Dietetic Internship Curriculum and Calendar

The internship will begin in early September and graduation will occur at the end of June. The concentration of the dietetic internship is wellness promotion.

Internship Rotations:

Nutrition Therapy 14 weeks 448 hours
Foodservice Management 8 weeks 256 hours
Community 12 weeks 384 hours
Elective Weeks 2 weeks 64 hours
Staff Experience 2 weeks
38 weeks
64 hours
1216 hours
Class & seminar (Mondays) 30 weeks 160 hours

Thirty-two hours per week will be spent in supervised practice Tuesdays through Fridays. The didactic portion of the program will be spent in a five-to-six-hour class (broken up into a class session in the morning and another in the afternoon) every Monday (except on legal holidays and on certain Mondays when Cal Poly is not in session). Class sessions emphasize expert guest lectures and hands-on application of dietetics knowledge and skills, including critical analysis of and presenting on current nutrition-related research. The classroom setting will be augmented with field trips to additional facilities.


Nutrition Therapy Rotations

At least 10 weeks will be completed at a hospital, with remaining 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 tube feedings and parenteral feedings.

Foodservice Management Rotations

Eight 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

Twelve 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, a homeless shelter, 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 three 4-week 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.

Elective Rotation

During this unique experience, the intern is allowed to find a rotation for two weeks or two one-week rotations in a dietetic related field of their particular interest. The experience may be within a current rotation site or at an approved site outside of the current internship rotation sites. Elective sites are not required to be located in the Central Coast area.

Professional Staff Experience

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

Option to Complete Portion of Supervised Practice Abroad

All Cal Poly dietetic interns are 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).

Cal Poly DI 2019-20 Student Handbook

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

Cal Poly DI 2019-20 Program Calendar

Orientation: Week of 9/2

Supervised Practice: Begins Week of 9/9

Thanksgiving Break: 11/25 – 12/1

Supervised Practice: Resumes Week of 12/2

Winter Break: 12/23/19 – 1/3/20

Supervised Practice: Resumes Week of 1/6

Last Day of Supervised Practice: 6/19/20

Graduation: Week of 6/22

*NOTE: The 2020-21 Program Calendar will be posted as soon as it has been finalized.

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