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 get around 75 applicants across the MS Nutrition programs and accept 20 to 30 students per year.

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


To get started, attend 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.

Know your deadlines

Applications are due each year on January 15. We only admit for the fall semester.

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field of study
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Prerequisite courses (listed below)

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.


The prerequisites are different for the Traditional and Coordinated Programs. No survey courses are acceptable as science prerequisites for either program.

Traditional program prerequisites

There are no prerequisite courses for the Traditional program. However, many of the upper levels classes you will take in the program have their own prerequisites that can be completed either before entering the program or while enrolled in the program.

Coordinated program prerequisites

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 algebra or higher
  • 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

All science courses must be taken within five years of starting the program.

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

Online courses are accepted on a case by case basis by the program directors.

Prepare your documents

When you apply, you’ll need to a number of documents with your applications, like letters of recommendation and transcripts. Get started on those now! Refer to the Applying page for all the specifics.

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

International Students: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores must be submitted to UIC directly from ETS. Paper score reports will not be accepted.

Think about funding

See what funding options are available to you. The Graduate College has some great information on financial resources and funding opportunities.