Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences


Monica Esquivel, PhD, RDN
Dietetics Program Director

Agricultural Sciences 314L
1955 East West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822

p:  (808) 956-8691
f:  (808) 956-4024

Blood Pressure Group Assessment
Cholesterol Screening
Dietetics (BS)


OVERVIEW The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) in the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences (HNFAS) is the only dietetics program offered in the State of Hawai'i.  Students are expected to rigorously apply their knowledge and skills in food science and nutrition for daily living and good health.  Upon successful completion of the DPD program, students will earn a Bachelor's of Science (BS) degree in Dietetics.


Admission into the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)

Undergraduate students interested in the Dietetics (DTCS) major may apply either as upperclassmen or as transfer students at any time of the year once admission requirements are met.

Transfer student requirements for DTCS are:

  • 60 earned credits (Junior standing)
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of FSHN 185 with a grade of B (not B-) or better
  • Completion of the following courses with a grade of C (not C-) or better:
    • MATH 140 (or higher)
    • PHYL 141 & 141-L
    • PHYL 142 & 142-L
    • CHEM 161 & 161-L
    • CHEM 162 & 162-L

Students who have taken courses at another university or community college outside of the University of Hawai'i system must arrange to have their official transcripts sent to the UHM Admissions Office ( for evaluation of transer credits.  Courses not meeting the university core requirements, but are acceptable academically, will be transferred and counted as elective credits.

Upon entering the program, students will be required to meet with academic advisors to map out their academic pathway toward degree completion.  Contact the CTAHR academic advisors at or schedule an appointment at

Note to Foreign Transfer students: 
Thank you for considering the DPD at the UHM.  The UHM's dietetic program is nationally accredited and falls under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND;  All course work acquired outside of the U.S. has to go through a reciprocity evaluation.  You will need to send your transcripts (along with a fee) to have your course work evaluated.  Click on the link below to be directed to companies that have been recommended by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics to do this service:

Once you have the reciprocity report, you can see how your courses fit within the requirements of the UHM's DPD.  Please chEck the course requirements section of the Dietetics Handbook

Once accepted, you will be considered part of the DPD and the "clock will start ticking."  There is no time limit but the dietetics program is evaluated on how long it takes for students to complete required coursework.  It is recommended to meet with the DPD director your first semester in the major. Note that the course load is quite heavy especially if you are new to the UHM campus.  Dietetics is a profession where you are expected to be self-motivated, to work hard, and do what is necessary to accomplish your goals.  Pace yourself accordingly, possibly taking several courses during the summer.  The department requires mandatory advising of all students, including dietetic students.  Each semester, dietetics students will consult with his/her advsior to review coursework and assess their academic progress.  At the end of the junior year, students will be encouraged to be advised by the Dietetics Program Director (if they are not already) to ensure program requirements are met for graduation and to facilitate the dietetic internship application process.

Take Courses at University of Hawai'i Community Colleges
Many of University of Hawai'i Community Colleges offer a variety of courses required by the dietetics curriculum.  In addition, parking is free!  You might decide to attend a community college first, but keep in mind that there are approximately two years of required upper division courses that are available only at UHM.

Please meet with an academic advisor to discuss what courses could be taken at a system community college.  The advisors will be able to assist students with planning courses and discussing course equivalencies.

Mission of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD)

The mission of the UHM DPD is to provide a high quality, broad based, didactic education with in-depth experiences in the sciences, management and business that serves as the knowledge base for the required post-baccalaureate experience component needed to become an RDN.

Goals of the UHM DPD include:

Program Goal 1:
To provide quality undergraduate didactic instruction for successful admission into accredited dietetic internships or institutions of higher learning for pursuit of a career in the profession of nutrition or a related field.

Program Goal 2:
To prepare graduates to demonstrate a commitment to community service.

University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Objectives

The following UHM DPD outcomes are continuously monitored to ensure high quality learning experiences and program effectiveness.

