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Dietetic Internship Program

Mission Statement

Our Mission is to prepare high quality and culturally sensitive entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists to meet our community needs and serve California by promoting optimal nutrition, health and well-being.  Our program will enhance the profession of dietetics and ultimately the health status of the community by training dietitians who can combine academic theory, research application, practical experience, critical thinking and problem solving skills in all areas of dietetics and serve ethnically diverse populations.

Updated November 13, 2018

Program Description

Program Description

The current CSUN DI program is accredited as a non-degree DI, however the program requires that students take 33 graduate units credits in order to receive a DI verification statement.  These units can be applied to the MS in Human Nutrition degree.  

The program will be submitting its self-study report for re-accreditation in 2019 and intends to request that accreditation be for a combined Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Nutrition and DI.  This means both the degree requirements and DI requirements would need to be met in order for the student to receive a DI verification statement.

The decision from the ACEND Board will not be forthcoming until 2020.

The CSUN DI (and NEVHC WIC combined) program is a postbaccalaureate program that admits only individuals who have completed the Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements and have at least a bachelor’s degree. It provides 1216 hours of supervised practice experiences.  There are two concentrations in this curriculum:  Nutrition Therapy (NT) and Community (COM). Approximately ten interns will be accepted each year in the NT concentration and four into COM.

NT interns will complete 552 hours in Nutrition Therapy, 424 hours in Community Nutrition and 240 hours in Foodservice Management.

COM interns will complete 552 hours in Community Nutrition, 424 hours in Nutrition Therapy and 240 hours in Foodservice Management.  Applicants must be employed by a California WIC program at the time of application and maintain continued employment in good standing at a WIC agency. 

Interns in both tracks will attend consortium classes each Monday.  These Monday consortium classes will be part of the DI graduate seminar class and four specific graduate classes.  The four graduate courses will be Research Methods I and II, Macronutrients and Micronutrients.  In addition, the interns will take a medical Spanish class and cultural sensitivity training.

Scheduled supervised practice experiences are 3-4 days per week and will be completed within two semesters. All interns will begin orientation in July of each year and end in May. Community interns start WIC training in June. The program is ten-months long and will admit fourteen interns each year.

Upon completion of all the program requirements, the graduate will be eligible to sit for the registration exam for dietitians. The program requirements are as follows:

1) Completion of 1216 hours of supervised practice

2) Completion of all required and equivalent courses: FCS 570, FCS 571, FCS 572, and FCS 573 - DI Seminar; FCS 681/682 - Research; FCS 606/607 - Nutrient Metabolism; Medical Spanish. (A "B" average must be maintained in all classes.)

3) Cultural sensitivity training classes

4) Meeting all program competencies and student learning outcomes

Program Structure

1216 hours                 10-month program

COM /NT                    552 hours  

NT/ COM                    424 hours

FSM                           240 hours

Criteria for Selection of Interns

The selection of interns is made by a three to four person committee.  A brief interview (15-20 minutes) is required of all finalists.  You will be notified by email or telephone if you have been selected for an interview.  When it is not possible to come to the campus for an interview on the required date, there may be an opportunity for an interview via Skype.

Selection criteria are:

  • Grade point average: overall, in science courses and dietetics courses;
  • Volunteer and work experience in the nutrition, foodservice and/or food science field; work experience in marketing or management fields is also considered;  For COM concentration, WIC experience is necessary.
  • Involvement in organizations, writing and speaking ability in English and use of computer software programs such as Excel, Power Point and Publisher.
  • Spanish or other language and cultural experiences are a plus.

Program Goals & Outcomes

Program Goals

  1. To prepare registered dietitian nutritionists to work in all areas of dietetics.
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 70% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related health fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • Of 70% seeking employment, 30% of graduates will be employed at a Community or WIC position within three months of program completion.
  • Of 70% seeking employment, 70% of graduates will apply and be employed in other areas of dietetics within three months of program completion.
  • At least 80% of program interns enrolled in the DI program are expected to complete all program requirements within 15 months (150% of the program length).
  • 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • 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%.

2. To prepare graduates who are trained in Spanish language and cultural sensitivity.

  • 80% of graduates will agree that they are well prepared to provide nutrition counseling in a multicultural setting and using the Spanish language.
  • On a scale of 1-5, 80% of employers will rate the entry-level dietitian nutritionists graduates as 3.5 or above in being well prepared to provide nutrition counseling in a multicultural setting and using the Spanish language and are culturally sensitive.

3. To prepare graduates who are qualified to participate in the collection, analysis and interpretation of research.

  • 80% of graduates will agree that the program prepared them for collection, analysis and interpretation of research.
  • On a scale of 1-5, 80% of employers and/or preceptors will rate the entry-level graduates as 3.5 or above in being prepared for collection, analysis and interpretation of research.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Program outcomes data are available upon request.  Please contact the DI Director for additional information.

