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Berkeley Public Health Dietetic Internship

Steps to Becoming a Registered Dietitian

Every Registered Dietitian is a Nutritionist, but not every Nutritionist is a Registered Dietitian.

The Registered Dietitian (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential (used interchangeably) can only be used by nutrition and dietetics practitioners who are currently authorized to use the credential by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). These are legally protected titles. Individuals with these credentials have completed specific academic and supervised practice requirements, successfully completed CDR examination and maintained requirements for recertification. The definition and requirements for the term “nutritionist” vary. Some states have licensure laws that define the scope of practice for someone using the designation “nutritionist.”

  • Criteria to Earn the RD Credential
    1. Complete one of the following programs. Graduates are then eligible to write CDR’s Registration Examination for Dietitians to become credentialed as registered dietitians. Please note, effective January 1, 2024, CDR began requiring a minimum of a master’s degree to be eligible to take the exam. More information is available on CDR’s 2024 Graduate Degree Requirement
      1. Option 1 – Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) + Dietetic Internship (DI)
        1. ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) (bachelor’s and graduate-level) dietitian coursework only, which must be completed before the DI.
        2. ACEND accredited DI (post-bachelor’s) at least 1,000 hours of supervised practice only. Some programs offer a graduate degree in conjunction with supervised practice. The Berkeley Public Health program is a DI that offers a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) in conjunction with supervised practice.
      2. Option 2 – Coordinated Program (CP)
        1. ACEND accredited (bachelor’s and graduate-level) dietitian coursework and at least 1,000 hours of supervised practice.
      3. Option 3 – Graduate Program (GP)
        1. ACEND accredited (graduate-level) competency-based dietitian nutritionist program that integrates coursework and at least 1,000 hours of experiential learning. Please see the 21-month Master of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics (MNSD) program offered in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, which is a Graduate Program and provides the required coursework and supervised practice hours for RD credentialing examination eligibility.
    2. Passed a national examination administered by CDR. For more information regarding the examination, refer to CDR’s website.
    3. Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.

    In most states, graduates also must obtain licensure or certification to practice, however, California does not require licensure at this time. For more information regarding licensure, refer to AND’s Licensure webpage or CDR’s State Licensure Map for state and U.S. territory licensure and certification laws.

    It’s an exciting time for the field of nutrition and dietetics! Both the number and variety of job prospects for RDs are expanding. Learn more about the roles and career opportunities for RDs on the AND Information for Students webpage.

  • Graduate Studies in Food and Nutrition at UC Berkeley

    We welcome all prospective students to apply to a UC Berkeley graduate program that best matches their career and research goals. Programs noted with “Dietitian” provide the requirements for RD credentialing examination eligibility.

    Master of Nutrition Science and Dietetics (MNSD) – DietitianMaster of Public Health (MPH) in Food, Nutrition and Population Health – Two Tracks

    * Dietitian
    * Traditional (Does not qualify for RD)
    Online Master of Public Health (MPH) in Food, Nutrition and Population Health
    Onsite | Full-Time | 21 MonthsDietitian: Onsite | Full-Time | 24 Months

    Traditional: Onsite | Full-Time | 21 Months
    Online | Part-Time | 27 Months
    Welcomes students from any academic background, as long as prerequisite courses have been completed prior to the start of the program. Dietitian: Requires students to have completed a didactic program in dietetics.

    Traditional: FNPH webpage.
    For working professionals.
    Focus on inpatient and outpatient clinical dietetics.Dietitian: Focus on public health and outpatient dietetics.

    Traditional: See
    FNPH webpage.
    Individuals who work or reside in a rural community are eligible for fully paid scholarships.
    Email: dietetics@berkeley.eduEmail: (Dietitian) (Traditional)

Program Overview

The BPH DI Program is a two-year internship that currently accepts 10 interns annually during the fall. The BPH DI is currently only accepting students who are admitted to the Master’s in Food, Nutrition and Population Health (two-year MPH) at UC Berkeley. Students must have completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) to apply. Dietetic Interns will complete their supervised practice rotations during the summer in between their MPH and summer following the completion of the MPH.