For program goal 1:  Quality of UHM DPD

  1. Percent of UHM dietetic students applying to dietetics internships the academic year they complete the program and the number who are accepted
  2. Once accepted into the UHM DPD, the time it takes for students to graduate
  3. Pass rate for UHM DPD graduates taking the national Dietetic Registration Examination for the first time
  4. Student evaluation of overall quality of UHM DPD
  5. For graduates attending dietetic internships, their preceptor evaluation
  6. Employment rate of graduates

For program goal 2:  Community Service

  1. Percent of students participating in community service
  2. Percent of graduates working in Hawai'i doing community service


Didactic Proram in Dietetics Core Knowledge Requirements for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (KRDN)

Domain 1: Scientific and Evidence Base of Practice:  integration of scientific information and research into practice

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 1.1:  Demonstrate how to locate, interpret, evaluate and use professional iterature to make ethical, evidence-based practice decisions
  • KRDN 1.2:  Use current information technologies to locate and apply evidence-based guidelines and protocols
  • KRDN 1.3:  Apply critical thinking skills

Domain 2:  Professional Practice Expectations:  Beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors for the professional dietitian level of practice

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 2.1:  Demonstrate effective and professional oral and written communication and documentation
  • KRDN 2.2:  Describe the governance of nutrition and dietetics practice, such as the Scope of Nutrition and Dietetics Practice and the Code of Ethics for the Profession of Nutrition and Dietetics; and describe interprofessional relationships in various practice settings
  • KRDN 2.3:  Assess the impact of a public policy position on nutrition and dietetics practice
  • KRDN 2.4:  Discuss the impact of health care policy and different health care delivery systems on food and nutrition services
  • KRDN 2.5:  Identify and describe the work of interprofessional teams and the roles of others with whom the registered dietitian nutritionist collaborates in the delivery of food and nutrition services
  • KRDN 2.6:  Demonstrate an understanding of cultural competence/sensitivity
  • KRDN 2.7:  Demonstrate identification with the nutrition and dietetics profession through activities such as participation in professional organizations and defending a positioin on issues impacting the nutrition and dietetics professioin
  • KRDN 2.8:  Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and expectations of a professional in mentoring and precepting others

Domain 3:  Clinical and Customer Services:  Development and delivery of information, products and services to individuals, groups and populations\

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 3.1:  Use the Nutrition Care Process to make decisions, identify nutrition-related problems and determine and evaluate nutritioin interventions
  • KRDN 3.2:  Develop an educational session or program/educational strategy for a target population
  • KRDN 3.3:  Demonstrate counseling and education methods to facilitate behavior change and enchance wellness for diverse individuals and groups
  • KRDN 3.4:  Explain the processes involved in delivering quality food and nutrition services
  • KRDN 3.5:  Describe basic concepts of nutritional genomics

Domain 4:  Practice Management and Use of Resources:  Strategic application of principles of management and systems in the provision of services to individuals and organizations

Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to:

  • KRDN 4.1:  Apply management theories to the development of programs or services
  • KRDN 4.2:  Evaluate a budget and interpret financial data
  • KRDN 4.3:  Describe the regulation system related to billing and coding, what services are reimbursable by third party payers, and how reimbursement may be obtained
  • KRDN 4.4:  Apply the principles of human resource management to different situations
  • KRDN 4.5:  Describe safety principles related to food, personnel and consumers
  • KRDN 4.6:  Analyze data for assessment and evaluate data to be used in decision-making for continuous quality improvement

University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) Requirements

The UHM  DPD is based on requirements mandated by the College and University requirements and the Standards of Education of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.  Due to the large number of required courses, especially those courses that have prerequisites, scheduling can be challenging.  As an entering freshman you can complete the dietetics undergraduate program at the UHM in four years if you closely follow the course sequence on the sample four year plan.  This plan specifies all required coursework including the University undergraduate core requirements.  Many of the courses required in the first two years are offered at the community colleges.

A link to a sample 4-year plan is below:

*Please note always refer to the UH catalog and current Schedule of Courses as scheduling and prerequisites are subject to change

DieteticS Course List

If you are applying to dietetic internships you will be required  to include as part of the application the Supplemental DPD Course List form listing UHM DPD course requirements.  In the past many students and internship directors had to guess where courses "fit" within the dietetics internship application - designating it either a DPD Professional or DPD Science course.  With the help of this Supplemental DPD Course List form the information is already available to you.

DPD Course List
Required Supplemental Form to be completed by the DPD Program Director

DPD Program Institution University of Hawai'i at Manoa
DPD Director: Monica Esquivel, PhD, RDN
Website for Course Catalog:



DPD Professional Courses DPD Science Courses
FSHN 181/L Intro to Food Preparation BIOL 171/L Introduction to Biology I
FSHN 185 The Science of Human Nutrition BIOL 340 Genetics, Evolution and Society or CMB 411 Human Genetics
FSHN 311 Inst. Food Serv. Mgmt or BUS 315 Mgmt and Org Behavior CHEM 161/L General Chemistry
FSHN 322 Marketing Nutrition & Food or BUS 312 Principles of Marketing CHEM 272 Organic Chemistry
  MBBE 375 Multidisciplinary Biochemistry
FSHN 370 Nutrition Through the Lifespan FSHN 440 Food Safety or MICR 130/140L General Microbiology
FSHN 381/L Experimental Foods