Academic & Program Calendars

DI Admissions

Program Requirement for Entrance

All students must participate in the Spring Computer Matching (D&D Digital). The DI application is submitted through DICAS, students must submit the required supplemental material to the DI program, and in addition, student must apply to the CSUN graduate program.

For both concentrations, NT and COM interns must submit the following:

  1. Completed DICAS application,
  2. A Bachelor's Degree,
  3. Verification Statement from an AND approved/accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or a Declaration of Intent to complete the DPD,
  4. Signed DI professional program contract form found on the CSUN DI website, 
  5. and Three (3) letter of recommendations ( One must be from an employer/supervisor and one must be from a full-time Nutrition/Dietetics Faculty).

Applicants interested in applying to the DI must file a separate application for graduate school at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) through CSUApply. After completing the CSUApply application, you will also need to apply to the FCS Department.

For NT concentration:

Previous work experience in dietetics or related filed setting. Clinical setting is preferred. 

For COM concentration:

The intern must be employed by a California WIC program at the time of application and maintain continued employment in good standing at a WIC agency. (One letter of recommendation must be from a WIC supervisor).

Note: If the four positions are not filled with WIC employees, additional interns will be selected. 

Required Materials to Submit

California State University Northridge (CSUN) Dietetic Internship (DI) program is using the on-line centralized internship application (DICAS), e-mail  . The on-line application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application.  In addition, CSUN will participate in the D&D Digital Computer matching. 

DICAS

When completing the application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an e-mail address) for each reference. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed on-line. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS will be asked to complete a personal statement. Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:

  • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
  • Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career.
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
  • 1000 Word limit
  • Please indicate in the letter which concentration you would like to be considered for: Nutritional Therapy, Community or both.


Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent postmarked by the February 15 deadline to
DICAS- Transcript Dept
PO Box 9118
Watertown, MA 02472

Computer Matching (D&D Digital)

Applicants to the CSUN Dietetic Internship Program must participate in computer matching. Please note that there are two separate numbers for the two concentrations of the program.  Some interns may be eligible to apply to both concentrations. See Program Requirements for entrance.

Applicants should register online at www.dnddigital.com and enter contact information, Dietetic Internship preferences and pay the $50.00 fee with a credit card on or before the deadline date.

Supplemental Application Material Submitted to CSUN

Please use the checklist below for the four required materials to be submitted to CSUN DI.  Materials must be submitted by February 15 and include the following:

  • CSUN DI will require each student to sign and submit a Release form (Authorization for packet review) and a DI Professional Program contract which can found below.  We have many individuals reading your packets and it is necessary for you to sign and allow us to circulate your packet to the committee members.
    • Recency of Education Form If applicant has completed their degree more than two years ago, they are required to complete and submit a Recency of Education Form. 

Supplemental Application Materials should be sent to:

Dr. Annette Besnilian, EdD, MPH, RDN, CLE, FAND
Director, Dietetic Internship
California State University, Northridge
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
18111 Nordhoff  Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8308

*In addition to applying to the CSUN - DI Program, each student must apply to CSUN Graduate Program. Applicants interested in applying to the DI must file a separate application for graduate school at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). This can be done on-line through CSU Apply. Students interested in the MS in Human Nutrition (MSHN) Option B must apply to the MS in Human Nutrition program. Applicants must take the GRE and provide a copy of the GRE score sheet in the envelope with your DI application.  Take the GRE, allow several months so that you can obtain and then submit your GRE scores in the packet with the DI application.

The current CSUN DI program is accredited as a non-degree DI, however the program requires that students take 33 graduate units credits in order to receive a DI verification statement.  These units can be applied to the MS in Human Nutrition degree. 

The program will be submitting its self-study report for reaccreditation in 2019 and intends to request that accreditation be for a combined Master of Science (M.S.) in Human Nutrition and DI.  This means both the degree requirements and DI requirements would need to be met in order for the student to receive a DI verification statement.

If you are a current CSUN MS HN option student and would like to be considered for the DI option, you must complete the DICAS and D&D applications and complete and submit the supplemental packet. Information about the supplemental packet is available from here.  If accepted into the DI program, please contact the graduate coordinator to have the Change of Objective form submitted. 

If you are in one of the other CSUN graduate programs, have a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement, and would like to be considered for the DI program at CSUN, you must complete the DICAS and D&D applications, and submit the complete supplemental packet. Information about the supplemental packet is available from here. If accepted into the DI program, the graduate coordinator will enroll you in the Certificate of DI. 

Please note:

If you have already completed a master's degree at CSUN and have a DPD verification statement, you may be eligible to apply for the Certificate of DI through Cal State Apply. Select "Graduate" to find the Certificate of DI. You will also need to apply to the DI program through DICAS, complete D&D, and submit a supplemental packet. Information about the supplemental packet si available from here. Receny of Education will need to be completed. 

