DIETETIC INTERNSHIP FAQ’S
How many applications do you typically receive?
Last year, we received over 200 applications. We are a large nationwide program and are approved to accept up to 45 interns annually.
Do you give preference to University Of Delaware students?
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 or Master of Science in Human Nutrition) at the University of Delaware are eligible to apply during the preselect round of admissions. Admission is on a competitive basis. Most, if not all, local spots are typically filled during the preselect round. 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.
What factors are considered for acceptance into your program?
Our program considers a variety of factors including grades, work or volunteer experience, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and occasionally a telephone 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 DTR exam). Please be sure to investigate the program to which you are applying to assure that it is a good fit for you.
Are distance-based programs as good as local programs?
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.
What if I don't get accepted into the internship, do you have any advice?
Students have reapplied to our program and have been accepted. 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.
Do you give credit for prior work experience?
Yes, it is possible that extensive work experience may be substituted for a rotation. We offer full or partial 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.
How often do I need to travel to the University Of Delaware Campus?
The only time you need to travel to campus is for the one week orientation in mid-August. This is true for local and distance students.
How does the local program differ from the distance program?
This is an Internet-based internship and therefore it is managed using an online course management system. The only difference between the local and distance options is that internship faculty will plan your schedule for the local program. Distance interns are responsible for securing their own preceptors. Please note that the majority of local program spots are filled during the pre-select round of admissions.
Can I select my own rotations for the local option?
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.
Can I complete any of my rotations in the facility in which I currently work?
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.
How do I approach a facility? Who should I talk to?
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.
What if I am accepted into the program and one of my facilities backs out?
You will be given time to find another facility.
What if something happens to my preceptor during my rotation? What would happen to me?
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.
When I apply to the program, I only need to have a clinical and a community facility planned. When do I need to make my other contacts for the other rotations?
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.
Does my clinical rotation need to be completed in a major medical center?
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.
What are some of the benefits of applying to an Internet based Internship?
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.
How do I prepare for the Registration Exam for Dietitians?
Graduates of dietetic internships are able to use the materials they accumulated in their internships to study for the registration exam. All interns are required to complete the Jean Inman RD Exam Review Course during the on-campus orientation week. In addition, you will receive information on other resources to help you prepare for the RD Exam.
When do I take the Registration Examination for Dietitians?
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.