To fulfill the requirements of the FDST certificate program, a student must complete a food-related internship, job, or research project during or after the beginning of their first food studies course that is preferably registered.

The internship/research experience should help students gain a perspective on one or more of these FDST Program Goals:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of change and continuity in food systems and food culture (such as: obtainment, production, composition, distribution, preparation, consumption and representation of food)
  2. Critically analyze food systems and food culture from multiple disciplines and diverse perspectives across time and place;
  3. Articulate the challenges the world is facing and will encounter in the future with respect to food and
  4. Make connections between practical experience and intellectual inquiry.

Three ways to fulfill the FDST Registered Experiential Component

1. Internship Notation Program (INP)

  • The student participates in an internship during the summer or academic year; INP registration occurs at the beginning of the experience.  Retroactive notations cannot be processed.
  • A student will receive a non-credit notation (INTR 7xx) on her/his transcript for the semester/summer.
  • The Internship Notation Program (INP) is Dickinson’s official way of recognizing internships.

2. Research Experience Notation (REXP)

  • The student participates in a scholarly scientific research experience during the summer under the supervision of a professional researchers at Dickinson or another institution.
  • A student will receive a non-credit notation (REXP 7xx) on her/his transcript for the summer; REXP registration occurs at the beginning of the experience.  Retroactive notations cannot be processed.
  • The Research Experience Notation (REXP) is Dickinson's official way of recognizing scholarly academic research. 

3. Independent Study/Independent Research

  • The student will sign up for an independent study/independent research on a food-related topic.
  • The project could be a lab-based independent research project on a food-related topic or a community-based independent research project on a food-related topic
  • Normally a Dickinson faculty member would supervise it.

How to fulfill the FDST Unregistered Experiential Component

While most students will fulfill the experiential component using the options above, it is possible that other kinds of experiences may fit the experiential component. Please contact the FDST chair Prof. Trazzi for more information. The following must be completed:

  • The student must either have an internship or job where they have worked at least 80 hours.
  • At the end of the experience the student must provide the FDST Chair with a letter from the organization that must be on the organization’s letterhead within four weeks of completion of the experience and include:
    • The number of hours worked.
    • The responsibilities that the student held while there.
    • The letter must not be written by a relative of the student.
  • The student must write a 3-page paper, which must be turned into to the FDST Chair within four weeks of completion of the experience, highlighting the following:
    • The ways in which your experience made you think about food from more than one perspective (e.g., individual, community, economic, psychological).
    • The ways in which the experience helped you to develop research skills to critically examine food.
    • The ways in which you applied your skills and knowledge about food to your field experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where do I start?

  • Go to the Career Center to talk to them about a food-related internship.
  • Talk to your major advisor about the possibility of doing food-related research on or off campus.
  • Examine if your study abroad program has food-related internship or research experiences.

Q: Can my internship/research experience in X, Y or Z topic count?

  • Maybe. Ask the FDST chair to pre-approve the Experiential Component before you begin. Your Experiential Component must be substantially food-related.
  • You should be able to fully provide answers to these questions about your Experiential Component:
    • Describe the ways in which your experience made you think about food from more than one perspective (e.g., individual, community, economic, psychological).
    • Describe the ways in which you identified challenges the world is facing and will encounter in the future with respect to food in a practical setting.
    • Describe the ways in which the experience helped you to develop research skills to critically examine food.
    • Describe the ways in which you applied your skills and knowledge about food to your research project or internship.

Q: Can I double dip so that the Experiential Component counts towards my major and FDST?

  • Maybe. Ask the FDST chair to pre-approve the Experiential Component before you begin.

Q: What are the important deadlines?

  • If you want to be assured that an experience will count, ask the FDST chair to pre-approve the Experiential Component before you begin.
  • If pursuing the experiential component through INP or REXP, you must register before starting the experience. Contact the director of internship programs if you have questions about the deadlines.
  • If pursuing the experiential component through study abroad or an independent study/research, you must register according to the semester's add/drop deadline.
  • If you are pursuing an unregistered field experience, the letter from your supervisor must be sent to the FDST chair within four weeks of completion of the experience.

Q: Do I have to complete the Experiential Component at a specific time?

  • You can complete the Experiential Component during the fall semester, spring semester, or summer. Most students complete it the summer between the junior and senior year.
  • The Experiential Component must be completed during or after the students first food studies course.