A Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) grants at least a bachelor's degree (some grant a master's degree) and is ACEND-accredited for only the required dietetics coursework. After you complete DPD requirements you will then need to apply for and be accepted into an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship Program (DI) to complete the supervised practical experience required to be a registered dietitian. You must successfully complete an accredited DI and obtain a Verification Statement from the internship director in order to be eligible to sit for the CDR registration examination. Currently, there are more than 200 ACEND-accredited DPDs and more than 250 ACEND-accredited DIs in the United States.
Top 10 Questions about Computer Matching for Dietetic Internships
10. What is computer matching?
Computer matching is one part of the process necessary to obtain an appointment to most DIs. The Academy has contracted with D&D Digital Systems to facilitate matching through a computerized process. An applicant is "matched" with the highest ranked program that offers the applicant a position. In this way, computer matching helps applicants to obtain a position in the DI of their choice and helps DI programs obtain the applicants of their choice. It eliminates premature decisions by programs about applicants and acceptance at multiple programs by applicants.
Computer matching occurs using the applicant's prioritized list and the programs' prioritized lists until all possible matches are complete. There is a fee for computer matching that must be submitted at the time you register for the match online with D&D Digital Systems. The process is explained in detail in the "Instructions to Applicants" booklet provided by D&D Digital Systems.
9. If computer matching is one part of the process, what else do I need to do to apply to DIs?
To begin the application process, you must request and complete the application materials from the DI programs of your choice. Most DIs participate in computer matching for their admission process. Those that are exempt accept applications only from individuals employed by the sponsoring organization. These are noted on the Academy's Web site in the DI list.
Each DI reviews its own applications and submits a priority listing of acceptable applicants to D&D Digital Systems, along with the number of positions to be filled. Computer matching does not change the applicants' or programs' selection process.
8. Is there a limit to the number of programs that one can apply to and rank for computer matching?
No. Just remember that an application must be submitted to each program you rank on the preference list that you submit to D&D. If you do not rank a program with D&D Digital, the program cannot consider your application.
7. Is it possible to receive a match to more than one DI?
No. Only one match is made, the highest priority choice for which a program match occurs.
6. If a program offers both a full and part-time option, can I apply to both?
Yes. Be sure to check the computer matching codes for each option. Many programs have one code number for the full-time option and one code number for the part-time option. If you wish to be considered for both options, you need to rank the full and part-time options according to your preference and include both options on the list submitted to D&D Digital Systems.
5. When does computer matching occur?
Computer matching occurs in April and November of each year. The DI list includes information about when each DI appoints its students. Programs may participate in either one or both computer matching periods.
4. Are there deadlines for the computer matching/internship application process?
Yes, there are two deadlines that you must be aware of when applying to DIs. First, each program should have a deadline line date in their materials that tells you when all application materials must be submitted to the program. It is very important that you adhere to this deadline; otherwise your application may be invalid if it is not received by the deadline date.
Second, there is a deadline established by the Academy and D&D Digital Systems, Inc. for registering for the computer match with D&D Digital Systems and submitting your prioritized list of DI programs and your computer matching fee payment. The deadline for the February match is generally during the 2nd week of February and for the November match approximately September 25th. However, you should check with your DPD program director, the Academy Accreditation staff or D&D Digital Systems for the exact deadline date. If you do not register for the match by the established deadline date to D&D Digital Systems, you will not be in the match and the DI Programs cannot consider your application.
Please be sure to allow sufficient preparation time so that you will have your materials ready to be submtted online on or before the deadline date.
3. If I don't receive a match the first time I apply, can I apply again?
Yes. You may continue to apply as often as you wish and in both April and November. You must register for the match with D&D Digital Systems and submit new DI application materials for every matching period.
2. How can I increase my chances of receiving a DI appointment?
Appointments to these programs are very competitive. Program Directors are looking for students with high academic ability (GPA), work experience, strong letters of recommendation, and professional potential. An application package that follows directions explicitly, and is neat is very important. If required, a well-written application letter may be a good reflection of your maturity and communication skills. Be flexible about your Program choices. The ability to relocate from densely populated urban sites also may be helpful.
1. Where can I get more information about this whole process?
If you are still in school, your Didactic Program Director and/or faculty advisor should be your resource person for information and guidance with the appointment process. The Accreditation staff at the Academy is also available to answer questions. Call 800/877-1600 ext. 5400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. D&D Digital Systems can provide information about the computer matching process. Visit their Web site at www.dnddigital.com/, call 515/292-0490, or e-mail email@example.com.