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.

Freshman or transfer students who wish to become a registered dietitian should complete our BS in Nutrition Science with the DPD course track 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/CP program) includes completion of graduate coursework and supervised practice hours within 12-18 months.

Beginning in January 2023, Nutrition Science/DPD students interested in applying to the Accelerated MS/CP will be eligible to apply to one of 15 pre-selected spots for UIC Nutrition Science students. The application deadline will be June 1st, 2022 for either a January 2023 or May 2023 start.

Preference will be given to applicants who meet the following criteria:

– Cumulative GPA of 3.4 in prerequisite and DPD courses
– Majority of prerequisite courses taken at UIC, particularly science courses
– Volunteer or work experience in a food or nutrition setting

Students not admitted into the Accelerated MS/CP program will apply to an accredited dietetic internship outside of UIC. The Director of the Nutrition Science program will assist and advise students in this process.


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.

Students who would like to learn more about UIC can view the transfer events calendar here and register for specific events that are scheduled.

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 program are accepted during the spring and fall semesters. The fall application deadline is February 1st for freshman and April 1st for transfer students. The spring application deadline is October 1st.

Check your requirements

Nutrition Science Program (freshmen and transfer students)

Freshmen: 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
  • 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.

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.

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.

Prepare your documents

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.

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.