“The SPU Dietetic Internship program has provided a wealth of opportunity and interest for my future career as a RDN. I am eternally grateful that I have had the chance to confirm this is the field I truly want to work in. From community rotations to private practice, and unique rotations with eating disorder clients-it is hard to choose just one path. The good news is-I don’t have to! I have not only grown as a nutrition professional, but as a compassionate individual ready to make a positive impact in the various facets of the nutrition and dietetics practice. Thanks to the support of my director, preceptors and cohort I am confident that there is a bright future ahead as a SPU alum.” - Ashley Napoleon, SPU Nutrition and Dietetics Intern, 2020-21
Pictured is Ashley recording a virtual cooking demonstration about instant brown rice recipes for clients served through Homage Senior Services.
Information to prospective students
The program’s community nutrition concentration will provide interns with in-depth learning experiences in food security, cultural competence, and nutrition education of diverse audiences. Dietetic interns will have opportunities to complete learning activities at food banks/pantries, community centers, WIC, home care, senior services, and more. Upon program completion, graduates will be eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dietitian Nutritionists.
Optional International Rotation
Dietetic interns may choose to complete an optional supervised practice experience in Shimla, India. Interns will spend time in clinical and community nutrition rotations in a rural area of the country. Students completing this 2-week rotation will obtain 60 hours of supervised experience. Additional tuition will be charged for this optional rotation.
Mission statement, program goals, and objectives
The mission of the SPU DI program is to prepare graduates for entry-level work as registered dietitian nutritionists to support the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, and to be leaders in the dietetics profession and in the community at large. Our graduates will use their food and nutrition expertise to engage the culture and enhance the lives of others through effective leadership, policy impact, management of programs and services, culturally sensitive education and counseling practices, and compassionate care throughout the lifespan.
Program Goal #1: Graduates are prepared for entry-level practice as registered dietitian nutritionists in the areas of medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, and food service management.
Program Goal #1 will be assessed based on the following objectives:
- Ninety percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion. (Graduate performance on Registration Exam objective)
- 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%. (Graduate performance on Registration Exam objective)
- At least 80% of program students complete program/degree requirements within 13.5 months (150% of the program length). (Program completion objective)
- Of graduates who seek employment, 75% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation. (Graduate employment objective)
- At least 80% of program graduates who complete the survey will rate their preparation for entry-level practice as satisfactory or higher. (Program specific objective)
- At least 75% of employers who complete the survey will agree that graduates demonstrate satisfactory preparation for entry-level practice. (Employer satisfaction objective)
Program Goal #2: Graduates demonstrate knowledge and skills in cultural competence.
Program Goal #2 will be assessed based on the following objectives:
- At least 75% of employers who complete the survey will agree that graduates demonstrate satisfactory communication skills when interacting with culturally diverse populations across the lifespan. (Employer satisfaction objective)
- At least 80% of program finishers who complete the survey will agree that the program prepared them to provide effective culturally-sensitive nutrition education and counseling across the lifespan.
- At least 80% of program finishers who complete the survey and who participated in the optional international rotation in India will agree that the experience enhanced their knowledge in working with culturally diverse populations.
Program Goal #3: Graduates actively participate in leadership and service roles within the nutrition and dietetic profession or the community at large.
Program Goal #3 will be assessed based on the following objectives:
- At least 75% of employers who complete the survey will state that graduates are actively involved in leadership roles within their organization.
- At least 50% of graduates who complete the survey will report participation in at least one leadership position within the dietetics profession within five years of program completion.
- At least 75% of graduates who complete the survey will report involvement in a nutrition-related community service project within two years of program completion.
- At least 50% of graduates who complete the survey will report participation in one or more of the following services to the profession: precepting dietetic interns, overseeing undergraduate field experiences or internships, providing job shadows, or mentoring students.
Program outcomes data are available upon request.
Requirements and process for credentialing as a registered dietitian (RDN)
To become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), students must meet the following requirements:
- Earn a bachelor's degree and receive a verification statement from an accredited didactic program in dietetics, or equivalent.
- Meet the admission requirements for an ACEND-regulated post-baccalaureate supervised practice program, which includes completion of required academic courses and minimum GPA requirements.
- Gain acceptance into a supervised practice program.
- Successfully complete a supervised practice program, which requires a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice experience.
- Pass the Registration Examination for Dietitian Nutritionists.
Changes to RDN Credentialing Requirements
Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: https://www.cdrnet.org/graduatedegree.
In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited DPD program at Seattle Pacific University are eligible to [apply to an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program/apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN].
In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.
For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here."
Estimated program fees (2021–22 academic year)
| Program deposit (non-refundable)*
| Liability insurance
| Background check
| Drug testing
| Third-party immunization documentation verification fee
| Books and supplies
| Student membership fee, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
*Program deposit is due within two weeks of acceptance to the program.
Please note: Housing, meals and travel expenses, including ferry boat fees, are additional costs not covered by program tuition and fees.
