Dietetic Internship

An ACEND®-accredited supervised practice program for those on track to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Program Overview

Fuel your passion for integrative medicine and environmentally conscious, whole-foods nutrition! The dietetic internship is based on The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Standards for dietetic internship programs.

This 10-month internship will provide you with at least 1,200 hours of supervised work experience in clinical, community, and food service settings. After completion, you will have the skills to become a competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist. 

Next start date
Location
Seattle
Program Length

10 months

Cost

$839/credit hour (average)

Program Highlights

60+

number of clinical, community, and food service sites in the program’s portfolio

92%

pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam on their first try

12

number interns accepted each year

Program Details

The dietetic internship is based on The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) 2022 Standards for dietetic internship programs. Graduates meet the performance requirements for entry-level dietitian nutritionists. The program focuses on supervised practice experience, but also includes didactic coursework and enrichment projects to fulfill all required accreditation competencies.  

The DI includes concentrations in: 

  • integrative medicine (a specialty area of Bastyr University) 
  • environmentally conscious, whole-foods nutrition (a specialty area of the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science) 

Each intern receives a schedule that is customized to their career goals and interests. About 60% of rotation weeks are “core rotations” that all interns complete. These rotations provide the broad set of experiences necessary for success as an entry-level dietitian nutritionist (RDN). The remaining 40% of rotation weeks are dedicated to rotations that develop the specific career goals and interests of the intern. Our extensive portfolio of local, regional, and national rotation sites allows interns to focus on inpatient or outpatient clinical work, private practice, community work, or food service career paths. Specialty rotations in Seattle’s nationally respected medical centers allow interns to train for career paths in oncology, pediatrics, organ transplant and eating disorders. Our partnerships with Division 1 universities and professional sports teams creates unparalleled opportunities to practice sports nutrition. Interns also can request a broad and varied rotation schedule if they are unsure about their career path. Upon program completion, interns are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s registration examination for dietitians.

The DI is a full-time program spanning a minimum of 39 weeks including three weeks of vacation time. Key components of the curriculum include: 

  • 3 weeks for program orientation and completion activities 
  • 33 weeks of supervised practice at rotation sites providing a minimum of 1200 supervised practice hours 
  • 15 credits of graduate work, which may be transferrable into graduate programs as electives 
  • Weekly seminar-style classes in fall and winter quarters to complete didactic coursework and enrichment projects 

Most interns require additional work time during evenings and weekends to compete projects and assignments, prepare for rotations, and study for the registration examination. 

Internship Mission 

The Bastyr University DI educates future leaders in the dietetic profession by preparing entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who will integrate whole foods, environmental nutrition, and integrative medicine perspectives into their nutrition practice. 

Internship Program Philosophy 

The Bastyr University DI will effectively deliver an internship that meets the accreditation standards of ACEND while supporting the mission of the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science.

Program Goals and Objectives 

  • The Bastyr University DI prepares competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists. 
  • At least 80% of interns successfully complete the requirements of the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship within 13 months’ time of program start (150% of 38-week program). 
  • 100% of program graduates take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. 
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%. 
  • Of internship graduates who seek employment, at least 85% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of program completion. 
  • At least 90% of internship graduates who apply to graduate school/higher education are accepted. 
  • Internship graduate employer survey respondents choose the highest rating indicating satisfaction with graduates’ preparedness on at least 90% of entry-level competencies. 
  • At least 90% of internship graduate survey respondents will choose the highest rating indicating entry-level employment preparedness in areas related to whole foods, environmental nutrition practices, and integrative medicine perspectives. 
  • In the annual internship graduate employer surveys, respondents will choose the highest rating indicating employment preparedness on at least 85% of professional competencies related specifically to whole foods, environmental nutrition practices, and integrative medicine perspectives. 

The Bastyr University DI has been accredited by ACEND since 1996 and its current accreditation term ends 6/30/2027. To reach ACEND: 

120 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. 
Phone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400 
E-mail: ACEND@eatright.org 
Visit the ACEND Website.

Bastyr University is accredited by The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). 

Program outcomes data, evaluated annually using an average of annual data from the previous three years, is available upon request to the program director. 

Through supervised practice at rotation sites, interns gain experience in the practice of clinical dietetics, community nutrition and food service systems and management. Interns develop insight into the special nutritional needs of populations by rotating through a variety of sites which may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, community agencies, and food service facilities. 

The rotations are designed to give interns the opportunity to work with individuals from all stages of life and with varying health conditions. The core rotations that comprise 60% of internship rotation weeks include: 

  • In-patient clinical: 10 weeks 
  • Food Service Administration: 5 weeks 
  • Bastyr Center for Natural Health: 1-2 weeks 
  • Community Nutrition at WIC: 3 weeks 
  • Long Term Care or Renal Care: 3 weeks 
  • Enrichment rotation: 1-2 weeks, an opportunity for interns to locate their own rotation site and practice self-directed learning and professional development skills 

About 40% of rotation weeks are devoted to rotations that allow each intern to explore work environments that relate to their own individual career goals. Example rotations that interns can request include: 

  • Community work: hunger agencies, policy and advocacy work, non-profit management 
  • Sports nutrition: working with athletes from professional- and college-level teams 
  • Eating disorder treatment: in both residential and outpatient settings 
  • Specialty clinical work: pediatrics, oncology, organ transplant, diabetes, and bariatric/weight loss, underserved populations 
  • Private practice: client-oriented, community advocacy, and entrepreneurship-focused sites 

Except for the enrichment rotation, the DI director is responsible for locating all rotation sites and preceptors and organizing the intern’s rotation schedule. 

