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About the Internship

Penn State's Dietetic Internship Program is a post baccalaureate, supervised practice program. Students who have completed a baccalaureate degree and hold a valid Verification Statement from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) may submit an application for consideration. The internship program, which began accepting postgraduate student in 2000, is structured according to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics 2012 Eligibility Requirements and Accreditation Standards.

Internship Class Size

The program currently is approved to accept up to ten interns per year.


The dietetic internship begins with orientation where interns are provided with an overview of their responsibilities, rotations, and expectations. Throughout the rotations, interns will receive constructive performance appraisals of their progress and potential areas of self-improvement. Additionally, interns have the opportunity to attend dietetic association meetings and seminars, participate in field trips and other activities that will enhance their professional development and leadership capabilities. Attendance at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Exhibition and Conference (FNCE) is a requirement of the internship.


Rotations for the Penn State internship are designed to provide interns with diverse experiences in the field of dietetics.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee considers the following in selecting successful candidates for The Pennsylvania State University:

  • Strength of undergraduate academic record (Overall GPA: 3.0; DPD GPA: 3.2 out of 4.0 scale)
  • Work experience in the field of dietetics and/or volunteer experience. A total of 500 hours in the previous 2 years with 300 of the 500 hours in a dietetics related field. (Summary of Work and Volunteer Experience)
  • A personal statement that is well written, indicates the individual is a team player, a life-long learner, and critical thinker. Please also include information about yourself that you think is valuable for the selection committee to know about you.
  • Three Letters of Reference as outlined in DICAS
  • On-site interviews

Successful candidates present a well-organized packet. Personal and phone interviews will be conducted in the selection process to assist the selection committee in clarifying information presented.

The Pennsylvania State University Dietetic Internship Program requires evidence of recent education in nutrition related coursework in medical nutrition therapy and community nutrition for all applicants considering admission to the traditional and ISPP internship programs. This is the equivalent of successful completion of at least six credits of coursework, within five years of admission to the program. All cases regarding recent education for potential applicants will be reviewed by the Dietetic Internship Selection Committee and Dietetic Internship Director.

Dietetic internship appointments are awarded without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, or military service. Marital status, age, and geographic area of the applicant are not considered.

Applicants may write to or call the director to discuss any conditions that might involve special accommodations; however, this is not a requirement for admission and will not be considered in the selection process.

Graduation Requirements:

The Dietetic Internship prepares interns to be successful in the profession of dietetics. Every effort will be made to assist each intern to the successful completion of the program. However, the intern must assume responsibility for satisfactory completion of rotations, case studies, and other assigned work based on the attainment of defined competencies. Therefore, requirements for graduation are:

  1. Successful completion of assigned rotations as outlined with grading criterion and evaluations.
  2. Membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
  3. Upon successful completion of the internship, interns will be given a Verification Statement from the Director of the Program.


The overriding consideration when designating a concentration area for the dietetic internship was the philosophy and mission of the program. The strength of the various sites, facilities, and preceptors of the Penn State program led to the Leadership in Diverse Practice concentration which stakeholders believed best reflected the nature, vision, and mission of the internship.


The Pennsylvania State University Dietetic Internship program has been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The next Accreditation Review is scheduled for November, 2019.

ACEND, 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000 Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995. Phone: 1-800-877-1600 Ex. 5400; 312-899-0040 Ext. 5400. Date of next review: 2018. E-mail:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics