Frequently Asked Questions
How many applications do you receive?
While the admission process for MSDI programs are competitive, do not let that discourage you from applying to the program feel is a good fit for you. We will be welcoming our first cohort of 16 MSDI students in 2021. For the stand alone 2016 match we received 79 applications for our regular (local) track and 3 applications for the distance clinical track. We received 90 applications for our regular (local) track and 8 applications for the distance clinical track in 2015, and 74 local and 5 distance in 2014. We consistently receive fewer applications for our distance clinical option. If you are a strong applicant and a good fit for what our program has to offer, please consider applying for the distance clinical track or both the distance and local clinical tracks to increase your chances of a match.
Is it possible to work while completing the MSDI program?
The MSDI is a full-time, 22 month program. Student schedules will be blocked off 3 days per week for supervised practice. The remaining 16 hours will be set aside for asynchronous graduate course work. Between coursework and supervised practice, students can expect to carry a 40 hour per week workload. Interns who would like to or must work during the MSDI program should find evening and weekend work that is flexible enough to accommodate supervised practice that may occur after business hours on occasion.
Note: During the second summer session, local interns will be scheduled into two online graduate courses with no anticipated supervised practice (subject to change). This will allow students the flexibility to work over the summer while completing coursework before the fall semester kicks off. Distance clinical track interns will be completing their clinical rotation during this second summer session.
How are students scheduled for their supervised practice rotations?
Schedules are individualized and determined before interns arrive for orientation. Regional placement will be communicated to all matched students after second round match. Supervised practice schedules will be given to each student during orientation and updated throughout the program. MSDI staff build the schedule around student preferences provided in the initial post-match paperwork.The initial interest form also helps to identify potential specialty rotation opportunities. Students have the option to schedule their own specialty hours – affiliation agreements are required for placement sites.
Occasionally a site will cancel or postpone a placement or a presentation. Students will be informed immediately of the change and a comparable experience will be substituted. This may result in temporary gaps in the students’ schedule, however internship staff work hard to assure these are limited.
Students need to look ahead in their schedules and plan accordingly to make sure enough work is set up for coming weeks. Rotations may take several weeks or more to prepare for – do not expect to fill in work at the last minute. Any scheduling concerns should be discussed with the internship program adviser immediately, so that time will not be wasted. These include scheduling conflicts, too heavy or too light a scheduling load. If there are any changes or adaptations to site schedules (due to illness or extension of rotation), students are responsible for notifying their internship program adviser.
What will my hours be during the day?
The hours you work during the day depends on the rotation. In your clinical rotation, you will work the hours that your preceptor works, and in most cases that is an 8 hour day. Your primary food service rotation will likely be 8 hour days as well. However, you may need to go in early to help with receiving a delivery or you may need to stay late and do an evening shift. In your other rotations (community and public health nutrition and specialty) the hours will vary greatly depending what kinds of projects you’re working on for a site. You can expect some internship work and homework on the weekends and evenings, depending on how you manage your time on days set aside for coursework.
How much time will I spend driving to and from rotations?
New Hampshire is a rural state with limited public transportation, so driving is to be expected. You must have your own car and auto insurance. You will be placed within the region of the state where most of your rotations will occur. This should reduce the amount of driving but cannot guarantee a short commute. Note: Driving to and from rotations does not count as internship hours.
Do you offer a RD exam review course?
While we do not offer an official RD exam review course, we do other things to help interns prepare for the RD exam. We will give interns access to an acsynchronous RD Exam Prep and Professional Development course that they can access throughout their time in the MSDI that will have practice test questions from each domainn, learning/study strategies, exam orientation materials, and resume/cover letter and career guidance. We also grant graduates access to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’, EatRight: PREP for the RDN Exam materials. The prep materials contain more than 900 in-depth questions organized by domain of the CDR Registration Examination for Dietitians along with resources and sample tests that mirror the format of the RD Exam.
The tests provided within EatRight: PREP are different each time you take them and include a recap of your test score along with the correct and incorrect answers. All questions include a rationale for correct answers. Once granted access to the EatRight: PREP site, graduates will have 120 days to utilize the materials. We do encourage graduates to take advantage of review courses and other study materials as well, as they see fit.
