Samford University Dietetic Internship

a bird's-eye view of a building on the campus Samford University, home of the Samford University dietetic internship

Happy Tuesday! Hope y’all are doing well and have the chance to safely enjoy summer. Don’t forget your mask! Today, I wanted to share what I’ve found on a dietetic internship at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Today’s post covers the basics of the internship, its rotations, its unique qualities, and who it might be a good fit for.

Samford University Dietetic Internship Basics

The Samford internship offers a 16 month long internship (starting in August). The fall semester focuses on classes, while supervised rotations begin with the spring semester. Something interesting about this internship are the multiple options for degrees that can be paired with it. Normally an internship program might offer an MS in Nutrition or maybe an MPH. Samford University not only offers both of those degrees online, but also provides the option of an online Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA).

For students interested in pairing those with the DI, they should be aware that the first two degrees need four semesters (16 months), but the MHA requires eight semesters (32 months). Regardless of whether you’re interested in a degree or not, completing the internship earns you 25 graduate credits.

In addition to the graduate work, interns also have the option to complete a distance internship through Samford University. Consider this option if you want to earn a graduate degree from Samford but can’t relocate.

Overall, the program accepts 20 students each spring match period. According to the most recent program handbook, 15 students are typically local, while five are distance interns.

On-site Samford Rotations

Like all internships, the Samford University Dietetic Internship offers rotations in medical nutrition therapy, food service, and community settings. Because these are the basic rotations, they compose the majority of interns’ hours. Samford also highlights a few other nutrition-related rotations. For example, although the program has six weeks set aside for food service management, interns will spend three weeks working in child nutrition in school settings. This could include other aspects of nutrition outside of food service. The program also has a seven-week culminating practicum for students to combine all the skills they’ve learned.

Based on the different example sites, interns work with hospitals, long term care facilities, health departments, YMCAs, community gardens, among others.

What Stands out About the Samford Dietetic Internship?

Like the CUNY Grad School Dietetic Internship, Samford participates in the Prior Assessed Learning (PAL) process, which uses previous intern experiences to count towards their internship hours. These experiences are similar to what an entry-level dietitian might perform, so they have to stand up to certain objectives to qualify. Samford allows up to 256 hours of the 1300-hours they require to come from PAL.

The program’s community emphasis also means interns should be looking for ways to volunteer. During the twelve months of internship rotations, interns should volunteer at least twice outside of their rotations.

Why Choose the Samford University Dietetic Internship?

The Samford University Dietetic Internship’s mission is to “produce “entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists who are resourceful leaders, effectively serving the nutrition needs of diverse persons in their communities with integrity, compassion, and respect.” Therefore, based on that statement and what I’ve read, consider if Samford is right for you if…

  • Want to work in public health
  • Are interested in working with many different populations
  • Are interested in a graduate degree that fits well with your future in dietetics
  • Would like to live in Alabama

Resources

Interested in learning more about Samford University and their dietetic internship? Here’s some websites that I sourced for information or found useful!

Interested in the Samford University Dietetic Internship? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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