Frequently Asked Question's

1. Am I a good candidate for Oneonta's combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program?
Preference for admission will be given to applicants who are committed to becoming Registered Dietitians and who have:

  • Developed the ability to assume considerable responsibility for their own learning
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrated that they are well-organized, flexible, and reliable
  • Community, foodservice and/or healthcare work experience
  • Strong letters of recommendation from faculty and work supervisors
  • Demonstrated the ability to solve problems and work and communicate effectively with others
  • Demonstrated a commitment to community service and/or service-learning
  • Achieved a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 for all Didactic Program course work based on 4.0 system. (If your GPA is less than 3.0, you will not be considered.)

2. How does this combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program work?
Answer:  Because this combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program is online, graduate student interns remain in their own communities while completing online graduate courses and 1220 hours of supervised practice experiences.  Applicants locate their own Registered Dietitian (RD) preceptors and supervised practice facilities where they spend 40 hours each week applying their knowledge and developing entry-level skills.  Using the Internet, interns typically spend another 12-15 hours each week completing readings, assignments, projects, and discussing issues with faculty and other interns.
Upon successful completion of this program graduate student interns will be awarded a M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and be eligible to take the Registration Exam for Dietitians (R.D. Exam).

3. How many interns does this program accept?
The combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program may accept a maximum of 20 students.  Applications are due in early February.  Appointments are made in April and the program begins the last week of May.  Interns complete the program in May of the following year.

4. May I do this combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program part-time?
No. Oneonta's online combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program is designed as a full-time program.  Interns complete 1220 hours of supervised practice divided between three semesters (summer, fall and spring).  At the same time, interns are fulfilling the requirements of 4 graduate courses per semester that are provided sequentially online.  Faculty estimate that students will need to spend at least 12-15 hours per week in order to complete readings and assignments and to study.

5. May I work while completing this online combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program?
Interns are advised to avoid employment during the combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program.  While we understand that you may have other obligations, you will be expected to successfully complete 4 graduate courses each semester along with 1220 hours of supervised practice hours over the duration of the program. Graduate student interns will need to earn a "B" or better in each graduate course and meet all competencies at entry level for each rotation before being allowed to continue in the program.

6. Is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) required?
No.  Applicants may have official GRE scores submitted; however it is not necessary to do so. Applicants should have official GRE scores sent to the College if their performance on the exam provides additional evidence of the strength of their preparation and ability to success in graduate level course work.

7. How should I go about finding preceptors?

  • Start with contacts that you may currently have.
  • Have you worked or volunteered in a facility that has one or more RD's? Typically, the people for whom you have worked have a favorable impression of your ability and commitment to succeeding in an combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program.
  • Have you attended any meetings with RDs? Network with these individuals in your quest to find qualified RD preceptors.
  • Have there been RD guest speakers in any of your classes?
  • Do you know dietitians who enjoy working with students? Those dietitians who have successfully precepted other interns are often willing to work with additional interns.
  • Once you have decided which dietitians to contact, call their offices and make an appointment to talk with them.  Since there are forms to be completed and application materials to discuss, a face-to-face meeting is best.
  • Even if these contacts do not agree to be your preceptors, they may know someone else whom you might approach.

8. What is my primary preceptor supposed to do?
Your primary preceptor will provide overall coordination for your supervised practice experiences.  This dietitian will either personally guide you as you develop entry-level competence or will coordinate other dietitians who may be guiding you.  The primary preceptor is responsible for submitting frequent evaluations of your skills to the course instructor and is the primary contact for the program director and faculty. Each intern must have a minimum of three RD preceptors and may have as many more RD and non-RD preceptors as is appropriate. The additional RD preceptors will serve as either "Secondary" or "Additional" preceptors. For more information, read the "Preceptor/Facility Information Form."

9. How should I go about finding supervised practice facilities?
The ideal hospital facility would have a wide variety of acute, chronic, and outpatient services as well as the full-range of foodservice operations.  The ideal community agencies (Office for the Aging, Long-term Care, and Public Health) would be involved in broad planning and management of food and nutrition services as well as direct client care. Facilities should be large enough to have several full-time RDs.  Talk with the RDs who have agreed to serve as your preceptors - they should be able to guide you in approaching hospital administrators and agency directors.

10. I already have considerable experience.  Can I complete my supervised practice in less time?
No. Once graduate student interns can demonstrate to their preceptor that they have entry-level knowledge and skill, they are expected to utilize their remaining practicum hours to further develop skills and/or to explore related experiences that are of interest to them.  All graduate student interns must complete the total 1220 hours of supervised practice.

11. What is a "Verification Statement" and where do I get one?
When students complete an undergraduate dietetics program, the director of the program provides them a signed "Verification Statement" using a standard form designed by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Students submit this from with their combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program application to document that they have completed the required undergraduate educational requirements.

Program directors give their students who have not yet completed all undergraduate requirements a signed copy of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's "Intent to Complete" form.  The online combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program will accept this form until students have completed their undergraduate programs and are eligible for a Verification Statement.  If you do not have the appropriate signed form, you should contact the dietetics program director at your undergraduate institution.

12. How much does this program cost?
Program expenses are anticipated to be $18,991 for residents of New York and $31,735 for nonresidents, however these costs may be subject to change. Graduate student interns will also need to budget for their travel to and from Oneonta to attend orientation and for their usual living expenses during the combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program.

You may download the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Scholarship Application from this site.

13. What is the program emphasis?
The program emphasis is community nutrition.  If you are interested in:

  • Providing nutrition services in community settings or private practice,
  • Working with government-sponsored food and nutrition programs,
  • Education and services for outpatients, and/or with
  • Health promotion and wellness....

You should check out this program!

15. Can I just do the combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program and not take the graduate classes?
No, the 12 graduate courses (36 s.h.) are an integral component of the program.

16. Can I change the sequence of the combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program rotations and/or classes?
No, the classes are offered in a set sequence to support your learning. While there may be some flexibility for making minor changes in the sequence of experiences within each course, it will not be possible to change the order of rotations or classes or to alter the start or completion dates of the program.

17. Does this combined Masters Degree & Dietetic Internship Program have an open-house?
Of Course!  The program has a virtual open house that you are encouraged to visit at your convenience.

18. Can I send my application even though it is not complete? I am just waiting to hear from a potential preceptor for my community rotation.
The Selection Committee will not consider any application that is not complete for any reason.

19. How can I get additional information about the program?
There is a great deal of information posted, so make time to get familiar with the program. Since everything you need to know or need (such as forms) is posted on this website, we do not send out printed material.

20. May I contact the program director if I have a question?
Certainly, but you are encouraged to navigate through the website to see if you can find the answer to the question on your own first. One of the major challenges working in the online environment is taking the time to slow down and read the information available first before you ask. The Program Director can be reached at (email preferred) or 607-436-2808.