Nutrition Clinical Training

Clinical Training

Time spent in classrooms and studying for tests is just one component of a nutrition education. As a student pursuing the Master of Science in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics (MSN/DPD), you also will put scientific theories and counseling instruction into practice through supervised clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

This real-world experience prepares you to become a registered dietitian, with guidance through this process from experienced whole-food dietitians on Bastyr's faculty.

Diverse Patient Population

With an average of 35,000 patient visits annually, Bastyr Center allows student clinicians to interact with a variety of clients, ranging in age from children to seniors. Through this clinical experience, you'll learn to recognize health conditions and support clients in dealing with their concerns, including:

  • Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease
  • Weight-related dietary changes
  • Digestive disorders
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Disordered eating
  • Immune dysfunction

Clinical training at Bastyr Center, combined with the external work experience required of MSN/DPD students, gives you a competitive edge that results in a higher dietetic internship placement rate compared with other schools across the nation.

Patient Contacts/Training Hours

  • To graduate, you must complete 96 hours of clinical training at Bastyr Center.
  • In addition to clinical training, you also must complete a total of 300 hours of paid work or volunteer experience in clinical nutrition, food service management and community nutrition.


Bastyr University malpractice insurance is in effect for MSN/DPD students (at no cost to students) during the course of their program. 

Clinical Training

It is well documented that emotional and psychological imbalance can upset bodily systems just as much as poor nutrition. Become uniquely qualified to address the biochemistry of the mind and body with a Master of Science in Nutrition and Clinical Health Psychology (MSNCHP).

Your education at Bastyr University will include real-world clinical training at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, leading you to a professional credential in the fields of mental health counseling and nutrition, with job opportunities ranging from case manager at a community agency to working at an eating disorders clinic or owning a private practice as a counselor or nutritionist.

From time in the classroom to clinical training and beyond, you will be guided by Bastyr faculty members who are experienced nutritionists, whole-food dietitians, psychologists, counselors, researchers and experts on body-mind integration.

Diverse Patient Population

The unique approach of the MSNCHP program allows you to work with a range of clients during three quarters of clinical training at Bastyr Center, our Seattle teaching clinic.

The rotation begins in your second year with 11 weeks of clinical training as a counselor, putting your basic counseling and assessment skills to work as you assist clients with mental health issues and relational and psychological issues. In the second quater, the focus switches to nutrition counseling, allowing you to help clients with nutrition-focused issues, including chronic illnesses and food allergies.

The rotation culminates in the third quarter with a nine-week "Way to Go" weight management and lifestyle program, which integrates both the counseling and nutrition segments. You will co-facilitate group sessions and meet with program participants individually.

Patient Contacts/Training Hours

  • The three quarters of clinical training at Bastyr Center amount to 132 hours, with each rotation focusing on a different area of study: counseling, nutrition and the integrated "Way to Go" program.
  • This clinical training helps prepare you for a carefully chosen nine-month practicum at a community agency, working 16 to 20 hours a week, with 40 percent of your time working in direct contact with clients.
  • Practicum site examples include Sound Mental Health, YWCA, Monarch Children's Justice and Advocacy Center and Compass Health.
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