The University of Illinois DI Program is accredited to accept a maximum of 4 interns per year and is restricted to students who have earned at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and are already enrolled in the M.S. or Ph.D. degree program in Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition or Division of Nutritional Sciences. If you are planning to complete the DI, please e-mail Dr Sharon Donovan, DI Director, so that she is aware of your interest and can set an appointment to meet with you. At that time, she will discuss with you timing of application to the DI.
Applicants are required to provide a Verification Statement (complete or from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)). In addition, DI applicants are expected to have completed volunteer or work experience in clinical nutrition, community nutrition, or food service settings.
In order to enroll in the DPD program (courses, clinical experience, RD mentor), you will need to complete the Application for Concurrent Enrollment in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and University of Illinois Graduate School (doc). Once you have completed this form, it should be submitted to Ms. Justine Karduck, the Director of the DPD in the Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition. Note that this application will require signature approval by your graduate advisor. Acceptance into the DPD program is not guaranteed and will be dependent upon performance in previous coursework and the availability of space in undergraduate courses. Once Ms. Karduck has approved this application, Dr. Donovan can assist you in planning your program of study.
Typically, students complete the internship after completing all their graduate degree coursework and research. However, doctoral students may complete the internship earlier in their graduate degree program, depending upon availability of slots in the internship and approval by their graduate advisor. Including the internship component, most MS students will be able to complete their graduate program in 3 years. Most PhD students will be able to complete their program in 5-6 years. The DI Director will inform students when they can apply to the DI.
Students may not enroll in DI until all other coursework for their graduate degree program is complete and they have completed most (or all) of the experimental requirements for their thesis. The student may choose to defend a thesis before or after the DI, but it is expected that very little experimental work will be performed after the internship is completed. You will enroll in FSHN 590 and 591 during the internship.
When a student deposits their thesis or dissertation, he or she is no longer eligible to register for courses. It is imperative, therefore, that interns complete DI courses before depositing a thesis. Contact the Dietetic Internship Director if you have questions about this requirement.
The University of Illinois DI participates in the pre-select option. In the pre-select process, the program can select up to 4 students per year who have met the admission requirements for the DI. The DI Director then informs D&D Digital Systems which applicants have matched to the University of Illinois DI for the upcoming year. Applicants cannot match to the University of Illinois DI through computer matching the D&D Digital Systems. However, if an applicant is not matched to the University of Illinois DI, they can apply to other internships through the computer matching process.
Applicants must submit the following materials to the DI Director (Dr. Sharon Donovan, 339 Bevier Hall) by October 15th (or the next week day closest to that date) of the fall prior to the year you intend to complete the internship:
Due to high demand for the DI, it is possible that more than 4 students will be applying for the internship in a given year. Applications will be evaluated by the DI Internal Advisory Committee and acceptance for competitive admission to the DI be based on the following criteria:
The applicant will be notified on November 15th, or the week day closest to that date, confirming her/his acceptance or rejection into the program through the pre-select process.
If pre-selected, the applicant will be required to complete a form including social security number and original signature. The Program Director must submit this form by February 1st to D&D Digital Systems, Inc. to ensure that the applicant will not participate in the April computer match.
Applicants may apply to another DI through the computer-matching process. Applicants participating in computer matching should request instructions and a mark/sense card to prioritize their DI preferences. Applicants should request this material from any ACEND-accredited/approved Didactic Program in Dietetics program director or from D&D Digital Systems, Inc. or firstname.lastname@example.org. This request should be made to allow turnaround time for submitting by the February postmark deadline for computer matching. There is no charge for this material. However, there is a $50.00 charge for computer matching that is due with the applicant's prioritized ranking.
There is no guarantee that you will receive support from your graduate advisor during the DI. However, the DI Director will work with the prospective intern and his or her graduate advisor to determine whether an assistantship can be provided during the internship. If not, interns will be responsible for their own living expenses and tuition.
Interns can also apply for scholarship support for DI through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
If an intern is not being supported by an assistantship, scholarship or fellowship that provides that tuition and fee waiver, they will be responsible for tuition and fees. To view the current costs, please visit the Office of the Registrar's tuition and fee rates page. Tuition assessment is based on the total number of credit hours being taken per semester. Both FSHN 590 and 591 are 5 credit hours, which qualifies as Range III.
In addition, interns are required to pay a fee for participation in the DI. The annual fee is $2,000. The fee can be paid in one payment prior to beginning the internship or can be divided into two $1,000 payments paid before the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Checks should be made to "University of Illinois" and given to the DI Director. After receipt of the payment, students will be cleared to enroll in FSHN 590 and FSHN 591.