The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) requires 1200 hours of experience in the Dietetic Internships. The UMass Amherst Dietetic Internship schedules a minimum of 1211 supervised practice hours.

  • Track 1

The 10 1/2-month traditional dietetic internship program is divided into three rotations: clinical, which lasts 16 weeks; food service management, 11 weeks; and community nutrition/nutrition education, 10 weeks. Interns are generally assigned to one facility for each rotation they complete, although they also visit other sites during some rotations. Working on some legal holidays, evenings, and weekends may occasionally be required.

Interns work with preceptors in each field site and with the Internship Director to insure that all competencies established by ACEND are met. Additional work (e.g. reading, research) is required above and beyond the minimum 24 hours per week in the field site, especially during the clinical rotation. We also offer an intensive 2-week pre-clinical training program to help prepare interns for their clinical rotations. The program becomes full-time (i.e. 40 hours per week) for the staff relief portion of the clinical rotation (approximately the last three weeks of that rotation).

Interns rotate through a VA hospital for 2 weeks where they work with psychiatric inpatients and ambulatory clients receiving nutrition counseling for weight management and Type 2 diabetes. In a 2-week “plan-your-own” rotation, interns develop their own learning objectives in an area of dietetics that is of personal interest. The director can assist in finding a preceptor/rotation site once the intern identifies the area of interest.

Interns are required to complete their supervised practice on the schedule assigned by their preceptor. Schedules vary from one rotation site to another, based on the needs of the particular facility and the preceptor to which the intern is assigned for any particular segment of a rotation. Some sites may typically require 3 full days per week, others 5-6 hours per day for 4-5 days per week, or special activities may occur on an occasional basis. Interns may be assigned to activities as early as 6 a.m. or as late as 7 p.m., or may be restricted to hours an organization normally operates (e.g. M-F, 8:30-5:00).

The minimum 24 hours per week is for practice in the facilities, and does not include travel time, outside preparation, the 3-day orientation preceding the entire program, or the seminar, which generally meets for a class day every other week. This schedule translates into an average of approximately 30 hours per week total commitment to the program, plus travel time to sites and seminars further away from an intern’s home.

There is a two-week vacation, usually over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

  • Course Curriculum for the Concurrent DI/Online MPH in Nutrition (Track 2)

Online MPH in Nutrition

(44 credits)

Dietetic Internship Activities

(12 credits)

Year 1


• Summer


NUTR 793A: Seminar 1 credit (mid-May – end of June)

DI orientation (3 days) in mid-August



• Fall


NUTR 572: Community Nutrition - 3 cr

NUTR 698C: Foodservice Rotation 280 hrs Part 1, 3 credits, 8-10 hr/wk

BIOSTATS 540: Biostatistics - 3 cr


EHS 565: Env Health Practices  - 3 cr




• Spring


NUTR 640: Public Health Nutrition - 3 cr

NUTR 698D: Foodservice Rotation Part 2, 3 credits, 8-10 hr/wk Includes: Budget Project (8 hours), Public Policy

HPP 601: App of Soc Beh 3 cr


EPI 630: Principles of Epidemiology -  3 cr




Year 2


• Summer


NUTR 698: Nutrition Practicum - 3 cr

Community Rotation 240 hrs  (Enroll in online NUTR 698, Part of the 44 credits of the MPH degree; work with Judy Dowd on placement site)

NUTR 731: Nutritional Assessment  - 3 cr


NUTR 794A: Seminar  - 1 cr




• Fall


NUTR 577: Nutritional Problems in the US 3 cr


EPI 634: Nutritional Epidemiology - 3 cr


NUTR 696R: IS Project (Part 1) 3 cr




• Spring


HPP 620: Intro US Healthcare Sys 3 cr

NUTR 698E: Clinical Rotation Part 1, 3 credits -Includes 120 hr clinical, 75 hr seminar, 4 hr volunteer/present and 52 hrs research/abstract in DI

NUTRITION Elective [online course] 3 cr


NUTR 696S: IS Project Part 2 - 3 cr




  • Summer



NUTR 698F: Clinical Rotation Part 2, 3 credits, 312 hours, plus 48 VA, 64 plan own. Students will complete DI by the end of August.