Food and Nutrition
Dietetics Option - Supervised Practice Application Process
Early Preparation for Becoming a Strong Applicant
If becoming an RD/RDN is your goal, begin preparing early to make yourself a competitive applicant for selection to a Dietetic Internship program. Achieving the following goals are critically important:
- GPA equal to or greater than 3.0 (to be competitive, your GPA should be at least 3.4 - 3.5)
- Evidence of leadership and professional commitment, for example, student membership in the Academy is highly recommended. In addition, the Montana Student Dietetic Association offers many leadership and volunteer activities.
- Good communication skills—evidence by portfolio writing samples, resume, cover letter, and personal statement.
- Work experience examples: work experience in hospitals, long-term care facilities, university food service or any other experience in a food-, nutrition-, and/or dietetic-related area.
- Volunteer experience examples: Food Bank, Senior Center, HeadStart, Team Nutrition, WIC program or any other volunteer experience in a food-, nutrition-, and/or dietetic-related area.
- Positive reference letters—usually at least two should come from DPD faculty, while a third could come from a supervisor of paid or volunteer work.
Where Can I Obtain Information About Dietetic Internship Programs?
During your sophomore and junior years start thinking about where you might apply to allow time to investigate and determine the dietetic internships programs that best fit your interests and abilities.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides the most up-to-date information about internship programs. Access the Academy's website to obtain a listing of all of the programs, and the cost, length of internship, internship director, and area of specialization of each program. A direct link is available to each individual program's website which provides detailed information about the dietetic internship.
Once you have selected the dietetic program(s) to which you would like to apply, you should visit each program's website to find out the requirements for applying.
How Do I Apply for a Dietetic Internship Program?
The Academy has developed an online application process for dietetic internships.
This system, the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS), allows applicants to submit all of their application materials online and
allows internships to access the information from DICAS. A $40 fee is required for the first internship application and $20 for each additional
Since not all programs may be using the online application, it is essential to check the individual program's website to determine the method of application. Information about any application fees can also be found at each program's website.
How Much Does Enrollment in a Dietetic Internship Program Cost?
Costs vary widely; check each program's required expenses. Most accredited dietetic internships associated with regionally accredited university graduate programs qualify for government-sponsored loan programs. Check the individual internship program's website to determine if financial aid is available for that program. There are programs that are not eligible for financial aid.
The Montana Dietetic Internship is an accredited ACEND internship. The 2017-18 program cost for this internship program is available on MDI's website. In addition, and additional living expenses and transportation costs need to be considered. For specific details about MDI, access the website. Students who graduate from the MSU Didactic Program in Dietetics are eligible to apply early to MDI through a pre-select process.
Computer Matching for Dietetic Internships
Most dietetic internship programs participate in computer matching with D&D Digital Systems. In this process applicants rank order the dietetic internships to which they are applying, and then the dietetic internship programs rank order the applicants who apply to their programs. Applicants must prioritize their choices of dietetic internships for computer matching and pay a $55 fee to D&D Digital Systems by the required deadline.
- The deadline for a spring match occurs in February and for a fall match in September (on the same dates that DICAS internship applications are due).
- Please note, the D&D Digital Systems matching is totally separate from the DICAS system and needs to be completed in addition to the DICAS application.
- Do not prioritize any dietetic internships on your D&D Digital Systems account that you would not accept.
- D&D Digital is not required for the early preselect application to MDI, but would be required for the non-preselect positions.
Notification of Appointment to a Dietetic Internship
Once the matching process has been completed, you will be notified on a specific day at the D&D Digital Systems website regarding the outcome of your appointment to an dietetic internship.
- Applicants who were selected and receive a match need to accept the match directly with the dietetic internship program that selected them.
- Applicants who were not matched (appointed) in the first round of applications are then given the opportunity to contact dietetic internships with unmatched openings. The list of unmatched openings is posted at the D&D Digital Systems website. In DICAS Second Round is known as Clearing House. Your DICAS application may be submitted electronically to dietetic internships with openings ($20/application).