Certificate in Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Internship Handbook

The OUHSC Dietetic Internship program is a post-baccalaureate supervised practice experience designed to assist the candidate in meeting the necessary competencies required for registration with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Characteristics of the program include the following:

  • A generalist experience with a 5-week elective (community or nutrition-focused outcome)
  • Two internship classes per year: begins January (spring class) and June (summer class)
  • Approximately eight months in length
  • 1,208 clock hours of scheduled supervised practice
  • Sites of each rotation vary and include locations throughout the state of Oklahoma (please note: some interns, not all, may be required to move from one geographical location in Oklahoma to another at least once during the internship)
  • Interns are assigned to rotation sites based on availability, intern preference, and sometimes facility interviews
  • There are four rotation modules (not completed in any particular order)
    • Nine week food service/management rotation
    • Nine week community rotation (experiences in wellness, public schools, renal disease, WIC, out-patient counseling, weight management, etc.) 
    • Nine week clinical rotation 
    • Five week elective rotation (community or nutrition focused outcomes)
  • The first week of the Internship is spent on-site at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Interns then go to their assigned rotation site. Interns attend a class day once each nine weeks in Oklahoma City or Tulsa.

 Spring 2017 schedule:

  • January 23 – 27: Orientation at Oklahoma City Campus; additional class days on March 31 (OKC Campus), June 2 (Tulsa Campus) and Aug 4 (OKC Campus)
  • Rotation 1: January 30 – March 30
  • Rotation 2: April 3 – June 1
  • Rotation 3: June 5 – Aug 3
  • Elective Rotation: August 7 – September 7
  • Holidays include Memorial Day (May 29), Independence Day (July 4) and three personal days.  If a student works on a holiday, another day may be taken as a personal day.
  • GRADUATION DAY: September 8, 2017 (OKC Campus)

 Summer 2017 schedule:

  • May 30 – June 2: Orientation at Oklahoma City Campus; additional class days on August 4 (OKC Campus),  October 6 (Tulsa Campus), and December 15 (OKC Campus)
  • Rotation 1: June 5  – August 3, 2017
  • Rotation 2: August 7 – October 5, 2017
  • Rotation 3: October 9 – December 14, 2017 
  • Elective Rotation: January 8 – February 8, 2018
  • Holidays include Independence Day (July 4) Labor Day (September 4), Thanksgiving (November 22-24), Winter Break (December 18-January 5, 2018), MLK Holiday (January 15, 2018) and three personal days. If a student works on a holiday, another day may be taken as a personal day.
  • GRADUATION DAY: February 9, 2018 (OKC Campus)

In accordance with published information that we give admission preference to graduates of the OUHSC Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) who have met specific admission criteria, our Dietetic Internship will preselect six interns who are graduates of the OUHSC DPD (MA degree) for the January 2017 class. That means that we expect to have eight to nine positions available to applicants who apply through DICAS and participate in the November 2016 match administered by D&D Digital for a January start date. We conduct phone interviews for selected external applicants. During the interview, we will inform applicants the locations of rotation sites where they are likely to be placed. The program uses sites in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas as well as regional hospitals in cities including Lawton, Ardmore, Ada, Duncan, Muskogee, McAlester and others. The OUHSC dietetic internship does not charge a fee to review applications. Shortly after match day we send out a link only to the individuals who were matched to our program. At that time they must apply to the university ($100 fee), submit official transcripts and fulfill other obligations to be admitted.

In the fall 2015 match for a start date of January 2016, the program admitted 14 interns (5 internal and 9 external).  In the spring 2016 match for a start date of June 2016, the program admitted 14 interns (2 internal and 12 external).


Interns may also choose to apply to the Graduate College to earn credit toward a Master of Science degree.

