Dietetic Internship Program
VA San Diego Healthcare System
San Diego Application InstructionsAn 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 bachelor's or 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 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:
- Completed application packet submitted on-line through Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) at https://portal.dicas.org.
- Official transcripts showing a baccalaureate degree or higher from an accredited college or university. (Effective with the Spring 2022 application cycle, applicants must have a master's degree or above to apply for the internship.)
- Completed academic requirements from an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verified by a "DPD Verification Statement" prior to the internship entry date.
- Personal Statement (see questions listed on Application Information page).
- Three Letters of Recommendation uploaded onto the DICAS website. (At least one letter should be from a DPD faculty member. No more than three letters of recommendation will be accepted.)
- Grade Point Average (GPA): A minimum 3.2 cumulative, DPD Science, and DPD Professional GPAs are required to be considered for the program. (In addition to the GPAs, the selection committee rates applicants on their entire application package rather than GPA alone, however, a minimum GPA of 3.2 in all categories noted above is required for an application to be considered.)
- All applicants must be registered with the computer matching service D&D Digital (www.dnddigital.com) and submit their prioritized program ranking to D&D Digital by D&D's established deadline.
- Applicants must complete their DPD program requirements by June of the application year in order to be considered for admission.
- 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
- Applications will only be accepted via the on-line centralized internship application system, DICAS, which may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org.* DICAS can be contacted via e-mail at DICASinfo@DICAS.org. DICAS opens in December for the Spring Match.
- The on-line 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.
- 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.
- When completing the application, follow the DICAS instructions for requesting three letters of recommendation. It is recommended that you select letter writers who can best speak to your preparation for and potential for success in an internship with an MNT concentration. While not required, it is also recommended that you include references from, at least, two faculty members. (No more than three letters of recommendation will be accepted.)
- 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 goals?
- Why you feel our program is a good fit for you and your professional goals?
- Why do you feel you are a good fit for what our program offers?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to:
DICAS- Transcript Dept.
PO Box 9118
Watertown, Ma 02472
Applicants must also register online for computer matching at D&D Digital at www.dnddigital.com* and select dietetic internship priority choices by the deadline posted by D&D. There is a $55.00 computer matching fee.
In most instances, telephone or Skype 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, Robyn Osborn, PhD, RD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* 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.