Internship Components

General Information

  • To provide state-of-the-art learning opportunities during the internship, the University of Florida Food Science and Human Nutrition Department maintains affiliations with numerous organizations throughout the state. Our affiliation with the University of Florida’s Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and the Florida Cooperative Extension Service also provides our students with the opportunity to acquire strong skills in developing and delivering nutrition education and wellness programs in the areas of food, nutrition and health, as well as experience with providing training to county Extension faculty in these areas. They also develop skills in developing business plans for nonprofit organizations.
  • Most internship sites are located within a 65-mile radius of Gainesville. Some unique and distant affiliations (i.e., sites used for outpatient pediatric rotations; Publix SuperMarkets; etc.) require temporary relocation. Assignment to distant affiliations is viewed as a specialized learning opportunity and is based solely on student request, interest, and availability. Students are responsible for arranging their travel (and expenses) to and from rotation assignments.
  • Students in the internship must sign waivers of liability and statements of personal responsibility prior to beginning the supervised practice experiences. Students must be up to date on required immunizations. Criminal history background checks must be completed prior to entering the program and on an annual basis thereafter to establish no prior record of conviction or registration as a sex offender.  Some site affiliates may have additional health requirements and/or may require a physical exam/health status assessment, drug screening, additional immunizations, HIV/AIDS training, etc.
  • Students are responsible for all expenses related to these requirements.
  • The Program Director develops the annual rotation schedule with input from each student, site administrators/preceptors and UF faculty. New affiliation agreements are developed based on need, interest and availability.

Nutrition Education and Wellness Competencies

In addition to satisfactory achievement of the Core Competencies for the RD/RDN, students also must satisfactorily achieve the competencies for our Nutrition Education and Wellness concentration:

  • Conduct literature reviews and interpret and evaluate food, nutrition and nutrition education research, consumer issues, and nutrition education materials and programs.
  • Conduct needs assessments for targeted community-based groups.
  • Develop food and nutrition education programs and materials for diverse populations.
  • Apply relevant education and behavioral sciences theories and techniques to modify nutrition and health behaviors for individuals and groups.
  • Develop, market, conduct, and evaluate food and nutrition education programs/training sessions that demonstrate effective use of oral and written communication skills and technology.
  • Develop an in depth business plan for nutrition/health-related non-profit organizations that incorporates knowledge of governance, strategic planning, fund raising, risk management, policy, decision-making and planning functions of nonprofit organizations.

Rotations and Clock Hours

The internship component of the program includes the rotations and experiences listed below. Phases I and II constitute the full-time internship component of the program (See Sample MS-DI Rotation Schedule). Descriptions of the rotations can be viewed by clicking on the name of the rotation. Students must complete required courses with a 3.0 or higher GPA and a grade of B or higher in DIE 6241 and 6242 to proceed with Phases I and II of the internship.


Supervised Practice Hours

Number of Weeks

Phase 1 (primarily during semesters 1-4)


Nutrition Education and Wellness Program Planning, Development and Evaluation (FYC 6934)



Interdisciplinary Family Health



Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy (DIE 6241 & DIE 6242)



Clinically Related Pre-Internship Experiences



Research Projects in Nutrition and Dietetics (FOS 6915; HUN 6936)



School, Community-based Wellness, Community Agencies and Organizations (DIE 6905; Other)



Advanced Dietetic Seminar/Professional Issues in Dietetics/Other (DIE 6938, DIE 6516, Other)



Supervised Teaching Preventative Health Experience (HUN 6936) 0.2

Phase II (core rotations – semester 5)





Food Service Systems Management



General Clinical Dietetics




Phase III (specialized rotations and staffing experience – semester 6)


Critical Care



Long Term Care or Wellness



Specialty Practice Areas (including outpatient)



Staffing Experience






Minus holidays/special leave







Phase I experiences are designed to help students develop skills they will need throughout the internship and in future practice, develop competence in planning, developing, and delivering nutrition education and wellness materials and programs, and introduce students to supervised practice settings. Some pre-internship experiences build leadership and team work skills, advocacy skills, and research skills and provide opportunities for critical thinking and taking a proactive approach to working in community environments.

Phase II is designed to help students develop a common core of skills in the three fundamental areas of dietetic practice: community nutrition, food service management and clinical dietetics.

Phase III provides more specialized training. The outpatient rotation provides students with the opportunity to select a particular area of interest (e.g., pediatrics, diabetes, renal, eating disorders, oncology, etc.) in which to build skills and competence. Students also select to complete a wellness or long-term care rotation. The internship culminates with a clinical staffing experience rotation.