 

DI Handbook

Estimated Costs

Estimated Costs for Interns

Tuition (basic cost of attendance)7+ Units/SemsterFull year

One-Time

AND Dues $49
Local District Association Dues $16
Professional Liability Insurance $20
COM Concentration Intern Training Fee $750
Book/Supplies$800$1600
Parking (Optional)  

Living Expenses

Room and Board$5,679$11,358
Transportation$383$1,416
Miscellaneous$1,708$1,416
Health Insurance Variable

CSUN Gradaute Certificate in Certificate of Dietetic Internship

Program Length: 45 Weeks

Students graduating on time

N/A* of Title IV students complete the program within 45 weeks*Fewer Students than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students. 

Program Costs*

$12,483In-state tuition and fees
$25,551Out-of-state tuition fees
$3,003Books and supplies

Students Borrowing Money

The typical graduate leave with N/A* debt*Fewer Students than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students. 
The typical monthly loan payment N/A* per month in student loans with an interest rate of N/A**Fewer Students than 10 students enrolled in this program. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

Graduate who got jobs

N/A* of program graduate got jobsProgram graduates are employed in the following fields: Registered Dietitian*We are not currently required to calculate a job placement rate for program completers. 

Licensure Requirements

The following do not have licensure requirements for this profession:Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federated States of Micronesia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Marshall Islands, Maryland, Maryland Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Marianas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Palau, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Data Created: 3/12/2018These disclosures are required by the U.S. Department Of Education

Other Costs

Students are required to purchase their own health insurance, auto insurance, and liability insurance throughout the program. Any additional training background checks, fingerprinting, SCANS, CPR training, etc. will be the financial responsibility of the intern.

DI Completion

  • Completion of 1216 hours of supervised practice
  • Completion of all required and equivalent courses are: FCS 570, FCS 571, FCS 572, FCS 573,  FCS 681, FCS 682, FCS 606, and FCS 607 and medical Spanish class.  A “B” average must be maintained in all classes.  (33 units may be applied towards a Masters Degree. However, a MS degree is not required to complete the DI program) at this time.
  • Cultural sensitivity training
  • Meeting all program competencies and student learning outcomes.

Upon completion of all program requirements, the graduate intern will be issued a verification statement and will be eligible to sit for the registration exam for dietitians.

The DI program is completed over two semesters and is rigorous, combining  graduate classes with supervised practice.  Interns attend classes in the evening, two days a week, and are in supervised practice three-four days a week.

A description of graduate courses can be found at the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Department web site or the on-line catalog.

Community Served and Campus Information

The Dietetic Internship program at CSUN has two concentrations. Ten interns will be accepted each year in the Nutrition Therapy (NT) concentration and four into Community (COM) WIC concentration.

The CSUN Dietetic Internship Program is housed on the campus of California State University Northridge (CSUN).  CSUN is one of the largest of the twenty-three campuses in the CSU system, is twenty five miles northwest of central Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb with a multi-ethnic population of over two million people.  The University enrolls approximately 40,000 students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, served by 4,000 faculty and staff.  CSUN is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC).  The last accreditation was granted in July 2010 for a ten year approval.  
The CSUN Dietetic internship (DI) program, which is within the Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science area, is integrated within the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Health and Human Development at CSUN.

The Community concentration (COM) is a collaboration with Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) WIC Program.  NEVHC provides primary health care services to the medically under-served, uninsured, low income and indigent residents of San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  The WIC program serves 67,000 participants per month.  There is a shortage of bilingual dietitians in the community.  Our Dietetics interns will be trained in the Spanish language and in cultural sensitivity to meet such needs.

Affiliations

Our affiliations include local hospitals, County programs, WIC programs, Head Start programs, Foodservice rotations, School Districts, Outpatient Dialysis Centers, Diabetes programs, Outpatient clinics and programs, wellness programs, 
The following lists our current affiliates: 

American Cancer Society, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Computrition, Ventura District School Foodservice, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Services, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center Sherman Oaks Hospital and Health Center, Davita Dialysis Centers, Veteran’s Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System,  Sodexho Foodservice, Glendale School District, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Conejo Valley Unified School District, Culver City Unified School District, Diabetes Care Center, Facey Medical Foundation, Health Care Partners Medical Group, private practice, Huntington Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles Jewish Home, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Palmdale School District, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Saint John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital, Saint John’s Regional Medical Center, Simi Valley Unified School District, UCLA Medical Center, US Foodservice, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Ventura County Public Health Department, Great LA Headstart program, and CDF-just to name a few.

Sometimes a rotation site could be 20-25 miles from an intern’s home. The daily schedule at the practice sites may vary. It is important to start early at some rotation sites and start late at other rotation sites so the intern must be able to adjust to a flexible schedule.

Forms & Other Resources

Dietetic Interns at Sites

How to Become a Registered Dietitian

What is an RD/RDN and the RD Exam?

Registered Dietitians (RD)* or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)* are individuals who have:

  • completed the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent;
  • met current minimum academic requirements (Didactic Program in Dietetics) as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • completed a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • successfully completed the Registration Examination for Dietitians;
  • remitted the annual registration fee;
  • complied with the Professional Development Portfolio (PDP) re-certification requirements