PHYL 141/L Human Anatomy & Physiology or

PHYL 301/L Human Anatomy & Physiology

FSHN 389 Nutritional Assessment

PHYL 142/L Human Anatomy & Physiology or

PHYL 302/L Human Anatomy & Physiology

FSHN 451 Community Nutrition & Nutrition Education PHRM 203 General Pharmacology
FSHN 467 Medical Nutrition Therapy I  
FSHN 478 Medical Nutrition Therapy II  
FSHN 469 Nutrition Counseling  
FSHN 480 Nutrition in Exercise & Sports  
FSHN 485 Nutritional Biochemistry I  
FSHN 486 Nutritional Biochemistry II  
FSHN 488 Obesity, Science, and Issues  
FSHN 492 Field Experience  
NREM 310 Statistics in Agricultural & Human Resources  
MATH 140 or higher Pre-Calculus  
PSY 100 Survey of Psychology  
SOC 100 Introduction of Sociology  
COM 151 Personal & Public Speech or COMG 251
Principles of Effective Public Speaking

A sample Dietetics Program sheet can be found at

A sample Dietetics 4-year plan can be found at


General Undergraduate Foundation and Core Requirements
A complete list is available online at

Foundations Requirement:  12 credits

The Foundations requirements are intended to give students skills and perspectives that are fundamental to undertaking higher education.  Students complete the Foundations requirements during their first year at UHM.  Courses taken to fulfill the Foundations requirements may not be used to fulfill Diversification or Focus requirements.

Written Communication (FW):  3 credits

Written Communication courses introduce students to the rhetorical, conceptual, and stylistic demands of writing at the college level; courses give instruction in composing processes, search strategies, and comprising from sources.  Courses also provide students with experiences in the library and on the internet and enhance their skills in accessing and using various types of primary and secondary materials.

FW Course Options Include:

  • AMST 111 Introduction to American Studies Writing
  • ENG 100, 100A Composition I
  • ENG 190 Composition for Transfer Students
  • ELI 100 Expository Writing:  A Guided Approach

Symbolic Reasoning (FS):  3 credits

Symbolic Reasoning courses expose students to the beauty and power of formal systems, as well as to their clarity and precision; courses do not focus solely on computational skills.  Students learn the concept of proof as a chain of inferences.  They learn to apply formal rules or algorithms, engage in hypothetical reasoning, and traverse a bridge between theory and practice.  In addition, students develop the ability to use appropriate symbolic techniques in the context of problem solving and to present and critically evaluate evidence.

FS Course Options Include:

  • MATH 140** Pre-calculus
  • MATH 161 Pre-calculus and Elements of Calculus for Economics and the Social Sciences
  • MATH 203** Calculus for Business and Social Sciences
  • MATH 215** Applied Calculus I
  • MATH 241** Calculus I
  • MATH 251A** Accelerated Calculus I
  • NREM 203 Applied Calculus for Management, Life Sciences, and Human Resources* has a pre-requisite

** Denotes requirement of placement by the Math Department's Pre-calculus Assessment; visit

Global and Multi-cultural Perspectives (FG):  2 courses, 6 credits

Global and Multi-cultural Perspectives courses provided thematic treatments of global processes and cross-cultural interactions from a variety of perspectives.  Students will gain a sense of human development from prehistory to modern times through consideration of narratives and artifacts from diverse cultures.  At least one component of each of these courses will involve the indigenous cultures of Hawai'i, the Pacific, or Asia.

FG Courses

To satisfy this requirement, students must take a total of six credits; the six credits must come from two different groups.

Group A Options Include (FGA; courses cover the time period prehistory to 1500):​

  • ANTH 151, 151A Emerging Humanity
  • ART 175 Survey of Global Art I
  • HIST 151 World History to 1500
  • HIST 161A World Cultures in Perspective
  • WS 175 History of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Global Perspectives to 1500 CE

Group B Options Include (FGB; courses cover the time period 1500 to modern times):

  • AMST 150 America and the World
  • ANTH 152, 152A Culture and Humanity
  • ART 176 Survey of Global Art II
  • FSHN 141 Culture and Cuisine:  The Global Diversity of Food
  • GEOG 102 World Regional Geography
  • HAW 100 Language in Hawai'i:  A Microcosm of Global Language Issues
  • HIST 152 World History since 1500
  • HIST 162A World Cultures in Perspective
  • LING 105 Language Endangerment, Globalization, and Indigenous Peoples
  • TIM 102 Food and World Cultures
  • WS 176 History of Gender, Sex and Sexuality in Global Perspective, 1500 CE to the Present

Group C Options Include (FGC; courses cover the time period prehistory to modern times):

  • GEOG 151, 151A Geography and Contemporary Society
  • LLL 150 Literature and Social Change
  • MUS 107 Music in World Cultures
  • REL 150, 150A Introduction to the World's Major Religions

For Non-UH System Transfer Students Only

Students who transfer from a non-UH System school with one or more western civilization courses will be required to take only three credits of Global and Multi-cultural Perspectives.  If the course or courses that they have taken are time-period specific, the credits that they take at UHM must cover a different time period.

