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What can one do to get an upper hand while applying for a dietetic internship?

n terms of coursework make sure you have taken all of the recommended classes and have done well in them. Some classes like Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) will be looked at more closely than others. Outside of class work, get involved in your community. Try to volunteer time at the local hospital or work alongside a professor on his or her current project. It’s important to get some sort of experience in the field of nutrition.

Do I have to do my dietetic internship near Amherst, or can I do it anywhere? Do I get paid or do I have to pay for it?

You are able to go anywhere you would like and any place that accepts you – it is a competitive process to apply for the internship after the Bachelor’s degree. Just make sure that the program has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). There is a tuition that will vary based on the program. There are scholarships available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly American Dietetic Association) and student loans can be deferred during this time. Some programs offer stipends to help support the intern.

Is nutrition as a major as difficult as everyone makes it out to be?

No, it is not a difficult major-it just has a lot of science courses that you need to take such as microbiology, biochemistry, biology and chemistry, before you start taking upper level nutrition courses. It is not a difficult major if you are interested in the classes you are taking, and also if you put in enough effort and study time (as with any other major).

Why is there so much chemistry?

The fundamentals of nutrition are based in chemistry. Taking courses in biochemistry, microbiology, chemistry and organic chemistry provide the foundation for learning about nutrition in the body. In order to understand how food affects one’s health, you need to understand the basic chemistry of food and physiology of the body. For example, to understand fat digestion and absorption, you need to know the chemical structure of fats, which is taught in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Also, the entire area of metabolism is based on chemistry.

What should I take if I’m not quite sure what I want to do?

If you think you have an interest in nutrition I would recommend taking Nutrition 101 and/or Nutrition 230. If you are interested in the life sciences in general, and you do not mind taking many science courses, I would recommend taking a biology, kinesiology, nutrition or public health course to see which academic area you are most fond of. Most of the introductory courses for these majors are prerequisites for other classes so it is time well spent. Also, if you have a strong interest in more than one of these areas, you can consider double majoring, or taking a minor.

What are the differences between Nutrition and Food Science?

Although these two majors are similar in that they both center on food, their emphasis on its implications are very different. Nutrition studies the relationship between foods and its effect on an individual’s health. Nutrition considers topics such as obesity, malnutrition, food insecurity and nutritional deficiencies. In comparison, Food Science considers chemical, biological, and physical properties of food in relation to manufacturing, processing, and storage of food products.

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