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Dietetic Internship Program

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VA San Diego Healthcare System

San Diego Application Instructions

An applicant to a VA internship must be a U.S. citizen. Before starting the internship program in August, the incoming intern must submit to the Internship Director official transcripts as proof of completion of a master's degree and the DPD Verification Statement signed by the DPD Director. Additionally, as a part of the onboarding process, incoming interns will need to provide proof of immunization status for COVID-19, Hepatitis B, MMR, Varicella, Tdap, TB and Meningococcal and complete a physical examination documenting satisfactory condition to meet the requirements of the program (at the interns' expense). (For more information, please see "Other Program Admission Requirements" on the Program Information page.) They must also pass a background check (paid for by the VA). Drug screening is not required by the VA for admission to the internship, nor has it been required by an outside affiliate. If that changes and an outside affiliate begins to require drug screening, it will be at the interns' expense. Because it is not required at this time, no estimated costs are available. Lastly, males MUST have registered for Selective Service or be exempt to be eligible to be admitted to the program. If matched to our program, males will be required to provide verification of their status through Selective Service Online Registration Search.

There is no application fee to apply to the VASDHS dietetic internship program.

Applicant Selection Criteria

The VASDHS Dietetic Internship does not charge an application fee, and we do not charge tuition to attend the program.

The following must be submitted by the applicant to be considered for the dietetic internship:
  • Online application submitted through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) at DICAS Application Portal.
  • Official transcripts uploaded into the DICAS application showing a master's degree or higher from an accredited college or university. 
  • Personal Statement (in response to the questions listed below) uploaded into the DICAS application.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation uploaded into the DICAS application. While not required, it is also recommended that at least two letters come from DPD faculty members. It is recommended that you select letter writers who can best speak to your preparation and potential for success in an internship with an emphasis in Medical Nutrition Therapy. No more than three letters of recommendation will be accepted.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA): A minimum 3.0 cumulative, DPD ScienceDPD Professional and DPD Total GPAs are required to be considered for the program. (The selection committee rates applicants on their entire application package rather than GPA alone, however, a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all categories noted above is required for an application to be considered.)
  • The VASDHS Dietetic Internship participates in the Match. All applicants must be registered with the computer matching service D&D Digital ( and submit their prioritized program ranking to D&D Digital by D&D's established deadline.
  • Applicants must complete their Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) requirements by June of the application year in order to be considered for admission. The "DPD Verification Statement" signed by the DPD program director is required for admission to the program.
  • Applicants who completed their DPD requirements three or more years prior to the internship entry date will need to update their coursework. These applicants must take or have taken a minimum of 9 graduate credit-hours (three graduate courses) in dietetics-related coursework within the last one (1) year at a college or university with an ACEND-accredited DPD or Coordinated Program (CP). One course in Medical Nutrition Therapy is Required. Additionally, if the date of the applicant's Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) course(s) was completed three (3) or more years prior to the starting date of the internship, the applicant must take at least one (1) course in MNT. Contact the Internship Director for further information before submitting your application.
  • VHA policies require verification of US citizenship and passing a security background check before appointment as a dietetic intern.

Directions for the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) and Computer Matching Process (D&D Digital)


  1. Applications will only be accepted via the online centralized internship application system, DICAS, which may be accessed at DICAS Application Portal.* DICAS can be contacted via e-mail at DICAS opens in December for the Spring Match.
  2. The online application must be completed for our program by the deadline posted by DICAS. The fee to use DICAS is $50.00 for the first submitted application and $25 for each additional application.
  3. To assure the most thorough review of your application, it is strongly recommended that you submit your application as early as possible. Waiting until close to the DICAS deadline (February 15 at 11:59pm Central Time) puts your application at risk of missing the deadline.
  4. Follow the DICAS instructions for requesting three letters of recommendation.  While not required, it is recommended that you include references from, at least, two DPD faculty members. No more than three letters of recommendation will be accepted.
  5. Applicants are required to complete a personal statement. Limit your personal statement to 1000 words.  Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • What experiences have helped to prepare you for your career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term professional goals?
    • Why you feel our program is a good fit for you?
    • Why do you feel you are a good fit for our MNT program?
    • How would you describe your strengths and weaknesses?
  6. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be submtted per the DICAS instructions.

D&D Digital:

Applicants must also register online for computer matching at D&D Digital at* and select dietetic internship priority choices by the deadline posted by D&D. There is a $65.00 computer matching fee that is paid to D&D Digital.


In most instances, telephone, virtual or Flipgrid interviews are conducted with the final pool of applicants. If selected for an interview, you will be contacted via email to schedule it. (If intervews are not being conducted, a notice will be placed here on this website.)

If not selected for the final pool of applicants, you will be notified via email that your application is no longer under consideration.

Additional Application Information:

Effective January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics credentialing agency, will require a minimum of a graduate degree to take the Dietetic Registration Examination. In order to be approved for registration examination eligibility, an individual must complete all eligibility requirements before 12:00 midnight Central Time, December 31, 2023. As a result, to ensure that our program graduates are eligible to take the RD exam after completing our internship program, effective with the Spring 2023 DICAS application cycle, the VA San Diego Dietetic Internship will require a master’s degree or above for application and admission to our program. For any related questions, please contact the Internship Director, Amanda Hibshman, MDA, RD, at


* Links above will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.