Prospective interns may concurrently apply to the Master of Science (MS) in Nutritional Sciences Program and receive six graduate credit hours for the internship completion.  Students interested in enrolling in the MS program will need to apply, and acceptance into the MS program is independent of the Dietetic Internship (DI) Program.   Thus acceptance into the DI Program does not ensure admission to the MS program and vice versa. Students can be admitted into both programs and admission into either does not preclude admission into another.  Individuals accepted into both the DI and MS program can transfer six credit hours from the DI Program to the MS program at OUHSC or at another university.  Prospective interns who wish to apply to the MS program must ensure they meet the minimum requirements.  Please review the MS in Nutritional Sciences webpage for more details.

If accepted to both MS and DI programs, interns will complete the DI program first, and the six credit hours gained from the DI Program can be transferred to the OUHSC MS in Nutritional Sciences Program.  Alternatively, interns may transfer these six credit hours elsewhere if they choose to pursue an MS degree at another university.  (Please note: the transferred hours must be approved by the accepting university at their discretion.  It is the student’s responsibility to check if the accepting university will transfer the six credit hours.)

If a prospective intern chooses to concurrently apply to the MS Program, they must designate this on their DICAS application by choosing the ‘Site/Track(s) Designation’ as: ‘University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Dietetic Internship with Masters of Science option – Oklahoma City’.  If this is not properly designated on the DICAS application, the application will not be considered for the MS Program.  If the prospective intern wishes to apply to the Internship only, they should select ‘University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Dietetic Internship – Oklahoma City’.

Please contact the program director if you have additional questions.

Course Name

Course Number

Credit Hours

Dietetic Internship (curriculum including evidence-based clinical case report)

NS 5426


Biostatistics (fall or spring)

BSE 5163


Energy Nutrients (spring)

NS 5823


Non-Energy Nutrients (fall)

NS 5833


Research Methods (fall)

NS 5233


Nutrition Seminar (fall and spring)

NS 5970


Master’s Project (may be done during concentration rotation)

NS 5880


Elective courses (onsite or online)





Student may also elect the thesis option for which the master’s project is deleted. It is replaced by four to six hours of thesis plus elective courses to total 34 credit hours.

Please contact the program director if you have questions.

Brian-dela-Cruz@ouhsc.edu or (405) 271-8001 X 41181


The mission of the OUHSC Dietetic Internship program is to provide the best possible supervised practice experience for our students through excellence in teaching and appropriate supervised rotation sites to foster creative activity and service to the university, college, department, state and society.

Goals and desired outcome measures are to:

  1. Prepare graduates to become competent entry-level dietitians.
    1. Over a 5-year period, ≥90% of enrolled students will complete program requirements within 50 weeks (150% usual completion time)
    2. Over a 5-year period, ≥80% of students will pass RD exam on first attempt
    3. Over a 5-year period, ≥85% of employers responding to survey will answer “yes” that alumni were prepared for entry-level practice
    4. One hundred percent of students completing the program will have an overall score of 3 or higher on curriculum evaluation forms indicating they have met the ACEND competencies.
    5. Over a 5-year period ≥85% of alumni responding to survey will answer “yes” that they were prepared for entry-level practice upon graduation from the dietetic internship.
  2. Prepare graduates who obtain employment in dietetics-related positions.
    1. Over a 5-year period, ≥80% of graduates seeking employment will have a job or be enrolled in graduate school within three months of program completion.

There are four rotation modules (food service management, clinical, community, and elective):

  1. Nine week food service management rotation
  2. Nine week community rotation (experiences in wellness, public schools, renal disease, WIC, out-patient counseling, weight management, etc.)
  3. Nine week clinical rotation
  4. Five week elective rotation (community or nutrition focused outcomes)

The first three rotation modules are not completed in any particular order.  Some interns will start the first rotation module in food service management, some interns will start in community, and some interns will start in clinical.  The same goes for the second and third rotation modules.  Each intern will complete the elective rotation module during the last 5 weeks of the internship program. 

