Seniors in dietetics from the ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) have done it again! Nationally, an average of only 65% of dietetic students matches with a dietetic internship. However, the FSHN dietetics class of 2021 achieved a match rate of 100%, meaning that every senior who applied for a dietetic internship or graduate school was matched with one or accepted. The seniors found out the exciting news on April 5. And this year marks the fifth year in a row that 100% of dietetics seniors were matched!
Graduating seniors will spend the next 8-24 months completing their Dietetic Internships (DI) and master’s degree programs. The students have already completed their first steps to becoming Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) by completing the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) in FSHN. The DI is the second step in becoming a RDN and requires a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice in an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship.
Many DIs are combined with master’s degrees, including degree programs in dietetics, nutritional sciences, exercise science, public health, or business administration; upon completing the DI, a student must then pass the national credentialing RDN Exam, which is the final step to becoming a RDN.
The DI matching process takes place annually in April. 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 later released to students, and they are allowed 24 hours to either accept or decline the offer to the DI to which they are matched. If students chose to reject, that spot is open for the second round of matching.
The UIUC matched seniors will be spread all across the United States as far west as Portland, Oregon, at the Oregon Health and Science University, as far north as Ann Arbor, Michigan at the University of Michigan, as far south as Beaumont, Texas at Lamar University, and as far east in Boston at Boston University.
Congratulations, class of 2021! Best of luck to you in your future careers as Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. You are one big step closer to becoming future RDNs, the real food and nutrition experts!
Visit FSHN’s Didactic Program in Dietetics website to learn more.