FAQ - Distance Program


You must have commitments from a clinical and community site as part of your application. You do not need to have the affiliation agreement signed at this time. You will need to submit the applications for your remaining required rotations prior to beginning your rotations in January. (See the current interns web page for specific timelines). These sites include: foodservice, outpatient counseling (this can be at the same site as your clinical rotation), dialysis (this can be at the same site as your clinical rotation, also), long term care, WIC and possible electives. While a WIC site can be submitted as your initial community rotation, you will need to find an additional site in order to meet all of the competencies. Any of your required rotations can be extended, as desired.

The feedback from preceptors who have worked with a number of our interns in the past is that they really want the interns to make the initial contact.   Because the distance program requires considerable communication and organizational skills, not to mention initiative, the ability to locate sites and establish rapport with potential sites is a critical part of the application process.  Distance programs are not the best option for many individuals for this reason.

No, you must submit information on either an acute care or sub-acute facility as part of the application process.  You can submit information for your long term care site as well, but it is not required.  Typically the acute care site is more difficult to locate, for a number of reasons, but it is not possible to meet all of the clinically related competencies at a long term care or convalescent center.  The exception would be if the convalescent center included sub-acute  patients.

It is unrealistic to expect to work more than 20 hours per week fall semester and 10 hours/week spring semester and you are strongly advised to limit outside employment. Though the required courses are on-line, they are at the graduate level and require a significant time commitment. You can expect to spend 8 - 12 hours/week for each on-line course or at least 24 hours/week fall semester (Advanced Clinical Nutrition, Micronutrients or Macronutrients, and Introduction to Dietetic Internship), 16 hours/week spring semester (Community Nutrition and Dietetic Internship I) and 16 hours/week summer semester (Seminar and Dietetic Internship II) in course work/week plus the 32 hours per week in rotations.

If you are financially unable to meet the program costs at this time, you are urged to consider seeking financial aid (see below), or delaying your application to this program.

Students who are accepted into the Graduate Certificate in Food and Nutrition program are eligible for financial aid. Being enrolled in the internship in of itself does not qualify you, but if you are enrolled in the master's program or the graduate Certificate, you may be eligible for financial aid. Students enrolled at least half time (4 graduate credit hours) who demonstrate financial need are eligible for unsubsidized Loans. Visit the financial aid web page for more information.

This program has been approved for a part-time, variable hour, eight to sixteen hour per week option.   Experiences less than sixteen hours per week must be approved by the director and are limited to fall semester.  Rotations in the spring and summer must be at least 16 hours per week and are subject to approval by the director.  Keep in mind that your preceptor will confirm whether or not you can meet the program competencies on a part-time basis in a manner which will support continuity of learning.
While the total number of interns accepted into the distance program is eighteen, the number of interns who wish to complete the entire program part-time is five per year.  A part-time intern is defined as an intern who intends to limit the number of rotation hours to sixteen hours per week spring and summer semester and rotations so that their schedule will extend into the following fall semester.

Yes, once you are accepted into the program, you will submit a proposed schedule which will indicate the number of hours per week for each rotation.   The number of hours per week will be determined by your preceptor availability and requirements and your individual needs.  

No, all interns accepted into the program will have the option of combining full and part-time experiences to meet their needs, though keep in mind that the number who wish to complete the entire program is limited to five.  Indicate your intent to complete the entire program part-time in your application letter.

Interns enrolled in the full-time 32 hours per week option with the graduate certificate typically complete the program in fifty-three weeks (this includes three weeks of vacation between fall and spring semester).  Interns including part-time rotations are expected to complete the program within seventeen months. Completion of the Master of Food and Nutrition degree typically takes 1.5 academic years. 

Yes, as part of the application process, you will apply to the Graduate Certificate in Food and Nutrition Program. A $45.00 application fee is required.

Past applicants have often had contacts in the area related to work or past volunteer experience. Membership in your local Dietetic Association can also be a source of potential contacts. Competition from other internship programs can influence whether or not preceptors have the ability to work with distance interns. You may want to make initial contact by sending a letter of request along with your resume. Refer your prospective preceptor to the Q and A for Prospective Preceptors page. Follow up with a phone call to schedule an appointment.

BGSU is committed to providing you with a program that enables you to pursue individual interests supportive of your professional goals. If your long-term goals include working in a community setting, a smaller community hospital may be appropriate for your acute care rotation. If you see yourself becoming a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian, you would benefit from an experience that includes time at a large medical center.

Your electives should be used to provide experiences that meet your interests. This may mean extending any of your required rotations. Examples of elective rotations include working with dietitians who work with athletes, diabetes camps, grocery store chains, as free-lance writers or are in private practice.

Yes, you can combine more than one type of site.  For example, you can spend some of the time at a health care facility and part of the time at a school.  Consult your preceptor regarding the amount of time required to meet the competencies.  Interns in large medical centers will benefit from spending all 192 hours in that setting.

No, you can get management experience in a community, clinical or corporate/business setting.  For example, you can work with the Commissioner of the local health department or the clinical nutrition manager in a hospital.

You can meet this experience by completing some of your foodservice/management hours in a school foodservice.  You can also assist at school based health fairs or provide nutrition education in the classroom or for after-school programs.

The graduate certificate is 15 credit hours and can be completed in 12-months. During the fall semester, you will complete three on-line classes (7 graduate credits) – Introduction to Dietetic Internship, Clinical Nutrition and either Research Methods or Macronutrients. Rotations begin spring semester – in addition to the 1 credit Dietetic Internship I class, you will take Community Nutrition for a total of 4 graduate credits. During the summer you will take the 1 credit Dietetic Internship II class and Seminar in Food and Nutrition for a total of 4 graduate credits. Students may also take Micronutrients (spring semester) or another FN grad course (spring or summer) in place of Seminar. Click here for more info. about the certificate program at BGSU

Interns pursuing the MFN on a full time basis can complete both sets of requirements in 18 months. The MFN is 31 credit hours and can be completed in 18 months. During the fall semester, full time students typically take 2 core classes (Advanced Clinical Nutrition, Macronutrients, or Research Methods) and 1 elective in addition to the Introduction to Dietetic Internship class. Rotations will begin in the Spring semester. In the spring, full time students will take 2 core classes (Micronutrients and Community and Public Health Nutrition), and they will start their culminating experience. In some cases a student may take an elective in the spring. In the summer students continue with supervised practice. In the final semester Fall 2, students will finish any culminating experience requirements, core, and electives. 

A sample plan of study that includes the supervised practice along with the seperate MFN program is shared below. Questions about the graduate programs and plans of study should be directed to Dr. Kerri Knippen, Graduate Coordinator, kknippe@bgsu.edu. Please visit the MFN website page for more details

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Work Experience

On occasion, prior work experience in a field relevant to supervised paractice experiences may count toward supervised practice hours. A review of eligibilty for prior work experience is reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis. Postions in a management role, is required for eligibility.

Updated: 12/01/2023 12:55AM