The Dietetic Internship (D.I.) at Cornell University, known for its excellence in research, teaching and extension, is proud to partner with The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in Rochester, NY, to offer a Dietetic Internship with a research concentration. This internship provides in‐depth, intensive community, clinical, management, and research experiences. These experiences ensure our graduates are ready for evidence-based dietetics practice as registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), for leadership in that practice, and for translational research to inform that practice (the mission of our internship). Interns begin in August at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and the surrounding beautiful Finger Lakes region and transition in December to the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), an 860 bed, tertiary and trauma care facility, in Rochester, NY. We seek strong candidates with the potential to develop into exceptionally qualified and competent entry-level R.D.s who engage in professional leadership and research in their evidence-based practice (the goals of our program). Our key objectives for our graduates are to pass the registration exam the first time, to conduct and apply research critically to their practice and to lead in their jobs and profession.

About the D.I.

Mission

The mission is to prepare graduates ready for evidence-based practice as registered dietitian nutritionists in community, clinical and management settings, for leadership in that practice, and for translational research to inform that practice.

Goals

  • Graduates are prepared to practice evidence-based dietetics competently at the entry level through the integration of knowledge and theory in nutritional sciences.
  • Graduates are prepared to engage in professional leadership and research in their practice.

Objectives

  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • At least 80% of program interns complete program requirements within 15 months (150% of the program length).
  • Of graduates who seek employment, ≥ 85% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • On average, 90% of competencies as rated by intern’s achievement of competence will be ≥ 3.0.
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 90% will rate their preparedness for entry-level practice.
  • 90% of first employers of graduates who seek employment will rate preparedness of graduate for entry-level practice.
  • 100% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • 85% of alumni in their first 5 years will rate ≥ 2 out of 3 rating for leadership preparedness. 
  • ≥10% of alumni in their first 5 years will report relevant leadership activities in profession or job.
  • ≥ 85% of alumni in their first 5 years will rate feeling prepared to apply and conduct research (≥ 2 out of 3)
  • ≥10% of alumni in their first 5 years will report relevant research activities in profession or job

Outcomes Assessed

Internship outcome data are available upon request. Contact us at dietetics@cornell.edu.

The Cornell Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) from 2001‐2024. To be eligible for the internship, applicants must have completed or be completing (by the start of the internship) an ACEND-accredited DPD program and have received or be receiving (by the start of the internship) at least a Bachelor's degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university. Completing this internship and receipt of the Verification Statement requires satisfactory performance of the community, clinical and management rotations including >1450 hours of supervised practice, three graduate courses and other didactic sessions; presentation of the pilot research project at the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics meeting; membership in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; participation in the exit interview; and payment of all internship fees/tuition. The Verification Statement is required for eligibility certification to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) examination for dietitians, which must be passed to become an RDN.  Effective January 1, 2024, the CDR will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become an RDN. In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website. In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.  Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at Cornell University are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN. The first time pass rate on the registration exam of Cornell DI graduates is 96% for the past five years.** In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. New York State has certification of dietitians and nutritionists. Some NY employers may require dietitian/nutritionist certification. For more information about state licensure requirements visit the Commission on Dietetic Registration site.  Cornell University also offers an MS+Dietetics option and PhD programs for applicants interested in advanced degrees.

*120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606‐6995; ph 312‐899‐0040 ext 5400 www.eatrightpro.org/acend

**Other outcome data for our internship available upon request.

Interns or alumni may apply for a 12-month MS-Dietetics by December 10 using the on-line application. The prerequisite for admission is good standing in or completion in the past year of the Cornell DI. This 12-month program begins in June after completion of the DI. In addition to the DI supervised practice and 8 credits of graduate coursework, students complete 40 more credit hours of coursework and a thesis. More details can be found at on the Masters in Nutritional Sciences page.

