Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements

New Admission Requirements 2023-2024

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree in addition to supervised practice from an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited program in order to be eligible to take the registration examination to become a registered dietitian (RD).

Effective Spring 2023, all applicants to the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship will be required to have completed a minimum of a master’s degree prior to the start of the internship.

UC San Diego Health's Dietetic Internship is a nine-month program that offers experiences in clinical nutrition, food service management, ambulatory/community nutrition, and research.

Read our application and selection criteria — including information for international students — and learn how to apply for a dietetic internship.

Dietetic Internship Application Criteria

To be considered for acceptance into the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship, candidates must have:

  1. Master's degree: Completion of a minimum of a master’s degree before the start date of the internship program.
  2. Verification statement or declaration of intent: Applicants will need to have completed or be in the process of completing an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD). A verification statement or declaration of intent will be provided in the DICAS application.
  3. Minimum GPA: 3.0
  4. Recency of education: Internship applicants must be able to demonstrate completion of coursework in dietetics or advanced nutrition and/or sufficient evidence of clinical practice within the three years before the starting date of the internship. Students who need to improve their knowledge and/or skills will be advised to complete coursework at the recommendation of the Internship Director.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee uses the following criteria when reviewing applications:

  • Academics: Overall GPA and DPD GPA (minimum 3.0)
  • Work experience: Paid or voluntary experience. We value employment that demonstrates responsibility, dependability, time management, cooperation, and leadership. Work experience related to all areas of nutrition and dietetics is considered, however as we are a clinically-focused program any clinical experience is highly valued.
  • References: Three letters of recommendation are required. We require one letter of recommendation from a work or volunteer supervisor and one letter of recommendation from an academic reference (professor, academic advisor, DPD Director). The third letter may be from either a supervisor or an academic reference.
  • Personal statement: Responses to the DICAS Personal Statement prompts and UC San Diego Health Supplemental Application are reviewed. Strong responses will be well written, address all questions, include concrete examples, and display the skills which will make you a successful dietetic intern.
  • Extracurricular activities: We will consider involvement in activities that demonstrate an ability to solve problems, collaborate with others, and show leadership.

International Students

Proof of visa status for non-U.S. citizens: Non-U.S. citizens must provide proof of appropriate visa status. A non-U.S. citizen must be approved by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services for Optional Practice Training (OPT) to complete a dietetic internship. It is the student's responsibility to coordinate the OPT application with their DPD/master’s university. The intern must maintain valid visa status for the duration of the nine-month program. UC San Diego Health is unable to sponsor visas.

International students wishing to apply must follow procedures set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for international students. Please refer to the International Students portion of the ACEND website for more details.

Before You Apply

Check the program schedule, costs and completion requirements before applying for UC San Diego Health's Dietetic Internship.

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How to Apply to Our Dietetic Internship

The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship participates in the Spring application cycle through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS). DICAS charges $50 for the first program you apply to and $25 for each additional program.

Completion of our Dietetic Internship Supplemental Internship Application is mandatory, and it must be included with your DICAS application to be considered for our program. The supplemental application should be uploaded to the "Program Materials" section of your DICAS application.

Read our Dietetic Internship Application Checklist, which is a step-by-step guide to the application process. All materials must be submitted by the January deadline. Any application materials submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

All applications must be received no later than Jan. 8, 2025, via the DICAS portal. Top-ranked applicants will be contacted to schedule a virtual interview in February. Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions via email no later than March 1, 2025.

Nondiscrimination Policy

The University of California, in accordance with applicable federal and state law and university policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in university programs and activities.

Assessment of Prior Learning

The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship program does not honor credit for prior learning experiences.

Contact Us

Program Director

Janine Doggett, MS, RD, CNSC


Office phone: 619-543-3351

Cell: 619-213-2219

Mailing Address

UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship

200 W. Arbor Drive, Mail Code 8801

San Diego, CA 92103-8801