The CSUN DI (and NEHVC WIC combined) program is a full-time post-baccalaureate program that admits only individuals who have completed the Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements and have at least a bachelor's degree. It provides 1,216 hours of supervised practice experience and alternate hours. Students applying to the CSUN DI will either be considered for the Masters in Human Nutrition Dietetic Internship (MS DI) combined program or DI Certificate program. Students considered for the MS DI combined program will need to meet the masters degree and DI requirements in order to receive a DI verification statement. The program has been designed to have the student complete the MS DI Combined program in 24 months. The students considered for the DI Certificate program will have completed or will complete an MS degree prior to starting the DI program. DI Certificate has been designed to have interns complete this program within twelve months. Approximately 12-14 interns will be accepted each year.
The CSUN DI program has two concentration areas, Nutrition Therapy (NT) concentration and Community (COM) WIC concentration. The students in the COM WIC concentration must be employed by a California WIC program at the time of application, and are required to work each Saturday and maintain continued employment in good standing at a WIC agency throughout the Dietetic Internship Program.
General breakdown of hours for all interns are 552 hours in the nutrition therapy or community nutrition, 424 hours in the community nutrition or nutrition therapy and 240 hours in the foodservice management rotation.
All interns will attend consortium classes each Monday. These Monday consortium classes will be part of the DI graduate seminar class (FCS 573) along with other specific graduate classes. In addition, the interns will take an online medical Spanish course, a Motivational Interviewing Training, Breastfeeding Training, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Training.
DI Certificate will be completed within 2 semesters (~12 months), and MS DI Combined will be completed within 2 years (~24 months). Scheduled supervised practice experiences are 3-4 days per week, Tuesday through Friday. All interns will begin in August of each year and end in May. DI Orientations for all will be scheduled during August of each year prior to start of semester/rotations. (COM WIC concentration interns will begin their WIC computer training June 1st). ALL Interns must plan on being available during the entire month of June/July for possible additional trainings. Community WIC concentration interns must be available starting June 1st. Orientation hours are not part of the DI supervised hours; however they are mandatory. There will be some trainings for all during the summer, online and/or in person, through proper approvals and county guidelines.
Interns are expected to:
1) Complete graduate courses. A “B” average must be maintained with a minimum “B” grade earned in each graduate course.
2) Completion of 1216 hours of supervised practice in assigned facilities and/or programs, and alternative hours.
3) Complete a medical Spanish training or a conversational Spanish course.
4) Complete Motivational Interviewing Training, Breastfeeding Training, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Training.
5) Meeting all program competencies and student learning outcomes.
6) Remain in good standing with the University and comply with all rules and regulations as written in the University Catalog and this Handbook.
After completing the above, the intern will be eligible to schedule and write the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination for Registered Dietitian- Nutritionists.
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. Applicants will be notified by email or telephone if they 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 Zoom.
The DI Program admission rubric includes the following categories:
a. Letter of application/personal statement,
b. Academic achievement,
c. Letter of recommendations,
d. Work experience,
e. Leadership/professional participation, and
Please reference DI handbook for further details and scoring.
For NT Concentration:
Previous work experience in dietetics or related field 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.
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 complete the program/degree requirements within 15 months (150% of the program length).
- At least 80% of program interns in the NT Combined Concentration complete program/degree requirements within 36 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%.
- On a scale of 1-5, 80% of employers and/or preceptors will rate graduates as 3.5 or above in being prepared for entry-level practice.
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.
- 80 % of graduates will agree that they are well prepared to provide nutrition counseling 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.
- On a scale of 1-5, 80% of employers will rate the entry-level dietitian nutritionists graduates as a 3.5 or above in being well prepare to provide nutrition counseling using the Spanish language.
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 employer 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.
The program’s curriculum prepares interns with the following core competencies:
1. Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice: Integration of scientific information and translation of research into practice.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:
CRDN 1.1 Select indicators of program quality and/or customer service and measure achievement of objectives.
CRDN 1.2 Evaluate research and apply evidence-based guidelines, systematic reviews and scientific literature in nutrition and dietetics practice.
CRDN 1.3 Justify programs, products, services and care using appropriate evidence or data.
CRDN 1.4 Conduct projects using appropriate research or quality improvement methods, ethical procedures and data analysis utilizing current and/or new technologies.
CRDN 1.5 Incorporate critical-thinking skills in overall practice.
2. Professional Practice Expectations: Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner level of practice.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:
CRDN 2.1 Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules, as applicable, and in accordance with accreditation standards and the Scope of Practice for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Standards of Practice, Standards of Professional Performance, and Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics.
CRDN 2.2 Demonstrate professional writing skills in preparing professional communications.
CRDN 2.3 Demonstrate active participation, teamwork and contributions in group settings.
CRDN 2.4 Function as a member of interprofessional teams.
CRDN 2.5 Work collaboratively with NDTRs and/or support personnel in other disciplines.
CRDN 2.6 Refer clients and patients to other professionals and services when needs are beyond individual scope of practice.
