Tips For Undergraduate Dietetics Students
DICAS stands for Dietetics Inclusive Centralized Application Services. It is a service that dietetics students use to apply to multiple programs through a single online application. To learn more about tips for the DICAS process, click here. (insert hyperlink: https://eatrightflorida.org/student-resources/)
Effective January 1, 2024, all students studying dietetics to become a registered dietitian must graduate with a graduate degree. Applying to graduate school is made easy with the DICAS single online application. Although, there are a few things to keep in mind while completing a bachelor’s degree in dietetics.
It is important to note that different graduate schools require different prerequisites in order to be eligible to apply. The undergraduate degree program at one university may not enforce the same classes that are considered prerequisites in graduate programs. Therefore, it is suggested to start researching graduate programs early on and keep track of what prerequisites align with a student’s current academic map. This will allow for a smoother transition when applying to graduate programs and ensure that all prerequisites have been completed during the application process.
A few courses that might be required as a prerequisite for graduate school are: Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry I Lab, Organic Chemistry II and Organic Chemistry II Lab, Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II.
Masters vs. Internship
Many universities offer a combined masters and dietetic internship that usually consists of courses in the first year, followed by a second year of internship. Although, there are additional options when it comes to earning a masters degree. Students have the ability to earn a masters degree without a combined internship, and earn an internship at another university or association. This allows students to explore different cities, communities, and opportunities. Here is a list of all the dietetics internships offered in the United States. (Excel Sheet)
Choosing The Best Fitting Program
Finding the best program may seem overwhelming as there are several options and paths to choose from. Having a specialty in mind can narrow down the options. Many schools and internships concentrate on specialties such as geriatrics, pediatrics, women’s health, nutrition sport, eating disorders, and more. In addition to specialties, one must consider location, lifestyle, resources, cost of living, tuition, and requirements to apply. Taking into account these factors will aid in finding the best fitting program.
A student’s GPA, or Grade Point Average, is one of the main qualifications when applying to graduate school. The most common required GPA when applying for graduate school is a 3.0. Although, the GPA determined by a student’s undergraduate school may not coincide with the GPA calculated when applying to graduate school. Some graduate school’s calculate a students undergraduate GPA based on common core classes such as courses in nutrition, chemistry, food science, and management. It is important to keep this in mind when applying as a student may or may not be eligible to apply with a recalculated GPA.
Building relationships during a student’s undergraduate career is essential to learn more about interests, concerns, and strengths. Establishing relationships with both professors and classmates can guide students to a more suitable and successful future. Moreover, creating a connection with professors will allow for recommendation letters that demonstrate a true understanding of a student’s character. In addition, building relationships with classmates allows students to learn more about opportunities, such as clubs, organizations, research and volunteer options within a university.