Students planning to become Registered Dietitians need to complete an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Dietetic Internship after graduating from an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics and prior to taking the National Registration Exam.
Getting into a Dietetic Internship is very competetive. Iimproving the chances of being a successful applicant begins in the first year of college by working to obtain and maintain the best possible GPA, acquiring extensive volunteer experience, being active in student organizations and working closely with dietetics faculty. Professional behavior is a must. The first step in applying to dietetic internships is to carefully review the current edition of the Directory of Dietetics Programs-Accredited and Approved. The Directory is updated and published each year by the Academic of Nutrition and Dietetics and can be found on their website.
How Do I Apply to Dietetic Internships?
There are two components to the application process.
Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS)
Almost all dietetic internships are using the online dietetic internship centralized application process referred to as DICAS. DICAS is an online applicant portal, for use by students who are applying to Dietetic Internship programs that participate in the DICAS Match. DICAS is a service of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. DICAS Online offers applicants a convenient, state-of-the-art, web-based application service that will allow them to apply to any number of participating dietetic internship programs by completing a single online application. DICAS Online was specifically designed by DICAS to simplify and streamline the application process while providing considerable flexibility, electronic submission of applications, ongoing communication with applicants, and excellent customer support. To participate you must complete an application and all required forms at DICAS.org. Then, using DICAS submit the application materials to each Dietetic Internship (DI) that you plan to seek admission. Note: You will need to submit application materials directly to any dietetic internship that does not participate in DICAS. Your academic advisor and Program Director will provide guidance through this process. The second component is the computer matching process. By mid-November Dietetics Program Directors receive computer matching information from D&D Digital Systems, the company that handles the computer matching process for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants must register with D&D Digital Systems at their website http://www.dnddigital.com to participate in computer matching for a Dietetic Internship.
What Is Computer Matching?
Computer matching is a twice a year matching process that serves as a clearinghouse to help applicants obtain Dietetic Internship positions of their choice and to help Dietetic Internships obtain applicants of their choice. It eliminates unfair pressures and premature decisions on and by programs to accept or reject applicants and it eliminates unfair pressures on applicants to accept or reject an appointment into a Dietetic Internship. ACEND has contracted with D & D Digital Systems to facilitate matching through this computerized process.
How Many Programs Can I apply To?
Students may apply to as many programs as they wish. They will need to rank all programs they apply to in order of preference when they register with D & D Digital.
Who Decides Which Individuals Are Accepted to the Program?
Each Dietetic Internship reviews its own applications and submits a list of applicants to D & D Digital Systems, along with the number of positions they have to be filled. Computer matching does not change the applicant's or program's selection process so you will not be matched to a program whose name does not appear on your priority listing.
What Process is Used for Matching?
Before matching begins, the applicant priority lists and the Dietetic Internships lists are "cleaned." If a program does not list an applicant, that program will be removed from the applicant's list. If an applicant does not rank a program, the applicant is removed from the program's list. Then, the matching process takes place using the applicant's prioritized list and the programs' list until all possible matches are complete. The process is explained in detail in the "Instructions to Applicants" provided at the D & D Digital Systems website.
How are Applicants Notified of Matches?
On the announced “match day”, applicants use a personalized user name and pin to access the results of the match. They will be notified that they matched with a specific program and be given contact information and directions for that program. If they did not receive a match, they are notified of their “no match” status.