Across the community, clinical and management rotations, interns complete 6 weeks of supervised research in which they develop the critical thinking and research skills needed to conduct research and to apply evidence-based decision-making in practice. Interns each complete a pilot research project to enhance their community placement program and present their research as a poster session at the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting and Exhibition. Interns also engage in clinical nutrition research, and plan and conduct a 'problem-solving' management research project.

The internship begins in August with an orientation on the Cornell Campus, during which interns visit their community sites and URMC and continues through mid-June when they complete their clinical and management supervised practice. See rotation content areas for details. A detailed internship schedule is provided to accepted interns in April/May. A detailed internship orientation schedule is provided to interns in July.

August - December

  • Internship Orientation
  • Required Courses: NS 5550, NS 6250, NS 6350
  • Community Nutrition Rotation
  • Lunch Labs
  • Research Project Oral Presentations
  • Time Off: Labor Day (1 day), Fall Holiday (1 day), Thanksgiving (2 days), Winter Holiday (10 days)

January - June

  • URMC Strong Orientation (5 days in January)
  • Clinical and Management Rotations
  • Diet and Disease Therapy Lab
  • Research Poster Presentation at New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting
  • Leadership Workshop
  • Exit Interview and Graduation Ceremony
  • Time Off: January holiday (1 day) , April Holiday (1 day)

Community Nutrition Rotation

During the fall semester, the interns complete three graduate courses:

  • NS 6250 Community Nutrition in Action: Theory to Practice (3 cr) 
  • NS 6350 Introduction to Community Nutrition Research; and (3 cr) 
  • NS 5550 Leadership in Dietetics (2 cr)
  • and attend research seminars on Cornell's campus. Interns participate in a counseling workshop to enhance their skills. To assure an in-depth experience, interns participate in the entire program development process 3 days for 14 weeks at one community site culminating is 3 days of advanced entry-level staff relief near the end of the rotations.

Potential community sites include those in or near Ithaca (less than a one-hour) drive in  Syracuse, Elmira,  Waterloo, Binghamton, and Rochester, NY (a two hour drive):

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension county and state nutrition programs for limited resource families
  • Nutrition Assistance Programs serving limited resource individuals at Central NY Department of Health and food banks (Foodlink, Southern Tier and Central NY)
  • Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES, Ithaca City Schools and Victor Central School District school meal programs; and
  • Foodnet and Onondaga County DALTCS Elderly Nutrition Programs, serving seniors.

Clinical Nutrition and Management Rotations

Following an orientation in mid-December, the interns spend 5 days a week from January to mid-June at URMC Strong Memorial Hospital, ranked among "America's Best Hospitals" in a US and News World Report. Interns complete 18 weeks of supervised clinical practice. All interns complete beginning level supervised practice in General Medicine, Psychiatric Disorders, Wellness and Long Term Care. 

Interns then move to intermediate level placements in Organ transplant including renal; Cardiac rehab, Endocrine (adult and pediatric), Pediatrics, and Clinical Research.

They finally complete advanced level in Pediatric nutrition support, Outpatient pediatrics, Critical Care (ICU, PICU & NICU) and Oncology.

Interns select 2 weeks from one of the above for additional experience or from Administration, Management, Lactational Counseling, Sports Medicine, Eating Disorders or Center for Community Health and complete 1 week of 'capstone' clinical dietitian staff relief.

Interns begin the 6 week management rotation in the Food and Nutrition Services by rotating through production, purchasing, Café 601, patient meal service and half a day of management staff relief. Intermediate level management includes experiences with more complex projects in the Diet & Disease Therapy Lab and Stairwell Challenge under close supervision. Advanced level experiences conclude with the more autonomous and comprehensive 'capstone' Café 601 National Nutrition Month project.

Interns must provide their own transportation to their sites (some of which do not have ready access to public transportation) and have access to a computer and printer.