Diversification Requirement:  19 credits

The Diversification requirements are intended to assure that every student has exposure to different domains of academic knowledge, while at the same time allowing flexibility in choice of courses for students with different goals and interests.

Students can complete the Diversification requirements over the full four years of their academic program.  Students may satisfy the Diversification requirements by taking approved courses for which they meet course pre-requisites.  Some courses that satisfy Diversification requirements may also simultaneously satisfy Focus or major requirements.

Can a single course satisfy more than one requirement?

Requirements Hawaiian/Second Language Foundations Diversification Focus Major Minor/Certificate
Hawaiian/Second Language --- No No Yes No No
Foundations No --- No No Yes No
Diversification No No --- Yes Yes No
Focus Yes No Yes --- Yes Yes
Major No Yes Yes Yes --- No
Minor/Certificate No No No Yes No ---

Diversification (19 credits) Dietetic Required Courses

Arts, Humanities, and Literatures (DA, DH, DL):  6 credits
To satisfy this requirement, students must take 6 credits:  the 6 credits must include two of the three different areas:  Art "DA"; Humanities "DH", and Literatures "DL".

COMG 151 or COMG 251 (DA) HWST 107 (Recommended) (DH) (HAP)
Natural Sciences (DB, DP, DY):  7 credits
To satisfy this requirement, students must take three credits in Biological Science "DB", three credits in Physical Science "DP", and one credit of Science Laboratory "DY"
The required science courses in the Dietetics curriculum will cover this requirement
Social Sciences (DSS):  6 credits
To satisfy this requirement, students must take a total of six credits from two different departments
SOC 100 and PSY 100 (DS)

UHM Graduation Requirements

Focus Requirements

The Focus requirements identify important additional skills and knowledge necessary for living and working in diverse communities.  Courses fulfilling Focus requirements are offered in departments across the curriculum and vary each semester.  To meet a Focus requirement, a course must have official UHM Focus designation during the semester in which it is taken.  Courses taken outside the UH System cannot be used to fulfill Focus requirements.  Instead, non-UH System transfer students' Focus requirements are adjusted according to the number of credit hours awarded by UHM for non-UH System courses.

Focus (course requirement) Dietetic Required Courses
Contemporary Ethical Issues (E):  one course 300-level and above BIOL 340 (E) (Recommended)
Hawaiian, Asian, & Pacific Issues (H):  one course HWST 107 (DH) (HAP) (Recommended)
Oral Communication (OC):  one course 300-level and above FSHN 381, 469
Writing Intensive* (W):  five courses, two courses 300-level and above BIOL 171 Lab, FSHN 370, FSHN 381 Lab, FSHN 389, FSHN 492

*Designation of Writing Intensive courses may change from year to year

Note:  Second Language (competence at the 202 level) Not required for DTCS students


After Graduating from the University - Now What?

After graduating from an accredited didactic program in dietetics, an accredited internship (supervised practice) for a minimum of 1200 hours is required for eligibility to take the Dietetic Registration Examination.  The purpose of registration is to project the nutritional health, safety and welfare of the public by encouraging high standards of performance of persons practicing the profession of dietetics.  The computerized exam is offered on a regular basis in Hawai'i during the year.  Exam questions cover four domains:  food and nutrition sciences; nutrition care for individuals and groups; management of food and nutrition programs and services; foodservice systems.  After completing an internship, the student is "RDN eligible."  Only after successfully passing this exam can the student become an RDN.

