URBANA, Ill. - Seniors in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Didactic Program in Dietetics have continued the legacy of excellence left by past classes with a high internship match rate well above the national average. On average, only 50 percent of dietetic hopefuls match nationwide, but the UIUC class of 2015 achieved a match rate of 94 percent.
Graduating seniors will be spending the next 8 to 24 months completing their dietetic internships (DI) all across the United States. The DI is the second step in the process to becoming a registered dietitian (RD) and requires 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Some DIs are combined with master’s degree programs, including degrees in nutritional sciences, public health, or business administration. This allows interns to take graduate courses alongside supervised practice to gain advanced training and credentials.
There are three major steps to becoming an RD. First, a bachelor’s degree in an accredited dietetics program must be completed. Then, future RD hopefuls must complete a DI, and the final step is completion of a comprehensive national RD examination.
The DI matching process takes place biannually in April and November. Students prepare extensive application materials including a list of preferred DI sites. After the students submit, the DI sites evaluate the applicants and rank them. A computerized program then matches applicants to internships so that both parties have a choice in the outcome. The first round of match results is then released to students, and they are allowed a few days to either accept or decline the offer to the DI to which they are matched. If students chose to decline, that spot is open for the second round of matching.
The UIUC graduating seniors will be dispersed all across the United States from the New York University Dietetic Internship program in New York City to Vanderbilt University in Tennessee to the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Congratulations, class of 2015 and best of luck to you in your future careers as registered dietitian nutritionists! You are one step closer to becoming future RDs, the true food and nutrition experts.