Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to apply to the program, you must have the following at the start of the internship:

  • At least a B.S. degree
  • A valid DPD Verification Statement

Timing: If your graduation date is after the start of the internship, you are not eligible for the ISU DI. For example: If your graduation date is June 15 and the internship begins June 13, you are not eligible for the ISU DI.

Note: If you have a PhD, visit our page about options that may apply to you.

Note: If you have significant work experience, you may qualify for Prior Assessed Learning (PAL).


Recommended GPA (4.0 scale): 2.8 overall; 3.0 for the DPD.


The GRE is not required.

Recency of education

Within the past five years, you must have successfully completed coursework in diet therapy and advanced nutrition, or show evidence of clinical practice.

If additional coursework is required to meet “recency of education” requirements, you and the DI Director will discuss and determine the exact requirements. (Typically this requirement is specific for MNT-related coursework.)  Completing the recommended requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the ISU DI program.

International students

**F-1 students: If you have an F-1 Visa, OPT (Optional Practical Training) may make it possible for you complete the ISU DI.  Contact your international student office for more information.  The ISU international student office is not obligated to assist you unless you are currently an ISU student or until you are enrolled at ISU after matching to our program.

All other international students must have a completed degree from a US regionally-accredited college or university or foreign equivalent, or present documentation of the equivalence of your foreign degree(s).

Find out about equivalencies on the ACEND® website or the International Graduate instructions page for ISU’s Graduate College Application.  You may be required to take the following coursework from a US regionally-accredited college or university or foreign equivalent:

  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Nutrition education and counseling methods
  • Scientific study of food/food science
  • Community nutrition

TOEFL/IELTS: All “non-native English speakers” who do not have a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally-accredited college or university are required to provide a TOEFL or IELTS score.  The ISU Graduate Admissions Office determines whether or not you must provide this.


All coursework is completed online and it is our expectation that all interns will be able to perform every task on this computer competency checklist.  In addition, you will need to have access to a computer, scanner, printer, and the internet throughout the internship.

You are encouraged to visit the Illinois Online Network website to self-evaluate your readiness for online learning. Another helpful link is “What Makes a Successful Online Student?”

ISU graduate college

Those who are matched to the ISU DI will apply for admission to the ISU Graduate College. If you are deemed ineligible for enrollment in ISU Graduate College, you will not be able to complete the internship.

Background check

Those who are matched to the ISU DI will complete a required criminal background check.  If any information is discovered that would indicate a record of abuse or neglect, a felony conviction or other questionable information, you may not be able to complete the program.