FAQs

Dietetics Program | Dietetics Program Admissions | Internship | Other

Dietetics Program

About the Program

The program (years 3, 4 and 5) is full-time and is not available online, however, year 1 and 2 prerequisites can be taken on a part-time basis as well as online if available (e.g. LFS 250, FNH 200). Non-UBC students can access faculty-specific prerequisite courses online through UBC Non-Degree Studies.

Yes. Due to the extra costs associated with offering a dietetics program with an integrated internship, the Board of Governors has approved an Integrated Internship Program Administration Fee for each of the three program years, found here. This is in addition to the standard UBC per-credit tuition fee. For Internship, the cost will include the standard per-credit fee for 24 credits and the annual Integrated Internship Program Administration Fee.

Students are also responsible for additional fees associated with program and pre-internship requirements such as criminal record checks, student accident insurance, and immunizations.

Dietetics Program Admissions

Applying to the Program

There are several things you can do: (1) Obtain good grades, particularly in the prerequisite courses. (2) Obtain relevant work and volunteer experience - this could, but does not have to be directly in the field of dietetics. Any formal experience working with people, involving organizational skills or related to health care will be an asset. (3) Develop your general skills (e.g., communication, critical thinking, problem-solving). (4) Research the profession and the program and give thought to how you could contribute to it.

Dietitians work in a range of settings and communities, all of which can provide valuable experiences to help you gain insight into the dietetics profession. Previous applicants who had success connecting with dietitians have recommended the following:

  • Join the UBC Food Nutrition & Health Volunteer Listserv: This email listserv is used to send food and nutrition-related volunteer (and occasionally paid) opportunities to subscribers. It frequently has volunteer opportunities that would be suitable for prospective applicants and would allow them to gain experience volunteering with dietitians in BC.
  • Browse the UBC Food Nutrition and Health Volunteer Listings: This webpage contains a list of all currently open volunteer/paid positions sent out through the Listserv with further details about each position, including location, deadlines, and how to apply.  
  • Use local volunteering websites: Nutrition or health-related volunteer positions on these websites may provide opportunities to interact with dietitians within the community. These experiences may also help to develop other important skills that can be highlighted on a dietetics application. Examples of volunteering websites are www.govolunteer.ca and www.volweb.ca.
  • Participate in events that dietitians are likely to attend: Networking at dietetics-related events can help you meet dietitians. One event example is the annual ‘Meet the Dietitian Night’ on the UBC campus.
  • Link to dietitians through other dietitians: Not all dietitians are able to provide job shadowing or volunteer experiences for a variety of reasons such as time or liability limitations; however, they may be able to connect you with colleagues who are better suited for working with prospective dietetics students.
  • Talk to people you know: Ask if anyone you know has connections to a dietitian who may be willing to have you job-shadow them or simply meet with you over lunch or coffee.
  • Network with students in the program: Current dietetics students can be a great resource for advice on how to get involved with nutrition-related opportunities and dietitians in your community.
  • Join the UBC Trimentoring Program: This program connects groups of 2 students with a professional in the community (including dietitians) for 3 mentoring sessions over the school year. 

Applicants are not required to provide a reference from a dietitian; however, dietitians are valued references in that they have a good understanding of the profession and can therefore speak to your potential suitability within it.

In general, references should be individuals who can speak to your personal and professional abilities and suitability for the profession of dietetics. See the Applicant Information Package for more detailed information and tips on how to select your references.

No, due to scheduling of courses and the internship component, program length cannot be reduced. If you already have credit for some of the required courses, you may be able take more electives and/or have a reduced course load (which will give you an opportunity to gain work or volunteer experience).

Go ahead and apply for graduation. As a separate process, go into the Student Service Centre and apply for the B.Sc. in Food, Nutrition & Health in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

If you have a nutrition-related degree and would like to become a dietitian, here are your options:

(a) Apply to complete the UBC Dietetics Major as a second degree.

UBC offers the only dietetics degree program in British Columbia. Note that program admission is competitive. For more information about completing the UBC Dietetics Major as a second degree, contact the Land and Food Systems student advising office at students@landfood.ubc.ca.

(b) Complete qualifying courses for dietetics to be eligible to apply for a post graduate internship.

Most post-graduate degree internship programs are in Ontario and positions are highly competitive to obtain (less than 50% success rate).  Nutrition degree graduates wishing to pursue a post graduate internship in another province should inquire with an accredited degree program in that province regarding academic assessment and upgrading procedures.

There are no post graduate internship programs in British Columbia, and several UBC courses required for internship eligibility are restricted to students in the Dietetics Major. Accordingly, UBC does not provide course assessments for students wishing to be eligible to apply to post graduate internships.

