Benefits of a Dietetic Internship

Some of the benefits of a Dietetic Internship at UMass Amherst are:

  • Small group of interns provides individual attention for site rotations.
  • Wide variety of affiliated rotation sites. Intern preferences used to select sites.
  • Culturally and intellectually vibrant, also rural, picturesque location
  • Top-notch, dedicated, and caring preceptors and faculty
  • DI Seminars approximately 2-3 times per month on Fridays
  • Track 1 is a 10 1/2-month program, mid-August-end of June requiring 24-40 hours per week
  • Concurrent DI/Online MPH in Nutrition (Track 2) is a 27-month program beginning in May, which requires 40 hours per week including some studying for graduate coursework on weekends. Coursework is 100% online with flexibility in when and where you study; allows individuals to earn an MPH while completing the DI. Interactive online coursework is engaging and provides students with the opportunity to interact with health professionals such as dietitians, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dental hygienists, health education specialists, and other health professionals all over the U.S. and the world.

Special features of the UMass Amherst Dietetic Internship:

  • Interns are required to submit abstracts for poster presentations at Regional and National Meetings.
  • Preclinical intensive program (2 weeks) to help interns prepare for their clinical rotations.
  • Research experience provided and encouraged during rotations. Concurrent DI/MPH-N (Track 2) students complete a large capstone research project on public health policy.
  • Group budget project that culminates in a presentation to Hospital Food Service Directors.
  • Interesting seminar presenters on a variety of topics.
  • Interns transported to the Boston area 2-3 times/year for Joint Internship Class days (on Mondays).
  • Interns help to organize, conduct and evaluate a Legislators' Breakfast in the Spring. This offers an opportunity for interns to learn about and to help advance public policy/nutrition-related legislative initiatives for dietitians living and working in Western Massachusetts and their elected representatives.

Program Philosophy:

The philosophy of the Dietetic Internship program is based on our recognition that there is a need for broadly-trained dietitians, and that many students benefit from exposure to a wide variety of practice settings before deciding where to specialize. Our program strives to provide an opportunity for the best-qualified applicants to participate in varied and enriching supervised practice experiences that can form the broad basis for a career in any segment of the field of dietetics.

The program concentration is Health Promotion/Disease Prevention and Management. Interns in both tracks complete 2 concentration competencies that expand on the Core Competencies for Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Concentration Competency #1: Develop, manage, conduct, evaluate and revise education program that promotes consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management that accommodates the cultural diversity, life experiences and educational backgrounds of various populations, groups and individuals.

Concentration Competency #2: Conduct nutrition counseling and education for patients in primary care settings, using strategies that coincide with the healthcare delivery multidisciplinary system that emphasizes “prevention” of chronic diseases. 

This should include coordinating supportive services as needed and using effective communication skills to guide patients in making healthy behavior changes and in taking responsibility for self-management of chronic illnesses.