CRDN 2.7 Apply change management strategies to achieve desired outcomes.
CRDN 2.8 Demonstrate negotiation skills.
CRDN 2.9 Actively contribute to nutrition and dietetics professional and community organizations.
CRDN 2.10 Demonstrate professional attributes in all areas of practice.
CRDN 2.11 Show cultural humility in interactions with colleagues, staff, clients, patients and the public.
CRDN 2.12 Implement culturally sensitive strategies to address cultural biases and differences.
CRDN 2.13 Advocate for local, state or national legislative and regulatory issues or policies impacting the nutrition and dietetics profession.
3. Clinical and Client Services: Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:
CRDN 3.1 Perform Medical Nutrition Therapy by utilizing the Nutrition Care Process including use of standardized nutrition terminology as a part of the clinical workflow elements for individuals, groups and populations of differing ages and health status, in a variety of settings.
CRDN 3.2 Conduct nutrition focused physical exams.
CRDN 3.3 Perform routine health screening assessments including measuring blood pressure, conducting waived point-of-care laboratory testing (such as blood glucose or cholesterol), recommending and/or initiating nutrition-related pharmacotherapy plans (such as modifications to bowel regimens, carbohydrate to insulin ratio, B12 or iron supplementation)
CRDN 3.4 Provide instruction to clients/patients for self-monitoring blood glucose, considering diabetes medication and medical nutrition therapy plan.
CRDN 3.5 Explain the steps involved and observe the placement of nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes; if available, assist in the process of placing nasogastric or nasoenteric feeding tubes.
CRDN 3.6 Conduct a swallow screen and refer to the appropriate health care professional for full swallow evaluation when needed.
CRDN 3.7 Demonstrate effective communication and documentation skills for clinical and client services in a variety of formats and settings, which include telehealth and other information technologies and digital media.
CRDN 3.8 Design, implement and evaluate presentations to a target audience.
CRDN 3.9 Develop nutrition education materials that are culturally and age appropriate and designed for the literacy level of the audience.
CRDN 3.10 Use effective education and counseling skills to facilitate behavior change.
CRDN 3.11 Develop and deliver products, programs or services that promote consumer health, wellness and lifestyle management.
CRDN 3.12 Deliver respectful, science-based answers to client/patient questions concerning emerging trends.
CRDN 3.13 Coordinate procurement, production, distribution and service of goods and services, demonstrating and promoting responsible use of resources.
CRDN 3.14 Develop and evaluate recipes, formulas and menus for acceptability and affordability that accommodate the cultural diversity and health needs of various populations, groups and individuals.
4. Practice Management and Use of Resources: Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:
CRDN 4.1 Participate in management functions of human resources (such as hiring, training and scheduling).
CRDN 4.2 Perform management functions related to safety, security and sanitation that affect employees, clients, patients, facilities and food.
CRDN 4.3 Conduct clinical and client service quality management activities (such as quality improvement or quality assurance projects).
CRDN 4.4 Apply current information technologies to develop, manage and disseminate nutrition information and data.
CRDN 4.5 Analyze quality, financial and productivity data for use in planning.
CRDN 4.6 Propose and use procedures as appropriate to the practice setting to promote sustainability, reduce waste and protect the environment.
CRDN 4.7 Conduct feasibility studies for products, programs or services with consideration of costs and benefits.
CRDN 4.8 Develop a plan to provide or develop a product, program or service that includes a budget, staffing needs, equipment and supplies.
CRDN 4.9 Engage in the process for coding and billing for nutrition and dietetics services to obtain reimbursement from public or private payers, fee-for-service and value-based payment systems.
CRDN 4.10 Analyze risk in nutrition and dietetics practice (such as risks to achieving set goals and objectives, risk management plan, or risk due to clinical liability or foodborne illness).
5. Leadership and Career Management: Skills, strengths, knowledge and experience relevant to leadership potential and professional growth for the nutrition and dietetics practitioner.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:
CRDN 5.1 Perform self-assessment that includes awareness in terms of learning and leadership styles and cultural orientation and develop goals for self-improvement.
CRDN 5.2 Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals.
CRDN 5.3 Prepare a plan for professional development according to Commission on Dietetic Registration guidelines.
CRDN 5.4 Advocate for opportunities in the professional settings (such as asking for additional responsibility, practicing negotiating a salary or wage or asking for a promotion).
CRDN 5.5 Demonstrate the ability to resolve conflict.
CRDN 5.6 Promote team involvement and recognize the skills of each member.
CRDN 5.7 Mentor others.
CRDN 5.8 Identify and articulate the value of precepting.
Please see the following link for all DI Program Admission and Verification Requirements.
California State University Northridge (CSUN) Dietetic Internship (DI) program is using the on-line centralized internship application (DICAS). All Students must submit an application through DICAS, and all students must participate in the Spring Computer Matching (D&D Digital).
The on-line DICAS application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first program applied to and $25 for each additional program application.
