Advisement Timeline for Success in Competing for a DI Match

Freshman

  • Focus on learning course content and achieving good grades – every grade counts toward your GPR, but mastery of content will ensure even greater success. Keep in mind that science grades are important and refrain from taking science courses at a junior college. Perform your best in all courses as grades from junior colleges count toward the DI program application.
  • Take time to get to know Advisors and Faculty.
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities (Nutrition and Dietetic Association (NDA), clubs & community service projects). Become a student member of professional organizations (The Academy, Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (The Texas Academy), Texas Student Dietetic Association (TSDA), etc.) and attend annual meetings; this is extremely important for professional development.
  • Seek work experience in healthcare or foodservice (food preparation, not wait staff). If job is unrelated, seek quality volunteer experience in nutrition/dietetic-related programs. Work experience can be obtained during the summer, but many DI Directors prefer to see that students can balance work and school during the academic semesters.
  • Start a portfolio or e-portfolio that documents all your activities and supports your career development in dietetics. This should include a professional statement of goals, resume, work samples, acknowledgements/recommendations, awards and honors, conferences, workshops or special seminars, professional memberships, and references.
  • Consider participation in the University or NFSC Honors Program.

 

Sophomore

  • Keep focused on learning course content and good grades.
  • Build your resume – extracurricular activities, work & volunteer experience, professional organization memberships (NDA, TSDA, The Academy, The Texas Academy – network with local dietitians).
  • Seek leadership roles in clubs, organization, or community service projects.
  • Consider internship opportunities to gain experience and build your resume (example: Frito Lay, Camp Tejas, Ronald McDonald Camp, etc.).
  • Build your academic and experience portfolio; consider an undergraduate research experience with a NUTR 285/485 Directed Studies followed by NUTR 291/491 Research.
  • Start investigating potential DI programs. Use available resources and attend open houses at DI programs that interest you – this will allow you to learn the selection criterion at these respective DI programs.
  • Attend the DPD orientation and meet the Eligibility Requirements for Participation in the DPD Program in order to change to the DPD track.
  • Prepare to take the GRE®. Taking the GRE® the summer between your sophomore and junior year will increase the number of opportunities to take the exam; Note the official GRE® scores can be sent to a maximum of four universities free of charge on the test day; fees are required to send GRE® scores after the test day. See http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees/ for fee details.

Junior

  • Continue to focus on integration of acquired knowledge and grades, building your resume, and expanding your portfolio.
  • Consider an undergraduate research experience with a NUTR 485 Directed Studies followed by NUTR 491 Research.
  • Follow specific guidelines of the Texas A&M University DPD Handbook.
  • Attend the DI Preparation Workshop (fall semester) and spring DPD meeting for juniors.
  • Actively evaluate DI programs – Use available resources and attend DI open houses; (DPD students should have a good idea of potential DI programs to apply by the end of the spring semester of your junior year.
  • If the GRE® has not been taken, take it no later than the summer between your junior and senior year; See http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/about/fees/ for fee details.
  • Apply for The Texas Academy Foundation (by November), The Academy Foundation (by February) and TSDA scholarships. Note: you must be a student member of The Academy to apply.
  • Submit the DI Intent to Apply Form (appendix, p. 37) by May 15th – one year prior to application to a DI.

Senior

  • Continue to focus on integration, synthesis and application of nutrition knowledge in courses, maintaining good grades, building your resume, and expanding your portfolio.
  • Re-attend open houses and/or revisit programs you are planning to apply.
  • Continue to gain undergraduate research experiences.
  • Attend the DI Preparation Workshop (fall semester) and fall and spring DPD meetings.
  • Apply for The Texas Academy Foundation (by November), The Academy Foundation (by February) and TSDA scholarships. Note: you must be a student member of The Academy to apply.
  • Apply for DI programs by designated deadlines. (See p. 28 for the DI application timelines).

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