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Michigan State University Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition.

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Presentation on theme: "Michigan State University Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michigan State University Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition

2  This presentation explains the steps of the dietetic internship application process. Most internships use the online application system, DICAS, so that is what will be explained here, with just a few references to the traditional paper applications which are still in use in some places and situations.

3  Content includes: ◦ Definitions: Terms and abbreviations ◦ Description of the application cycles, deadlines ◦ Tips on researching where to apply ◦ List and the parts of the application ◦ Signing up for computer matching ◦ Screenshots of the DICAS application

4 1. DICAS – “DYE-cass” – the online Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System 2. D & D Digital – the computer firm charged with filling the internship slots through a national ranking and match process 3. DPD - Didactic Program in Dietetics – the institution that provided the required dietetics coursework (MSU!)

5 4. DI – Dietetic Internship 5. CP – Coordinated Program – both academic and experiential components in one (e.g. DPD + DI) 6. GRE – Graduate Record Exam – required for applications to some internships and to nearly all graduate programs.

6 7. Declaration of Intent – Document given to students who are applying to internships during last semester of DPD. Serves as a contract with list of classes required for successful completion of the DPD Program. 8. Verification Statement – Document issued after successful completion of bachelor’s degree and all listed DPD courses. Required in order to start a DI. MSU mails each dietetics graduate six original copies after degree is conferred.

7  Most internships participate in one (of two) application cycles/year. A few participate in both and have overlapping internship groups. ◦ Spring cycle:  Application deadline on or near February 15  “Match” announced in April  Start date usually August or September ◦ Fall cycle:  Application deadline on or near September 25  “Match” announced in November  Start date usually January or February  Many more internships participate in the Spring cycle than in the Fall cycle.

8 While this presentation explains the DICAS process, be aware that a few programs may use traditional mailed paper applications, such as...  If the DI program has a pre-select option, filling some of its slots early with candidates from its own DPD program…  If the program is a CP… (Some CPs have extra internship slots that they are willing to fill with graduates of DPD programs.)  If the DI has chosen not to use DICAS…  Or, if the DI is not participating in D & D Digital matching…

9  Use the master list accredited programs on the website of the American Dietetic Association, Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education,  Review the Applicant Guide to Supervised Practice (large binders in Trout Advising Center) for answers to yearly questionnaire filled out by internship program directors.  Examine the websites of individual internships. Look for “virtual tours”.  Contact internship directors for additional information.

10  Talk to last year’s seniors who are currently on internships.  Discuss with faculty, DPD director, adviser, parents, dietitians you know, etc.  Go to internship open houses. Or, meet with DI program directors.  Review the comments on the student-run site  Prepare a comparison grid to evaluate internships by desired features (location, cost, length, MS degree or not, rotations, etc.)

11  Obtain current application materials or instructions from DI’s 4-6 months prior to the computer match in April or November. While some have complete instructions on their websites, others expect to send packets of information by email attachment. If needed, email each director and ask questions and/or request more information.  A GRE score may be needed; arrange with MSU Testing Office to take the exam.

12  There are 7 parts to the application: 1.DICAS application form 2.Letters of recommendation (3) 3.Transcripts 4.Either Declaration of Intent or Verification Statement form 5.Resume 6.Personal statement 7.Fees  Plus, D & D Digital computer matching

13  The DICAS application becomes available around December 1 for the Spring Cycle, or around August 1 for the Fall Cycle.   You start by creating an account and being assigned an account number (no charge).  The application is time-consuming to fill out, so plan on working on it during multiple sessions.  You don’t pay anything until you submit the application to internships.

14  DICAS uses the term “references” to describe the people who will submit recommendation forms and letters for you. You may choose any professional contacts. At least one each, employer and faculty member, is suggested. The 3 rd could be another of the same, or perhaps a volunteer supervisor. A R.D. would be good.  Request recommendations at least two months prior to application deadline. Prepare a packet of information for each letter writer following the instructions on the request form. This takes time – get an early start on it.

15  Prepare a packet for each reference to help them write the best possible recommendation. Include these items: 1.Request for Letter of Recommendation form - (available in room 106 Trout or emailed from Mrs. Summers as attachment). Includes instructions. 2.DI Recommendation Form – This form is identical to what your references will see on the screen as they access the online recommendation. 3.Self-evaluation of traits – Copy the traits from the recommendation form and give examples of how you have developed or demonstrate each trait. 4.Detailed resume of work and volunteer experiences

16  Ask your references in person or by email if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for you.  When they say yes, ask if they would like to meet in person to review your packet, or if they would rather you just drop it off.  Explain to non-faculty (employers, etc.) that an official request will come by email from DICAS with a link, password, and their email address as their user ID.

17  Order an official transcript from each college and university you have attended sent to: DICAS Transcript Department PO Box 9118 Watertown, Massachusetts 02472 ***For faster processing, use both the DICAS generated transcript order form and the college or university printed transcript order form.