All applicants should register online for the D&D Digital Computer matching at www.dnddigital.com and enter contact information, Dietetic Internship preferences and pay the $65.00 fee with a credit card on or before the deadline date.
In addition to the DICAS application and participation in the Computer Matching, students must apply to the CSUN graduate program by February 15th.
All applicants interested in applying to the DI must file a separate application for graduate school at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) through 1.) CSUApply, which is a $70 fee. After completing the CSUApply application, all applicants must also apply to the FCS Department for Master in Human Nutrition through 2.) ApplyWeb, which is a $30 fee. These applications must be completed and submitted by February 15th. Please visit Master in Human Nutrition webpage for application requirements.
Please note that GRE is not required for 2023 applicants.
For both concentrations, NT and COM interns must submit the following as part of their DICAS application:
- Completed DICAS application,
- Registered D&D Digital Computer matching,
- A Bachelor's Degree,
- Verification Statement from an AND approved/accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or a Declaration of Intent to complete the DPD,
- and Three (3) letter of recommendations (One must be from an employer/supervisor and one must be from a full-time Nutrition/Dietetics Faculty).
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.
- Official Transcripts.
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
- Personal Statement (1000 word limit) which addresses the following questions:
- 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 areas needing improvement?
- Please indicate in the letter which concentration you would like to be considered for: Nutritional Therapy, Community or both.
- Supplemental Materials: Please use the checklist below for the four required materials to be submitted to CSUN DI. Materials must be submitted by February 15 through the DICAS application system 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.
Supplemental Application Materials must be submitted as a ONE PDF document, it can be uploaded under the "supplemental" section of the DICAS application.
Students applying to the CSUN DI will either be considered for the Masters in Human Nutrition Dietetic Internship (MS DI) combined program or DI Certificate program. Students considered for the MS DI combined program will need to meet the masters degree and DI requirements in order to receive a DI verification statement. The program has been designed to have the students complete the MS DI Combined program in 24 months. The students considered for the DI Certificate program will have completed or will complete an MS degree prior to starting the DI program. DI Certificate has been designed to have interns complete this program within twelve months.
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 all other application materials/requirements. If accepted into the DI program, please contact the graduate coordinator to have the Change of Objective form submitted.
If you currently hold a masters degree or are currently enrolled in a graduate program that you are scheduled to graduate prior to the start of the Dietetic Internship Program, and have a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Verification Statement, and would like to be considered for the DI program at CSUN, 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, register for D&D, and submit all other application requirements. Information about the application requirements was provided earlier on this page. Recency of Education will need to be completed, if applicable.
Interns are expected to:
- Complete all required graduate and DI courses. A "B" average must be maintained in all classes. A description of graduate courses can be found at the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Department website or the online catalog.
- Completion of 1216 hours of supervised practice in assigned facilities and/or programs, and alternate hours.
- Complete a medical Spanish training.
- Complete Motivational Interviewing Training, Breastfeeding Training, and JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Training.
- Meet all program competencies and student learning outcomes.
- Remain in good standing with the University and comply with all rules and regulations as written in the University Catalog and this Handbook.
After completing the above, the intern will be eligible to schedule and write the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Examination for Registered Dietitian - Nutritionists.
The current CSUN DI Certificate 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. Courses include all of the following: FCS 573, FCS 570, FCS 571, FCS 572, FCS 606, FCS 607, FCS 681, FCS 682, and medical Spanish online training. Students that have completed a prior MS in HN may be able to substitute 2 classes. This needs to be discussed and approved by Graduate Coordinator and DI Director.
The students in the MS DI Combined program will begin their M.S. in HN courses the first year of the DI Program. In addition, interns will meet with DI Director and/or DI Coordinator bi-weekly through out the Fall and Spring semester to begin their program development, research, business plan, and peer mentoring in year one. Completion of all required and equivalent are: FCS 570, FCS 571, FCS 572, FCS 573, FCS 681, FCS 682, FCS 606, FCS 607, FCS 601, FCS 609, FCS 505, EPC 600, and medical Spanish online training. Each student will need to complete FCS 697 (comprehensive) or FCS 698 (Thesis/Project). For MS DI Combined program, the interns must have completed the MS HN requirements in addition to the DI requirements to be verified to sit for the exam. (Verification statement will be issued once all MS HN and DI Combined requirements are met.)
Community Served and Campus Information
The Dietetic Internship program at CSUN has two paths, Masters in Human Nutrition Dietetic Internship (MS DI) combined program or DI Certificate program. Approximately 12-14 interns will be accepted each year.
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 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. NEHVC 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.
Our affiliations include local hospitals, County programs, WIC programs, Foodservice sites, 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, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Services, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Davita Dialysis Centers, Veteran’s Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Glendale School District, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Las Virgenes Unified School District, Facey Medical Foundation, LA Care, private practice groups, Los Angeles Jewish Home, Kaiser Permanente, Los Robles Regional Medical Center, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Great LA Headstart program, 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.