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Admission Requirements, Selection Criteria, Application Procedure

A signed “Verification Statement of Completion” showing completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) curriculum with original signature must be provided before the internship begins. A “Declaration of Intent to Complete” may be uploaded into DICAS during the application process. A final transcript with completed bachelor’s degree must be provided before the internship begins.

Students selected for the dietetic internship must have completed a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Academic coursework must have been completed within three years before the date of entrance to the internship. If coursework is older, the applicant must complete an upper division course in physiology and clinical nutrition prior to entrance into the internship.

Applicants will need to have completed or be in the process of completing:

  • An accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics as specified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • A signed “Verification Statement” or “Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Approved Minimum Academic Requirements form also called the DPD Course List form must be completed by DPD Director and included in the application packet
  • The DPD Program Director at your school provides this form and it must have the program director’s original signature

The intern will provide a signed “Verification Statement” with original signature by the start date of the internship.

Effective 2024, the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship will require a graduate degree (MS or MPH) to be eligible for admission.

Proof of F-1 Visa status for non-U.S. citizens: Non-U.S. citizens must provide proof of appropriate visa status. Non-U.S. citizens must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for Optional Practice Training (ODT) to complete a dietetic internship. The intern must maintain valid visa status for the duration of the 43 week internship. UC San Diego Health is unable to sponsor visas.

Selection Criteria

The intern selection criteria is based upon the factors listed below. Our goal is to select the best students from the applicant pool who have strong academic backgrounds, effective communication skills, and success in cooperative work with others. The Selection Committee uses the following criteria when reviewing applications:

  • Academics
  • Work Experience
  • Extra Curricular Activities
  • College and Work References
  • Personal Statement Essays
  • Phone Interview
  • Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination


Applicants will have a minimum overall cumulative and DPD GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Work Experience

Work experience related to nutrition or food service is a benefit. We value employment that demonstrates responsibility, dependability, time management, cooperation, and leadership.

Extra Curricular Activities

We will consider involvement in activities that demonstrate an ability to problem solve and collaborate with others.

College and Work References

References should include two faculty members and one employer. These include important qualities such as:

  • Leadership
  • Academics
  • Self motivation
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Cooperation skills

Personal Statement Essays

The personal statement essays will address applicants' professional goals, independence, ability to collaborate, leadership skills, organizational planning and writing ability.

FaceTime or Zoom Interview

Top ranked applicants will participate in a FaceTime or Zoom interview with the Selection Committee. Applicants will be notified in March for an interview date.

Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination

The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, or age in any of our policies, procedures, or practices; nor do we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

International Students

Proof of visa status for non US 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 his/her DPD school

International students wishing to apply must follow procedures set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for international students (“International Fact Sheet” for additional information).

Application Procedure

  • The program is using the online centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at; E-mail: The online application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central time, February 15, 2021. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application.
  • Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS will be asked to complete a personal statement in 1,000 words or less. Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:

    1. Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    2. What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
    3. What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    4. What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?

  • Completion of the Supplemental Internship Application is mandatory. A program application fee of $50.00, check payable to "UC Regents," must be included with the Supplemental Internship Application.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to: DICAS-Transcript Department, P.O. Box 9118, Watertown, MA 02472.
  • When completing the application form in DICAS, applicants MUST include the name and contact information (specifically as an e-mail address) for each reference. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed online by the two faculty members and one employer. Students submitting more than one application will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.
  • Applicants must also register online for computer matching at and select dietetic internship priority choices by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. There is a $50.00 computer matching fee with D&D digital.
  • Any application materials submitted after the February 15 deadline will not be accepted.
  • UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship will notify top ranked applicants for a Zoom or FaceTime interview in March. This interview will take place prior to Applicant Notification Day (which begins Sunday April 5, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m. Central Time. Ten dietetic interns will be selected.
  • Appointment Day is Monday April 6, 2021 by 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). Matched applicants must contact the Dietetic Internship Director by telephone (619) 543-3351, or email: before 6:00 p.m. PST April 6, 2021 to confirm acceptance of the MATCH. After this time, the program is under no obligation to hold the opening for the matched applicant.
  • All information obtained during the application period will be held in a secure location for one year. After one year, applications will be moved to a secure disposal company.