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Admission Requirements, Application and Selection Process

New Admission Requirements 2023-2024: Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree in addition to supervised practice from an ACEND accredited program in order to be eligible to take the registration examination to become a registered dietitian (RD).

Applicants participating in the spring 2023 dietetic internship match for UC San Diego Health will be required to have completed a minimum of a master’s degree prior to the start of the internship to be eligible for admission.

Admission Requirements

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 (DPD) as designated by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • A "Verification Statement" or "Declaration of Intent"
  • DPD Course List form, completed by DPD Director and include in the application packet

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

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
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • College and Work References
  • Personal Statement Essays
  • Phone Interview
  • Equal Opportunity/Nondiscrimination

Academics

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

Work Experience

We value employment that demonstrates responsibility, dependability, time management, cooperating, and leadership. Work experience related to all areas of nutrition and dietetics is considered; work in a clinical setting is considered highly.

Extracurricular Activities

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

Letters of Recommendation

DICAS requires three letters of recommendation in your application. The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship requires at least one letter from a work or volunteer supervisor, and at least one letter from an academic reference (professor, academic advisor, DPD Director). The third letter can be either a supervisor or academic reference.

Your letters of recommendation should be from those who know you well enough to comment on your strengths, achievements, and qualities that will make you a successful intern. These include important qualities such as: leadership, time/stress management, communication, critical thinking skills, and cooperative skills.

Personal Statement

Responses to the DICAS Personal Statement 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.

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, gender identity, disability, age, or sexual orientation in any of our policies, procedures, or practices.

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 their DPD school. The intern must maintain valid visa status for the duration of the 10 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 (“International Fact Sheet” for additional information).

Application Procedure

The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship participates in the Spring Match using the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS), which can be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org/. The online application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. central time, on the deadline date. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application.

Applicants must register online for computer matching and pay a $55 computer matching fee to D&D Digital.

Completion of the UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship Supplemental Internship Application is mandatory and must be included with your DICAS application in order to be considered for our program. Upload the supplemental application in the "Supplemental Materials" section in DICAS.

A program application fee of $50.00, check payable to "UC Regents" must be sent to the program (see supplemental application form for details).

The UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship Application Checklist is a step-by-step guide to our application process.

  • Any application materials submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
  • UC San Diego Health Dietetic Internship will contact top ranked applicants via email to schedule a Zoom interview in March. Interviews will take place prior to the deadline for D&D online reordering. 
  • 10 dietetic interns will be selected for Notification Day (which begins TBD, 2022, at 6 p.m. CST). 
  • Appointment Day is TBD, 2022, by 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Matched applicants must contact the Dietetic Internship Director by telephone (619) 543-3351, or email: jdoggett@health.ucsd.edu 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.