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 100 applications across the BS and MS coordinated programs and accept up to 36 students per year. Our nutrition science/DPD program typically receives around 20 applications and accepts up to 18 students per year.

Give yourself the best chance of acceptance by doing your research and putting your best application forward.


Take the first step in pursuing a career in nutrition 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.

Attend a nutrition programs info session 

Know your deadlines

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

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

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

Check your requirements

Nutrition Science/DPD Program

We admit students into the nutrition science program if they are working on their prerequisite courses. Please note that this does NOT guarantee acceptance into the nutrition science/DPD option (for students who wish to become a registered dietitian). This will still require an inter-program application after completing the prerequisite courses. The director of the nutrition science program will advise and assist with this process. Students are welcome to apply for spring or fall admission.

There is no minimum credit nor minimum GPA requirement for this option.

  • 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)

International students only: 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.

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
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: 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

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.

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.

Have your test scores sent in advance

ACT/SAT scores are required for all 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.

International Students: If English isn’t your native language, you might need to take the TOEFL. Check out the International Requirements page to see if this applies to you.

Think about funding

UIC has financial aid support for you no matter what type of student you are—first-year, transfer or continuing. Last year, nearly two-thirds of all UIC students received grants or scholarships.

Even before you apply, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and include UIC’s school code: 001776. This is the first step in the financial aid process for most every student. A lot of scholarships and grants have deadlines earlier than the admission deadline. Get a head start and make sure you don’t miss out on an opportunity.