The program is structured to provide a combination of full-time supervised practice with a minimum of 1000 hours plus graduate didactic coursework that will fulfill the Core Competencies for Dietitians. Supervised practice at a variety of facilities is divided into three areas:

  • Clinical (Outpatient Focus)
  • Foodservice Management
  • Public Health Nutrition
    • Research & Evaluation
    • Public Policy & Advocacy
    • Food Systems

In addition to these areas of study, BPH faculty and guest speakers will present current topics in nutrition and dietetics to support supervised practice.

  • Vision

    We have a precious opportunity to prepare future practitioners to not only be competent (positivist) dietitians but socially responsible dietitian-citizens that engage in and contribute to their communities and matters of national and global concern. Our vision is to create an avenue through which dietetic students can be prepared with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to step into roles as social justice advocates and activists to effect structural, systemic change.

  • Mission

    We aim to re-envision what it means to be a Registered Dietitian (RD) and create a new public health dietetic internship model with a Critical Dietetics guiding framework that will prepare students to tackle adaptive changes from clinic to the community, and from research (qualitative and quantitative) to policy and food systems. Our mission is to develop public health nutrition leaders who are rooted in cultural humility, able to recognize and analyze systems of inequality in the field of nutrition and dietetics, and experts in working with diverse communities and workplaces to inform programs and policies that address structural determinants of health.

  • Program Goals and Objectives

    Program Goal No. 1

    Graduates will be culturally-sensitive practitioners and demonstrate competence in the knowledge and skills required of entry-level registered dietitian nutritionists.


    • At least 80% of interns complete program requirements within 3 years (150% of planned program length).
    • Of graduates who seek employment, at least 80% percent are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
    • At least 80% percent of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
    • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
    • 80% of employers who respond to a survey on program graduates in their first year of employment report ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ regarding the graduate’s knowledge and skill preparation for entry-level practice.
    • Within one year of graduation, at least 75% of graduate survey respondents will agree or strongly agree that they received adequate training during the program to be a culturally-sensitive practitioner.

    Program Goal #2

    Graduates will be well-prepared for careers in public health nutrition and expand their impact in the field of dietetics through leadership opportunities within the communities they serve.


    • Within one year of graduation, at least 50% of graduate survey respondents will report serving in a nutrition or dietetics-related leadership position.
    • Within one year of graduation, at least 50% of graduate survey respondents will agree or strongly agree that they are comfortable contributing to the solution of public health priorities.
    • Program outcomes data are available upon request by contacting the Dietetic Internship Director.


The BPH DI curriculum is designed for students to progress from introductory to more advanced learning activities. Interns will first complete MPH foundational competencies informed by the traditional public health core knowledge areas. Interns will then apply public health theories and concepts in the context of food and nutrition. Interns will use their knowledge of social determinants as a catalyst to generate greater awareness of the linkages between food systems, natural environments and ecosystems, and public health capacity through coursework, projects, and experiential learning. Lastly, supervised practice will create opportunities to apply knowledge of the complex factors that impact population and individual health to promote health equity in real-world settings.

The DI Director selects and schedules all supervised practices sites for students. No distance education will be required. The program is offered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Courses are offered on campus and most rotations are within 50 miles of campus. A sample course schedule, program completion requirements, and the policy for prior learning can be found in the BPH DI Handbook.

  • Supervised Practice Rotations

    Public Health Nutrition

    384 Hours

    The public health rotation will offer experiences with leading nutrition professionals in public health, research, public policy, and food systems and matched based on student interest. This experience, used to satisfy the required MPH practicum, will provide the opportunity to integrate classroom learning and practice in a public health work environment. Sites are chosen from a wide range of public health organizations and interns are matched based on their own objectives for professional development and the needs of the organization. For example, students with an interest in serving WIC populations will spend their public health nutrition rotation fully immersed in WIC – understanding rules and regulations surrounding WIC and dynamics within a government agency (WIC Branch of the California Department of Public Health, CDPH), participating in advocacy to promote WIC, public health, and health care reform (California WIC Association), and working directly with WIC families (local WIC agencies).

