Application Instructions

All students who apply to the USU MDA will submit an application using the DICAS application portal. Students interested in applying to the USU MDA will find all the information they need to apply on this website.

Download a copy of the Application Checklist to make sure a complete application is submitted. Review the guidance on determining where you will complete your SEL experiences and which types of facilities and preceptors you will need before you start contacting preceptors. The USU MDA distance format allows students the flexibility to train anywhere within the United States and its territories. Preceptors and facilities must meet the requirements outlined by the USU MDA.

The USU MDA will be holding monthly virtual open houses starting in July 2023. Stay tuned for more information.

Application Deadlines


Students applying in the priority enrollment period will have priority application review until January 15th. After this date, application review is contingent upon remaining position availability. The priority enrollment period is the best option for applicants who know they want to complete their master's degree at USU. Students who meet the admission requirements, submit their application, and have their preceptors secured for rotations will be considered for acceptance. The USU MDA does not participate in the D&D Digital match so applicants will know exactly which program they've been accepted to without the stress or expense of the D&D Digital match.

Before you start your USU and DICAS applications, be sure to review the information about training locations and finding preceptors above.

Deadlines & Dates

Application Portal Opening Dates

  • DICAS Portal opens October 4, 2023

Priority Enrollment Application Period

  • December 1, 2023 - January 15, 2024
Open Enrollment Application Deadline
  • February 15, 2024

DICAS Application Instructions

Watch the following video for a description of each component of the application.


Create an account in the DICAS Portal

  • Enter your personal information including contact, personal, and any other background information required.
  • Under "Add Programs" select Utah State University Master of Dietetics Administration

Personal Information

  • Biographic information
  • Contact information
  • Race & ethnicity
  • Citizenship information
  • Other information
  • Release statement

Academic History

  • Colleges attended:
    • Include all colleges you've attended prior to completing your DPD.
    • Request official transcripts to be sent directly to DICAS.
  • Coursework entry:
    • Refer to the DPD Course List you received from your DPD Director.
  • DPD Confirmation
  • Standardized test - the USU MDA does not require the GRE. Some students may be required to submit TOEFL scores through the USU School of Graduate Studies. Students will be informed of this separately but contact the USU MDA if you have questions. 

Supporting Information

  • Achievements
  • Experiences
    • Approximately 400 work/volunteer hours are required for the USU MDA. Refer to the Work and Volunteer Experience document for guidelines.
    • Describe your work and volunteer experiences in detail. If it isn't on your application, it will not be considered toward the required hours during application review.
  • Memberships
  • Licenses and Certifications
  • Documents
    • Upload a copy of your resume.
    • Upload a copy of your DPD Course List from your DPD Director.
    • If you are not completing a DPD program, you will need to complete the MDA Prerequisite Courses Worksheet. Students interested in this option must speak with the MDA Program Director prior to submitting their application. 
  • DPD Documents
    • Request Declaration of Intent or Verification Statement from your DPD Director.
      • Students who have not finished their DPD will request a Declaration of Intent from their DPD Director.
      • Students who have finished their DPD will request the Verification Statement from their DPD Director.  

Program Materials


  • How did your hear about the USU MDA?
  • Have you asked your preceptors complete the Preceptor Paperwork form?
  • Provide any additional information that you weren't able to include elsewhere in your application.


  • Upload your Personal Statement
  • Your personal statement should address the following prompts in essay format:
    • Why do you want to enter the dietetics profession?
    • Discuss experiences that have helped to prepare you for a career in dietetics.
    • What are your short-term and long-term goals?
    • What are your strengths and weaknesses or areas needing improvement?
    • What other information do you consider important for the selection process?
    • The USU MDA is specifically looking for: Why do you want to complete your masters degree through Utah State University?
  • Your personal statement should be about 1000 words in length. 
  • Ask for feedback on your personal statement from your DPD Director or another trusted mentor prior to submitting. 
  • Upload your Rotation Summary Form.


  • Enter the contact information for your three (3) references.
  • You will need the following types of references:
    • A professor who is familiar with your academic work.
    • An employer from a time when you worked in a dietetics related job. It does not have to be your current employer.
    • Your preference.
  • Choose references who know your commitment to dietetics and who can refer to your skills, education, and performance in the field. The USU MDA may call references for clarification of comments and may also contact your DPD Director. It is appropriate to ask a reference if they feel they can give you a good recommendation. If they can't give you a good recommendation, you should seek a recommendation from someone who can.

Submit Application

  • Verify that you have added Utah State University Master of Dietetics Administration to your programs
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit your application!

DICAS and the USU MDA are not available over the weekend or holidays for questions. If you are applying in the priority enrollment period, your DICAS application and USU School of Graduate Studies application are due January 15th. Students who do not apply during priority enrollment must submit their USU and DICAS applications by February 15th .

Assessed Prior Learning

The USU MDA participates in the assessed prior learning (APL) program recognized by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. The APL program is designed to grant supervised experiential learning credit based on the qualified applicant's previous work and/or volunteer experience.

Students may apply for APL credit after official acceptance to the program. Forms and instructions will be available to students at that time.

USU MDA faculty will review APL applications and determine if any credit will be granted. Additional documentation or clarification may be requested. Calls, emails or letters will be sent to contact persons listed on the student's application.

Please review the Assessed Prior Learning policy for more details.