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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What are some benefits to completing the Virginia Tech Internship (a certificate program with an optional graduate degree) in comparison to a program that includes a required, built-in graduate degree?

Our program provides flexibility for candidates with a variety of backgrounds and interests. If you complete a graduate degree before beginning our program, you can finish our internship in 9 months or less. Or, you may choose to complete a graduate degree simultaneously with our program. For those who want to pursue a graduate degree from Virginia Tech, we offer a pathway to complete the flexible Online Master of Science in Agriculture and Life Science (OMALS) and the internship in as few as 15 months with a timeline that works best for you. Both options enable you to pursue coursework and rotations that align with your interests and goals.

The decision to apply to our program after completing or while pursuing a graduate degree is individual and may be based on a variety of factors including professional interests, geographical location, and financial considerations. Our program offers the flexibility for you to decide which timeline and which degree is best for you.

The directors are available to help you consider the best option for applying to our program!

2. Which graduate programs offered through Virginia Tech will prepare me for this internship program?

If you want to pursue a graduate degree simultaneously with the internship, we recommend the Online Master of Agriculture and Life Sciences (OMALS) which offers a concentration in Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity. Interns who wish to pursue this degree are guaranteed acceptance to the OMALS program through established procedures. They can complete the internship and OMALS program together in as few as 15 months. The OMALS program is individualized to prepare graduates for careers in counseling, public health, sports nutrition, wellness, or any area of dietetics practice. Virginia Tech DPD students can dually enroll in the OMALS program during their final year to save time and reduce expenses.

If you want to pursue a graduate degree through Virginia Tech before you begin the internship program, you can do the OMALS program from anywhere because all classes are online!

Virginia Tech offers additional graduate programs on campus in Blacksburg to consider:

An MS in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise allows students to receive funding while conducting a research project. Virginia Tech DPD students may want to pursue the accelerated BS/MS in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise to begin graduate studies during their final undergraduate year. Students interested in this option are encouraged to contact a faculty member whose research interests match their own.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) is a good choice for individuals interested in careers in public health, policy, or community nutrition. MPH candidates may seek internship credit for experiences gained through their public health practicum.

Virginia Tech internship applicants do not need to pursue a graduate program specifically through Virginia Tech. Graduate degrees from other universities are also welcome.

3. What if I want to visit the program?

You are encouraged to attend a virtual information session or arrange a meeting with a director. We encourage you to contact a current or former intern to hear their firsthand experiences. Please contact a director for a list of interns who are happy to talk with you and for recommendations about who to contact based on your interests and the questions you would like answered. Our many opportunities to learn more about the program are located here.

4. What kind of jobs do your graduates obtain after graduation?

Graduates have found jobs in all areas of dietetics including inpatient and outpatient clinical dietetics, long term care, health promotion, school nutrition, private practice, policy, communications, research, and community nutrition.

5. Are interns permitted to work during the internship?

The program is full-time. Some interns are able to manage part-time flexible employment alongside the internship. The directors are also willing to explore the possibility of a part-time internship schedule. Please reach out to a director before submitting an application.