Optional International Rotation in Shimla, India:
|Dietetic internship program fee
| Administrative fee
| Additional costs:
| India travel visa
| Spending money and personal weekend travel
For more information, visit SPU Study Abroad
Application and admission requirements
Information on applying to the program
The SPU DI program accepts applications in two ways: the pre-select option and the standard submission process, both through Dietetic Internship Central Application Services (DICAS).
Pre-select Application Submission Process
The SPU DI program offers up to 10 out of 10 intern positions to qualified SPU-affiliated applicants: intended graduates in their senior year of the SPU Didactic Program in Dietetics, as well as alumni of our dietetics program. The remaining positions will be filled through computer matching.
Pre-select applicants must submit an application through DICAS no later than January 07, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
A non-refundable program application fee of $50 must be received or postmarked by January 7th. Checks should be made payable to Seattle Pacific University and mailed to attention: Joey K. Freeman, MS, RD, CD, Seattle Pacific University Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, 3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119.
Interviews will be held during the week of January 17th. Applicants will be notified of their status (acceptance or non-acceptance) by January 27th (Notification Day). Applicants offered a position in the program through the pre-select option must confirm acceptance via email by January 28th (Appointment Day). Once pre-select applicants are confirmed, names and email addresses of interns will be submitted to D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by February 1st. If an applicant fails to notify the program director, via email, to confirm acceptance of his/her appointment by 11:59 p.m. PST on January 28th, the position will be filled by another candidate.
Standard Application Submission Process
To apply to the SPU DI program, applicants must submit an application through DICAS. Applications are due February 15th by 11:59 p.m. CST.
A non-refundable program application fee of $50 must be received or postmarked by February 15th. Checks should be made payable to Seattle Pacific University and mailed to attention: Joey K. Freeman, MS, RD, CD, Seattle Pacific University Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, 3307 Third Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119.
Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted by March 8th to schedule an interview date/time during the week of March 15th. Results of computer matching will be available on Monday, April 3rd beginning at 11:00 a.m. CST (Notification Day). Candidates matched to the SPU DI program must contact the program director by 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4th (Appointment Day) to confirm acceptance of the match. If a candidate fails to contact the program by 11:00 a.m. PST. on Notification Day, the program is under no obligation to retain the position for the applicant.
Program admission requirements
- Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
- An original signed Verification Statement dated within last five years,
- Minimum cumulative GPA: 3.0; Minimum DPD Professional Sciences GPA: 3.0. Proof of DTR credential may be taken into consideration if an applicant's GPA is below 3.0.
- ServSafe Manager Certification through the National Restaurant Association at the time of application
Preferred Qualifications (in no ranked order)
- Experience in clinical, community and/or food service management settings,
- Mission, study abroad or volunteer experience with diverse cultures,
- Involvement in a state or local dietetic association,
- Leadership experience.
Academic and program calendar
The SPU DI program follows the University calendar. SPU operates on the quarter system, and each quarter is 11 weeks in length, (10 weeks of instruction followed by finals week). Autumn quarter spans from late September through early December followed by a multi-week break over the holidays. Winter quarter begins in early January and ends in mid-March followed by a weeklong spring break. Spring quarter begins in late March and concludes in early June.
Dietetic interns accepted into the SPU DI program will begin on-boarding the summer prior to the start of the program. Verification statements indicating completion of a Bachelor’s degree and Didactic Program in Dietetics will need to be received by the program director. In addition, criminal background checks, immunization verification and other required procedures will need to be completed before interns may begin the program in September.
Program orientation will occur in mid-September and held at the University. During orientation, dietetic interns will learn in depth information about the program, including the mission, goals and objectives, supervised practice rotation sites, preceptors, assignments, seminar sessions, core competencies, intern expectations, evaluation criteria, and etiquette. Interns will also have ample time to get to know their peers and will participate in team-building activities. Orientation will prepare dietetic interns to begin supervised practice experience in the following weeks.
Program completion will take place in late May, followed by a celebration with interns, preceptors and program administrators in early June. At this time, awards will be given and verification statements will be provided.
Program completion requirements
Dietetic interns will be assessed quarterly in the dietetic internship seminar and practicum. To pass with a satisfactory grade (P), interns must achieve the following: complete required number of hours in assigned rotations, meet ACEND requirements for entry-level knowledge and competencies in assigned rotations/practice areas, and receive minimum "meets expectations" ratings on preceptor evaluations. To pass the dietetic internship seminar, interns must complete all didactic coursework at a satisfactory level within pre-determined timeframes. Satisfactory performance will be required in both the dietetic seminar and practicum in order to complete the program and earn a Verification Statement. Interns will have a maximum of 13.5 months to complete the program.
Availability of financial aid and scholarships
Financial aid is not available for post-baccalaureate students enrolled at SPU. Some scholarship funding may be available through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Computer Matching Information
Our program participates in computer matching through D&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.