Beginning in 2024, a minimum of a Master's degree will be an eligibility requirement in order to take the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) dietetic registration exam. Visit for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Licensure for Hawai'i's RDs became law in year 2000.  The licensure law is a "title protection" law.  The Hawai'i Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics (HAND) continues to work with the Hawai'i State Department of Health to implement an active licensure program.  The statute and administrative rules are available on the HAND website:

Becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

To become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), the successful completion of these components is required:

  1.   An accredited/coordinated program (CP) or an approved didactic (instructional) program in dietetics.  A Bachelor's degree is acquired upon completion of this program.
  2. Dietetic internship (supervised practice)
  3. The Dietetic Registration exam

The Didactic Program in Dietetics at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa is currently granted Accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND),

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
Telephone:  800-877-1600 ext. 5400

Entry-level Registration Eligibility Requirements

Beginning in 2024, the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians will change from a baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a graduate degree.  A graduate degree includes a Master's degree, practice doctorate, doctoral degree (e.g. Ph.D., Ed.Dor., D.Sc.)  All other entry-level dietitian registration eligibility requirements remain the same.

Dietetic Internships

The most common route to becoming a registered dietitian (RDN) is completing a dietetic internship.  Internships follow completion of a bachelor's degree program that meets the academic requirements of the ACEND.  The University of Hawai'i at Manoa Dietetics Program meets these requirements and issues a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Dietetics.

Verification Statement will be issued to you by the Dietetics Program Director upon completion of your B.S. degree regardless if you choose to pursue a dietetic internship.  This standardized form verifies that you have met the dietetic undergraduate academic requirements and is to be submitted with the internship application.  A copy will be kept in the Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences department and another copy will be given to you upon successful completion of the DPD requirements.  If you have not completed your academic requirements when you apply for an internship, a Declaration of Intent Form will be given to you to accompany the application.

The ACEND website ( provides a list of accredited dietetic internships.  The duration of these internships ranges from 6-12 months.  Some are combined with master's degree programs.  Also listed are distance education programs.

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Exam

The RDN exam is administered through Pearson VUE.  There are two hundred and fifty (250) Pearson VUE professional test centers in the United States and selected international locations.  further information on scheduling an exam can be found at

Maintaining RDN Status

To maintain RDN status, a fee is paid to the Commission of Dietetic Registration (CDR).  Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) membership dues are also paid yearly.  RDN's do not need to be members of AND to be registered, but membership is encouraged.  Member benefits include:

  • Access to the Journal of the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and other information, which features current food and nutrition research and practice information as well as national AND news
  • Access to Evidence Based Library and resources for Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Access to Daily News featuring top news stories related to nutrition
  • Membership in your state dietetics association
  • Membership in 28 professional interest practice groups Dietetic Practice Groups (DPGs)
  • Member of AND's National Referral System, which serves consumers looking for nutrition services
  • Member discounts on many publications, continuing education opportunities and meetings
  • Professional liability insurance at economical rates
  • Long-term care, home owner, auto and life insurance programs at reduced rates
  • AND-sponsored Master Card credit card with WorldPoints
  • Policy initiative and advocacy voice in Washington and in the media

After obtaining an RDN, seventy-five clock hours of approved continuing education in the field over a five-year period is also required.  Approved continuing education activities include conferences, workshops, seminars, academic coursework, and other learning experiences.

Graduate Record Exam

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are often required especially for combined internship/graduate programs.  The GRE is administered at the University of Hawai'i.   Currently the cost is $160.  Only the four and a half hour (4 1/2-hour) general test is given.  Call (808) 956-3454 for an appointment.  You will be going to Queen Liliuokalani Center for Student Services, room 307.  Tests are given weekly.  To prepare for taking the GRE you can purchase GRE practice books and software found at most bookstores.  You can also download a GRE practice test for free at

Make sure you will allow plenty of time for your chosen internship to receive your GRE scores.  It takes up to 2 to 4 weeks for processing.  Scores are valid for five (5) years.

You can take the GRE up to five (5) times a year.  (It is good to have a score of over 1000 total for the verbal and math areas).  Remember, all your past and current GRE test scores are sent to the designated site(s).  You will be asked what sites you wish to have your scores sent.  Four sites can be chosen free of charge.  There will be a cost of $20.00 per site if you decide to have your scores sent later.  Since GRE information changes often it is best to refer to the website:

Applying for a Dietetic Internship - Suggested Time Frame

Applying for an internship involves extensive research, time, and money.  It is never too early to start preparing for this stage of your undergraduate education.  It is important that you apply for an internship within five (5) years upon completion of your didactic experience.  If you want longer, you will need to take a series of "refresher" courses.

Freshman to Senior Year:

It is very important to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.  It is also very important to make the effort to know your department faculty.  Often, they will be the individuals you will be depending upon to write your letters of recommendation.  If you have not already done so, start developing a rèsumè.  Some internship programs require a rèsumè as part of the application process.  Give a rèsumè to those who are writing a letter of evaluation for you.  The information you provide will enable them to write a more in depth letter on your behalf.  Be sure to ask for extra letters of evaluation in case you need to apply to more internships than you originally planned.