To meet the eligibility requirements needed to take the CDR registration examination for RDNs, an individual must complete the following steps: 

  1. Complete required didactic coursework (i.e., academic training) 
  2. Complete a minimum of a master’s degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university 
  3. Complete required supervised practice (i.e., work and skills training) 

Bastyr’s DI program is intended to provide the necessary experiences needed to meet the supervised practice requirement (#3 above). To be eligible for this DI, by the start of the internship, applicants must prove they have completed the other two requirements listed above (#1 and #2) with: 

  • A verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE)  
  • An official transcript showing a minimum master’s degree in any field granted by a U.S. regionally-accredited college/university or foreign equivalent 

Upon successful completion of this DI, the director will enter the following information into the CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS): 

  • DPD Verification Statement 
  • Proof of master’s or doctoral degree  
  • DI Verification Statement 

Then, the individual is eligible to take the registration examination for RDNs. Upon passing that exam, the individual is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) and may practice in one of many entry-level positions in a wide range of career settings. Maintaining the RDN credential requires ongoing professional development. 

Each state in which an RDN practices will have its own scope of practice and requirements for obtaining certification or licensure. In the state of Washington, RDNs apply to become Certified Dietitians (CDs) with the Washington State Department of Health. Requirements for this certification include having the RDN credential, holding a degree in nutrition, and completing an approved HIV-training course. Information and an application packet for certification in the State of Washington can be found here.  

The DI follows the quarter system academic calendar of Bastyr University. The DI officially begins with the university Convocation ceremony and the first day of the academic year in mid- to late-September. The program ends on the last day of finals week of spring quarter, which typically is in mid- to late-June. The program suspends for two weeks during winter break (late December) and offers one week of vacation in the spring. Contact the program director for exact dates for a particular program year. Depending on the rotation, interns may also have vacation days on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, and Memorial Day. 

Application and Admissions

To be eligible for this internship, prior to the start of the program, applicants must obtain: 

  • a verification statement from an ACEND-accredited Nutrition and Dietetics Didactic Program (DPD) or Foreign Dietitian Education program (FDE) 
  • an official transcript showing a minimum master’s degree in nutrition, dietetics or an equivalent program granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent 

For applicants from foreign institutions, documentation must be provided that their academic degree has been validated as equivalent to the master's degree conferred by a US regionally-accredited college or university. Applicants from foreign institutions should visit the ACEND site for more information including links to independent foreign degree evaluation agencies. 

Bastyr’s DI program only participates in the Spring match cycle. Up to six of the twelve spots in the DI are available to qualified current students or graduates of Bastyr University’s master’s degree DPD program.  The remaining positions are filled through computer matching. Key dates for pre-select admissions include: 

  • Applications due to DICAS: Wednesday, January 11th, 2023 at 11:59 pm PST 
  • Interviews scheduled: Tuesday, January 17th to Sunday, January 22nd, 2023  
  • Notification of decisions: Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 by 5:00 PM PST 
  • Applicant acceptance of offers by email or phone: Friday, January 27th, 2023 by 5:00 PM PST 

The director will submit the names of matched interns to D&D Digital and they will be removed from the computer matching process (i.e., they are ineligible to participate). If an applicant does not confirm acceptance of an offer by the deadline, they forfeit the offer and their position may be filled by another pre-select or computer matching applicant. Matched applicants who accept their offer will need to complete a short application (no fee) for admission to the university.  

Applicants not selected in the pre-select admission round may request consideration in the Spring 2023 computer matching round.  

Bastyr’s DI program only participates in the Spring match cycle. Applicants must submit their application materials through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) by 11:59 pm Central Time on February 15, 2023, the deadline established by ACEND. Application fees are $50 for the first application and $25 for each additional application. All portions of the DICAS application must be complete for the applicant to be considered for the program.  

Computer matching applicants must register and enter their priority choices online on the D&D Digital website by the February 15, 2023 at 11:59 pm Central Time deadline. At the time of registration, applicants must pay a $55 registration fee via credit card. Applicants who have registered for the match by February, 15, 2023 will have a final opportunity to reorder their internship priority rankings prior to the computer match. 
 
Applicant matching results will be posted on D&D Digital’s website beginning at 6:00 pm Central Time, Sunday, April 2, 2023. Matched applicants must contact the DI Program by 6:00 pm PST on Monday, April 3, 2023 to confirm acceptance of the match. Matched applicants who accept their offer will need to complete a short application (no fee) for admission to the university. 

