Our History

OHSU GPHN DI class of 1948
Dietetic Internship Class of 1948

The OHSU Dietetic Internship Graduate Certificate Program (DI) has roots dating back over 90 years, as one of the first health professional training programs created at OHSU. From the first graduate in 1931, the program has grown in size and changed sponsorship. It began with Multnomah County Hospital at its inception. When the county and state hospitals merged in the 1970s, the program continued under the sponsorship of the University of Oregon Medical School Hospital and Clinics. By the mid-80s the program was co-sponsored by OHSU and the Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, a collaboration which lasted 15 years. In 2002, the program returned to complete sponsorship by OHSU.

Over the years, the number of students admitted to the program steadily increased, from one to four students annually to ten students in the 1960s and 1970s, and to 12 in the 1980s. In the mid-90s with the introduction of distance sites, the program grew to 16, then 19, and finally up to 23 students. The major impetus for this growth was the need to meet increased local, state, regional, and national needs for community/public health, clinical, and administrative dietitians. 

In 2003, the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition expanded and began to offer a thesis-based Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition. In 2016, the Master of Science was renamed to a Master of Science in Human Nutrition, and in 2017, the program received approval to offer the Master of Science with a thesis or capstone option. In 2019, the Master of Science in Food Systems and Society, previously housed at Marylhurst University, joined the Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition.