Certificate in Dietetics

The Certificate in Dietetics (Dietetic Internship Program) provides supervised practice experiences as well as graduate coursework for individuals seeking the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. For students who do not already possess a graduate degree, the internship program will be taken in conjunction with the M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences degree. Completion of a dietetic internship program and a graduate degree are required for eligibility to take the RD exam, starting on January 1, 2024.

Only students who have completed or are near completion of baccalaureate degree and a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are eligible to apply for this certificate. For more information about the requirements to become an RD, please go to the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) website. Additionally, applicants must also meet university requirements as per the Graduate Division.

Interns will be placed in rotations in hospitals, long-term care/skilled nursing facilities, community nutrition, and other health organizations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area for practical experiences. In addition to the internship portion of the program, interns will be required to take graduate-level academic courses in nutrition and dietetics. The Dietetic Internship Program at SF State is a full-time, 11-month program, from mid-July through early June the following year. If an intern does not already possess a graduate degree, the M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences will require a minimum of an additional six months to complete before the intern is eligible to take the RD credentialing exam.


  • Completion of a baccalaureate degree and a Verification Statement from an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) are required prior to program start date of July.
  • Completion of a graduate degree by program start date or eligibility to enroll in the San Francisco State University’s M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences degree (apply after admission).
  • All courses required in the applicant’s DPD program must be completed with a minimum of a “C” grade prior to the dietetic internship program start date. Additionally, the DPD GPA must be > 3.0.
  • Applicants must participate in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) computer matching process through D&D Digital and the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Process (DICAS) WebAdmit. Applicants must meet the posted deadlines and pay the required fees for both of these in order to apply to our program.
  • A separate $70 application fee for SFSU must also be submitted online. Applicants who do not pay this fee will not be reviewed or considered.
  • Recency of coursework - Applicants with a DPD Verification Statement from greater than three years before the program start date must re-take a clinical nutrition/MNT course and a physiology course and receive a grade of C or better for both. This ONLY applies to applicants whose DPD Verification Statement completion date is more than three years from the program start date in July
  • GRE is not required for admission.

Criteria for Selection

  • Applicant must meet all deadlines for submitting materials and fees to D&D Digital, DICAS, and the program.
  • All DPD courses must be completed with a grade of C or better. A minimum overall GPA of 2.7 and a minimum DPD GPA of 3.0 is required. DPD GPA, as well as overall GPA and Science GPA will be evaluated.
  • Successful applicants typically have significant work/volunteer experience. Dietetics related experience is most valuable, but any experience that would help an intern to be successful in an internship will be considered.
  • DPD GPA and dietetic work/volunteer experience are the criteria that are the most important during the initial review of applications, but all of the following are subsequently reviewed and evaluated:
    • DPD coursework grades
    • other non-dietetics work and/or volunteer experiences in which the applicant gained skills that would help an applicant be successful in a dietetic internship

    • overall undergraduate GPA (and graduate coursework if applicable)

    • science coursework GPA

    • letters of recommendation

    • personal statement specific to SFSU

    • example of Academic work

    • Zoom interview (applicants who are being considered for admission will receive an e-mail in early/mid-March to schedule an interview)

    • preference may be given to SFSU DPD graduates whose qualifications are competitive with non-SFSU graduates

    • other criteria that may be considered include honors, awards, leadership experience, scholarships, second language(s), graduate degree

    • any prior communications or interactions with the applicant

    • G.R.E. exam is not required, but a score of >4 on the writing portion (can take after admission) allows a student to opt out of a graduate writing course

SF State is committed to policies of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender or age.

Evaluation of Applications and Acceptance

  • A committee composed of dietetics faculty and others will review applications based on established criteria.
  • Applicants will be notified by D&D Digital if they are matched to the program, and if matched, accepted applicants must accept the match by 6PM Pacific Time on Match Day.
  • Matched applicants must then officially apply to San Francisco State University via Cal State Apply for the Graduate Certificate in Dietetics and apply to the M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences in Spring of the following year (if they have not completed a master’s degree). Admission to the DI program and graduate school is contingent on satisfactory completion of an undergraduate degree, and DPD program with all DPD coursework completed with a “C” grade or better. Requirements for admission to the Graduate Division must also be met.  