Sophomore to Junior Year:

Research internship/AP4 programs to which you may want to apply.  Ask returning students, faculty, and community professionals for the opinions/suggestions.  If a Graduate Record Exam score is required, check into when the exam is offered.  You might consider taking the exam in your Junior year in case you need to retake it.

Go to the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics Website: and check out the available listing of internship sites.

Second to Last Semester (e.g. Fall Semester - Senior Year):

Narrow your choices down to about 5 to 8 programs.  Correspond with these programs and ask for more specific information, but before you do, read the fine print.  Check to see if the programs that include a graduate degree require taking the Graduate Record Exam.

Gather your transcripts.  Write to each college/university you have attended to and request a copy of your transcripts.  These transcripts are an important component of the total internship application packet.  A transcript must document all college/universities attended.

Mid-Point of Second Month of the Last Semester (e.g. February - Senior Year):

Applying to Dietetics Internships using Dietetics Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS)

The online Dietetics Internship Centralized Application Services (DICAS) is used for the majority of dietetic internship programs.  Most application materials can conveniently be uploaded online and submitted.  (Not all programs participate so itis your responsibility to check).  There is a $50 fee for the first application and $20 for each additional application.  This application, similar to the standard dietetic internship application, will calculate your DPD GPA and Science GPA when grades are entered.  Transcripts will need to be sent to the DICAS Company to be scanned into your online application.  An email via DICAS can be sent to the DPD director requesting a Declaration of Intent or Verification Statement.  You will use an electronic signature for your application.  DICAS and D&D Computer Matching are two separate processes.  You still need to register with D&D Digital if the program you are applying to participates in computer matching.

D&D Digital Computer Matching

The dietetic internship selection process includes a computerized system that matches a student's choices (1,2,3, etc.) with the internship programs' choices for student interns.  The matching process is administered twice a year by D&D Digital,, a private computer firm.  Their website gives directions for submitting the required materials.  The cost to you is approximately $50.

Mid-Point of Last Month of the Last Semester (e.g. Mid-April -- Senior Year):

Notification Day
Applicant matching results for each applicant will be posted by D&D Digital on, in mid-April or mid-November.  This is the only source of notification.  If you received a MATCH, the dietetic internship program will be listed.  A MATCH means that using your priority choices and the dietetic internship priority choices, you have been selected to accept an appointment to the program.  This dietetic internship is planning on your being a part of their internship program.  Only one match can occur.  You must contact the internship program director within 48 hours to accept or decline the appointment.

Appointment Day
Appointment or acceptance day is always the Wednesday closest following the notification day.  If the applicant is MATCHED to an internship program, she/he must contact that program director on this date to confirm her/his appointment.  Please also follow-up with the UHM Dietetics Program Director to share the results of appointment day.

What if you do not receive a match?  Please contact the UHM dietetics program director and work together to determine the best plan of action.

Applying for an Internship - A Supervised Practice Program

Please note that even though the DPD is completed, this does not guarantee acceptance into a dietetic internship.  Applying for an internship requires a lot of preparation time.  As stated in the March 2009 issue of AND's Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), newsletter:  "An analysis of data on dietetics programs from January 2007 through October 2008 showed that 3,795 individuals applied for 2,520 internship positions, a shortage of 1,275 sites or 33%.  Effectively, one third of students paid for an education to become Registered Dietitians when there was no possibility of this ever occurring.  Unfortunately, the situation is expected to only get worse."  The good news is that UHM dietetic students have higher than average acceptance rates.  The national acceptance rate for those who applied 2012 - 2014 averaged 50% versus Hawai'i which was 75%, 63%, and 73% respectively.

Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) has made it a priority to assure that qualified students have opportunities to complete the supervised practice component of their education without compromising the autonomy of education programs.  Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways (ISPPs)have been developed along with preceptor recruiting efforts to give students more options for educational experiences that will make them eligible to sit for the registration exam.

ISPPs allow 1)  graduates who do not match to a dietetic internship, but who possess a DPD verification statement, 2) individuals holding a doctoral degree without a DPD verification statement to apply for an ISPP; however eligibility requirements and options may vary by program.  You can see which Dietetic Internships, Coordinated, or Didactic programs currently offer ISPPs by visiting  Doctoral degree holders without a DPD verification statement must attend an ISPP that is approved to offer a track for individuals with a doctoral degree.  Students interested in applying to an ISPP should research the eligibility requirements of the program where they intend to submit an application, including whether you are required to locate your own preceptors, and then contact the program director.  Individuals with work experience should also inquire whether the program grants credit for specific competency requirements through an assessment of prior learning.  For more information on the ISPP, visit

University of Hawai'i at Manoa (UHM) Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)

The UHM Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) within the DPD provides students with the supervised practice experience needed to fulfill the competencies for becoming a RDN.  Upon successful completion of the ISPP, each student will receive a verification of completion and be eligible to take the national Registration Examination for Dietitians.

