Dietetic Internship Curriculum and Calendar

The internship will begin in late August and graduation will occur in mid-June. 

Internship Rotations

Interns will complete a minimum of the following weeks/hours in supervised practice rotations:

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) 10 weeks 320 hours
Foodservice Management (FSM) 6 weeks 192 hours
Community Nutrition (COM) 8 weeks 256 hours
Extended Core Rotation (MNT, COM, or FSM) 4 weeks 128 hours
Elective Experience 2 weeks 64 hours
Staff relief Experience 2 weeks 64 hours
Total Supervised Practice 32 weeks 1024 hours

An intern's typical week will begin with a day-long seminar session on Monday, followed by 32 hours/week of supervised practice from Tuesday through Friday. Seminar sessions occur every Monday when Cal Poly is in session, with the exception of observed holidays, and include expert guest lectures and hands-on application of dietetics knowledge and skills, including critical analysis and presentation of current nutrition-related research. Our experiences are also augmented with field trips to additional food and nutrition-related facilities in our region. 

Rotation Specifics

Medical Nutrition Therapy Rotations

At least 8 weeks will be completed at a hospital, with optional extended core rotation weeks completed at a renal care center, in a hospice/home health care setting, and/or at a long-term care facility. Duties will include nutritional screening and assessment of patients and patient education. Interns will become familiar with enteral and parenteral feedings and nutrition focused physical exams.

Foodservice Management Rotations

A minimum of 6 weeks will be completed in hospital and/or school district settings. The intern will be involved in menu planning, sustainability initiatives, food preparation and processing, purchasing, storage, distribution systems, sanitation and safety, administration, staff management, and planning special events. 

Community Rotations

No less than 8 weeks will be completed in a variety of locations such as WIC, County Health Departments, Food Banks, Head Start/Early Head Start, school districts, nutrition research centers, homeless shelters, outpatient clinics, a corporate wellness agency, Cooperative Extension, an eating disorder facility, and a cancer center. Interns prioritize the sites to which they would like to be assigned for 2-3 community rotations. The interns will have the opportunity to work with a variety of clients and provide public nutrition education as well as nutrition counseling.

Extended Core Rotations

Interns may augment any of their core rotations with up to an additional 4 weeks. These weeks may be divided to extend up to two core rotations (MNT, COM, or FSM).

Elective Rotation

During this unique experience, the intern is allowed to find a rotation for 2 weeks or in a dietetic related field of their particular interest. Interns may also choose to use their elective weeks to further extend a core rotation (MNT, COM, FSM). Elective sites are not required to be located in the Central Coast area. The experience may be within a current rotation site or at an approved site outside of the current internship rotation sites. Examples of electives include: sports/performance nutrition, mental health, research, as well as additional weeks in community, clinical, and food service rotations, as desired.

Professional Staff Experience

During this two-week period, the dietetic intern will be the acting dietitian at a selected facility. This rotation will come at the end of the foodservice management, medical nutrition therapy and community rotations, so that the intern is prepared for the responsibility.

Supervised Practice Abroad - Suspended for 2023-24

Cal Poly dietetic interns are also eligible to complete up to 3 weeks (96 hours) of supervised practice internationally. The rotations that can be completed abroad include the 2-week elective experience and one week of professional staff experience (must be conducted at the same international supervised practice rotation facility, pending the verified ability and commitment of the site to offer an intern the opportunity to perform the work of an entry-level dietitian for that week). NOTE: This opportunity is currently on-hold.

Cal Poly DI Handbook

For more details regarding rotation sites, program policies, internship completion requirements, and other information for Cal Poly interns, please review our current Cal Poly DI Handbook.

Cal Poly DI 2023-24 Program Calendar 

The 2022-23 Program Calendar will be posted as soon as it has been finalized.

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