Program Description

Each cohort class consists of 14 interns. The program requires summer, fall, and spring enrollment (one year). The Certificate is 24 units – 12 units of didactic coursework and 12 units of internship. To be eligible to take the RD exam, interns also need to complete the M.A. in Family & Consumer Studies or another graduate degree.

Advising Notes

Supervised practice experiences (NUTR 881) are completed under the direction of a dietitian, foodservice manager, or other qualified professional in a facility or program serving infants, children, adults, older adults, or the general population in a healthcare, community, non-profit, or business setting. Since the Greater San Francisco Bay Area’s population is diverse in ethnicities and culture, individuals who have strong verbal and written English skills who also speak a second language, especially Spanish, Chinese, or Vietnamese, are encouraged to apply.

This internship is based on specific experiences and competencies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). ACEND requires 1000 hours of supervised practice, which may include up to 300 hours of alternate supervised practice (simulation/case studies) hours. Interns in this program will complete a minimum of 1024 hours of supervised practice, which is typically completed over 32 weeks with 32 hours per week of supervised practice experience. Additional hours may be required or requested, depending on the intern’s progress and ability to complete all required competencies. Alternate supervised practice hours are not typically used unless competencies are unable to be met in rotations. Summer, Fall, and Spring enrollment are required.

Rotations will generally include the following:

  • Acute care clinical (hospital)
  • Long-term care and/or nutrition education/counseling/outpatient
  • Foodservice systems management 
  • Community nutrition and/or public health nutrition
  • Elective

Interns will be placed in rotations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The array of clinical, community, and food service rotations will allow the intern to have a variety of experiences in dietetics. An intern’s interests in specific areas of dietetics will be taken into consideration when scheduling supervised practice rotations. Since this is an intensive program, interns should not expect to hold outside jobs or have other significant time commitments while enrolled in the program.

Program Completion Requirements

  • Achieve an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 with a minimum of "C" in all required academic courses and credit in all of the supervised practice internship components of the program. Meet all ACEND competencies for supervised practice as evidenced by activities, assignments, case studies, and papers.Evaluation forms – interns must demonstrate dietetics competencies in all three of the following areas: foodservice systems management, clinical/patient care, and community nutrition with a minimum evaluation score of a 3 (satisfactory) or better on all competencies on evaluation forms.
  • Competency to be able to function as an entry-level dietitian is demonstrated by satisfactory performance completing staff relief for a minimum of two (2) weeks.
  • Interns admitted into the program who already have a graduate degree are expected to complete the program in 11 months. Interns with a graduate degree who are unable to meet completion requirements within 17 months of start date may be terminated from the program unless there are extenuating circumstances. Interns admitted into the program without a graduate degree will be required to complete the M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences. Expected completion time for both the Dietetic Internship program and the M.A. is 18 months. Interns who are unable to complete these requirements within 27 months may be terminated from the program unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Interns that satisfactorily complete all the requirements for both the Dietetic Internship program and the M.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences (or had a graduate degree prior to admission) will receive a Verification Statement to certify that the individual is eligible to sit for the RD/RDN exam.
  • Interns who have unsatisfactory evaluations from preceptors, unsatisfactory grades, excessive absenteeism or tardiness, unprofessional behavior, or a violation of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Code of Ethics can be terminated from the program.

Dietetics, Certificate — 24 units

NUTR 751Seminar in Nutritional Assessment Across the Lifespan3
NUTR 755Seminar in Human Nutrition and Metabolism3
NUTR 758Seminar in Foodservice and Nutrition Program Management3
NUTR 785Seminar in Medical Nutrition Therapy3
NUTR 881Internship in Dietetics6

(Note: NUTR 881 is taken both spring and fall for a total of 12 Units)