Admission Requirements and Selection Criteria

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree: Completion of a minimum of a master's degree from a college or university recognized by the US Department of Education (USDE). Degree must be completed prior to start date of the internship. A final transcript must be provided by internship start date. If a final transcript is not available at that time, the university registrar's office must provide a letter confirming that you have completed your degree requirements. If you have a degree from a foreign university please refer to the foreign degree guidelines created by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).   
  • Accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics: Applicants will need to have completed or be in the process of completing an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), as specified by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A "Verification Statement" or "Declaration of Intent to Complete" form must by submitted online to DICAS by your program director. A DPD verification statement must be provided by the start date of the internship.  
  • Recency of coursework: DPD or other relevant coursework/education must have been completed within three years of internship start date. 
  • Background check: Candidates matched with the UCSF Dietetic Internship must pass a background check completed by UCSF in order to start the program.  
  • Health clearance: Candidates matched to the UCSF Dietetic Internship must complete a health clearance prior to the start of the internship.  
  • Proof of visa status for non-U.S. citizens: Non-U.S. citizens must provide proof of appropriate visa status. Non-U.S. citizens must be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for Optional Practice Training (OPT) to complete a dietetic internship. It is the student's responsibility to coordinate the OPT application with their DPD school. The student must maintain valid visa status for the entirety of the internship; UCSF is not able to sponsor visas. 

Selection Criteria

The intern selection process is based upon the factors outlined below. We are interested in selecting interns who have strong academic backgrounds, effective communication skills, and success in cooperative work with others. The ideal intern class is a diverse group composed of strong students who will be successful in our internship and as professionals. 

Our past interns have come from schools across the U.S. We have taken more than one student from the same school for the same class. Our goal is to select the best students from the applicant pool, without setting arbitrary limits on our choices.

Academic Preparation

  • Grades: Applicants must have a minimum DPD GPA of 3.0. There is no minimum overall GPA requirement. We give particular attention to your GPA for science and upper division nutrition courses as experience has shown that good grades in these classes help our interns succeed. 
  • Additional considerations: Did you take academically rigorous courses? Did you take additional classes in nutrition, sciences, and communications? Did you take electives (if eligible to do so) to create a well rounded educational experience? 

Work or Volunteer Experience

Dietetics-related experienece is preferred but not required. We look for the ability to work with others, leadership, dependability, and the ability to perform in self-directed settings. 

Extracurricular Activities

Similiar to work experience, we are looking for cooperation, leadership, and consistency. Being consistently engaged with one organization is more compelling than simply attending meetings for many organizations. 

College and Work References

DICAS requires 3 letters of reference​. UCSF does not require certain references​. 

Choose references who know you well and can speak to the quality of your work and your character. 

Personal Statement and Supplemental Questions

Personal Statement: 1000 words or less​

UCSF Supplemental Question​: 250 words​

Reviewers look for:​

  • Did you provide direct answers the questions provided? 
  • Did you provide specific examples to demonstrate your skills and experience? 
  • Did you expand on the information already in your application?
  • Were the essays well organized and free of typos?


The interview is an opportunity for the applicant to expand on skills or experiences from the application. The panel is looking for professional presentation, thoughtful answers, and new information (not simply repeating experiences shared in the application). 

Non-Discrimination Statement

The UCSF Medical Center Dietetic Internship is committed to providing training to qualified students from a wide range of cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, or age in any of our policies, procedures, or practices; nor do we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.