The UHM ISPP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for the Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), accrediting agency of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and fulfills the same requirements of a Dietetic Internship.  The program includes 1,200 hours of supervised practice in various rotation sites.

  • The UHM ISPP is only available to graduates who were not matched in the D&D digital match in the current year or within the past 5 years (proof required) and possess a DPD Verification Statement.
  • The UHM ISPP program prioritizes students who attend the UHM DPD or who are Hawai'i residents.

The UHM ISPP provides graduates of a DPD with an opportunity to increase their knowledge of food and nutrition science, and to acquire the competencies needed to practice dietetics in a variety of settings.  Graduates of the ISPP at the UHM are expected to be able to function as entry level practitioners in clinical, food service, and community dietetics roles.  Each is expected to operate independently with high levels of professionalism and integrity.

The UHM ISPP is focused on Hawai'i's unique community and therefore offers a community concentration.  Through its activities, the UHM ISPP will promote the education of students in multicultural environment, service in a variety of community settings, and participation in various professional organizations.

The AND website,, has a listing of all internships in the country.  The number of internships to which you may apply is not limited.  However, before making your selections, you need to assess your qualifications realistically and apply accordingly.  The internships that are in more favorable geographic locations or pay higher stipends and are better known typically attract more applicants and are therefore more competitive.  The cost per application ranges from $50 to $100.

It is highly recommended that you broaden your educational experience by applying to mainland internships.  If it is a hardship to go away (i.e. leaving young children) there is one distance dietetic internship program now available on O'ahu, Sodexo,  Usually, three students are chosen a year.  So far, all students have expressed overall satisfaction with their distance internship experience and all who have completed their internships have passed the RDN exam.  Be sure to also check out the distance internship listing at the end of the AND list of internships website  New distance programs are added periodically.

The AND conducted a survey of graduates of dietetic programs who received appointments to dietetic internship programs.  The survey helped to identify characteristics of successful applicants.  Students who had been through the process reported that they wished they had known the following prior to the application process:

  • acceptance to a dietetic internship program is competitive
  • good grades are essential
  • relevant work experience is important and involvement in volunteer activities is also important

What are the characteristics of successful dietetic internship applicants?

Although programs have varying selection criteria, applicants who received appointments to internship programs had the following characteristics:

Grade point average

  • 79% had over 3.0 for all courses
  • 89% had over 3.0 for food, nutrition, and management courses
  • 56% had 3.0 for biological and physical science courses

Work experience

  • 85% had more than one year of paid work experience
  • 54% had dietetics-related volunteer experience
  • 53% had worked with an RDN

What other characteristics do dietetic internship program directors look for in applicants?

  • 87% use volunteer experience as a criterion
  • 96% require letters of recommendation

It is important to get to know the FSHN department faculty members as soon as you can because you will most likely ask them to provide letters of reference.  These letters are commonly specified as one being from the dietetics program director, one from the food service professor and the other from an advanced nutrition professor.  Often you will be asked to add an additional reference from your work experience.  Your letters of reference should be detailed and give an accurate picture of who you are.  Many internships provide a standardized reference form in their application packet.

"Prior work experience" determines who will get an internship if grades, references and letters of application are of similar quality.  You need to develop a good work record in jobs related to dietetics and food service.  Rather than taking classes in the summer, you might want to consider working or volunteering in a hospital, nursing home or restaurant as a diet aid or clerk, and/or in the production and service areas of a food service.

The dietetics faculty will assist you in assembling your application packet; however, the final responsibility rests with you.  Your letter of application should present an articulate, dynamic picture of who you are.  Internship applications should be neat and well written.  It is particularly important to be able to start professional goals clearly and concisely.  You should make sure that each application is filled out carefully.  It is your responsibility to make sure that directions are followed, ample time allowed for references to be received, all materials submitted, and all deadlines met!

Costs and Financial Assistance

A full-time student resident for academic year 2017-2018 pays approximately $5,436/semester in tuition with an additional $500 for books and $800 for student fees.  A full-time non-resident student pays approximately $16,452/semester tuition with the same $500 book cost and $800 student fees.  This does not take into account living or possible additional expenses such as a $5 fee to join the FSHN Student Council, $50 for student Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics membership, about $25 for attendance at the Hawai'i Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics conference, about $30 in malpractice insurance and gas for the senior FSHN 492 Field Experience class and food class lab fees.  Please see for the most updated tuition and fees.