For the clinical and food service management rotation modules, each intern will typically be assigned to one hospital site and will be placed at that site for 18 weeks (9 weeks of clinical rotation + 9 weeks of food service management rotation = 18 weeks).  The OUHSC Dietetic Internship utilizes hospital sites across the State of Oklahoma including hospitals in Oklahoma City (OKC), Tulsa, and smaller cities across the state.  If an intern is assigned to a hospital outside of OKC or Tulsa, that intern will live in that city for 18 weeks of the internship program.  It would not be feasible to live in OKC or Tulsa and commute to these smaller cities as some of these cities can be up to two hours away from OKC or Tulsa.  Interns can also be placed in a hospital in the OKC area or Tulsa area.

For the community rotation module, the internship program utilizes rotation sites in the OKC metro area and Tulsa metro area only.  These are the two largest cities in Oklahoma, and because of this, these two cities provide the best opportunities for community rotations.  In the smaller cities, there are typically no opportunities to complete community rotations due to their smaller size.  The intern may preference OKC or Tulsa area for the community rotation for the entirety of the nine week module. 

If the intern is assigned to a hospital for the clinical and food service management rotations which is outside the OKC or Tulsa metro areas, the intern will have to move to the OKC area or Tulsa area to complete the nine weeks of the community rotation module.  This will require the intern to move at least once during the internship.  If an intern is assigned to a hospital in OKC area or Tulsa area, the intern can essentially live in that respective city for the entire 8 month internship experience without having to move.  Concerning housing, it is the intern’s responsibility to secure housing whether it be in the OKC area, Tulsa area, or other cities in Oklahoma.  The internship director or program staff is able to assist the intern with finding housing, but ultimately the final responsibility falls on the intern.

The final rotation module, the elective rotation, can potentially be completed anywhere across the United States.  More details concerning this will be discussed during orientation week.  Please note: not all elective rotation sites can be guaranteed.  Many interns choose to stay in Oklahoma to complete the elective rotation, but some interns choose to go out of state to complete a unique opportunity. 

If there are questions concerning the rotation sites, prospective interns are encouraged to contact the program director for more information.

Evidence of meeting the minimum academic requirements from a ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (Verification Statement or Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree provided via Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System portal).

  • Individuals appointed to OUHSC Dietetic Internship will be required to provide an original, signed verification statement.
  • If verification statement is not dated within last five years, applicant should show evidence of continuing education and competence in dietetics-related domain knowledge (e.g. recent medical nutrition therapy course).

Completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university.

  • Individuals appointed to OUHSC Dietetic Internship will be required to provide official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Degree must be posted on official transcript.

GPA ≥3.0

  • Cumulative GPA of ≥3.0 over the last 60 hours of academic work taken, whether undergraduate or graduate hours. Please note: in calculating GPA from the last 60 hours, the entire semester in which the 60 hours fall is counted. The College of Allied Health does not recognize academic forgiveness nor reprieve policies. All attempts of a course are included in the calculation of GPAs;
  • Science GPA ≥3.0
  • Preference is given to students with grades of B or better in all dietetics courses.

Students for whom English is a second language must earn a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based) within two years prior to application on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is NOT required.


The OUHSC Dietetic Internship participates in the computer matching process through D&D Digital Systems. Applicants must register with D&D Digital Systems. The fee for this process is $50. Deadline dates for fall and spring match are given on D&D Digital website.

The OUHSC Dietetic Internship also utilizes the on-line application via the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) portal

  • Apply through DICAS and we will review your application at no additional cost to you.
  • No supplemental application materials are required.
  • Fee to use DICAS is $40 for first application submitted and $20 for each additional application
  • On match day individuals selected by the OUHSC Dietetic Internship (through the D&D Digital system) must accept their appointment by an email to the program director within 24 hours.
  • The department will send a link to the online application portal and instructions only to the students accepted into the program. Students will be admitted to the College of Allied Health and enrolled in six credit hours for the certificate program.

The GRE examination is not required. Students may choose to remain after the internship and complete the additional 28 hours of coursework to earn the Master of Science degree after they have earned the internship certificate. However, they are not obligated to finish the master’s degree at OUHSC.