(c) Complete qualifying courses for dietetics and apply to a combined masters/internship program (e.g., U of Guelph, U of Toronto).

Most of these programs are in Ontario and admission is highly competitive (successful applicants tend to have a high GPA and extensive experience related to the field). Nutrition degree graduates residing in British Columbia are typically unable to upgrade coursework to achieve dietetics degree equivalence, as several UBC courses required are restricted to students in the Dietetics Major. Individuals wishing to pursue one of these programs should contact the program of interest to inquire about admission requirements, and academic assessment and upgrading procedures.

Initial Screening Process

While math is not an official prerequisite for the Dietetics Major (and therefore does not count towards GPA calculations), you should take an approved math course to satisfy upper-level course prerequisite and year promotion requirements for other majors within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, should your application to the Dietetics Major be unsuccessful.

To be acceptable, undergraduate courses should address normal human behaviour, particularly in the North American context.  Acceptable UBC courses include:
ANTH 100, 201, 210, 217, 227
FMST 210, 312, 314
PSYC 101, 102, 304, 305, 314
SOCI 100, 200, 240A

Please note: Philosophy and economics courses are not acceptable social sciences courses for the purposes of Dietetics.

For queries about courses not listed, contact LFS Student Services.

We follow procedures provided by the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Grades assigned using numeric scales are converted using a grade-point scale, while letter grades are converted as described in the UBC calendar. When translating letter grades to percentages, we use the lowest number in the range shown.

Interview Process

Questions vary from year to year. The questions align to the criteria we have established for assessing applicants and are not meant to be trick questions. The purpose of the interview process is to assess your communication skills and further assess your commitment to the profession.

Interviews are conducted by five pairs of practicing Registered Dietitians from across the province. Interviewers have experience with internship education and are trained to ensure that a standardized approach is used.

The composition of the interview team is relatively consistent. To avoid potential bias, an effort is made to assign repeat applicants to a pair of interviewers who did not meet them the previous year.

We make every effort to keep our selection process unbiased. Reviewers are unable to see your grades (those are tabulated by Student Services). The written component of the application is “blinded” (no names attached) so reviewers do not know who they are assessing. Each written package is reviewed by two reviewers using a consensus process. Names are used for the interviews; however, interviewers are able to see the list prior to the interview and if they know the applicant, the applicant will be re-assigned to another pair of interviewers.

Selection Criteria

Age and having more than 2 years of university study are not selection factors. Maturity and life experience could give some applicants an edge on some aspects of the admissions process, but each year we do admit some applicants directly from year 2.

Location of the applicant is not a selection factor. However, if successful, the applicant will be required to relocate to attend courses at UBC.

International students are able to apply to the program, provided they meet the Admission Requirements.

Notification and Acceptance

We are not able to accommodate individualized declined applicant advising. However, each declined applicant is sent a document summarizing common reasons for declined admission as well as tips to assist declined applicants to reflect on and improve a future application. Anyone wishing to reapply to the program is advised to follow the guidance provided in this document and to attend an applicant information session.

No two applicants have the same issues. We evaluate applicants based on the criteria outlined in the UBC Calendar. Applicants can lose marks related to any of these criteria. Grades account for 40% of the admission score. Applicants who have a GPA below 75% have to be exemplary in other areas in order to achieve a competitive score.

Internship

The internship year is spent at an assigned B.C. health authority core site. With approval of the site and UBC, it may be possible for an intern to complete some placements out of province (e.g. elective weeks). These opportunities are not guaranteed and the interns are required to pursue their own out-of-province arrangements.

Yes; few students seem to encounter major challenges. Between student networking, Craig’s List, and advice from placement site contacts, it all seems to work out.

The year 5 internship is comprised of 3 courses: FNH 481 (9 credits, winter session), FNH 482 (9 credits, winter session) and FNH 483 (6 credits, summer session).

Each course includes an on-campus section and an off-campus section. The cost of both course sections is the same, but on-campus sections include additional AMS student fees, extended health plan and a U-Pass. Off-campus sections do not include student fees, extended health plan or a U-Pass. Students may choose the section that best meets their needs, based on internship location. If you are completing your internship outside of the lower mainland and don’t need a U-Pass, but would like the extended health plan, you can register for the on-campus sections and opt out of the U-Pass.

Other

Please thoroughly read the website and FAQ's prior to contacting us.

For pre-program inquiries (i.e. course assessment, admissions questions), contact the Land and Food Systems student advising office at students@landfood.ubc.ca. For questions regarding the profession of dietetics, contact Kara Vogt, Dietetics Practice Educator, or Karol Traviss, Dietetics Program Leader.