An ACEND-accredited supervised practice program (Dietetic Internship) is typically between seven and twelve months in length. Completion of this program makes the student eligible to take the National Registration Examination for Dietitians administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. To be eligible for the Dietetic Internships, a student must complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, including the DPD coursework accredited by ACEND. Students wishing to participate in a dietetic internship will apply to programs during winter of their senior year or upon completion of their educational program.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains a current list of supervised practice programs. There are two application times each year: in February and in September, for programs beginning July – August or January – February, respectively. The student must have completed all DPD requirements and have been awarded at least a Bachelor’s degree, and obtained a Verification Statement by the time the Dietetic Internship begins.
Competition for the internships is keen. Successful applicants typically have a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better, volunteer or paid work experience in dietetics, demonstrated commitment to community service and leadership, and strong recommendations from faculty and employers. Students should plan ahead so that they can build a strong resume and portfolio during their undergraduate career. In order to maximize chances of successfully being accepted to dietetic internships, students should choose wisely and apply to programs that are a good match for their strengths and qualifications.
The UC Davis DPD program provides assistance in the decision-making process and application process. Information workshops are held twice a year, in fall and spring, to discuss the Dietetic Internship application process. The DPD program director and faculty strongly encourage individual meetings with students during this time. The advising office facilitates completion of recommendation letters and various official Academy forms for the applicant. There are several internal Nutrition Department forms that must be used for this process, as well as the official Academy Supervised Practice Application, which is available on the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) website.
Dietetic internship applicants typically apply to 5-7 programs. The Dietetic Internship Match is a computer-based method that provides an orderly and fair way to match the preferences of applicants for Dietetic Internships with the preferences of DI program directors. D&D Digital manages the DI Match and through this service, applicants will match with only one DI. The match occurs in April and November, for the spring and fall matches.
Upon passing the Registration Examination for Dietitians, the RD can practice in California without obtaining state licensure.