18  Meet with Mrs. Summers 1-4 months before the application is due and fill out a Request for Declaration of Intent or Verification Statement. We will use information on the same request form to mail copies of the Verification Statement after graduation.  In DICAS, in the Education section, enter the name of your DPD Director, Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon, and her email address, either or

19  In DICAS, click the appropriate icon: ◦ Declaration of Intent – have not graduated yet; ◦ Verification Statement – have graduated.  DICAS will immediately send an email to Dr. Weatherspoon asking for the form.  Finally, in DICAS, you will need to verify that the information is correct on the form sent by Dr. Weatherspoon to DICAS.

20  DICAS requires that you upload a resume.  Limit the length of the resume to one or two pages.  Note that the resume that you include in your packet to your references could be longer and more detailed, e.g. 2-3 pages. Or, you could use the same resume for both.  You can get assistance or have your resume reviewed by the Career Services Network, or by our college’s Field Career Services Coordinator, Jill Cords,

21  Compose your personal statements, an individualized one for each internship. The appropriate length is more than 1 and less than 3 pages, single-spaced with a blank line between paragraphs (max: 8000 characters, approx 1000 words).  Check each internship’s instruction page carefully to see if they name specific information to be included in the personal statement. Some internships ask you to upload additional information in the form of a supplement.

22  DICAS suggests your statement include: 1.Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession? 2.Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for your career, 3.What are your short-term and long-term goals? 4.What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement? 5.What other information do you consider important for the selection decision?

23  Try to make your personal statements vibrant, interesting, and story-like.  Have everyone you know critique it and check it for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Use spell-check but don’t rely on it.  If desired, meet with our Career Coordinator, Jill Cords,, to review your personal statement. Dr. Weatherspoon is also willing to review your final  When you upload to DICAS, name each version after the internship it is intended for.

24  Each internship charges a fee ranging from $25 to $100 to review your application. Mail a check or money order before the deadline. Include a short cover letter stating that you have enclosed your check and thanking them for considering you.  DICAS – When you submit your applications, DICAS will charge (to your credit card) $40 for the first application and $20 for each additional.  D & D Digital – One $50 fee for computer matching, no matter how many internships you apply to. Online, when you sign up, by credit card.

25  Instructional video on the ADA website: ◦  The following slides show screen shots of the DICAS application.  Create Account - http://portal.dicas.org  (Spring Cycle: on or after December 1)  (Fall Cycle: on or after August 1)  Your DICAS start-up page will always show: ◦ My Tools - in left navigation pane ◦ Application Checklist – in middle column ◦ Status – on right side ◦ Help – on bottom left – written instructions



28 Click on “My Application” in left column, then fill in boxes in center section. 1. Applicant Information ◦ Contact Information ◦ Personal Information ◦ Background Information ◦ Red fields are required


30 2. Education Information Colleges Attended – List all colleges attended, and identify MSU as your DPD college. Sessions and Coursework – List all DPD courses by semesters, including grades, other details. (Ask Mrs. Summers if you have questions on this part.) Tests – GRE, TOEFL



33 3. DPD Contact Information: a. Name of DPD Director - Dr. Lorraine Weatherspoon b. Email -, c. Which you need: - Declaration of Intent - Verification Statement


35 4. Other Information: ◦ Awards, Experience, & Volunteer Activities  This is a huge section that asks specifics about all of your jobs, etc., including names, contact info, dates ◦ Personal Statement  Upload all your personal statements here. ◦ Resume  Upload a 1-2 page resume here. ◦ References  List your 3 references (the writers of your letters of recommendation) and their emails.


37  D & D Digital divides the computer matching process into 3 phases: 1. Application Phase ◦ Applicants must register with D & D Digital at, pay the $50.00 computer matching fee with a credit card, and submit their prioritized list of dietetic internships online to D&D Digital before the designated deadline (February or September). ◦ Applicants should call D&D Digital prior to the deadline if they do not receive an e-mail with log-in information.

38 2. Computer Matching Phase ◦ If you decide to withdraw from the match process for any reason, notify D & D Digital in writing. ◦ If you cannot access the D&D Digital Internet site to view your personal matching results on Notification Day, contact D & D Digital by phone.

39 3. Appointment Phase ◦ Applicants who receive a computer match DI appointment must accept or decline the match by telephone, email, or fax to the DI Program Director by 5:00 pm (of the program’s time zone) on Appointment Day. ◦ Applicants who submitted a Declaration of Intent for their DI applications must obtain a signed DPD Verification Statement from their DPD Program Director and order an official transcript documenting completion of the bachelor’s degree before they may begin the DI.

40 -American Dietetic Association ◦ -Accredited Internship Programs (DI’s) ◦ -Accredited Coordinated Programs (CP’s) ◦

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