Application match

Timelines and deadlines

The ISU DI accepts applications using the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) for both the spring and fall match. The most concise list is on the D&D Digital page, but you can also find these dates on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website as well as the DICAS Portal.

ISU DI internship cohorts begin each year in January and June. If your graduation date is after the start of the upcoming internship class, you are not eligible for the current class, but may apply to the next class session. For example: If your graduation date is June 15 and the internship begins June 6, you are not eligible for the June class, but can apply for the following January class.

Applicant responsibilities

Visit the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) and Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS) webpages for information about your responsibilities as the ISU DI program applicant:

Admission requirements

  • Minimum Bachelor of Science (BS) degree
  • Valid DPD Verification Statement.
    • If your DPD verification statement is more than five years old, you may need to meet additional requirement. See Recency of Education below.
  • Overall GPA ≥ 2.8 (4.0 scale)
  • DPD GPA ≥ 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • GRE not required
  • 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 if a TOEFL/IELTS score is required.

Recency of education

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

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 such as Medical Nutrition Therapy and Nutrition Assessment. 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 and present documentation of the equivalence of your foreign degree(s). More information is available in the ISU International Graduate Instructions (PDF).  

You may be required to take the following coursework from a US regionally-accredited college or university:

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

How to apply - one, two, three

There are three parts to the ISU DI application. Failure to complete any of the three parts prevents consideration for the ISU DI.

part one ISU DI online application

part two DICAS application

part three D&D Digital registration


one ISU DI online application

This must be completed in one session. It is not possible to save your work and continue later. 
Everything listed below can be done at the ISU DI registration site.

  • Submit the application fee electronically. There is a $75 non-refundable fee for each program selected
  • Include your DICAS ID# from the current match cycle.
  • Indicate your location selection and be sure this matches with your selection on the DICAS application and in D&D Digital
  • Upload any materials that are required by your desired location as noted below (commitment letters, essay, etc.)
    • Iowa-based - no additional materials required
    • Nationwide - include your completed rotation schedule (see Planning your schedule)
      • The online preceptor commitment form will automatically send a copy to you, your preceptor, and the ISU DI.  If you do not receive a copy, first check your spam and junk mail, then include a note in your application that you did not receive copies and we will follow up as needed. Your application will still be reviewed.
    • International - appropriate essay and nationwide materials if needed

Our process generates automatic replies confirming receipt of your materials; therefore, the ISU DI will not reply to any email or phone requests for such verification. In the event you are not selected for entrance in this internship program, application materials will not be returned. Note: If you have significant work experience, you may qualify for Prior Assessed Learning (PAL).


twoDICAS application

  • Record your DICAS ID# for use with Part One - ISU DI online application.
  • Complete the DICAS Application. Be sure to follow directions closely.
  • We do not require any supplemental materials for DICAS.
  • Be sure your location selection for the DICAS application matches with your selection on the ISU DI application and in D&D digital.


threeD&D Digital Online Dietetics Internship Matching Service

  • Register with D&D Digital Computer Matching.
  • Be sure your location selection for D&D Digital matches with your selection on the DICAS and ISU DI application.
  • Use the following codes.  Remember that the November match class starts in January and the April match class starts in June.

November Match Codes

(January class)

April Match Codes

(June class)

Iowa-based location 509 417
Nationwide location 563 182
Iowa-based location with international rotation 572 136
Nationwide location with international rotation 573 135

Application review process

The ISU DI review committee will review all qualified, complete applications. Please check to make sure that you have followed all the steps and submitted all the required material.


No face-to-face or phone interviews are conducted with the exception that some applicants for international rotations may be selected for a phone interview.

What we look for in an intern

We look at overall GPA, DPD, GPA, Science GPA, letters of references, representation of personal qualities and skills in a personal letter, and work or volunteer experience with transferable professional skills such as, but not limited to:

  • Excellent communication skills with a variety of audiences and formats (instructors, preceptors, peers, clients)
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to perform self-assessment and apply constructive feedback
  • Self-motivation and follow-through
  • Flexibility and adaptable to changing circumstances
  • Ability to manage stress effectively
  • Positive attitude and interpersonal skills
  • Computer literacy in online coursework, document sharing, Microsoft Office, and email
  • Ability to work independently

The fast pace of this internship requires that the successful intern is one who is 100 percent committed to the internship. The supervised practice and professional project schedule does not leave time for additional work or other commitments.

Sample score sheets

The following review score sheets show the relative importance of each of the application components (shown for demonstration only).

Acceptance procedure

Starting at 6 p.m. CST on Sunday following the DICAS deadline, you can log in to D&D Digital Computer Matching to find out whether you matched to a program. This information will be available through 5 p.m. CST Monday, which is the deadline to accept an internship match.  This is the only source of notification for applicants.  Each applicant will receive either one match or no match after log in.

Acceptance deadline

If you matched to the ISU DI, you will receive an email from the ISU DI Director with a link to join the Match Day webinar. To accept or decline a position, you must register for this webinar. If you are matched to the ISU DI and unable to attend live, please register for the webinar to receive a recording. 

  • NOTE: registration for and attendance of the webinar serves as your acceptance to the program. 
  • You are not required to phone the ISU DI Director to accept the match.

This must be completed or your position will be forfeited. Be prompt to the webinar so you do not miss any crucial information.

Next Match Day Webinar:  April 8, 2019 - 10:00 AM CST