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Pitt Dietitian Nutritionist (DN) program classroom setting.


You’re ready to apply to the Pitt Dietitian Nutritionist (DN) program – great! We’re here to help! Assistant Professor and Program Director Trisha Cousins is on the DN program admissions team and reviews each application. She has provided the tips below so you can submit a strong application.

The Dietitian Nutritionist program has three points of entry and application requirements depend on your current academic status, so be sure to also read our blog "Which Entry-Point Is Right for Me?" to learn more about each one.

The Pitt program does not use the Dietitian Centralized Application System (DICAS)! Make sure to select the Pitt entry point right for you through the Graduate Centralized Application Service (GradCAS)

No matter which entry-point you choose, all DN applications are due March 1.

Considerations for All Entry Points:

  1. Self-Evaluation essay and resume:
    • You will need to submit a self-evaluation essay, discussing the strengths, skills and experiences that will contribute to your success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian. We are also looking to see how your experiences shaped your choice to enter a health care field, and how these experiences might contribute to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for colleagues and future patients! 
    • Your submitted resume should demonstrate evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth and scope of practice for RDN/DNs. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in nutrition and dietetics-related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required. 
  2. Extra-curricular, Service and Work Activities: Have you served as an officer for a club? Do you have any work history related to food and nutrition? Tell us more about your extracurricular activities! Did you participate in any of the following? 
  • Student Dietetic Associations (accelerated entry point only) 
  • Volunteer/community service 
  • Leadership roles 
  • Work experience  
  • Shadowing experience 
  • Military work or ROTC experience 

We recognize that each applicant has a unique journey to the DN program and we want to learn about yours! We want to know what makes you stand out and what skills you have developed along the way, outside of the classroom.

Considerations for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) and Post-Baccalaureate Applicants

  1. Letter of Recommendation (LOR): We require one letter of recommendation from a registered dietitian, a supervisor in volunteer or work experience or a college professor. The letter should address the applicant's academic, professional, and personal attributes, potential for meaningful graduate study and should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service.
  2. When to apply: While the formal deadline is March 1, we strongly recommend submitting your application early! Our program will review your application once it is complete in GradCAS and we will send out your admissions status via email once a decision has been made. This usually takes three to four weeks.

We hope you find these quick tips beneficial. If you need more information, review our admissions page or attend an upcoming information session!

Written in collaboration with:

Trisha Cousins
Trisha Cousins, EdD, RDN, LDN, CLC 
Program Director and Assistant Professor, Dietitian Nutritionist Program and the SHRS enrollment team.


Published December 1, 2023