Dietetic Internship Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Cal Poly, SLO Dietetic Internship must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited school and have met the Didactic Program in Dietetics requirements as specified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. They must present verification of completion of an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) dated no more than 5 years prior to application (through submission of a Verification Statement) or a Declaration of Intent to Complete Degree prior to admission into the internship. The best-qualified applicants will be chosen and this program does not discriminate based on color, race, creed, religion, national origin, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability.

After acceptance into the program, interns must provide to the Dietetic Internship Director an original copy of their Verification Statement and an official copy of their transcripts documenting their highest degree earned (must be a bachelor’s degree or higher).

Interns need to have a criminal background check before they are officially admitted into the program as well as an additional criminal background check and drug screen by some hospitals and school districts. Acceptance to and completion of the program are contingent on passing the background checks. Please research and consider your own circumstances before applying to the program.

Selection Criteria

Selection of interns will be based on the following criteria:

  • Overall GPA of 2.8 and DPD GPA of 3.0.
  • Paid and volunteer experience in the field of dietetics outside classroom field assignments. Other professional experience will also be considered;
  • Three letters of recommendation - one must be from an employer or supervisor in a paid or volunteer position (preferably an RD), two from professors from the DPD program;
  • Quality of personal statement will be evaluated for effective written communication, thoughtful answers to all required questions, and indications that Cal Poly is a good match for the applicant’s personal and professional goals;
  • Leadership and participation in professional, social, and school organizations are highly desired;
  • Phone interviews for top-rated applicants;
  • A nutrition therapy or clinical nutrition course completed within the last five years (or recent clinical experience may be substituted);
  • A biochemistry course completed within the last five years.
  • The program does not waive supervised practice for prior experience.

We are looking for interns who are dedicated to the field of dietetics, are self-motivated, take initiative, display critical thinking and leadership, and are team players who can also work independently.

Application Procedure

There are 3 components to the application process to our program, which can be completed in any order:

  1. Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) online application process:
  • The program is using the on-line centralized internship application, DICAS, which may be accessed at (NOTE: The DICAS portal won't be available until November 29, 2021, for the Spring Match); e-mail The online application must be completed for our program by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15, 2022. Please refer to the DICAS website to review their fee structure. 
  • Applicants who apply to internships using DICAS are required to complete a personal statement. Questions to be addressed in the personal statement for Cal Poly include:
    • What is the toughest obstacle you’ve had to overcome up to this point in your life that has helped to shape the person you are today?
    • What are some experiences that have helped to prepare you for your dietetics career?
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and areas for continued growth?
    • Why are you applying to the Cal Poly SLO Dietetic Internship program?
    • What separates you from the rest of the applicants interested in our internship?
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended should be sent to DICAS - Transcript Dept., PO Box 9118, Watertown, MA 02472.
  • Verification Statement Substantiating Completion of (or Declaration of Intent to Complete) Degree and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-Approved Minimum Academic Requirements from your Didactic Program Director.
  • When completing the 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 online. 
    • You must secure three letters of reference: one must be from an employer or supervisor from a paid or volunteer position, preferably an RD. Two should be from professors in your DPD program. 
    • Please note that at least one of the faculty references must come from a faculty member who has taught you in class so that he/she is able to address your strengths as a student.

    2. D&D Digital Computer Matching Process:

  • Applicants must also register online for computer matching with D&D Digital at and select dietetic internship priority choices by 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 15. There is a $50.00 computer matching fee.
    • The Cal Poly Computer Matching Code is 181. 

    3. Application fee paid to Cal Poly:

  • Non-refundable application fee of $65, due with application, received by February 15, 2022.
  • Note: Your application will not be accepted if you do not pay the application fee to Cal Poly by the 2/15 deadline. You will receive a receipt for your online payment via email. If you made the payment but did not receive the receipt, please contact Dr. Kari Pilolla, the Program Director, immediately and by no later than 2/15. Again, you will not be considered for the program unless this payment is made by the deadline.

Program Cost

Tuition and Fees 2021-22

  • The non-refundable fee of $16,350*
  • Intern's tuition will be collected in 3 installments
  • This fee is based on 10 students and is subject to CSU fee increase
  • Student loans are not available for dietetic interns at Cal Poly, SLO.

        Cal Poly interns have the opportunity to apply for loan deferments and private scholarships for which non-matriculated students earning 2 graduate-level credits per quarter (equivalent to 3 semester-based credits in fall and 6 semester-based credits in spring) would be eligible.

  * Subject to change based on approval by the university fee committee.

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Affiliate membership - $50
  • Campus parking ($7 x 27 weeks) - $189
  • Books, supplies, local meetings, lab coat (select rotations only) - $300-400
  • Medical clearances, background checks, & drug screens - $200-275
  • Rent - interns make own living arrangements - $600-$1200/month
  • Transportation - must have own automobile - cost varies
  • Personal health insurance - cost varies

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