Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System - Dietetic Internship Program
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Dietetic Internship Program


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Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System


Dear Internship Applicant:

Thank you for your interest in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Dietetic Internship Program (VAGLA DI). The VAGLA DI is currently granted continued accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The steps for becoming a Registered Dietitian include:  

  1. Completing a minimum of a bachelor’s degree at a U.S. regionally accredited university or college or foreign equivalent, and coursework through an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP).
  2. Completing 1,200 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND accredited Dietetic Internship, Coordinated Program in Dietetics or an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) offered through an ACEND accredited program.
  3. Passing a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). 

Applicants to the dietetic internship program must have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and at least a bachelor's degree, step 1, before entry into the program.  The VAGLA DI provides the supervised practice, step 2, for becoming a Registered Dietitian.  Graduates of our dietetic internship are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Registration Examination for Dietitians, the third step required for becoming a Registered Dietitian.  

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the credentialing exam to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility with a bachelor’s degree, an individual must meet all eligibility requirements and be submitted into CDR's Registration Eligibility Processing System (REPS) before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. For more information about this requirement visit CDR's website: In addition, CDR requires that individuals complete coursework and supervised practice in program(s) accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Graduates who successfully complete the ACEND-accredited dietetic internship program at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System are eligible to apply to take the CDR credentialing exam to become an RDN.

In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice. For more information about state licensure requirements click here.

For more information about educational pathways to become a RDN click here.

This Dietetic Internship Program offers three different tracks:

  1. The Combined VA Dietetic Internship - Master of Public Health track.  Starts in September, 22 months in length. 
  2. The Combined VA Dietetic Internship - Optional Master of Science track with 2 university options:
    1. California State University, Long Beach.  Starts in August, approximately 24 months in length.
    2. California State University, Northridge.  Starts in August, approximately 30 months in length.
  3. The Non-Degree Dietetic Internship track. Starts in June, 11 months in length. 

The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System offers 4 slots for our non-degree program track and 3 slots for or combined-master's program track.

The Master of Public Health program at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) provides additional experience for practice in public health nutrition. In addition, there is the option to apply for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Leadership Program, a mentoring program designed to encourage and support leadership in the field of maternal and child nutrition. As funding is available, this program offers a stipend to help with tuition costs for the fourth quarter of study at UCLA.

The Master of Science program at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) provides additional experience to specialize in nutrition therapy and increase competence in food and nutrition subject matter in preparation for college teaching, research, graduate study beyond the master's degree and administrative positions in public and private agencies.

The Master of Science in Human Nutrition at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) is designed to create and strengthen advanced competences in the areas of food and nutrition in preparation for a wide variety of professional opportunities, including nutritionists or supervisors in nutrition, doctoral study in nutrition, research, and administrative positions in public and private agencies.

The supervised practice curriculum for all 3 tracks is the same. Interns in the combined program tracks tailor their internship program to be congruent with their chosen degree option using the special interest rotation. The VAGLA DI offers a nutrition therapy concentration, and the curriculum provides experiences in administrative, clinical and community dietetics designed to prepare the intern for entry-level professional practice in dietetics in health care institutions, agencies, or community programs.

We have a Dietetic Internship Open House for the Combined MPH track scheduled for November 16, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. (click here for agenda) The Open House for the Combined MS track is scheduled for January 4, 2021 at 1:00 p.m(click here for agenda). Both sessions will provide information on the non-degree granting track.  We also will have the option of attending virtually for those not able to attend in person. Please RSVP for instructions.

Application materials to be sent to UCLA for admission to the MPH program must be submitted by December 1. Application materials sent to CSUN must be submitted by February 15. Application materials sent to CSULB must be submitted by February 15. Dietetic Internship Application materials submitted through DICAS must be received by February 15.

The internship start date for the non-degree granting track is typically the 2nd or 3rd Monday in June and is subject to change.  All DPD requirements must be met prior to the internship start date.

I will be happy to answer any questions or provide additional information if needed. I look forward to receiving your application.

Colleen Ross, M.S., R.D.
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System
Director, Dietetic Internship
(310) 268-3120