Dietetic Internship Certificate


Type of Program

The Sage School of Health Sciences provides a Dietetic Internship (DI) for students who have successfully completed an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) didactice program in dietetics (DPD).  Successful candidates for the program qualify to take the registration examination for dietitians to earn “R.D.” status. The DI offers two program formats, an on-campus program and a distance/online program.  Each format may be completed on either a full-time basis in 10 months or a part-time basis in 22 months.  Classes begin in August of each year, and the supervised practice experience is typically completed in late June of the following year.


Dietetics is a profession undergoing many changes as a result of the expanding health care industry, emergence of the obesity epidemic, a new era of nutritional genetics, and reimbursement for medical nutrition therapy (MNT). The Dietetic Internship at Sage prepares nutrition students for the future. In this program, students are exposed to the variety and diversity of dietetic practice through planned experiences in multiple settings. Drawing upon a variety of resources and professionals, students work with Registered Dietitians in traditional hospital practice, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, government food management programs, and other settings.

With an understanding that learning has theoretical underpinnings, the program also requires students to concurrently complete five graduate classes for 24 credits. Students may choose to apply the graduate coursework to one of three graduate degree programs at Sage Graduate Schools:  Applied Nutrition, Community Health Education, or Health Services Administration. Students have access to the Albany Medical College library and Russell Sage College library, periodicals and databases, computers and software programs, seminars, and visiting lecturers for further academic development. Thus, the diversity of planned experiences and locations combined with the academic enrichment will serve to position the graduate for a variety of career choices as well as for beginning their graduate education.

Program Goals

  1. Prepare graduates as leaders for a diverse array of entry-level dietetics positions and responsibilities.
  2. Promote the concept of lifelong learning as a personal and professional obligation for the practice of dietetics.

Concentration Area: Communication

Upon completion of the SGS DI, graduates are able to:

  1. Review, analyze, and evaluate current literature to establish recommendations for best practices in treatment of nutritional conditions.
  2. Apply concepts and techniques from current web-based technologies and social media for use in nutrition and dietetics.

ADA Accreditation Status

The Sage Graduate Schools’ Dietetic Internship is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND).  The Dietetic Internship at the Sage School of Health Sciences received full accreditation in July 1999. The program may accept up to 16 interns per class.

ACEND is the only accrediting agency for dietetics education recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE).  The address and telephone number of ACEND are: 120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL. 60606-6995, 312-899-4876. Sage Graduate Schools of Russell Sage College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Program Format

The Dietetic Internship integrates five graduate courses with more than 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience in a variety of settings in the Capital District of New York State.  Students unable to relocate to the Capital District of New York may be able to obtain placements in other locations, such as Lower Hudson Valley, North Country Region, Utica/ Rome area and Western Massachusetts.  The experience component includes three weeks of orientation, 15 weeks for clinical, 11 weeks for food and wellness management, and eight weeks for community nutrition.  Field trips and attendance at the New York State Dietetic Association Annual Meeting are also included.  The program does not follow the academic calendar.here

For a list of affiliate institutions, please click here.

Full Time: Students attend the supervised practice five days per week for a minmum of 40 hours per week in the field. Two graduate courses are taken each during the fall and spring terms, and one course is taken during summer session. The internship director is available for advisement about graduate coursework.

Part Time: The internship may be completed on a part-time basis. Part-time participants complete a minimum of 24 hours of supervised practice per week plus one or two graduate courses each semester. The part-time schedule takes two years to complete all requirements. The DI director works with each part-time intern to arrange the practical experience schedule. One graduate course is taken in the fall semester and continued in the spring semester of the first year. One graduate course is taken in Summer Session of the first year. Two graduate courses are taken in the fall semester of the second year. One course is taken in the spring semester of the second year.

Practicum Course Waiver for Professional Learning Experiences

In 1994, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics revised their standards of education for Dietetic Internships to allow credit for prior learning experience toward the supervised practical experience hours. Based on ACEND’s standards of education with corresponding criterion and guidelines, Sage Graduate Schools has approved a program which enables interns to waive a portion (from 1 to 12 credits) of the Dietetic Internship. Graduate credit will not be awarded; rather, students will be able to complete the program in less time by receiving a waiver for up to two of the three practicum courses. Due to the broad nature of these courses, it is expected that individuals will rarely meet the criteria to waive all practicum courses. The waiver option offers a creative and flexible opportunity for non-traditional students and those with extensive experience in nutrition and dietetics practice to complete the Dietetic Internship in a modified format. Applicants are encouraged to discuss this process with the DI director and submit the Practicum Course Waiver Application and the portfolio(s) with Dietetic Internship application.

Program Expectations

  • Food and Wellness Management (one semester- Fall or Spring)
  • Clinical Nutrition (one semester- Fall or Spring)
  • Community Nutrition (Summer Session 3)

Successful completion of the supervised practice experiences includes the ability to demonstrate entry-level competence in each of the areas of practice. Students are evaluated by facility preceptors as well as the DI director. Tools utilized to evaluate entry-level competencies include, but are not limited to: assignments, quizzes, a professional portfolio, observation during supervised practice experiences, and a final exam. The internship director reserves the right to have students repeat rotations and/or assignments where objectives and competencies have not been met.

The fourth component is the successful completion of five graduate courses, which are integrated with the practical experience, with a“B” grade or better. The option of completing a master’s degree would require that the student coordinate the graduate program with a specific graduate program advisor.

The final component is the successful completion of a comprehensive online examination, which simulates the registration examination, with a minimum grade of 65 percent correct.

All five components must be successfully completed to receive a verification statement and qualify for the registration examination. For additional details on program expectations, please click here.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet Dietetic Internship requirements and, if appropriate, the requirements for matriculation into Sage Graduate Schools.

Requirements are:

  • A baccalaureate degree.
  • Completion of an ACEND didactic program in dietetics (DPD) with a verification statement form signed by the undergraduate DPD program director.
  • Overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Recency of education: Additional coursework in dietetics or a related area is required to update a degree which was completed four or more years prior to applying to the Dietetic Internship. A minimum of three courses, equivalent to the following Russell Sage College nutrition science courses NTR 402, NTR 404, and NTR 417, are required for degrees completed four or more years prior to completing this application.
  • Factors considered for admission are recommendation letters, relevant work and/or volunteer experience, extracurricular activities and letter of application. Applicants are considered on the basis of qualifications, without regard to race, color, creed, sex, or national origin.

Application Process

Dietetic Internship application materials may be downloaded from: www.sage.edu/academics/health_sciences/certificates The Sage Graduate Schools application form may be completed online: www.sage.edu/admission/graduate/procedures/

  • Application for Admission
    Office of Graduate Admission
    Sage Graduate School
    Russell Sage College
    45 Ferry St., Troy, NY
    OR call 1-888-VERYSAGE

Program Tuition and Fees

In addition to tuition for 24 graduate credits, a car and valid driver’s license are required as travel to facilities is necessary. Students have housing, board and transportation expenses, parking fees, AND affiliate and district membership fees, and professional liability and health insurance fees. Professional dress clothes, lab coat, reference books, materials, and supplies for graduate courses are also necessary for the planned experiences.

Total Credits