DFC Fitness Internship Overview

The Fitness Internship at the Duke University Diet & Fitness Center (DFC) provides undergraduate/graduate students with a well-rounded educational and practical experience. The DFC is affiliated with Duke Medical Center, the southeast’s leading medical center, and is one of the world’s only multi-disciplinary lifestyle enhancement/residential obesity treatment programs. The DFC program includes Fitness, Nutrition, Behavioral Health/Lifestyle Coaching and Medical components. Fitness interns will focus on the fitness component but have the unique opportunity to observe other components as well. Students will also have the opportunity to observe at our community based fitness facility, the Duke Health & Fitness Center (DHFC).

Experiences include, but are not limited to:

Exercise Prescription and Monitoring
• Monitor clients in the gym, schedule appointments and answer fitness related questions (8-10hrs/wk).
• Assist clients in developing individualized exercise programs

Group Exercise Instruction
• Learn to teach one or more of the land exercise classes conducted weekly

• Client presentation on a relevant fitness-related topic

Application of Clinical Skills
• Monitor resting and exercise heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation
• Assess body composition using the BOD POD® and/or skinfold calipers

• Complete article reviews on relevant fitness topics

Exercise testing
• Observe an Exercise Tolerance Test (ETT) procedure.

Observation of Medical Procedures
• Potential procedures to observe include: open heart, joint replacement, lap band/gastric bypass

Personal training
• Clients of a variety of ages, fitness levels, and medical profiles.

• Assist with coverage at the main Receptionist desk 1-2 hours per week.

No stipend is connected to the internship, but interns will receive breakfast and lunch each day of the internship at the Dining Facilities onsite.


Progress toward degree (Bachelor's or Master's) in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Health Education, or related field.

American Heart Association BLS certification. AED recommended.

How To Apply

Thank you for your interest in our Fitness Internship at the Duke University Diet and Fitness Center (DFC). The DFC Fitness Internship is a 12 to 16 week full-time curriculum which provides each student with a well rounded experience including fitness, nutrition, behavioral therapy and research opportunities. The DFC provides breakfast and lunch for full-time student interns but unfortunately we do not offer housing.

Enclosed you will find a list of responsibilities of our student interns.

Please read through the handout thoroughly to determine if this is the type of experience you are seeking. All interested candidates must submit the following:

1. LETTER OF APPLICATION: Please submit a ONE PAGE letter of application including the session you are applying for, strengths, anticipated contributions to the DFC program, previous experience, type of internship you anticipate, and any other information you feel is necessary.

2. EXERCISE & OBESITY ESSAY: Please submit a concise ONE PAGE essay of your views/ideas on exercise prescription for an overweight/obese individual. Include all components of fitness.

3. CURRENT RESUME: Please submit a ONE PAGE resume and include education, work experience, certifications and any other information that highlights your knowledge, skills and abilities.



6. RECOMMENDATION LETTERS: Submit TWO letters of recommendation from current/former professors or supervisors. Please ask these individuals to place the letter in a sealed envelope and sign their name over the seal.


Application Deadlines (**To be considered, all materials must be received on or before the date listed)

• Summer session—March 1st

• Fall session—July 1st

• Spring session—October 15th

The DFC also requires that interns provide proof of professional liability insurance of at least one million dollars in coverage. Check with your academic advisor to see if your university insurance policy covers you. Most universities cover their students. If not covered by your university, the American College of Sports Medicine offers inexpensive coverage to all student members.

Student interns are selected based on application, recommendations, academic performance, experience, and an interview (in person or by phone). Duke University selects student interns without regard to race, sex, creed, color, or age. We will contact all qualified student applicants to set up an interview if chosen as a finalist. We will make final decisions at least two months prior to the start of the internship.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to reviewing your application materials.

Brian Housle, M.S., M.Ed.
Fitness Program Director & Senior Exercise Physiologist
Internship Coordinator
ACSM, Health Fitness Specialist & Certified Health Coach; NSCA - CPT, Stott Pilates Certified
Duke University Diet and Fitness Center
501 Douglas Street, Durham NC 27705

office phone - (919) 684-9895

office fax – (919) 668-4865

Please mention that you heard about your internship opportunity through the National Internship Finder Service located at