The dietetic internship program has adopted the competency-based system of grading used at Bastyr University. Program completion requirements include: 

  • Achievement of a competence (AC grade) in all internship graduate classes 
  • Achievement of competence in all rotation activities and in overall work performance as evaluated by preceptors 
  • Achievement of competence (AC grade) in all major projects, assignments, and activities as evaluated by the DI director 
  • Achievement of a minimum score of 75% on the final exit exam 

Each intern will meet with the DI director at the end of each academic quarter to assess progress in the program and address any individual learning or performance improvement needs. 

Interns accepted into the program will receive the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship Handbook which outlines all major program policies and procedures. Interns in the program will have access to an e-learning portal where all relevant program information and documents are available to them. 

The program accepts a maximum of twelve interns from the approximately 60-100 applications received.  Applications are reviewed during an initial screening phase and those meeting minimum standards pass through to the interview phase. Both screening and interview phase ratings are combined to form the final list of candidates that are ranked in the computer matching process. 

Applicants ranked by the selection committee typically have these characteristics: 

  • Strong academic background: Candidates must possess a strong background in the arts and sciences related to nutrition and dietetics. Using a 4.0 scale, a GPA of 3.0 or higher is required for acceptance into the program. 
  • Volunteer or paid work experience: Due to the fast-paced nature of rotations and constantly changing work environment, interns who have extensive work experience tend to be more successful in the program. Applicants obtain points for work in nutrition related settings: 1) clinical nutrition such as hospitals or long-term care facilities, 2) commercial food service facilities such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or residential facilities, 3) community agencies such as food banks, farms, or health fairs. Work experience that is not in nutrition settings but demonstrates “soft skills,” management, or leadership development also is valued. 
  • Personal statements: Statements that demonstrate and emphasize alignment with our program concentrations in integrative medicine, whole foods nutrition, and environmental nutrition are desirable. 
  • Recommendations: Letters that emphasize academic, work, and people skills are valued. We request two letters from academic settings and one from a work or volunteer setting. Strictly personal letters (i.e., family friend, clergy, policymaker) are not considered. 
  • Extra points are assigned for evidence of leadership roles in the university or community and engaging in activities that enhance intercultural awareness. 

Visiting Campus

If you would like to visit campus and gain a better understanding of our DI and Bastyr University in general, you are welcome to schedule a visit. Contact Admissions at admiss@bastyr.edu for more information on visiting campus. Contact Cynthia Bartok at cbartok@bastyr.edu to set up an appointment. In fairness to all applicants, note that visiting campus will not increase the chance of being admitted to the internship.

 

Virtual Open Houses

Our 90-minute virtual open houses are a great opportunity to learn more about the program and its admissions processes.  Open houses are staffed by the DI Director, Cynthia Bartok, a representative from admissions, and current and past dietetic interns. The open house starts with a 30-minute presentation that provides the basic information you need to know to determine if the program is a good match for your goals and interests. Afterward, attendees meet in small groups with the DI Director, admissions, and interns to have questions answered. 

 

Open house dates for our Spring 2023 match include:

  • Wednesday 1/11/23 at 6 PM PST

  • Saturday 1/28/23 at 5 PM PST

  • Saturday 2/7/23 at 6 PM PST

 

Note that all times are in Pacific Standard Time (PST). Contact Cynthia Bartok at cbartok@bastyr.edu to obtain the Zoom link for the open house(s) that work for your schedule.

 

Tuition and Financial Aid

  • Application 
  • DICAS fees: $50 for first application and $25 for each additional application 
  • D&D Digital computer matching fee: $55 
  • Tuition: $13,170 
  • $878/credit for fifteen graduate credits 
  • Billed in three installments of $4,390 the first day of each quarter 
  • Onboarding costs: 
  • Immunizations - $0-400 
  • Food handler’s permit - $10 
  • CPR/AED Course – $65 
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership – $58 
  • Verified Credentials Background Check – $55-$80 
  • Washington State Policy Background Check – $11 
  • Clinical Placements Northwest Onboarding Program - $50 
  • Transportation costs to rotation sites:  approximately $1000 
  • Books, supplies, permits and miscellaneous fees*: $0-$800 
  • Additional conference fees and membership fees*: $0-$300 
  • Living expenses (room, board, food): $1500 per month x 10 months = $15,000 

*These fees are most often related to unique rotation site onboarding requirements that may include additional immunizations, drug testing, conferences, and/or trainings. 

Because the Bastyr University Dietetic Internship is not a degree program, interns are not eligible for the typical financial-aid programs available to university students. Interns are encouraged to apply for a variety of scholarships available at federal, state, and local levels, including The Academy Foundation Scholarships and others. Interns may be eligible for student loan deferment and the program director will complete any required forms to support this deferment process. 

Bastyr University offers its own scholarship programs which interns are notified about upon acceptance into the program. In the past six years, on average, 65% of interns that applied for a scholarship received one and the average award was approximately $5000 per intern.