    Outpatient Clinical 1 & 2

    176 Hours

    Outpatient clinical rotations offer opportunities for interns to practice their motivational interviewing skills, utilize principles of cultural humility, and demonstrate active listening in real world settings. BPH DI outpatient clinical sites are all outpatient community-based organizations that offer nutrition services and counseling to underserved populations. It is critical to the BPH DI program that interns increase their confidence in practicing patient-centered care and are positioned to empower patients and clients while providing nutrition counseling, education, and support. To the best of the program’s ability, interns will be matched with the communities they represent.

    Foodservice Management

    160 Hours

    While RDs in food management are frequently employed in acute care, the BPH DI offers nontraditional opportunities for interns to expand to other settings in which management of nutrition and foodservice is required. Interns will rotate at either a school district, community kitchen, or a private restaurant management company. The foodservice rotation will reinforce the skills and practices learned during the first summer seminar that are essential to create work environments that support high quality customer-centered care and services, attract and retain talented staff, and foster an atmosphere of collaboration and innovation.


    96 Hours

    The clinical rotation offers opportunities for interns to provide medical nutrition therapy for high acuity patients in community settings, such as long-term care facilities or skilled nursing facilities. During this rotation, interns will work in an interprofessional setting with the supervising dietitian, nurses, speech therapists and other healthcare professionals.

  • Summer Seminars

    Summer 1

    During the first summer seminar, students will learn tools to apply leadership frameworks in the dietetics field, undergo motivational interviewing training based in cultural humility and responsiveness, engage in discussions related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) DEI principles in dietetics, and participate in other public health-oriented sessions to increase confidence and create a foundation for continuous growth and learning throughout the program and beyond. The Summer 1 Seminar, Advancing Equity in Nutrition Practice, will set the stage for producing not only competent professionals, but dietitian “citizens,” who are attuned to DEIB issues that impact the delivery of nutrition services, appreciate the impact diversity has on health issues in society, and recognize the need for diversity in the profession.

    Summer 2

    This rigorous course will be structured to follow the human life cycle and offer opportunities to engage with dietitians who have experience working with multiple disease states and a diverse range of populations, cultures, and age groups in a clinical setting. Dietitians will walk interns through case studies, facilitate group discussion, and answer questions.


Prospective students must apply to the FNPH MPH program and upload supplemental documentation on the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS) to be considered for admission to the BPH DI. Please note, the BPH DI does not utilize the Dietetic Inclusive Centralized Application Services (DICAS) or D&D Digital.

  • Qualities of Successful BPH Dietetic Interns

    Successful BPH dietetic interns will demonstrate a commitment to anti-oppression, critical praxis, and reflexivity – the core tenets of Critical Dietetics. See the MPH in FNPH webpage for more characteristics of strong FNPH MPH applicants.

    • Commitment to Anti-Oppression: This means that those in privileged positions, namely, health professionals (dietitians) who are generally privileged by virtue of their education, position of authority, ethnicity, class, ability, appearance, and gender, must learn when and how to speak out against oppression but also, and perhaps more importantly, how and when to step back and listen to the voices of oppressed communities themselves.
    • Commitment to Critical Praxis: This means that we are not necessarily advancing social justice just because we count a commitment to these principles. It is necessary to translate our commitments into action. A crucial piece of using one’s voice to effect change is being aware of how that voice is positioned in relation to the systems of power, privilege, and oppression.
    • Commitment to Reflexivity: This means practicing: open and honest engagement with others; willingness to say “I don’t know” and to admit mistakes; authentic examination of feelings, including feelings of overwhelm or guilt; ongoing self-care, particularly for those who work closely within marginalized position(s); active self-compassion coupled with commitment to unpack privilege and strive for equity; relationality, meaning that an open acknowledgement exists that all people are interconnected and interdependent; and an orientation to learning/unlearning, growing, sharpening awareness, and ongoing commitment to all of the above.
  • Admissions Requirements