What is the dress code?
Students must dress professionally at all times while in supervised practice rotations. They must follow the dress code of the facility where they working. More detailed information on dress code will be provided in the intern handbook during orientation.
Is there financial aid available?
Yes. Visit the KSC Financial Aid Department website for more information.
Will I need to do an interview as part of the application process?
Once all applications are received and screened, some applicants will be called to schedule a telephone interview. Interviews are conducted by current dietetic interns and are recorded so the selection committee can listen to them when they are reviewing the entire application.
Why do you require a portfolio?
We believe the portfolio is a great marketing tool for an applicant to show us their experiences, strengths, and interests. It helps the selection committee determine whether an applicant is a good fit for the program and allows the intern to show us their creativity. Further details on what we require of intern portfolios is available on the “Application Process” page on this website.
Is there housing available on campus?
There is no housing available on campus, but there are many housing opportunities available throughout the four regions where interns will be placed. Once accepted into the program, we will provide students with a detailed list of housing resources and connect you with fellow students matched with Keene State College. We can help steer you in the right direction when looking for housing.
What kind of jobs have past KSC DI Alumni held?
Our alumni hold a wide variety of jobs which reflect the diversity of experiences and training they received while part of the KSC dietetic internship. We have dietitians working in long term and acute care clinical settings, in pediatrics, oncology, eating disorders, renal and in outpatient clinical settings as well, such as weight management and bariatrics. Some have become certified diabetes educators, while others are in private practice.
We have dietitians who work in business and industry for companies such as Abbot Labs, Cabot Creamery and America’s Test Kitchen. Others are working in retail nutrition and supermarkets across the country. Some are in food marketing and professional education for companies like Zevia. Other are working in food service management as K-12 dietitians, culinary nutritionists and corporate catering managers.
We have dietitians working in food access, food insecurity, food systems and sustainability with organizations like the Retreat Farm in Brattleboro, VT, and farm-to-preschool in upstate NY. We have dietians working at the state level for interns working as public health nutritionsts, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, Cooperative Extension and as a Health Policy Aid for Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Do you host open houses or campus visits?
Yes. Every year we hold at least one open house in the months before applications are due. If you can’t make it to an open house, you may schedule a visit with the MSDI staff. COVID-19 Update: For Spring 2021 match, open houses will be offered virtually on Friday, December 18th at 1:00pm and Monday, January 11th at 1:00pm. RSVP with Stephanie, the Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the open house Zoom link or if you have any questions/concerns. We hope to see you there!
How can I make my application stand out?
We are most interested in interns who want to do the kind of work we specialize in – public health nutrition. The ideal applicant’s work, volunteer experience, and personal statement should provide evidence of their interest. Thoughtfully chosen and annotated portfolio items can demonstrate this well. Like other programs we consider all aspects of an application, so strong recommendations are important too! While we don’t have a GPA cut-off, applicants with lower grades will need to impress us in other ways to demonstrate their preparedness for the rigor of an MSDI.
Can I take a vacation during the MSDI?
Yes, with prior approval from the MSDI Program Manager. Students are entitled to two weeks of vacation per year during the program. Additional vacation time may be requested and granted, but it may postpone the student’s program completion date. Coursework would need to be completed in advance so as to not miss any deadlines. Please note: The days between Christmas and New Years automatically count toward an student’s two weeks of vacation because regular supervised practice hours are rarely scheduled during this time. Addiitonal details will be provided during orientation.
What is the Distance Clinical Track?
Each year we accept 6 interns into the Distance Clinical Track. The intern will locate their own clinical rotation site in their home community or geographic area of their choice prior to submitting their DICAS application. These interns will come to New Hampshire to complete all rotations, however during the second summer session, they will return home or to another designated location to complete their clinical rotation. These sites and the clinical preceptors must be submitted with the initial internship application. The Distance Clinical Track allows us to accept more interns into our program. Our distance clinical interns report positively about the diverse experience the distance clinical track offers. When you apply, make sure to select the correct program code on D&D Digital, as their is a code for the local track and the distance clinical track.