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The curriculum is delivered in several ways:

  • A mandatory three-day online orientation period. The orientation provides interns with administrative details of the program, Professional Development, and Community Nutrition.
  • For MSDI students, the first 2 years of the program consists of online coursework. Graduate courses must be completed prior to the start of the internship portion of the program. 
  • For dietetic interns not completing the MSDI: Two online courses in medical nutrition therapy and foodservice management totaling four academic credits. These courses are completed in the two weeks prior to orientation. The courses are designed to orient interns to the program standards of practice and to ensure that each intern has the resources to attain competence in each area of study / practice.
  • An online pre-assessment is completed at the beginning of the program to provide interns with the opportunity to evaluate their basic knowledge and to assist in improving their test-taking skills.
  • The “Required Competencies and Assignments” must be completed by all interns. The required competencies and assignments are completed during a specific rotation (Ex: you will complete all required competencies and assignments for your clinical rotation as you complete the hours).
  • A minimum of 1000 practice hours. Rotations are completed in four different areas: clinical, food service, community, and area of concentration. Rotations must provide learning activities to attain the breadth and depth of the core competencies and concentration competencies. Learning activities throughout the rotation areas must prepare interns to implement the Nutrition Care Process with various populations and diverse cultures across the life cycle including infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant/lactating individuals and older adults. Learning activities must use a variety of educational approaches necessary for delivery of curriculum content to meet learner needs and facilitate learning objectives.

    • A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a clinical rotation(s), with both inpatient and outpatient hours. Your clinical inpatient preceptor must be an RD. Ideally, more than one preceptor in your schedule will be an RD, such as a clinical outpatient RD. At least one hospital must be JCAHO approved. You must secure a hospital that offers acute care with 80 or more beds.  Learning activities should prepare interns for professional practice with patients/clients with various conditions, including, but not limited to overweight and obesity; endocrine disorders; cancer; malnutrition and cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and renal diseases.

    • A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a food service rotation. Examples of food service facilities are: hospitals, school nutrition programs, non-profit organizations, LTC facilities, and educational institutions.

    • A minimum of 300 hours (maximum 400 hours) must be completed in a community rotation(s). Examples of community facilities are: WIC, Head Start, Senior Nutrition program, Corporate/Employee wellness, Public Health Department, etc.

    • A minimum of 100 hours (maximum 200 hours) must be completed in an area of concentration, Nutrition Education & Counseling or Management.

    • A minimum of 40 hours (maximum 80 hours) must be completed in a Long Term Care (LTC) facility as part of your clinical hours OR your foodservice non-hospital hours.

  • Homework hours are not considered part of the required 1,000 supervised practice hours and all interns are required to complete specific assignments outside of practice hours.
  • Of the 1,000 practice hours, a total of 200 hours may be completed remotely in virtual rotations (not including orientation). 
  • The remaining supervised practice hours must be completed in-person.
  • Interns are expected to reside in the United States and complete thier supervised practice in the country. 
  • No credit is given toward supervised practice hour requirements for prior experience. 
  • The achievement of competencies is documented through the use of Rotation Evaluation Forms.
  • Domain Examinations are taken online in order to assist in preparation of the Registered Dietitian Certification Exam.
  • Completion of on-going surveys of the UNC dietetic internship will be expected throughout your experience.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a 3-day mandatory online orientation (last week in June)
  • If you attended the MSDI, the Master of Science degree in Dietetics will be awarded after completion of the entire program, including graduate coursework and the internship year. 
  • If you did not attend the UNCO MSDI, you will complete two online review graduate level classes, FND 510 (Foodservice management) and FND 512 (Medical Nutrition Therapy)
  • Complete 20 credit hours of FND 592
  • Complete a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised practice
  • Tuition paid in full
  • Successfully complete all CRDNs (score of 3 or higher)
  • A confirmed graduate degree if you did not attend UNCO MSDI
    • Must earn a graduate degree prior to receiving a Verification Statement of Completion from DI Director. You have 12 months after the completion of the supervised practice component to submit a completed graduate degree.
  • Uphold the COE and SOPP
  • Completion of an exit survey