Before You Apply

Start planning now

It’s never too early to start planning.

Early preparation is the key to a smooth (and successful!) application and admission process. We typically receive around 50 percent more applications than we have available spots. Give yourself the best chance of acceptance by doing your research and putting your best application forward.

The Commission on Dietetic Registration has changed the entry-level registration eligibility education requirements for dietitians, beginning in January 2024, from a baccalaureate degree to a minimum of a master’s degree.

Due to this change, the last class admitted to our Bachelors of Science Coordinated (BS/CP) program will occur in January 2020 for admission fall 2020.

Current freshman and students seeking enrollment in our BS/CP program after fall 2020, should complete our BS in nutrition science which can be tailored to efficiently transition into our accelerated Master’s Coordinated Program. This 4 + 1 program (4 yrs to complete the BS + 1 year to complete the MS and CP program) includes completion of graduate coursework and supervised practice hours within 12-18 months.

Admission to the accelerated MS CP graduate program can be guaranteed with maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.4 of core nutrition courses in the BS Nutrition Science program.


Take the first step in pursuing a career as a registered dietitian by attending one of our monthly information sessions. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about the profession, our program and the admissions process. It’s your chance to ask questions about prerequisites, your application and evaluation criteria.

Interested in pursuing a career as a health professional? Watch this short video about how a degree in nutrition science can best prepare you or contact Kirsten Straughan.

Know your deadlines

Don’t wait until the last minute to apply! Start early and give yourself plenty of time to collect all your materials.

Applications for the nutrition science and the nutrition science/DPD programs are accepted during the spring and fall semesters. The spring application deadline is October 1, and the fall application deadline is January 15.

The coordinated program is fall acceptance only, with an application deadline of January 15.

Check your requirements

Nutrition Science Program (freshmen and transfer students)
You may complete the nutrition science degree program, or work towards completing prerequisite course requirements for future admission into the nutrition science/DPD or coordinated programs.  Please note that admission into the nutrition science program does not guarantee admission into the nutrition science/DPD or coordinated programs.

You’re considered a freshman if you’re applying while you’re still in high school or you’ve graduated from high school but haven’t attended college yet. You must meet the general UIC entrance requirements.

Transfer students
You’re considered a transfer student if you’ve earned 24 semester hours (36 quarter hours) or more at another college. You must meet the general UIC transfer requirements.

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • No more than 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) from a two-year college or university

Nutrition Science/DPD and Coordinated Programs (junior year entry)
Admission into the nutrition science/DPD and coordinated programs requires an inter-program application and completion of prerequisite courses. The director of the nutrition science program will advise and assist with this process.

  • 60 semester hours (or 90 quarter hours) of acceptable academic credit
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) for science and prerequisite courses
  • Prerequisite courses (listed below) and form
  • Letters of recommendation (coordinated program only)
  • Written interview questions (coordinated program only)

All international students: If English isn’t your native language, you might need to take a minimum English proficiency test. Check out the international requirements to see if this applies to you.


Prerequisite courses must be completed prior to applying to the nutrition science/DPD or coordinated programs, or prior to beginning the core curriculum as a nutrition science student.

If applying to the nutrition science/DPD or coordinated programs, you must complete prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better before enrolling in the program. At least three of the science prerequisites must be completed at the time of application.

  • English composition I and II
  • Speech: One course with emphasis on public speaking
  • Mathematics: One course in pre-calculus or higher
  • Humanities: Two courses, one under the topic “Understanding the Past”, one under the topic “Understanding the Creative Arts”
  • Psychology: One course in introductory psychology or human behavior
  • Sociology: One course in introduction to sociology
  • Foods: One course with laboratory
  • Nutrition: One general course
  • Electives: To complete a minimum of 60 semester or 90 quarter hours

Science courses
No survey courses are acceptable as science prerequisites. All science courses must be taken within five years of starting the program.

  • General biology:One cell biology course with laboratory
  • Inorganic chemistry:Two courses with laboratory
  • Organic chemistry:One course, no lab required
  • Biochemistry:One course, no lab required
  • Anatomy and physiology:Two courses, lab required

On-campus biochemistry courses can be hard to find, so we do accept online courses. The following courses are acceptable:

How we evaluate

Nutrition Science applicants
Freshmen applicants are evaluated based on the UIC entrance requirements. Transfer applicants are evaluated based on the UIC transfer requirements.

Nutrition Science/DPD or Coordinated Program applicants
We have a unique applicant pool each year, so it’s difficult to describe a typical student. However, all students must have a GPA of at least 2.5 to be considered for admission.

If you meet our minimum requirements, we encourage you to apply. An understanding of the role of the dietetic professional and their role in the health care system, community and beyond, combined with volunteer experience in the field of dietetics can strengthen your application.

Coordinated program: This past admissions cycle, the average cumulative overall and science GPA was 3.5. Keep in mind that 30% of the points that we use to evaluate students are not based on GPA.

Nutrition science/DPD program: The average cumulative GPA is usually around 3.0. 100% of the points that we use to evaluate students are based on GPA.

*Please note that applicants that are not admitted to the BS/CP program are automatically considered for the nutrition science/DPD program.

Prepare your documents

Nutrition Science applicants
When you apply as a freshman, you’ll need to submit your transcripts and two essays. If you’re applying to the Honors College or GPPA, you’ll also need two letters of recommendation. Get started on those now! Refer to the UIC Application Tips page for all the specifics.

Your application essays and recommendations are an opportunity to make your application stand out. Start early so you have enough time to meet deadlines.

ACT/SAT scores are required for all freshmen applicants. Scores can be sent electronically from the testing service or as part of your high school transcript. Student copies and other unofficial score reports are considered self-reported.

Transfer students require submission of transcripts.

Nutrition Science/DPD or Coordinated Program applicants
When you apply, you’ll need to submit your transcripts and prerequisite form. If you’re applying to the coordinated program, you’ll also need two letters of recommendation. Get started on those now! Refer to the Applying page for all the specifics.

The application process is paperless. Please don’t mail any materials unless told to do so. Documents that you will upload must be in PDF format, no larger than 5 MB in size. “Portfolio” PDFs and secured PDFs which require a password are not compatible with our system.

All international students: You might have a few extra things you need to provide. Read through the international requirements page to make sure you have everything you need.

Think about funding

Student financial aid can come from various sources. Some scholarships evaluate financial need, so be sure complete the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) to determine what aid you may be eligible to receive.