Estimated Costs (approximate as these vary from year to year)*

  • Cornell tuition and related fees ($7,699*)
  • Program and other fees ($5,159**)
  • Professional liability insurance ($26 online)
  • Academy dues ($58)
  • Miscellaneous costs, background-check fees & required texts ($620 - $1,055)
  • Total $13,562- $13,997

Not Included

  • Cornell Student Health Insurance (SHIP) ($3,762)
  • Food and housing costs, which vary depending on specific location and interns' choices.

*Subject to change **Includes new mandatory health fee if SHIP not selected

Financial Aid

Interns are not eligible for Federal student loan funding. However, student loans may be available from private lenders to help cover educational costs. Cornell cannot recommend any particular lender, but encourages you to compare lenders and loan terms to select the lender that best fits your needs. Students are responsible for researching and applying for their alternative loan. You may borrow up to the total cost of attendance less any other financial aid.

Interns may be eligible for and are responsible for applying for private loans up to the total cost of attendance. Cornell encourages comparison of lenders/loan terms for selection of the one that best fits your needs. 

For deferment of existing loans, contact your loan provider for forms and Roxane Way Carter at the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) for necessary information.

Information on Housing

Prerequisite

To be eligible for the internship, applicants must have completed or be completing (by the start of the internship) an ACEND-accredited DPD program and have received or be receiving (by the start of the internship) at least a Bachelor's degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university. For applicants from foreign institutions, documentation must be provided that their academic degree has been validated as equivalent to the bachelor's or master's degree conferred by a US regionally-accredited college or university. Applicants from foreign institutions should visit the ACEND site for more information including links to independent foreign degree evaluation agencies.

Application Deadline

  • Pre-select - January 2 (midnight) only for Cornell DPD students and Combined PhD/RD applicants.
  • Computer-matching - February 1 (midnight).

Apply online  at DICAS.

Begin your application well in advance of the deadline to ensure that the three references you list submit their recommendations electronically prior to the deadline. Completed applications must include:

  • Three references with email contact.
  • Personal statement of your goals and how our internship facilitates you achieving your goals.
  • DPD verification or declaration of intent statement.
  • Official transcripts from all schools sent to DICAS - Transcript Dept., PO Box 9118, Watertown, MA 02472.
  • $35 non-refundable application fee payable to Cornell University and mailed to our contact address.

Computer-matching applicants will rank internships online with D&D Digital by February 15. Serious candidates should list Cornell as their priority to increase their placement chances. Note that the application due date for the Cornell Dietetic Internship is earlier that the D&D matching due date. Applicants applying through pre-select and offered acceptance do not go through computer matching. If not offered acceptance through pre-select, applicants may be considered for openings through the computer match process.

Selection is based on the following, in order of importance:

  • Telephone interview
  • Quality of references
  • Relevance of paid or volunteer work experience in at least one dietetics practice setting
  • Quality of personal statement and 'fit' of goals with Cornell Dietetic Internship
  • Learning ability as evidenced by academic record (average GPA of 3.65 of 4.0 with range 3.0 (minimum acceptable) to 4.0)

Cornell University offers both a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and supervised practice through the Dietetic Internship (DI). These programs are separate. Both programs may be of interest to students pursuing the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD/RDN) credential.

What Dietetic Graduates Say

"Rich and enriching experiences link research, theory, and self-reflective learning"
"A high quality, well-rounded dietetic internship!"
"Excellent clinical experiences with great depth, breadth"
"Greater appreciation of research and why it's needed"
"In-depth community experiences!"
"Great preceptors allow independence, autonomy and self-learning opportunities to contribute"
"More personal with individual attention"

What employers say

"Experience level is above expected"
"Able to work independently within weeks"
"Very patient-focused, current on nutrition research and practice"

 

Contact the Dietetic Internship at dietetics@cornell.edu.

Cornell Dietetic Internship
Division of Nutritional Sciences
108 Savage Hall Ithaca, NY 14853
607-255-2690

Emily Gier, MBA, RD, CDN, FAND
Associate Professor of Practice & Dietetic Internship Director

Diana Wixson, Dietetics Program Support