Our Dietetic Internship Program is designed for students who hold an undergraduate degree and have completed the didactic course requirements (through an accredited DPD program) as required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Up to twelve students are accepted into our full-time internship program. Our students benefit from rotations in acute care, food service, public health, community health, state government-based or non-profit nutrition, counseling and education and research and professional practice.

You'll focus on community nutrition, and health promotion and wellness. Our students build on evidence-based research — highlighting culturally and economically sensitive standards of practice, nutritional care and disease prevention.

Because of new operational standards of practice, the field of dietetics is constantly evolving. Our students complete this program as entry level practitioners ready to take the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam — and practice in community nutrition, health promotion, acute care and food service management.

Program Requirements

Students participate in seven supervised practice rotations over a 33-week period starting in September (with a 2-day orientation) and ending in May. The rotations are:

  • Clinical/acute care (10 weeks)
  • Food service (6 weeks)
  • Community (16 weeks)
  • Professional practice experience (1 week)

Required Courses for the Dietetic Internship

  • NUTR 451A and NUTR 451B Dietetic Internship: The weekly/biweekly seminar is included as part of NUTR 451 as well as the all-day joint internship classes.
  • NUTR 452 Nutrition Practice: Program Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation

Read the Dietetic Internship Student Handbook.

Customize Your Program

Simmons has two options for completing the dietetic internship. 

  • Up to twelve students are accepted into our full-time stand-alone internship program. This program is a 33-week program that includes all supervised practice hours and one course that may be applied for graduate credit. Students have the option of also applying to any of our graduate programs, but admission for any additional programs is separate. 
  • Starting in Fall 2018 (spring match cycle), up to twelve students will be accepted into our combined MSDI program in which students complete both the Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion and the dietetic internship over a two-year period (5 semesters including one summer). In this track, students will need to complete all supervised practice and master’s requirements before they may be issued a verification statement.  Students in this track can choose to complete the original research track in the Master’s in Nutrition and Health Promotion or the Entrepreneurship track. 

CONCENTRATIONS:

The Simmons dietetic internship offers two concentrations for dietitian interns. The main concentration is Community Nutrition, Health Promotion, and Wellness. In this concentration interns will complete rotations in community health centers, public health and wellness-focused settings. You'll focus on community nutrition, health promotion and wellness. Our students build on evidence-based research — highlighting culturally and economically sensitive standards of practice, nutritional care and disease prevention.

Approved as of summer 2017, interns may apply to complete the Treatment of Eating Disorders concentration in place of the Community nutrition concentration. All interns will automatically be enrolled in the community nutrition concentration unless they apply and are accepted into the eating disorder concentration.  Interns completing the Treatment of Eating Disorders concentration will complete rotations in a continuum of settings focused on the treatment of eating disorders. All interns in this track must take NUTR 420: Treatment of Eating Disorders in the fall semester and will complete their focused rotations in the spring.  
Faculty
Program Mission, Goals and Outcomes

Simmons College Dietetic Internship Program Mission: to graduate competent ethical entry level practitioners who build on evidence based research and standards of practice and standards of professional performance to provide nutritional care, health promotion and disease prevention that is culturally and economically sensitive. Our graduates will develop an appreciation for life-long learning to increase knowledge and enhance professional development.

Simmons College Dietetic Internship Program Goals
Since the profession of dietetics is built on a conceptual framework that is constantly changing as a result of the discovery of new operational principles, evidenced based research and standards of practice, the dietetic internship’s goals are:

Simmons College Program Goal #1
Prepare dietetic professionals for a career using their intellectual and clinical skills to function as an entry level practitioner.

Program Goal #1 Outcome Measures

  • Objective 1: Over a five year period, at least 80% of program graduates will take the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. 
  • Objective 2: Over a five year period, at least 80% of graduates will pass the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within one year following first attempt. 
  • Objective 3: 80% of graduates seeking employment in the field of dietetics and nutrition will be employed within 12 months of program completion.
  • Objective 4: 80% of employers will rate graduates as superior or strong in nutritional knowledge and professional skills compared with other entry level dietetics professionals.
  • Objective 5: 90% of interns enrolled in the DI program will complete the program requirements within 50 weeks, or 150% of the time planned for completion
  • Objective 6: 100% of graduates will rate themselves as being at least adequately prepared for the nutrition-related aspects of the position.

Simmons College Program Goal #2 
Prepare entry-level Dietetic Professionals to participate in continuous learning and professional development activities, and exhibit leadership.

Program Goal #2 Outcome Measures

  • Objective 1: 80% of graduates seeking acceptance to graduate programs in place of employment will enroll within 6 months of program completion.
  • Objective 2: 50% of graduates will indicate that they exhibit leadership skills by being actively involved in a professional organization or by implementing initiatives in their employment.

Supervised Practice Rotations

Clinical/Acute Care Rotation (10 weeks)
Students will be placed in a hospital setting, preferably a community teaching hospital. The hospital should offer a variety of services to ensure a well-rounded and varied experience. Students are expected to gain experience in nutrition screening, charting, developing nutrition care plans, enteral and parenteral nutrition, and interacting with patients and health care professionals.

Food Service Rotation (6 weeks)
Settings for the food service experience may include colleges, K-12 schools, hospitals, and/or long-term care. Under the supervision of a chef, RD manager, or other managers/supervisors, interns will participate in large scale food production, delivery of patient/client meal service, marketing and sales of food services, and management/training of human resources.  Interns participate in daily operations and work on projects related to department needs, such as conducting surveys, analyzing trends, updating systems, quality improvement, and development of policies and procedures.

Community Rotations (16 weeks)

Students spend time at a combination of places under this category, which has a wide variety of settings from which to choose. For example, an intern may spend 4 weeks at a community health center, 6 weeks with the department of public health combined with time at a local WIC program, 4 weeks with a private practice dietitian, and 2 weeks at a local food pantry. 

Students might rotate at a Boston area community health center which provides a multi-ethnic supervised practice experience. The assigned community health center is generally a non-profit, community-based organization that provides primary and preventive health care services to their communities, particularly the vulnerable and underserved populations. Students gain proficiency in providing nutrition counseling and education in an outpatient or community setting, with both individuals and groups, at these locations. 

Another place to gain counseling skills is with a wide variety of private practice nutrition professionals. Students can spend their time with a private practice dietitian, a fitness or wellness facility with a nutrition component run by a registered dietitian, a corporate wellness program, a medical practice, eating disorder program, diabetes management program or any other site that focuses on preventative medicine, disease management, and overall health and wellness. Activities in this site include developing and presenting educational seminars, participating in community education programs, developing educational tools, and writing nutrition and exercise-related articles for the lay public. 

Community placements may also include the local department of public health where interns can observe and participate in policy development, education and training, program development and implementation, the legislative process, and research and epidemiology as it relates to nutrition and physical activity.  

The internship also provides opportunities with state government/non-profit programs, where students participate in various activities and programs such as food banks, congregate meal programs, home-delivered meal programs, AIDS clinics, and other nutrition-based programs for the homeless, pregnant women and their families, and the elderly. Statewide or local programs focusing on childhood and adult obesity are another possibility or an elderly nutrition program supported by federal and state funds. 

Professional Practice Rotation (1 week)

This one week rotation occurs at the end of the internship. The rotation allows the student to visit a site of their choosing for opportunities that were not available during the time of an assigned rotation.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Dietetic Internship Program

How to Apply

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