Dietetic Internship

Dietetic Internship programs select students based on their GPA, work experience in the field of nutrition, dietetics and food service management, leadership activities, GRE score (if applying for graduate school), letters of recommendation and many other qualifications. If you are interested in a specific program, it is best to contact that program directly (by the end of your junior year) and get information from them. Consult with the Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice Experience to get an idea of what that program looks for in the applicants they select.

The University of Houston Dietetic Internship Program

The University of Houston Dietetic Internship participates in the pre-select option to computer matching for students receiving verification statements from UH DPD. In the pre-selection process, the program will select upto three students per year who have met the admission requirements for the DI. January 15 is the postmark deadline for applications. The applicant will be notifìed on or before February 1 confirming his/her acceptance status in the program.

Pre-selection applicants will have to submit a paper application. They cannot use the online DICAS application.

If pre-selected, the applicant's name and social security number are submitted by February 1 to D&D Digital Systems, Inc. to ensure that the applicant will not participate in the Apríl computer match. If the applicant is not selected through the pre-select process, he/she may apply to any DI including UHDI through the computer matchíng process. D&D Digital Systems may be contacted at (515) 292-0490 or dnd@netins.net

Criteria for Selectíon of Applicants Includes:

  • UH Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Nutrition and Foods, CADE accredited track, and verification from UH DPD or

  • Verification statement from UH DPD for students holding a bachelor degree from another institution and completing the required DPD coursework at UH.

  • Completed Application Form, must be submitted by January 15 prior to the July start date of desired admittance. Application also requires submission of a resume, Letter of application, Personal essay, three letters of recommendation and original transcripts. Please visit the UHDI website for application form, checklist and other requirements.

Please contact the Didactic Program Director, Ms. Claudia Scott for your verification statement.

Some considerations while applying to a Dietetic Internship Program

Grade point average
Strive to earn a minimum GPA of 3.5 or greater for your food, nutrition, and food service management courses; aim for a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 or higher

If you make a grade of C or lower in your advanced nutrition courses, then it could prevent you from gaining entry into a dietetic internship.

Work experience
Obtain meaningful work experience (paid or volunteer) in the areas of clinical nutrition, food service management, or community nutrition. Opportunities are posted on a bulletin board in the Cameron building, announced in classes, and announced at UH Student Nutrition Association meetings as they become available. The work experience will supply you with vital experiences which cannot be learned in the classroom, documents that you are willing to "pay your dues" to become a dietitian, and provides you with a future reference when you apply to dietetic internship programs.

 

References
The individuals you select to write your letter of recommendation will be asked to evaluate not only your knowledge, but also on selected personal characteristics (leadership, motivation, and ability to handle stress). A sample evaluation form is included in this handbook on page 21. Most internship programs use this form or something similar. Before you ask a person to write you a letter of recommendation, review this form and ask yourself "Can this person truly evaluate me in these areas?"

Ask individuals for a letter of recommendation at least one month before they are due. Supply the individuals with a resume or a description of your activities to help them write a supportive letter.

Leadership activities
Are you a member of the American Dietetic Association? The cost for students is $50.00 per year and you get a great journal to enhance your education in the field of nutrition as well as an insight as into career opportunities. Also, the ADA provides scholarships each year to deserving students. Students enrolled in the Didactic Program in Dietetics may join ADA at any time, although the membership year begins June 1 and goes through May 31. See the Didactic Program Director (235 Cameron building) for more information.

Are you a member of the UH Student Nutrition Association? Dues are $30.00 per year, and membership begins in September. Membership in this organization provides students with the opportunity to meet other students in your field, sponsors presentations from outside speakers on various career opportunities and helps students gain valuable information that is helpful when applying for internships. Membership application forms are posted on the UH Student Nutrition Association board on the first floor of the Cameron building. Meetings are held monthly during Fall and Spring semesters; meeting times are posted in the Cameron building approximately one week in advance.

Are you a member of the Houston Area Dietetic Association (HADA)? Dues are $30.00 per membership year (which begins in September) for students and you receive a great opportunity to meet with other dietitians in the Houston area. You will also get the inside track to job and volunteer opportunities (which will help you become more competitive when applying to dietetic internships). HADA members participate in many community and legislative activities throughout the Houston area. Meeting times are announced through the HADA newsletter that is sent to all members.

Are you members of any campus or civic organizations? If so, how active are you within those organizations? Have you served on any committees or held offices? Active participation (as opposed to just paying your annual dues) in these organizations will help to enhance your leadership skills.

Applying for the Dietetic Internships - What to do and When...

  1. Begin investigating programs up to 1 year in advance ** of your projected graduation date. Consult with the following resources:

    - Directory of Dietetics Programs
    - Applicant guide to Supervised Practice Experience
    - Application materials and general information furnished by individual programs.

    Students interested in purchasing their own copy may do so by contacting the American Dietetic Association, Customer Service department at 1-800-877-1600, ext. 5000.

    ** 1 year seems like a long time, but it is very important that you begin investigating these programs early as many programs require work experience or the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) for admission consideration.

  2. Once you have decided where you want to apply, contact the Program Directors directly for application materials. Many programs now participate in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS). The program may be accessed at https://portal.dicas.org (e-mail DICASinfo@DICAS.org) The fee to use DICAS is $40 for the first application submitted and $20 for each additional application.

    DICAS requires a personal statement, online application, official transcripts and 3 letters of recommendation.

  3. Once you have obtained your application materials, meet with your Didactic Program Director to obtain a Declaration of Intent. Provide the Didactic Program Director with a list of courses you are currently enrolled, your projected date of graduation, along with the number of Declaration of Intent forms you will need (one for each application). DICAS requires your Didactic program director to log in and provide an electronic letter of intent/verification letter. Please contact the Didactic Program Director, Ms. Claudia Scott for your verification statement.

  4. Request for references from faculty/former employees. Out of professional courtesy, please make this request at least one month in advance. Provide a brief summary of your academic and work experiences to assist the individual in writing the reference.

  5. Obtain official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. Transcripts from the University of Houston may be ordered online by logging on to peoplesoft.

  6. Complete each application exactly according to the directions provided. Failure to follow the instructions may prevent your application from being considered.

  7. Applicants who receive a computer match to an internship program are responsible for accepting or rejecting their appointment by certified letter to be received by the program director on or before the appointment date.

  8. Once your degree has been conferred, contact the Didactic Program Director to obtain signed Verification Statements. Verification requires up to four weeks post-graduation and students need to inform the DPD whether they would prefer to pick them up or have them mailed. Students should provide the appropriate address at the time of request if they would like them mailed. Only students pursuing the BS in Nutrition with ADA Certification are eligible to earn a verification statement after meeting the guidelines above. Students pursing the BS in Nutritional Sciences do not meet CADE requirements and are not eligible for verification.

Visit the website of the Dietetic Internship Program at The University of Houston