    To be considered for admission to Berkeley Public Health’s DI Program, all prospective interns must have:

    • Completed a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. regionally accredited college/university or foreign equivalent.
    • Completed an ACEND-accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and provide a DPD verification statement or declaration of intent..
    • Applied and been accepted into the FNPH MPH program at Berkeley Public Health.
  • How to Apply

    Applicants interested in applying to the BPH DI must file an application to the UC Berkeley School of Public Health for the two-year Master of Public Health (MPH) graduate program in Food, Nutrition and Population Health and upload a signed Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement or declaration of intent in the “Documents” section of SOPHAS.

    The BPH DI is participating in the pre-select process. Prospective students will be notified in their admissions letter to the MPH program whether they have been pre-selected for the DI program. Once enrolled in the MPH program, pre-selected students will be automatically matched to the BPH DI.

    The MPH in Food, Nutrition and Population Health and BPH DI requires two separate applications – SOPHAS and UC Berkeley Graduate Application. Both applications must be completed and submitted before your file is considered complete and ready for review. Incomplete application files or late applications (submitted after the December 4, 2023, deadline) may be reviewed during the secondary deadline (March 4, 2024) in the event that the 10 program slots are not filled. For detailed application instructions to the MPH graduate program, see the On-campus Graduate Application Instructions for SOPHAS Programs webpage. As part of your application to the BPH DI, SOPHAS will prompt you to add a supplemental document in the portal. An application checklist to the BPH DI and two-year MPH can be found here.

    The BPH DI does not utilize DICAS or D&D Digital. The BPH DI will grant admission via pre-select to 10 students enrolled in the graduate two-year MPH at BPH. All 10 slots are pre-select slots. As such, affiliation agreements would not be applicable. We hope to reduce the financial burden on students who must also apply via SOPHAS ($145 fee) and the supplemental Berkeley Graduate Application ($100 fee). Please note, you are able to apply for both a SOPHAS fee waiver and Berkeley Graduate Application fee waiver.

  • Application FAQs

    What is a DPD Verification Statement?

    A Verification Statement is an official document signed by the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) certifying a student has successfully completed both a baccalaureate degree and the program’s ACEND-accredited dietetics coursework requirements. The Verification Statement can only be issued after a student has completed all degree and DPD course requirements. A signed Verification Statement is required for admission to a dietetic internship program.

    What is a DPD Declaration of Intent?

    A Declaration of Intent form signed by the DPD Director verifies the student’s intent to complete the baccalaureate degree and/or ACEND minimum academic requirements. This intent is based upon the courses that a student has already completed and the projected courses that the student has yet to complete. These remaining courses are documented on the Declaration of Intent form. This form is completed during the last semester of intended degree and dietetics program completion and allows students to apply for a dietetic internship during this final semester.

    What is DICAS & D&D Digital?

    These web-based services are used for the match. DICAS is a web-based application service used by students to apply to multiple programs by completing a single online application. D&D Digital is a web-based service that matches applicants to dietetic internships.

    What is pre-select?

    Pre-select allows a non-degree granting DI to grant early admission to students already enrolled in a graduate program that is provided by the sponsoring university. For example, the BPH DI will preselect from the MPH in Food, Nutrition and Population Health program at BPH. Individuals admitted to a DI using pre-select must commit to that program and not participate in the DICAS match process.

    What happens if an applicant is not accepted during pre-select?

    Not a problem! The applicant may move forward and apply to other DI programs through the match process. Applicants who are not admitted to the BPH DI and two-year MPH may reapply during the next admission cycle and will be given full consideration. More information on the match process and timeline is available on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) website.

  • Admissions Dates and Deadlines

    August 16 – SOPHAS Application Portal Opens

    September 15 – UC Berkeley Application Portal Opens

    December 4 – Priority Deadline for MPH/DI Program

    January 30 – Prospective graduate students notified of admission into the two-year MPH and BPH DI.

