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Curriculum and Certificate Requirements

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

The KU dietetic internship graduate certificate program provides supervised practice experiences allowing the dietetic intern to practice, develop and apply skills gained in the classroom.

The program allows graduates to meet the supervised practice experience requirements set forth by ACEND. The 16 hours of graduate coursework (8 hours didactic, 8 hours practicum) and approximately 1,1000 hours of supervised practice experiences included in the program contain the required content to meet the required core competencies for entry-level dietitians. The interplay of experiential and didactic learning provides an opportunity for the development of expertise in dietetics and nutrition.

KU's program requires a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practice experiences in the areas of clinical nutrition, food and nutrition management, community nutrition, and a practice area of interest. Course DN 827 Practicum consists of four hours in the fall semester and four hours in the spring semester where students complete supervised practice experiences and projects under the direction of preceptors as well as other assignments and activities requested by the program director and faculty.  

The program director assigns dietetic interns to preceptors based on dietetic interns’ preferences as well as the availability of preceptors. Students receive a list of available preceptors for supervised practice experiences and have the opportunity to list their top choices. The ability of supervised practice facilities to accept dietetic interns varies from semester to semester and year to year.


Academic Plan

The following is an outline of the academic plan for the dietetic internship graduate certificate track program (16 credit hours):

Fall Semester 1: 8 Credit Hours

  • DN 825 Medical Nutrition Therapy I (3 credits)
  • DN 822 Management Dietetics & Nutrition I (1 credit)
  • DN 827 Practicum (4 credits)

Spring Semester 2: 8 Credit Hours

  • DN 826 Medical Nutrition Therapy II (3 credits)
  • DN 823 Management Dietetics & Nutrition II (1 credit)
  • DN 827 Practicum in Dietetics and Nutrition (4 credits)

Course Descriptions

DN 822 Management Dietetics & Nutrition I (1 credit):  Managerial skills in health care quality improvement and food service are practiced. 
 
DN 823 Management Dietetics & Nutrition II (1 credit): Managerial style is related to food policy, financial benchmarking and applied nutrition practice.
 
DN 825 Medical Nutrition Therapy I (3 credits): Course content introduces the student into the concepts of an intermediate study of nutritional therapy of disease. Course content includes evidence-based practice in 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 (3 credits): Course content includes current nutrition theory and evidence-based practice in 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 (8 total credits): Supervised practice experience for graduate level students to fulfill the requirements for the Dietetic Internship. Experiences take place in hospitals, clinics, community healthcare agencies, and other practice settings in which dietetics and nutrition services are provided.

Supervised Practice Experience Rotations

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

Supervised Practice Rotations:

  • Clinical Nutrition 1: 225 hours (~7 weeks)
  • Clinical Nutrition 2: 225 hours (~7 weeks)
  • Interprofessional Teaching Clinics: ~ 30 hours
  • Food and Nutrition Management: 200 hours (~6-7 weeks)
  • Community Nutrition: 200 hours (~6-7 weeks)
  • Practice Area of Interest: 120 hours (~4 weeks)*

Total: 1,000 hours (plus alternative learning hours)

* For the practice area of interest, students design supervised practice experiences with preceptors they select. The program director is available to assist with placements. If an intern earns more than the required number of hours during the primary rotations, these additional hours may be applied to the practice area of interest rotation. However, an intern must complete at least 100 hours during the practice area of interest rotation.

* In addition to the supervised practice hours accumulated through rotations, there will also be hours awarded for alternative learning activities completed during coursework or activities outside regular supervise practice hours. It is estimated that 73 additional hours will be received for these activities.

Total Supervised Practice Hours – 1,073 hours

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


Assessment of Prior Learning/Experience and Transfer Credit

The University of Kansas does not grant exemption from dietetic internship supervised practice experiences or graduate coursework for prior education or employment experiences. The university also does not accept transfer credit for the graduate coursework required for the dietetic internship graduate certificate program.


Class Schedule

Students complete graduate coursework on Mondays. Classes are held at the University of Kansas Medical Center campus located at 3901 Rainbow Boulevard in Kansas City, Kansas. Supervised practice experiences are conducted Tuesday through Friday at assigned sites (typically 32 hours per week).


Program Completion Requirements

The program completion requirements include the following:

  • Previous completion of a graduate degree.
  • Complete required program coursework with a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least a 3.0 for all KU graduate certificate coursework (16 credit hours).
  • Be in good academic and ethical standing within the university.
  • Successfully complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of supervised practice experience in a variety of settings.
  • Receive a passing score on all ACEND core competencies.
  • Pass the final exam for the program with a score of 25 or greater.
  • Complete all program requirements within 12 months of beginning the program.

Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will receive the following:

  • Dietetic internship graduate certificate from the University of Kansas.
  • Dietetic internship verification statement, allowing eligibility to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians.

Questions, advising and campus visit opportunities.

We're here to answer questions and provide assistance as you prepare for an exciting career in dietetics and nutrition. For more information on KU's dietetic internship graduate certificate program or our dual master's degree/dietetic internship program, please see answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
 
High school students and college students in their early years of study may contact Alex Lopez, our school's outreach and recruitment specialist, with questions at alopez12@kumc.edu or 913-588-1743 (711 TTY).
 
If you're close to applying to KU, please contact Jeannine Goetz, Ph.D., program director, at jgoetz@kumc.edu or 913-588-1449 (711 TTY).

Vaccines and Clinical Site Requirements

The University of Kansas Medical Center requires various immunizations for its students. For a detailed list please visit the student health forms webpage or speak with Student Health Services. These immunization requirements help promote health and safety and facilitate clinical placement.

Many, if not all, clinical sites who partner with the University of Kansas Medical Center require proof of these vaccines for students engaged in training or other programmatic experiences at clinical sites. Not being vaccinated may preclude students from participating in activities, potentially impeding their ability to complete all program requirements for degree completion. Applicants with questions should speak with a representative from the academic program to which they intend to apply.

School of Health Professions

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