Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)

The ISPP is an ACEND-approved pathway in the DPD program for interns to complete the required supervised practice experience to become a registered dietitian. There are two routes to be eligible to apply for the Purdue ISPP:

1) Individuals who have a DPD verification statement from Purdue University and did not receive a match for a dietetic internship*

2) Individuals who have a doctoral degree

* Purdue University Interdepartmental Nutrition Program (INP) MS graduates who hold a DPD verification statement from another ACEND-accredited DPD program are also eligible to apply for the Purdue ISPP if the other application requirements are met. Other interested applicants who hold a DPD verification statement from another ACEND-accredited DPD program may apply with the director's approval if other application requirements are met. However, priority will be given to Purdue DPD graduates when space is limited.

Refer to detailed admission requirements and the selection process as described in the ISPP Handbook.

The ISPP is a certificate program administered through the DPD at Purdue University in conjunction with Purdue's Online Learning. Individuals accepted to the ISPP are not registered students, are not eligible for financial aid other than private loans, or student support services. Please refer to the ISPP Handbook for details about the program.

Upon successful completion of the ISPP, interns will receive a Certificate of Completion and a supervised practice verification statement. This verification statement is required to take the national examination for Registered Dietitians.

Application for Admission

ISPP Intern Handbook 

Mission, Goals and Objectives for the ISPP

Program Outcomes Data Available Upon Request

Estimated Costs of the ISPP, Financial Aid and Loan Deferments

Program Completion Requirements

Program Calendar

Requirements and Process to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

2024 CDR Mandate for Graduate Degree

Intern Identified Practice Sites

Required ISPP Rotations/Sites:

Retail/Institutional Food Service, Production, and Management Rotation

Description: Practice marketing, procurement, storage, preparation, delivery, service, and management that include retail operations. Interns practice the care and operation of equipment, sanitation audits, HACCP Guidelines, menu planning, customer service, and management activities. Rotation activities include practical hands-on experience as well as investigative research to prepare for in-depth management responsibilities.

Typical Length: Approximately 200 hours

Typical Locations: Facilities with a large retail institutional cafeteria or food service operation whose activities include marketing and procurement through delivery and service functions. Such cafeterias can usually be found in hospitals, universities, or larger restaurants.

Inpatient Food Service, Production, and Management Rotation

Description: Practicing menu planning, taking meal orders, tray preparation and delivery, patient promotions, marketing of menus, and all aspects of producing and delivering nutrition to patients. This rotation focuses on food service within an inpatient setting for people who have medical needs related to their diets. Unlike the Institutional Food Service and Production rotation, this rotation also includes retail settings that are not focused on medical needs.

Typical Length: Approximately 120 hours

Typical Locations: Facilities where people are staying who require specialized meals such as a hospital, long-term care, or residential facilities.

Inpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy One Rotation

Description: Practicing the nutrition care process with populations with common medical conditions impacted by diet including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Typical Length: Approximately 160 hours

Typical Locations: Hospital, LTC, or residential facility

Inpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy Two Rotation

Description: Practicing the nutrition care process with populations with more complicated conditions such as renal diseases, multisystem organ failure, cancer, and hepatic disease.

Typical Length: Approximately 240 hours

Typical Locations: Hospital or LTC (with full time RD and acute care) including trauma, critical care nutrition, and nutrition support (TPN - Total Parenteral Nutrition, Enteral Nutrition - Tube Feeding).

Outpatient Medical Nutrition Therapy Rotation

Description: Practicing the nutrition care process with populations with medical conditions impacted by diet that do not require hospitalization. Group MNT activities may be satisfied with the Community Education Rotation activities.

Typical Length: Approximately 120 hours

Typical Locations: Hospital, out-patient clinic, university health clinic, doctor's office, part of community outreach where group MNT can occur.

Community Nutrition Rotation

Description: Developing skills to provide nutrition services to the community at large through a variety of activities, programs, and services including nutrition counseling, nutrition education, nutrition assessment, and wellness programs. Interns also develop skills in evaluating and applying government program guidelines and policies. During this rotation interns must complete a series of activities and projects.

Typical Length: Approximately 160 hours

Typical Locations: Facilities should provide access to individuals and groups, through a government-funded public health program (WIC, Head Start, Meals-On-Wheels, Maternal Child Health (MCH), Cooperative Extension, Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP), or SNAP-ED), hospital, clinic, doctor's office, community center, or an existing program such as weight-management, specialty-cooking, or athletic program. The intern may use more than one preceptor or facilility to fit specific activities or projects.

Child-Adolescent Education Rotation

Description: Promoting health and wellness through marketing, education, classes, and events for school-aged children and adolescents. It is similar to the education and wellness activities in the Community Nutrition Rotation, but addresses nutrition-related issues that children and adolescents face in their school environment, such as peer pressure, academic performance, athletic achievement, drugs, and alcohol.

Typical Length: Approximately 40 hours

Typical Locations: Typical locations include public or private elementary, middle, or high school or after school programs through schools. Other locations that can also be used include community centers or programs with programs for school-aged children such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, YWCA, and religious organizations.

Engagement Rotation

Description: The Engagement rotation is a culminating experience that is consistent with the Land Grant Mission of Purdue University. The goal of the Engagement rotation is to broaden the intern's knowledge of and skills in an interest area and opportunities that may be available for the future. The guidelines for the interns and primary preceptors will emphasize the development of a primary project and related independent activities. The intern will work directly with preceptors on strategic initiatives that match the intern's qualifications and interests. The intern will be provided with one primary project, as well as have the opportunity to work on other projects and duties to obtain a variety of experiences. The intern will have the opportunity to make significant contributions to the organization and provide independent thinking and analysis on behavioral, social, and environmental issues influencing health and nutritional well-being.

Typical Length: Approximately 200 hours

Typical Locations: Based on interest of intern. Practice area from one of the following tracks: long term care; nutrition, fitness, wellness, energy balance; school foodservice; industry, community/public health; Medical Nutrition Therapy or research.

Accreditation Status

ACEND logo

The Purdue University Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics is currently granted accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ACEND® can be contacted by email (, phone (1-800-877-1600 x 5400), or mail (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995).

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

© 2021 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by: Nutrition Science

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Purdue Marketing and Media at