer-Chester Medical Center
- Lancaster General Hospital
- Lower Bucks Hospital
- Mercy Philadelphia Hospital
- Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center
- Pennsylvania Hospital
- Phoenixville Hospital
- The Reading Hospital and Medical Center
- Riddle Memorial Hospital
- Temple University Health System
- Veterans Administration Medical Center
- School districts
- Long-term care facilities
- Giant Supermarket
- Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Clinics
- Intern’s choice
The dietetic interns are divided into six tracks whether they have completed the required graduate coursework, whether they have previous clinical work experience, and what scheduling constraints practice facilities have.
- Tracks A and B: For students who are full-time and have completed the required graduate course work before beginning the internship. Track A begins in the foodservice rotation and B begins in the clinical rotation. Both tracks complete 27 days of the community rotation in the spring.
- Tracks C and D: For students who are accepted into the full-time program with verification but have not completed the required graduate coursework before beginning the internship. They take courses in the fall and complete 27 days of the community rotation. In early December they begin either the foodservice (C) or clinical (D) rotations.
- Tracks G and H: For either students that have completed the required graduate coursework or have not completed the required coursework. The student will start the internship in either food service (G) or clinical (H), complete 27 days of community and then finish the internship in either food service (H) or clinical (G).
All tracks complete eight days of a rotation of their choosing after completing the community, foodservice, and clinical rotations.
The internship fee for the fall, spring and full summer semesters is $260 per semester.
Tuition is $710 per credit. Check with the College of Graduate Studies for tuition and fee updates.
- Background checks are required for all interns. Cost is approximately $50 to $80.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership is $58.
- The cost for personal medical insurance will vary.
- Costs for transportation, parking, meals, physical examinations, lab coats, etc. will vary according to facility.
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR’s Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR’s website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program at Immaculata University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.