    March 4, 2024 – Secondary Deadline for MPH/DI Program – If not all 10 program slots are filled by January 30, applications will continue to be accepted until March 4. A notice will be posted on the BPH DI webpage informing prospective students of the extended application period.

    Mid-March – Spring Visit Day – Students have the opportunity to visit the UC Berkeley campus and School of Public Health before deciding which program to commit to.

    April 15 – Deadline to Submit Intent to Register for the two-year MPH and BPH DI.

    August 21 – Fall Semester Begins

    September 1 – Pre-Select Deadline – Programs must email D&D Digital the preselected individuals’ names with their email addresses. With this information, D&D Digital will be able to ensure that these students are not participating in the computer match.

    For questions about the centralized application, please contact DICAS customer support at (617) 612-2855 or

    For assistance with computer matching, please contact D&D Digital customer support at (515) 292-0490 or

    For questions about the graduate school application, please email

Cost of Attendance

The Berkeley Public Health DI is administered through UC Berkeley Summer Sessions. The total program cost is approximately $17,000, which will ensure that adequate faculty and resources are available to ensure program success. This cost is separate from the MPH in Food, Nutrition and Population Health tuition and professional fees.

  • MPH Tuition and Fees

    Tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by State funding reductions. To view current fee rates, please visit the UC Berkeley’s Office of the Registrar’s website and scroll down to the tab labeled “Graduate: Professional-School of Public Health.” As an MPH student, you are required to pay professional degree supplemental tuition each semester.

    Note: Estimated Fees are per semester.

    Beginning Fall 2022, the Instructional Resilience and Enhancement Fee (IREF) of $106/semester will be assessed to all enrolled students. This is a Course Materials & Services Fee and is not listed in the tables below. For more information, please see the IREF FAQs page.

    Student Services Fee603.00603.00
    Berkeley Campus Fee790.25790.25
    Class Pass Fee - Transit105.00105.00
    Nonresident Supplemental TuitionN/A6,122.50
    Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition5,088.005,088.00
    Instructional Resilience & Enhancement Fee117.50117.50
    Health Insurance Fee3,078.003,078.00
    Continuing Student Total$15,913.75$22,036.25
    Document Management Fee107.00107.00
    New MPH Student Total$16,020.75$22,171.25
  • DI Program Fees

    Each summer, students will pay $3,629 in unit fees ($535 per unit) and a $419 campus fee to enroll in two 3-unit courses via Berkeley Summer Sessions. In addition to unit fees, students pay a $9,000 program fee.

    Summer 1
    Program fee$9,000
    Unit fees (two 3-unit courses)$3,629
    Campus fee$419
    Summer 2
    Unit fees (two 3-unit courses)$3,629
    Campus Fee$419
  • Additional Costs
    Program-Specific Costs
    Medical ExamDepends on insurance
    Immunizations Depends on insurance
    Drug Screening & Background CheckApprox. $100
    Student Professional Liability Insurance $35/year
    Required Membership Costs
    AND Student Membership$60/year
    Local Dietetic Association Membership$10/year
    EHR Go Subscription$200
    Estimated Personal Costs for the Academic Year
    Housing & Utilities$18,984
    Books & Supplies$730
  • Financing Your Education

    Students will be eligible for financial aid. As a dietetic intern, you could also be eligible for additional funding or opportunities through the MCH Nutrition Trainee Program.

    For information on financial aid for the BPH DI, visit the Summer Financial Aid and Loan webpage.

    For information on financial aid for the MPH program, visit the Berkeley Public Health Fees and Financial Aid webpage.

Program Handbook

ACEND Accreditation

The Berkeley Public Health Dietetic Internship is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND®), formerly known as the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE), is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ accrediting agency for education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitians (RD) or dietetic technicians, registered (DTR). ACEND® serves and protects students and the public by assuring the quality and continued improvement of nutrition and dietetics education programs.

Accreditation Council for
Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190
Chicago, Illinois 60606-6995
(312) 899-0040 (ext. 5400)