Interns accepted must enroll and pay tuition for NS 7426 (professional certificate only) or NS 5426 (professional certificate and masters degree credit) - Dietetic Internship that is a six credit hour course. Tuition for those six credit hours will be based on graduate tuition rates per resident or non-resident status. Additional fees will also be the responsibility of the Intern. Approximate cost for tuition and fees 2015 -2016 will be:
  • $6,800 — Oklahoma resident
  • $9,900 — Non-resident

Interns will also have other required expenses for professional attire (including lab coat and non-slip shoes), Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics student membership, attendance at a state or national professional meeting, housing and transportation. An automobile is required as interns may have to drive an hour to some rotation sites and public transportation is not available. A generous financial aid package is available for qualified interns.

The program participates in both fall and spring matching utilizing the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS). The program does not charge students a separate fee for application review. On match day, interns who are accepted into the program will receive a link and must then apply for admission to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. There is a $75 application fee. Only students who are matched to the program through D&D Digital will pay this fee. Students who wish to enroll in NS 5426 and also earn six hours credit toward the masters degree must pay an additional $25 fee.

Additional cost information:
Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees
Student Financial Aid



The OUHSC Internship was granted full accreditation in 2010 for 10 years by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For additional information on accreditation, please contact:

Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
Phone: (800) 877-1600, ext. 5400 or (312) 899-0040
Fax: (312) 899-4817


Applicants who meet the admission requirements are scored based on cumulative GPA, science GPA (all attempted science hours), nutrition/dietetics GPA (all attempted hours), career goal statement (to be completed on-line through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services or DICAS), recommendations, and a phone interview and/or on-line competency exam.  Final rankings are based on compilation and ranking of scores.  

We are approved to accept 30 interns per year.  Our program has two start dates (January (spring semester) and summer). The selection process is based on the National Matching System.  The National Matching System is managed by D & D Digital Systems, 304 Main Street, Ames, Iowa 50010 (515-292-0490). The OUHSC Dietetic Internship will participate in the pre-select option as current students in the Nutritional Sciences Master of Arts program are given preference for admission into the OUHSC Dietetic Internship program based on published criteria for academic performance which include: 

  • Score of 75% or better for Competency Exam (administered by OUHSC NS Department);
  • Maintaining DPD GPA of > 3.5; and
  • Maintain good standing in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Please note that only OUHSC MA students are eligible for the pre-select option.

We desire intelligent interns with a strong academic record.  We do not expect interns to come to the program with extensive work experience in food and nutrition.  What type of intern will be successful in our program?  Applicants to this program should be adaptable and willing to go to diverse rotation sites anywhere in the State.  Interns are likely to be placed in smaller cities such as Muskogee, Altus, Ada or Duncan in addition to Oklahoma City, Norman or Tulsa.  A car is required as public transportation is not available for most rotations and length of travel makes bicycling impractical or impossible.

Upon successful completion of the Internship, the Intern receives a Verification Statement which provides the eligibility for application to take the National Registration Exam to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) through the Commission for Dietetic Registration.  Upon passing the National Registration Exam, the graduate will be credentialed as a Registered Dietitian and prepared to function as an entry-level Dietitian.

The Program also facilitates the process to become a Provisionally Licensed Dietitian in the State of Oklahoma immediately after graduation.


Department of Nutritional Sciences
Brian dela Cruz, MS, RDN/LD
Dietetic Internship Director
PO Box 26901, AHB 3057
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125-0901
Direct Phone: (405) 271-8001 x-41181
Nutritional Sciences Department Phone:  (405) 271-2113
Fax: (405) 271-1560
Email Professor Brian dela Cruz

Office of Academic and Student Services

Phone: (405) 271-6588

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the prospective student's page to utilize resources such as the transfer equivalency tables, admission statistics, job shadowing, gpa calculation, tuition cost, scholarships, student life, campus resources, etc.