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Program Mission

The Dietetic Internship program mission at the University of Northern Colorado will prepare graduates to become entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who have the acquired knowledge to enrich the community through professional practice under the professional code of ethics, and remain life-long learners that is supported by evidence based research and leadership activity.

Our application and selection process utilizes a holistic screening approach where we consider key elements of the whole person in addition to using traditional measures such as academic achievements and GPA.  It is important to us that we accept individuals who will enrich our program's mission to be life-long learners and who will strengthen the dietetics profession by engaging in leadership activities and roles.

General Information

The UNC Program:

  • Accepts up to 30 interns each year and 30 MSDI students each year.
  • Is based on a distance education model and does not expect you to relocate to Greeley, Colorado. 
  • Supports interns in identifying sites for supervised practice through numerous modalities. The DI director and internship faculty and staff work to obtain new preceptors and maintain relationships with veteran preceptors, and supply contact information for these preceptors to the interns. Guidance on how to communicate with preceptors is provided in the form of sample emails and classes pertaining to professionalism. Office hours are held throughout the program to ensure that interns are continuously supported. 
  • Is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®).
  • Prepares graduates to be competent in entry-level dietitian positions.
  • Boasts a high post-internship employment rate and a high passing rate for first-time test takers on the Registration Exam.
  • Requires two online courses to be completed during the first two weeks of the internship, followed by a three-day online orientation. 
  • Requires interns to complete at least 1000 hours of supervised experiences in order to fulfill ACEND® requirements. This includes a minimum of 700 hours in professional work settings (on-site); a maximum of 300 hours can be alternate supervised experiences such as simulation, case studies, telehealth appointments with clients/patients, and role playing. 
  • Allows interns to arrange with preceptors to complete practice hours on a full-time or part-time basis.  This choice must be declared at the time of application on the Rotation Summary Form. Full-time interns are required to practice a minimum of 32 hours per week and no more than 40 hours/week. Part-time interns will practice a minimum of 20 hours per week.
  • Requires interns to complete the program within 8-10 months (full-time) or 14 months (part-time) of beginning rotations.
  • Requires interns to begin rotations no later than 4 weeks from the end of orientation. Exceptions to these rules are on a case-by-case basis after the intern has begun the program. Exceptions result from family emergencies, illness or other considerations and are negotiated with the Dietetic Internship Director.
  • Requires interns to attend student hours which will be held for up to 2 hours on Tuesdays. Timing of student hours is subject to change. If an intern is unable to attend, they must notify the DI director of their absence, watch the recorded student hours and write a summary on what was presented.
  • Recommends that interns check emails daily since this is the primary way to communicate with DI Director, Program Coordinator, and preceptors. Interns should respond to emails within 48 hours, Monday-Friday and within 24 hours if actively resolving an issue. Lack of appropriate communication and/or failure to follow the guidelines outlined in the handbook can result in a written warning, probation, or termination. 
  • Please read all information carefully since our application procedure differs from traditional internship programs.
  • Tracks retention through student learning outcome data and graduation verification of completion statements. Retention rates have been 100% over last 5 years. 

Graduate Outcomes

Program outcomes data are available upon request.