Graduate Study

FAQ

Admissions

Applications are submitted via the Graduate School’s online application. Review the Apply page.

Applying for both programs is strongly discouraged, as fit for an academic program is an admission consideration.

The nutritional sciences core courses for both the MS and MPH are the same; the difference is program concentration.

Our general advice is that if you are looking for community work, public health, etc., apply for the MPH. If you want to focus on the clinical aspects of nutrition, then the MS may be a better fit.

Submitting GRE scores is no longer a required part of the application process.

If official GRE scores are reported to the University of Washington for the applicant, they will appear in the MyGrad application and show as received on the Application Status Page (applicant dashboard). However, consideration of GRE scores is no longer part of the review or decision process for the Nutritional Sciences Program.

No. Our students have very diverse backgrounds, with degrees in archaeology, nursing, nutrition, psychology, biology, public health, and many others. See the Eligibility Requirements and Prerequisites sections of the website for additional information.

The Minimum Admissions Requirements section of the UW Graduate School website outlines the degree requirements for prospective graduate students.

As the degree requirements come from the UW Graduate School, questions should be directed to their office at uwgrad@uw.edu.

Applicants may still apply with a few prerequisites outstanding, if they can be finished before the start of autumn quarter. (All prerequisites should be completed before the program starts in late September.)

Applicants with missing prerequisites should clearly detail their plan for finishing the remaining courses in their application. Review the Prerequisite Guidelines section of the website for additional information.

Each year the program receives approximately 150 applications. On average, we offer acceptance to approximately 30%. Our incoming class is typically 18 – 20 students, comprised of 14 positions available in the GCPD (MS/GCPD, MPH/GCPD, or PhD/GCPD), those who choose to pursue a master’s degree without becoming a Registered Dietitian, and PhD students.

A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater for the final 90 quarter credits or 60 semester hours is an expectation for graduate study at the UW. This is a requirement of the UW Graduate School and the policy is outlined on the Minimum Admissions Requirements page.

Volunteering can be a great way to learn more about the field and may help you prepare more impactful application materials. However, our admissions committee values “real-world” employment/work experience, regardless of whether or not it is related to the nutrition field. Some of our strongest students have come from different fields including communications, public affairs, marketing, aquatics, research, food and event services and fundraising.

All application materials (including transcripts and recommendations) are submitted online. Applicants are asked to refrain from mailing materials, unless specifically instructed to do so.

Applicants who are admitted to the program and accept the offer of admission will be required to submit official transcripts (paper or digital) to both the UW Graduate School and NSP Office. Instructions will be provided at the time of admission.

Students who have previously been enrolled in another master’s degree will follow the same process as all other applicants.

While it may be possible to transfer in credits, no more than 6 quarter credits (4 semester credits) would be accepted and the credits must meet certain University requirements. If admitted to the program, transfer students can request a review of their prior coursework after starting the program. No decision to accept transfer credits will be made until after enrollment.

Program

The Nutritional Sciences Program offers a a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Science (MS), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)*.  Additionally, graduate students can combine their degree with an RDN training program, the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD), that provides the coursework and supervised practice required to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

Training in the application of nutritional sciences to dietetic practice is provided through didactic, clinical, and community experiences.

*From autumn 2020 through 2023, we are only accepting PhD applications from students who are currently enrolled in our master’s programs. The suspension of admission to outside applicants gives us the opportunity to review and revise our curriculum and improve student opportunities.

We offer a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health and a Nutrition minor.

The Food Systems major is not a clinical nutrition or dietetics degree and will not, alone, prepare students for that career path.

The Nutritional Sciences Option in the Public Health-Global Health Major leads to a Bachelor of Science degree by providing an organized pathway of courses for students that will help in their preparation for graduate studies in nutrition or dietetics, whether at the UW or with another Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) accredited graduate program.

No.  Our graduate program is a full-time, day program held on the Seattle UW campus. There are universities that offer distance learning programs and they are listed on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

A full-time load is 10 credits. MPH students usually take around 15 credits, which means 15 hours of class-time during the week. If you estimate at least 2 hours of outside work per hour of in-class work, you will have a full schedule.

A lot of our students do work part-time but holding down a full-time job and completing a master’s degree program is difficult, if even possible.

Costs and Funding

Tuition and fees are established by the University of Washington. You may review the residency website for more information on residency classification.

Though financial assistance through the Nutritional Sciences Program is limited, students who have already been accepted to the program may be eligible for assistantships, scholarships, or other financial assistance. International students, however, must show proof of financial ability before enrolling.

Current master’s and doctoral students are eligible to apply for several teaching assistantships and scholarships offered by the Nutritional Sciences Program. There are a limited number of competitively awarded research assistantships that are typically awarded to the top PhD applicants to provide support during the first year of studies while they work to identify a faculty advisor and pursue options for continued funding. Our students are also eligible to apply for and have been successful in obtaining support from training grants and fellowships offered within the School of Public Health and the University of Washington, including several training grants in Maternal and Child Health. Additionally, our students have been successful in obtaining scholarships from outside organizations such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Washington State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Funding opportunities are publicized to all enrolled students as they become available each year. See Costs & Funding for more information.

Other

Students pursue jobs in public health and nutrition research; clinical dietetics (neonatal, pediatrics, adult); local, state, and U.S. government funded nutrition programs; home health care; food and supplement industry; consulting practice (business, private); corporate wellness; and sports performance. Median annual earnings of dietitians and nutritionists was $59,410 in 2017. Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook for more information about a career in nutrition and dietetics.

Graduates of the program work as research coordinators in the Center for Public Health Nutrition, the Hunger Intervention Program (Program Manager), Washington Physicians Health Program (Research and Communications Coordinator), Highline Medical Center (On-Call Dietician), and Harborview Medical Center (clinical dietitian, Patient Food Services Manager), to name a few examples.

Reach out to advising for assistance with questions about the graduate program, the application process, and information about transcripts or prerequisites.

Students can request to take classes with non-matriculated (NM) status. The process is outlined here: Register as a NM Student | University of Washington Non-Degree Enrollment – Seattle (uw.edu). Keep in mind, credits earned with NM status are not able to be applied to a graduate-level degree.

The UW Graduate School does allow for students to have Graduate Non-Matriculated status. If you are interested in pursuing this option through nutritional sciences, please contact our office at gradnutr@uw.edu.