Practice Experience

During the practice experience, students complete supervised practice rotations in clinical, community, and food service settings. The equivalent of a practice experience in a non-coordinated program would be an ‘internship’. Students in the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics complete 5 quarters of graduate school classes, followed by 3 quarters (January – August of year 2) in the practice experience (internship). The practice experience is full time and follows the academic calendar except for a single 3-week rotation completed during the summer between year 1 and year 2.

The Practice Experience sites are throughout the Greater Seattle region. Students may be assigned to a rotation up to 60 miles from the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. Though we highly recommend the U-Pass system for most situations, students are required to have access to personal transportation for some rotation sites and/or GCPD events.

Students are required to complete the competencies in accordance with the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). As an ACEND Accredited program, the GCPD provides 1200+ hours of supervised practice in the following rotations:

  • Advanced Management (3 weeks)
  • Ambulatory (3 weeks)
  • Community (3 weeks)
  • Clinical (10 weeks)
  • Food Service (3 weeks)
  • WIC/pediatric experience (3 weeks)
  • Concentration area (see below)


The University of Washington coordinated program offers two concentration areas. Interns work closely with GCPD faculty to select a concentration rotation which meets their career goals. Other rotations are assigned.

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) – MS students typically complete this 7 week rotation. PhD students may select this concentration area if it aligns with their career goals.  Sites include the University of Washington affiliated hospitals and clinics, the Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities, Sports Nutrition clinics, Children’s Hospital and multiple renal facilities. MNT students present a final clinical project during the annual GCPD Poster Session (final day of the internship). Past MNT Concentration Clinical Posters

Public Health (PH) – MPH students may use the Public Health concentration as their public health practicum to meet the School of Public Health degree requirements.  PhD students may select this concentration area if it aligns with their career goals. This rotation is 7-10 weeks and may include 3 weeks of advanced management. Recent PH-concentration / practicum sites include Public Health – Seattle & King County, the Washington State Department of Health, the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, WSU Extension, the Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities, and Seattle Public Schools Nutrition Services. Past MPH Concentration/Practicum Posters

Practice Experience Registration & Schedule


The dietetic Practice Experience (Winter-Summer of year 2) is offered administratively through UW Professional and Continuing Education (PCE). Students register through PCE rather than through their MYUW for the NUTR 561, Dietetic Practice Experience course. See Tuition and Fees for more information.


The GCPD practice experience calendar coincides with the University of Washington academic calendar with the exception of one 3-week rotation during the summer between students’ first and second year. Students then complete their second fall quarter classes before returning to the Practice Experience (internship) for winter, spring and summer of their second year.

Students are expected to be in Practice Experience rotations 32 hours per week (M-F). Daily start and end times vary depending on the site and preceptor.

Additionally, a weekly seminar with a guest speaker and/or student presentations is held every Wednesday from 1:30-4:30.

Annual GCPD Events

  • Winter: Renal Workshop, Legislative Day in Olympia, Pediatric Nutrition Seminar
  • Spring: WA-Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic Annual Conference, NSP Student Symposium
  • Summer: GCPD poster session and celebration

Quarter Breaks

The Practice Experience has one group meeting the first Tuesday of finals week and individual meetings Monday and Tuesday of finals week. Students are on break from the Wednesday of finals week until the start of the following quarter. A celebration and poster session is held the final day of the Practice Experience which is scheduled for the last day of summer quarter.

Training Sites

Clinical rotations take place at various sites and include rotations in ambulatory clinics and acute care facilities. Some of the facilities providing clinical experiences for our interns include:

University of Washington Medical Center

The UW Medical Center is a center of advanced medical practice with several transplant units, many specialty medicine units, and intensive care for high-risk pregnancy and low birth weight infants. Listed among the top 10 hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, University of Washington Medical Center offers primary and specialty care to people in Washington, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

Harborview Medical Center

Harborview Medical Center is the major inner city, level one trauma care medical facility with specialty units in rehabilitation and geriatrics. Owned by King County and managed by the University of Washington, Harborview is the major regional health care facility for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. The medical center’s mission is to provide exemplary patient care, teaching, research and community service.

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center is the premier pediatric referral center for the Pacific Northwest. As the premier pediatric referral center for the Pacific Northwest, Children’s is recognized as one of the top three children’s hospitals in the country by Child Magazine.

Other Sites

Core experiences in Public Health take place at multiple sites including: Public Health – Seattle & King County, Senior Services, Washington State Department of Health, Washington State Extension Service, Community Health Clinics, EthnoMed, the Center on Human Development and Disability and WIC.