Locations and Schedules

Apply to one of the following locations


  • ISU faculty identify the preceptors and arrange placement of students at supervised experiential learning facilities. Please complete the IA location preference form.
  • Students in the Iowa-based location option are required to live in the assigned internship location area regardless of where the student resides at the time of the application. (For example, an applicant who resides in California would be required to move to Pella, Iowa if placed there for supervised practice.)

Iowa-based International

  • Complete community nutrition and part of management rotations in pre-approved international locations in Ghana and/or France. Detailed information about these optional study abroad experiential learning opportunities can be found here.


  • You complete your supervised experiential learning at facilities anywhere in the United States (minimum requirements apply).
  • You identify and contact preceptors and facilities in the area where you live or wish to work.
  • Your application must include commitment letters from preceptors for the first rotation (see instructions in planning your schedule below)

Nationwide International

  • Complete community nutrition and part of management rotations in pre-approved international locations in Ghana and/or France. Detailed information about these optional study abroad experiential learning opportunities can be found here.

Facility requirements to plan your rotation schedule

Students complete a minimum of 1000 hours in experiential learning in didactic as well as on-site placements. 900 practice hours are completed in supervised experiential learning at various sites:

  • Community Nutrition Rotations (Fall) 250 hours (1+ sites needed)
    • WIC facility (minimum 48 hours-approximately 2 weeks)
    • Other community nutrition settings such as Extension, school nutrition sites, university nutrition sites, sports nutrition programs, food banks, wellness programs, department of health, etc. or you could complete entire rotation at the WIC facility
    • Starting week 5 of your schedule ~24 hours/week on-site
    • Preceptors do not need to be an RD
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) (Spring) 400 hours (1+ sites needed) 
    • The minimum needs for your supervised practice facility for MNT rotations are:
      • Your facility should be currently accredited by the appropriate agency—such as JCAHO, DNV, or the state.
      • Each facility should be licensed for at least 50-bed inpatient census.
      • Each facility should have at least 2 RDs who provide MNT.
      • You should aim to get experience working with as many different populations as you possibly can. This would include different ages, different stages of the lifecycle, different disease states and developmental abilities, etc.  If one site cannot offer a lot of variety, you can opt for more than one facility.  It is not uncommon to complete most of the MNT rotations in one facility, then spend time at other facilities to complete the advanced topic areas such as Pediatrics, Renal, Diabetes, Oncology, and Nutrition Support.
      • Starting week 1 of schedule ~24 hours/week on-site
      • Preceptors have to be an RD
  • Food Systems Management (Summer) 250 hours (2 sites needed)
    • Public school site (participates in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs) (minimum 48 hours-approximately 2 weeks)
    • Facility that provides therapeutic diets (may be completed at your MNT site, long-term care facility, skilled facility, etc.)
    • The MGMT facility may be the same as the MNT facility.
    • Starting week 1 of your schedule ~24 hours/week on-site
    • Preceptors do not need to be an RD

Applicants, please note

  • Medical Nutrition Therapy sites are difficult to secure, so we recommend you contact the potential preceptors early.
  • Commitment letter for first semester supervised experiential learning sites are required with your application, but if you can include commitment letters from preceptors for all  supervised experiential learning sites for all three semesters, it will strengthen your application.
  • Click here for the Rotation Schedule Worksheet 


Use the Facility Search to find facilities organized by state. Click here for the Facility/Preceptor Search worksheet and a sample email for contacting future preceptors. Additionally, if you are a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you can also search the preceptor database.

Once you have decided which dietitians to contact, call their offices and make an appointment to talk with them. 

  • Even if these individuals are not able to be your preceptors, they may be able to refer you to someone else.
  • The RDNs who have agreed to serve as your preceptors should be able to guide you in approaching hospital administrators and agency directors if needed.

Contact potential preceptors

Start with contacts that you may already have.

  • Have you worked or volunteered in a facility that has one or more RDs? Typically, the people for whom you have worked have a favorable impression of your ability and commitment to succeeding in a graduate supervised practice program. 
  • Have you attended any meetings with RDNs? Network with these individuals in your quest to find qualified RDN preceptors.
  • Have there been RDN guest speakers in any of your classes?

Obtain preceptor commitment letters

Your preceptors must provide you with a commitment letter stating their willingness to precept you and the dates of your rotations with them. These letters provide assurance that appropriate professionals have been identified and are willing to supervise you during your supervised experiential learning. Letters may be in whatever format the preceptor prefers (email, letter, etc.), and PDF copies of the letters must be submitted with your application. Here is an example of what a preceptor commitment letter might look like.

Affiliation agreements

Affiliation agreements will be required between ISU and the practice site/facility before your supervised experiential learning may begin.  

These agreements will be completed between ISU legal counsel and the practice site/facility. ISU cannot guarantee that all affiliation agreements will be successfully negotiated. In the event we are unable to negotiate an affiliation agreement, it will be your responsibility to find another site and preceptor to complete your supervised experiential learning.

Colorado residents – Colorado laws can make it difficult, perhaps impossible, to reach a legal agreement with facilities there. We will still review applications for Colorado, but want you to be aware that alternative plans may need to be made.