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Dietetic Internship Program

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Michael E. DeBakey Houston VA Medical Center

Application Instructions

VA Specific Admission Requirements

  • Applicants MUST be a US citizen to be eligible to receive the VA stipend. Proof of US Citizenship (valid passport or birth certificate) is required to be submitted as supplemental documents through the DICAS portal. 
  • If matched to our program, male applicants will be required to have registered for selective service or be exempt and provide verification of their status through Selective Service Online Registration Search.
  • If matched to our program, to be eligible for appointment, all trainees must show verification of good mental and physical health to meet the needs of a DI.
  • If matched to our program, to be eligible for appointment, all trainees must be up to date on vaccinations for health care workers as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers | CDC and VA. This includes COVID-19 vaccination. The program director and occupational health will provide the necessary forms for documentation that is required.
  • If matched to our program, to be eligible for appointment, all trainees must pass a background check (paid for by the VA).



This program is using the on-line centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at in early to mid September for the Spring Match; Customer service can be e-mailed at The on-line application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. central time by the February 15, 2024 deadline set by ACEND. The fee to use DICAS is $50 for the first application submitted and $25 for each additional application. No paper applications will be accepted.

As part of the DICAS application process you will be asked to complete a personal statement in 1,000 words or less. Questions to be addressed in the personal statement include:

  • Why are you interested in the Houston VA Medical Center?
  • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
  • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
  • What are your strengths and areas you are seeking to improve?

Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to DICAS Transcript Dept. Please visit the DICAS website for complete instructions. When completing the DICAS application form, applicants must include the name and contact information (specifically an e-mail address) for each reference. This will trigger an e-mail message requesting completion of a reference form. The form will be completed on-line. Students applying to more than one program will need to use the same individuals as references for each application.

Applicants must register on-line for computer matching.  There is a $65 computer matching fee.

For a list of applicant responsibilities, a timeline and important deadlines involving the matching process, or for more details about the computer matching process, visit D&D Digital's web site.* Note: The Michael E. DeBakey VAMC Dietetic Internship is Program Code Number 386 on the prioritized list of dietetic internship programs that you will submit to D&D Digital Systems.

Application Checklist

Important Fees 

  • Information and Appropriate fees sent to D&D Digital Systems and also DICAS applications fees

Items to be uploaded on the DICAS website

  • Professional Statement
  • Resume
  • Completed DICAS application
  • Verification statement (or "Declaration of Intent" to complete degree and approved minimum requirements). This form will be completed by your DPD director.
  • Three letters of recommendation (at least one letter from a work or volunteer supervisor and at least one letter from an academic reference professor or advisor, the third letter can be from either)
  • Official transcripts
  • If verification statement is older than 5 years, please provide a transcript which shows you have taken the minimum number of required refresher courses
  • GRE will no longer be required for application 
  • Upload proof of completed Masters if applying for internship only                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Application Fees

There is no application fee for the dietetic internship program. Interns are required to enroll in the TWU Graduate School and there is a $50 application fee. It is advisable to enroll in graduate school no later than February of your application year to increase the chances of receiving a competitive scholarship from TWU. Non-residents have the opportunity to avoid non-resident tuition rates if they are awarded at least $1000 in scholarship funds from TWU. The difference is approximately $10,000-12,000 and offers a significant savings in the overall cost of the graduate degree. Only students who are accepted to the graduate school may apply and the scholarship deadline is March 1, well in advance of the internship match date.

Appointment Procedures

D&D Digital Systems will provide all applicants with their personal matching results via posting on the D&D Digital Systems web site at  on notification day. Appointees to the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center's Dietetic Internship Program are to contact the Dietetic Internship Director by phone (713-791-1414 ext. 25290) or by email ( )  to accept or reject the appointment. Appointees must accept or reject the appointment by the deadline provided. The program is under no obligation to hold the opening for any applicant who does not accept the appointment by the required date/time.

Appointees must be physically and mentally able to safely and efficiently perform the responsibilities of a dietetic intern. Appointees will be subject to background checks and will be given a physical examination at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility prior to reporting for duty. The physical examination must be satisfactory in order to be accepted into the Dietetic Internship Program. The physical examination will include documentation of vaccinations for healthcare workers as recommended by the CDC including the COVID-19 vaccinations.  Should the physical examination be unsatisfactory, no part of the expense involved in reporting or returning home can be borne by the federal government. The federal government does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age or disability. If, after beginning the internship it is found that the intern failed to provide honest and/or accurate information regarding their application, interview, etc. they may be dismissed from the program with no further pay or action. At this time drug screening is not required. As a part of your training program requirements you may be required to complete rotations at affiliation sites. The program director will provide you with a list of specific requirements for each affiliate site which must be completed in order to train at that site (drug screening, vaccinations, background checks, etc).

Appointees accepted into the Combined MS/Dietetic Internship will be required to apply to the Texas Woman's University Masters in Nutrition graduate program and proof of enrollment will be provided to the dietetic internship director prior to starting the program. There is a $50.00 application fee for this program. For application information, deadlines and course descriptions please visit the university website 

Selection Criteria

Selection of interns is based on the professional goals of the applicant as identified in a personal letter of application, academic achievements, personal attributes presented in letters of reference, and leadership skills as evidenced by student or community activities or work experience.  Work experience in an area related to dietetics is not mandatory, but is considered beneficial to the students overall preparation for dietetic internship. A selection committee utilizes established criteria to select the best-qualified applicants.

Applicants are screened for eligibility for admission to the TWU-Houston Graduate School. Candidates are evaluated in terms of academic achievement (minimum GPA is 3.25 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours of undergraduate semester credit hours and a minimum 3.25 for all post-baccalaureate and graduate semester credit hours completed ).

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements to be accepted to the TWU-Houston Graduate Schooll to be considered for internship. Applicants who meet minimum requirements can qualify for the MEDVAMC telephone interview process of the application. Telephone interviews will be conducted during March with an interview panel. Performance Based Interviewing (PBI) is utilized during this process. For information regarding PBI please visit

  1. Students whose DPD Verification Statements are 5 years or older prior to applying to this internship are required to complete a minimum of 2 academic courses to "refresh" their preparation for this program. Courses may be taken at the undergraduate or graduate level from any accredited college or university. One course must address principles of medical nutrition therapy in the treatment of disease states. The other must address principles of management in food service systems operations. Transcripts showing the completion of these courses must be submitted with the internship application for consideration and will not be accepted while the courses are in progress.

Compliance with Equal Opportunity Programs

The Dietetic Internship is in compliance with the institutional equal opportunity policies/programs:

It is the policy of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and Texas Woman's University to provide Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for all qualified persons; to prohibit discrimination in employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or handicap; to maintain a work environment that is free of any form of unlawful discrimination, including sexual harassment; to promote a positive, continuing affirmative program designed to eradicate barriers to employment and to achieve a representative work force, with special emphasis on minorities, women, handicapped individuals and disabled Veterans; to recognize the special employment needs and problems of women and Hispanics, making the Federal Woman's Program and the Hispanic Employment Program integral parts of the total EEO program; and to provide for the prompt, fair and impartial review and adjudication of complaints involving issues of discrimination.

* 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.