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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Learn about the curriculum and degree requirements for the University of Kansas dietetic internship graduate certificate program.

The KU Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate program provides supervised practice experiences allowing dietetic interns to practice, develop and apply skills gained in the classroom.

The certificate program consists of 24 hours of graduate coursework and 1,000 hours of supervised practice experiences, a combination designed to offer the necessary content and skills to meet the required core competencies for entry-level dietitians.


Rotations

Practice sites are available for each rotation experience. Interns rank their rotation preferences and practice sites will be assigned.

  • Clinical Nutrition (16 weeks)
  • Community Nutrition (6-8 weeks)
  • Food and Nutrition Management (6-8 weeks)
  • Practice Area of Interest (4-6 weeks)

Please note: all students should read about how COVID-19 vaccine status may impact the ability to complete all program requirements.


Class Schedule

During the fall and spring semesters, students attend classes on campus on Mondays. Supervised practice experiences are conducted Tuesday through Friday at assigned sites (typically 32 hours per week).


Summer Semester

There are no on-campus classes required during the summer*. During this semester, you will complete your practice area of interest rotation. This can take place at an on-campus location, a place within the U.S., or abroad. Students completing the master's degree have the option to enroll in additional graduate classes. See also: KU Medical Center Academic Calendar


Master’s Degree Option

As a degree-seeking student in the graduate certificate program, you may transfer 14 hours toward the master's degree (completed in two additional semesters). A total of 30 to 33 credit hours are required to complete the master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition.
Note: Course DN 827Practicum does not transfer (10 credit hours).

More than 80% of graduates from KU's dietetic internship program choose to continue on to complete the master's program. Master's degree students can apply for a research or graduate teaching assistantship which covers part or all of tuition and includes an hourly salary. Research assistants and graduate teaching assistants work 16-20 hours per week for one of the department's faculty during the fall and spring semesters after completion of the one-year internship program.


Academic Plan

Fall Semester

  • DN 825 Medical Nutrition Therapy I, 3 hours
  • DN 822 Management in Dietetics & Nutrition I, 2 hours
  • DN 841 International Nutrition, 1 hour
  • DN 817 Seminar I, 1 hour
  • DN 827 Practicum, 4 hours
  • Total hours for fall semester: 11 hours

Spring Semester

  • DN 826 Medical Nutrition Therapy II, 3 hours
  • DN 823 Management in Dietetics & Nutrition II, 2 hours
  • DN 842 US Public Health Nutrition,1 hour
  • DN 818 Seminar II,1 hour
  • DN 827 Practicum, 4 hours
  • Total hours for spring semester: 11 hours

Summer Semester

  • DN 827 Practicum, 2 hours
  • Total hours for summer semester: 2 hours

*During summer semester, interns may take other courses as advised for master's degree or dietetic and integrative medicine certificate programs.

Total Hours for Certificate: 24 hours


Course Descriptions

DN 817 Seminar in Dietetics & Nutrition I: Seminar designed to promote the effectiveness of professional written and oral communication, increase knowledge of research, and review content information in dietetics.

DN 818 Seminar in Dietetics & Nutrition II: Seminar designed to promote the effectiveness of professional written and oral communication, to increase knowledge of research, and to review content information in a selected area in dietetics.

DN 822 Management Dietetics & Nutrition I: Managerial skills in health care quality improvement and food service are practiced.

DN 823 Management Dietetics & Nutrition II: Managerial style is related to food policy, financial benchmarking and applied nutrition practice.

DN 825 Medical Nutrition Therapy I: Course content introduces the student to the concepts of an intermediate study of nutritional therapy of disease. Course content includes evidence-based practice in the prevention and nutritional management of diseases. Patient assessment and medical chart documentation are covered. Elements of pathology and biochemistry of the nutrition-related problems are integrated into course topics.

DN 826 Medical Nutrition Therapy II: Course content includes current nutrition theory and evidence-based practice in the prevention and treatment of disease. Advanced therapies and patient management in nutrition support will be discussed. Course topics include pediatric nutrition, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, renal disease, and gastrointestinal diseases.

DN 827 Practicum in Dietetics and Nutrition: Supervised practice experience for graduate-level students to fulfill the requirements for the dietetic internship. Experiences take place in hospitals, clinics, community health care agencies, and other practice settings in which dietetics and nutrition services are provided.

DN 841 International Nutrition: A study of global public health and nutrition concerns in various nations, assessment of the nutritional status of diverse populations, international health and nutrition organizations, policies, and interventions. We explore the roles of dietitians, nutritionists, and others in creating and implementing international public health and nutrition policies and interventions.

DN 842 United States Public Health Nutrition: A study of US public health and nutrition concerns in diverse US populations, assessment of nutritional status in commonalities, health communication, nutrition policies and community-based nutrition interventions. Exploration of the roles of dietitians, nutritionists, and others in developing and delivering nutrition policies and interventions in U.S. communities.


Program Completion Requirements

In addition to the academic and other requirements set by the university, the department requires the dietetic intern to complete the following requirements to receive the dietetic internship graduate certificate:

  • Complete all required KU graduate coursework listed on this page (24 credit hours) with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0
  • Maintain good academic and ethical standing within the university
  • Complete successfully 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience in a variety of settings
  • Complete successfully all required ACEND Competencies
  • Pass the final exam for the program with a score of 80% or higher
  • Finish all program requirements within 15 months of beginning the program

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive:

  • Graduate certificate
  • Dietetic internship verification statement, allowing eligibility to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians

Questions, advising and campus visit opportunities.

For more information on KU's dietetic internship program, please see answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

In-person campus visits are currently limited due to COVID-19 precautions. However, we will continue to host several online open houses this year. If you are interested, please contact Jeannine Goetz, Ph.D., RD, LD, program director, at jgoetz@kumc.edu or 913-588-1449 (711 TTY).

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center, including the University of Kansas School of Health Professions and this academic program, partners with multiple health systems and health care providers to provide clinical and programmatic experiences for its students. Many of our clinical partners are currently requiring all students to have received the COVID-19 vaccine before their on-site experiences and training may begin. As a result, unvaccinated students could be precluded from participating in these activities, potentially impacting their ability to complete all program requirements. Students with concerns should speak with the clinical coordinator or department chair.

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY