The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics provides thorough information on the requirements and process to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

Application eligibility requirements:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree before the start of the program.
  • Obtain a verification statement from an accredited Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics indicating that all DPD requirements have been met before the start of the program.
  • Earn a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 overall in DPD coursework.
  • Have paid or unpaid work experience in a food and/or nutrition practice setting.

Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway applicants: the application and selection process for ISPP interns has different guidelines and are located in the ISPP policy.

Application steps

  1. Complete and submit the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) on-line application, which can be accessed in early December. The application deadline is February 15th. When applying, select ONE Virginia Tech program site (Blacksburg or Northern Virginia); applications who do not have one location selected may not be considered.

    Include three professional references with your DICAS submission. At least one must be a work or volunteer supervisor and one must be a faculty member familiar with your academic performance. Your third reference may be another supervisor, faculty member, or another professional contact of your choice. Select people that know you well enough to discuss your academic and work-related strengths. Applicants are discouraged from selecting more than one reference from the same setting unless the reference can address significantly different qualities.
    As part of your DICAS submission, include a Virginia Tech program-specific personal statement, which may not exceed 1000 words. It must address the following six questions, five of which are the standard DICAS questions:
    1. Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    2. Discuss experiences that have helped prepare you for your career.
    3. What are your short- and long-term goals?
    4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
    5. What other information do you consider important for the selection decision?
    6. Why are you interested in the Virginia Tech Internship Program, and specifically the location to which you have applied

  2. Pay the Virginia Tech Internship Program application fee of $50 and identify one program location (Blacksburg or Northern Virginia).

  3. Register for the computer matching system managed by D&D Digital Systems. The cost is $55. Virginia Tech has two match numbers; select 265 for the Northern Virginia location OR 488 for the Blacksburg site. If you do not select the match number that corresponds to the location you have designated in your application, your application cannot be considered.

Selection process

  • Applicants must select one Virginia Tech program location. The two program locations have separate selection committees composed of faculty members and preceptors.
  • Interviews are not conducted as part of the selection process. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the respective program location’s open house to meet the director and current interns. Applicants who are unable to attend the open house are encouraged to contact one of the directors with any question that arises after viewing the online open house.
  • In most years, the program receives approximately 120-140 applications, usually evenly distributed between the Blacksburg and Northern Virginia sites. 
  • When reviewing applications we consider the candidate's personal statement, academic performance,  references, and work experience. Matched applicants have strong references, considerable work and/or volunteer experience in at least one food or nutrition practice setting, strong academic performance, and professional goals that are compatible with the Virginia Tech internship design. 
  • Applicants are notified of the results of the computer match on D&D Digital’s website on a designated date using a personal login and password. Matched applicants must email or telephone the Virginia Tech Program Director to confirm acceptance of the match.

Policy for filling openings after the first match

  • The program’s policy for filling open internship positions after the spring match is to first seek qualified applicants from the original or past applicant pools. If openings remain after reviewing the original applicants, the program will invite qualified graduates from the Virginia Tech DPD program to apply. If there are no qualified graduates from the Virginia Tech DPD program, qualified graduates from other Commonwealth of Virginia accredited DPD programs will be invited to apply.

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, or veteran status; or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees, or applicants; or any other basis protected by law.


Carol B. Papillon, MPH, RD
Internship Director

Amy LaFalce, MS, RD
Northern Virginia Internship Site Director