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-food nutrition! This 10-month internship will provide you with approximately 1,200 hours of supervised work experience in clinical, community, and food service settings. 

The dietetic internship is based on The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) Standards for dietetic internship programs. After completion, you will have the skills to become a competent, entry-level registered dietitian nutritionist.  

Next start date
Program Length

10 months


$950/credit hour (average)

Program Highlights


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


pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam on their first try (2018-2022 data)


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 unique 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 create 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. 

Informational Video 

This 15-minute video is a great opportunity to learn more about the program and its admissions processes.  

Virtual Open Houses 

After watching our informational video, we encourage you to attend one or more of our 60-minute virtual open houses. Open houses are staffed by the DI Director, Cynthia Bartok, and current and past dietetic interns. The open house starts with a brief presentation. Afterward, attendees meet in small groups with the DI Director and interns to have questions answered.  

Open house dates for our Spring 2024 match include:

  • Monday, 10/23/23 - 6 PM PST

  • Sunday, 11/19/23 - 9 AM PST

  • Wednesday, 12/13/23 - 6 PM PST

  • Sunday, 1/7/2024 - 2 PM PST

  • Tuesday, 1/30/2024 - 5 PM PST

  • Saturday, 2/10/2024 - 3 PM PST

Contact Cynthia Bartok at [email protected] to obtain the Microsoft Teams link for the open house(s) that work for your schedule. 

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 [email protected] for more information on visiting campus. Contact Cynthia Bartok at [email protected] 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. 

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

  • 3 weeks for program orientation and completion activities  

  • 33 weeks of supervised practice at rotation sites providing approximately 1,200 supervised practice hours

  • 3 weeks of vacation time 

  • 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 complete 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. 

1. The Bastyr University Dietetic Internship prepares competent entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.

1.1.   Program Completion: At least 80% of interns complete program requirements within 57 weeks (150% of planned program length).

1.2.   Graduate Employment: Of graduates who seek employment, at least 85% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.

1.3.   Graduate Performance on Registration Exam:

1.3.1.At least 100% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.

1.3.2.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%.

1.4.   Employer Satisfaction: In the annual survey of employers, at least 85% of graduates will meet or exceed entry-level performance expectations for competencies related to institutional global learning outcomes and commitments.

2. The Bastyr University Dietetic Internship prepares graduates to provide food and nutrition expertise that effectively supports integrated healthcare, incorporating whole foods, integrative medicine perspectives, and environmental considerations into nutrition care and protocols.

2.1.   In the annual survey of graduates, at least 85% of respondents will report feeling “well-prepared” or “exceptionally well-prepared” to incorporate a whole foods approach, environmental nutrition practices, and integrative medicine perspectives into their work.

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: [email protected]  
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  

  • Integrative Health Care at Bastyr Center for Natural Health: 1-2 weeks  

  • Community Nutrition at WIC: 3 weeks  

  • Long Term Care or Renal Care: 3 weeks  

  • Pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Home Care: 1 week 

  • Enrichment Rotation located and selected by the intern: 1-2 weeks 

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 nutrition: policy, system, and environmental work at hunger agencies, national agencies, and non-profit organizations  

  • Sports nutrition: providing food and nutrition education to professional- and college-level teams  

  • Eating disorder treatment: care of adults and teens in residential or outpatient settings  

  • Specialty clinical work: clinical work at pediatric, oncology, organ transplant, diabetes, and bariatric/weight loss facilities as well as clinics serving marginalized populations  

  • Private practice: client-oriented, community advocacy, or 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)  

  1. Complete a minimum of a master’s degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university  

  1. 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 program starts during orientation week in mid- to late-September. The program ends during 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 10th, 2024 at 11:59 pm PST  

  • Interviews scheduled: Tuesday, January 16th to Sunday, January 21st, 2024   

  • Notification of decisions: Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 by 5:00 PM PST  

  • Applicant acceptance of offers by email or phone: Friday, January 26th, 2024 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 2024 computer matching round.   

Bastyr’s DI program only participates in the Spring match cycle. A review of the application process and key dates can be found here: ACEND information for students. 

  • Step 1: Submit an application to Bastyr’s DI program via Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services  (DICAS). ACEND has not yet published the deadlines and fee structure. All portions of the DICAS application must be complete for the applicant to be considered for the program.   

  • Step 2: Rank Bastyr’s DI program via D&D Digital. ACEND has not yet published the deadlines and fee structure. Applicants will have a final opportunity to reorder their internship priority rankings prior to the computer match.  

  • Step 3: Accept your match. Applicant matching results will be posted on D&D Digital’s website beginning at 6:00 pm Central Time, Sunday, April 7, 2024. Matched applicants must contact the DI Program by 6:00 pm PST on Monday, April 8, 2024 to confirm acceptance of the match. Applicants who match at Bastyr’s DI will need to complete a short admissions application (no fee). 

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

  • Achieve competence (AC grade) in all internship graduate classes 

  • Successfully complete/achieve competence in all rotations 

  • Successfully complete/achieve competence in all projects, assignments, and formal classes  

  • Successfully complete any corrective actions or remediation plans 

  • Complete over 1,000 hours of supervised practice 

  • Complete five practice RDN exams in eatrightPREP and achieve of a minimum score of 75% on at least one exam 

Interns 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 minimum GPA of 3.0 in DPD coursework 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 medical 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.

Tuition and Financial Aid


  • DICAS fees: $50 for the first application and $25 for each additional application  
  • D&D Digital computer matching fee: $55  

Tuition and Fees: $14,250 (tuition) + $330 (fees) = $14,580 

Onboarding costs:  

  • Immunizations - $0-400  
  • Food handler’s permit - $10  
  • CPR/AED Course – $50-100 
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Student Membership – $58  
  • Verified Credentials Background Check – $60-$90  
  • Washington State Policy Background Check – $11  
  • Clinical Placements Northwest Onboarding Program - $75  

Health Insurance: varies with plan 

Auto insurance, gas, and auto maintenance: 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, government financial aid program rules do not allow interns to receive 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 $5,000 per intern.