Frequently Asked Questions about the Dietetic Internship

1. How do I become a registered dietitian (RD)? Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website link for information about "What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?" and "Frequently Asked Questions about Careers in Dietetics". These links have helpful information, requirements and procedures to become a RD.

2. How do I improve my chances for matching to BWH dietetic internship? Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website  for general information. Our candidates meet, if not exceed, the minimum requirements listed on our webpage, plus have extensive nutrition work and/or volunteer experiences, well written personal statements addressing why BWH is a “good fit” for them and their professional goals, as well as outstanding references. It is difficult to say one or two aspects that make “an ideal candidate.” We look for professionalism, maturity, flexibility as well as strong academics.

3. Do you accept international students? Yes. Please visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website for specific information for international students.

4. How do I apply for the dietetic internship? All applicants must use the DICAS application system to apply to the BWH dietetic internship. Your DPD program should provide guidance on how to apply through the system as well as information about computer matching policies and procedures from the Academy and the DICAS portal.  

5. What kind of references do you want for the application? References should speak to your academic ability and professionalism. While there is no set recommendation, ideally one should be from a work supervisor; the other two can be from academic advisors, volunteer supervisors, and/or supervisors of nutrition related experiences. These references should be able to assess your skills and knowledge, therefore should probably know you for at least one year in an academic or working environment.

6. What do you want in a personal statement for the application? Strengths, weakness, short and long-term nutrition career goals, as well as why you think BWH would be a “good fit” for you. Your personal statement should be as concise as possible and have no spelling or grammatical errors.

7. Do you provide any benefits to dietetic interns? Yes. Discounted transportation via public transit, $75 per week meal card allowance, one week of vacation, 9 hospital holidays, five days that do not need to be made up (illness, personal), and the potential for additional income opportunities.

8. Do you require weekend work? Yes. Our interns are expected to work two weekends during their inpatient clinical rotations.

9. What is the pass rate for the RD exam? 100% over the past five years per the CDR report.

10. Do you hire your dietetic interns? Yes. If there are open entry-level opportunities.

11. What types of jobs do interns receive after completing the internship? Our interns successfully seek employment in a variety of settings after graduation. Over the past few years, our graduates have worked in clinical dietetics (inpatient and outpatient), private practice, research, long term care, WIC, corporate wellness, community nutrition, and industry / trade associations.

12. Do you provide documentation/assistance to defer educational loans? Yes. We can provide a letter or complete the appropriate documentation, based upon your investigation of what your specific loan deferment needs are.

13. Will I be able to work during the internship to supplement my income? The internship is a full-time job+ and is very demanding. There are often opportunities within the hospital (at the call center and catering) for additional income; however, an intern’s first priority is the internship. Each year some of the interns do work outside of the internship.

14. When are the tours and how long are they? Most Fridays at 2pm from November to the end of January and generally last 1.5 hours. This allows enough time to meet with the Associate Director and/or Director to discuss the internship and answer questions, plus a tour given by a current dietetic intern. Please email Jenica Abram at least three days in advanced at jabram@bwh.harvard.edu to set-up a tour.

15. Do you require GREs? No.

16. Do you have to have a master’s degree to apply? No. However, about half of our interns usually have one. As of 2024, all entry-level dietitians will need to have a master’s degree.

17. Do you require clinical experience to apply to the internship? No, but it can help with a smoother transition into our clinically focused internship.

18. Do I have to apply twice in DICAS given the two start dates? No. Only one DICAS application is needed for our internship.

19. How are the start dates decided? On a first-come, first-serve basis. After you receive your match with us, please call as soon as possible to request your start date in August or October. Most interns get their first choice/preference.

20. How recent does my education need to be to apply? A conferred degree and DPD requirements completed within three years of applying. However, if greater than three years, relevant work experience and a recent MNT course will be considered. Each application will be evaluated on an individual basis and a decision will be based upon all information provided by candidate.

21. How many candidates apply to the internship? We receive over 100 applications for the 12 spots.

22. Do you require/conduct interviews? No. Due to the quick turnaround time for applications, we are not able to conduct interviews. However, the tour provides an opportunity to meet the Director/Associate Director, see the facility and speak directly to the current interns.

Our ideal candidate has a strong academic background in science and nutrition courses, consistent work experience (preferably in nutrition), nutrition related volunteer experience, leadership roles, good writing and oral skills, and is able to demonstrate they can manage multiple responsibilities in a high pressure environment. Interns who are professional, mature, self-aware of strengths and areas of improvements typically perform well and have an excellent experience in our internship.

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