The University and CTAHR offer some financial assistance.  Please see CTAHR's scholarship website here:

Nutrition and Food Science scholarships are also available; however, most are for Juniors and Seniors with a grade point average above 3.0.  Check out the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences scholarships website:

Liability and Travel Insurance

Liability insurance provides protection to students from any injury they may cause or are alleged to have caused to others.  Dietetics students participating in community or hospital work experiences are required to purchase at least $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance or certify that they are covered by the liability insurance policy of the cooperating agency or firm.  Marsh Affinity Group Services provide $1,000,000 or $3,000,000 worth of liability insurance for an annual fee of about $30.  The Department has no relationship with this firm.  The applications are provided by the department for convenience only.  Students are responsible for transportation to and from work sites.  Individual health and travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Professional Portfolio

As students progress through the dietetics program they will be encouraged to develop, and continually update, a professional portfolio.  A variety of material may be included such as:  evidence of oral and written communication, ability to use technology, evidence of research skills, teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving ability.  The process of accumulating and storing materials digitally is now available through the UH computer system, Laulima.  Student also can develop their own website to showcase their portfolio using free software such as WordPress or GoogleSites.


Evaluation is a critical continuous process that is an integral component of the UHM DPD.  Faculty and students are each given opportunities to offer their input.  Constructive suggestions and recommendations are always encouraged.  A variety of mechanisms exist to ensure that this evaluation process takes place:

  1. At the end of each dietetic required course, students will be given the opportunity to evaluate the instructor's performance and the course itself.
  2. Students have the right to give input to the given professor, student advisor, dietetics program director, department chairperson, and college dean of student and academic affairs.
  3. At the end of the DPD, students are given an "exit survey" administered by the college and are asked to evaluate the quality of the education they received while attending UHM.

Grievance Procedure

It is the policy of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa that faculty and students be provided consistent and equitable treatment in resolving disputes arising from the academic relationship between faculty and student(s).  Student(s) who wish to appeal a decision or grade by faculty members are advised to utilize the Academic Grievance Procedure.  Information on the Academic Grievance Procedure is available from the UHM Dean of Students, who is the campus responsible for facilitating the grievance process.  Their site is:

Students who have a grievance related to the DPD program should contact the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606-6995
(800) 877-1600 ext. 5400

Retention, Remediation, and Disciplinary Action

As will all students who fail to meet the academic requirements of UHM, students may be placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed.  The guidelines for these procedures are found in the UH catalog.  Further information may also be obtained from the UH student academic services office,  Dietetic students are encouraged to develop a collaborative relationship with their advisors so if necessary, they can work together to proactively develop positive strategies to avoid negative disciplinary action.

Useful Websites for Students Entering into the University of Hawai'i at Manoa

University of Hawai'i at Manoa

MyUH Servies

  • MyUH Services is a mobile-optimized, one-stop-shop for UH business tasks, form, apps and more!  It includes one-click access to services customized for students, faculty, and staff across our 10-campus system


  • STAR for students is the online degree tracking system for UH.  You can view your degree requirements, register for classes, search for scholarships, and view your transcripts

College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR)

CTAHR Academic Advising

  • Use this website to request an appointment with our academic advisors.  Advisors can assist you with developing a degree plan and making sure you are taking the appropriate classes for graduation.  Meeting with an academic advisor is mandatory every semester

Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) Council

  • The FSHN Council strives to nurture students' interest in dietetics, research, community wellness, food service and nutrition by providing opportunities for students to network with other students, faculty, and professionals in food science, nutrition, and other health-related fields.  In addition to enhancing fellowship and facilitating communication, student members are exposed to career information, scholarship opportunities, and community service activities

General Education

  • UH Core requirements and class listings

Transfer of Credits

  • This website shows information on residency requirements and how your credits transfer into UH Manoa

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • This website is the home site for 70,000 nutrition professionals, mostly Registered Dietitians.  It provides information about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, its journal, dietetic registration process, dietetics education, member benefits and professional resources such as the evidence-based library.

Hawai'i Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • This website represents Hawai'i's largest organization for nutrition professionals.
  • Current happenings and job opportunities are listed
Dietetic Internship Application Timeline

HNFAS Department

1955 East West Road
AgSci 216

Honolulu, HI 96822

phone: 808-956-7095

fax: 808-956-4024


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