Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true you offer two concentration areas of your internship?

It is true! The University of Minnesota Dietetic Internship (U of M DI) Program has two concentrations. We have an eating disorders concentration in affiliation with The Emily Program (referred to as our ED-TEP concentration). In addition, we have a medical nutrition therapy (MNT) concentration in affiliation with Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Health.

When does the next class of interns begin?

The Class of 2018-2019 will begin orientation on September 10, 2018. Graduation will be May 24, 2019.

What is the preselect option?

We have a preselect option for each concentration area, granting early admission to qualified University of Minnesota students.

We currently give priority to eligible U of M graduate students for our ED-TEP concentration. The number of slots available for graduate students varies each year. In recent years, we have averaged about five, with the remainder of the 15 positions open for spring computer matching.

We accept early applications to fill up to six of ten slots available in the MNT concentration, giving priority to eligible University of Minnesota students. For eligibility, the U of M student must have both of the following:

  1. Baccalaureate degree earned or expected from the University of Minnesota and
  2. DPD verification or intent to complete from the University of Minnesota

What kind of curriculum does the U of M DI program offer?

The U of M DI curriculum is planned to provide learning activities that meet all of the competencies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation (ACEND).

ACEND Standards require dietetic internships to include at least one program-defined concentration that builds on the core competencies. We actually have two concentrations that meet this requirement. This means that we provide additional competencies to build on the required core competencies in the area of Eating Disorders or Medical Nutrition Therapy. We still provide learning activities in the areas of community nutrition, foodservice management, and others, but also develop additional depth necessary for future proficiency in the concentration area.

What is the first time RD exam pass rate for your program graduates?

97 percent of our program graduates over the past 5-year period have successfully passed the RD exam on the first attempt.

What is a “typical day” like during the internship?

No two days are alike. Interns will be at a variety of sites with different preceptors throughout the program, offering each intern the opportunity to have a multitude of experiences. The internship program is full-time, 37 weeks in duration, with interns working approximately 40 hours each week. Scheduling for each day will vary depending on the site and rotation assigned.

What projects are interns involved in throughout the internship?

Many! And, they may change from year to year depending upon opportunity. In addition, each intern will get a chance to participate in creating, implementing, and/or promoting a special project or coordinating and hosting a special event for The Emily Program or Fairview/MHealth.

How do you measure intern progress?

Progress is measured by preceptor and intern feedback, mid-/end-point rotation evaluations, self-evaluations and Internship Director feedback. Frequent meetings and conferences occur with the Internship Director / DI Team, as well as mid-year and year-end evaluations. Interns will also provide peer evaluations/feedback for each other. Additionally, the Internship Director is always available for concerns, questions, and guidance.

Are the sites for rotations in the same vicinity or do I have to travel to other cities?

Most sites are located within a 35-mile vicinity of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Keep in mind, depending upon where you live, your drive may be closer or farther to rotation sites. Interns are required to provide their own transportation and be able to drive to the sites. Public transportation is not adequate. Parking will vary at every site.

Is there a class day for interns?

Yes, and it is a favorite among interns! Special speakers, intern case studies and RD examination preparation are examples of class subjects. Class day also allows interns to share experiences, stories, and have a few laughs.

How much do interns work with each other during the internship?

Interns will work independently during the majority of rotations; several allow for collaboration with other interns.

Can I obtain financial aid for this internship?

Interns who are current U of M Graduate Students are considered “enrolled students” as long as they do not graduate. Other interns, unless enrolled elsewhere for other reasons, cannot qualify for federal financial aid assistance because this program is not certified by the U.S. Department of Education for eligibility for Title IV student financial aid. However, interns may be able to defer existing student loans.

If necessary, a letter stating your placement in the dietetic internship program can be provided; please contact the Internship Director if needed.

Do you survey current interns and graduates of your program on their approval rating of this internship?

Our program continually evolves. We are committed to program reviews, modifications, enrichment, and growth! Included in this process, program evaluations are completed by interns upon graduation and one-year later. Additionally, we survey employers of graduates to seek any additional areas for program changes. Furthermore, feedback regarding the DI is also elicited from preceptors and both internal and external constituents throughout the Program.

Contact Us

Couldn't find the answer to your question? Contact us:

Carolyn M. Peterson MS, RD, LD, CSSD
Director, University of Minnesota Dietetic Internship

Department of Food Science and Nutrition
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
225 Food Science & Nutrition
1334 Eckles Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108-1038

Phone: 612-625-5285
Fax: 612-625-5272