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Dietetic Internship

Theresa O'Reilly, MS, RDN
Henderson Hall 146A

Phone: (973) 290-4126


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What type of work experience(s) do you look for in an applicant?

All work shows the ability to be a good employee. Work in the field, especially in an acute care hospital or long term care setting, assists with success in supervised practice.

How do you evaluate undergraduate-related practicum experiences in the applicant review process?

We assume this is part of most undergrad experiences, and see it as part of your didactic preparation.

How are applicants selected for an interview? Is the interview completed in a group format?

All who meet the academic requirement of 3.0/4.0 GPA and application guidelines are interviewed in a one-on-one setting. Interviews are typically done in person, or via Zoom. Questions focus on getting to know you better; no testing is done.

Dress professionally but expect a relaxed interview. Students are encouraged to ask for feedback on the strength of their application in their interview, such as, "Do you see any areas of concern or challenges to my getting a match? OR If I don't get matched, is there an aspect of my application packet that needs improvement for next time?"

It is never professionally or ethically appropriate for a faculty to guarantee a position, but we can provide feedback on your overall application.

What type of volunteer experience(s) do you look for in an applicant?

Something that shows a commitment and interest in the field – or another specific cause and builds technology, professional and interpersonal skills.

What are my chances of getting an appointment if my GPA in less than 3.0?

In recent years, the number of applicants to programs is decreasing. Therefore, students with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, especially those applying to both of our concentrations, have a strong potential to match. If you don't match, you are encouraged to contact the director for feedback.

In our experience, students with less than a 3.0 GPA have trouble in the graduate courses and on the RDN exam, so we rarely offer a position to a student with a GPA less than 3.0.

Is financial aid available?

You may contact financial aid for more information.

Are there any scholarships?

Foundation of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – apply during DI application process even though you do not know if you are matched.

Will I be able to work outside the Internship while completing the program?

During the M.S. coursework portion of the program, you will take courses online and may be able to manage working part-time. Coursework will take about 40 hours weekly. The supervised practice portion of the program is very demanding and outside work is strongly discouraged for all interns. You must be a highly organized and focused student to manage working during supervised practice if you do choose to work. For those who plan to continue working, we recommend minimal hours on a weekend, evening hours are typically not possible.

How do your costs compare with other programs?

Our program costs are comparable to other internships at private colleges. The combined M.S./DI is a cost-effective option to complete both an internship and Master's because the required 38 credits includes both. Things to consider when reviewing other programs – will financial aid be available? Are there additional costs for any graduate courses required, are all fees included in the costs? What faculty support does the program offer? Am I considering all costs, living, transportation, medical insurance, etc.?

How are practice sites arranged for the student? Is the student involved in the placement process?

Clinical training is completed at one medical center with other interns in a cohort format with a SEU clinical faculty as the preceptor. This is seven weeks of the program and may require commuting longer than in other rotations depending on where the intern lives. For other rotations, the Director tries to place students within a reasonable commute from their residences, but sites are voluntary and may not be available each year. Consideration is given to typical NJ traffic patterns. The director's goal is to keep commuting to an average of 45 minutes each way. However, the range may be as little as 10 minutes to as much as 1 ½ - 2 hours in some rotations.

In addition to the supervised practice experience, how much supplemental work is involved on a weekly basis?

Plan to commute and work for a total of 10 hours a day and complete 15-20 hours of homework a week. It is a full schedule.

How are the interns evaluated in the program?

Self-evaluation and by preceptors and faculty. These evaluations take place after each unit and at several other times in the program. Students receive constant feedback on both supervised practice performance and homework. Faculty also evaluate the students for professional development and final competence.

How much support is given to the intern who needs additional practice time?

The program is competency based and it is always possible that some students will require extra assistance and/or do more practice time. The faculty also work with interns one-on-one if an issue is identified.

How well do your students do on the CDR Registration Exam?

Current program outcomes are available upon request. Please feel free to reach out to the Program Director for this information. Students are provided with RDN exam preparation material prior to graduation.

How easy is it for the interns to find employment upon completion of the program?

The demand for RDNs continues to grow and our students generally find employment within the first few months of completing the program. Some may start in part-time or per diem positions to take time to study for the exam. Many are offered positions at practice sites where they have worked. Most begin in clinical, but some take positions in business and industry, community programs and in food service management. The director often receives job postings and passes them on to the graduates.

How many applicants do you get to your program?

In recent years, the national trend is a decrease in applications. We typically receive about 55-60 applications.

What is your ranking process like?

Each applicant receives a score based on GPA, work experience, interview, narrative, and recommendations. Students are ranked based on the total score. Faculty of the MS/DI program participate in the interviews and ranking of our applicants.

What makes a successful SEU dietetic intern?

Interns are required to move to many different locations and work with many different people. Applicants who are intellectually curious, take initiative for learning, are detail oriented, proactive, and independent do well in the program. In addition, students who are flexible, sensitive to others and easy to work with find they get the most from the program.

Why should I consider a combined M.S. in Nutrition/Dietetic Internship Program?

In 2024, those wishing to sit for the RD/RDN exam will be required to have a Master's degree. Therefore, in your career, you are likely to be competing with those having a Master's degree.

How does your program promote diversity and inclusion in nutrition and dietetics?

Saint Elizabeth University is committed to providing opportunities for all to succeed, with a special focus on underserved populations. In our application process, all applicants are given points for fluency with additional languages. In addition, the curriculum includes many opportunities to examine our implicit bias, health disparities, cultural competence and inclusion.

Our goal is to develop culturally competent health care professionals who focus on patient-centered and respectful care.

Where are our grads?
Where Our DI Grads Are
  • ShopRite in-store and corporate
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Clinical Nutrition Manager
  • Hunterdon Medical Center
  • Overlook Hospital
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital – Somerset
Long Term Care
  • Alaris Health
  • Crane's Mill
  • Franciscan Oaks
Product Development & Regulatory
  • Nestlé
School Food Service
  • Maschio's Food Services Inc.
  • Pomptonian
Developmental Disorders Clinical Care
  • Matheny Medical and Educational Center
  • Hunterdon Developmental Center
Food Service Director or Manager
  • Bergen Regional Medical Center
  • Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center
Community Nutrition
  • Interfaith Food Pantry
  • Community Food Bank of NJ
Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Community Medical Center
  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Outpatient Dialysis-Renal
  • Davita, multiple locations
  • Fresenius, multiple locations
Outpatient Nutrition Counseling and Private Practice