Interested in Nutritional Sciences?

The Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS) at the University of Illinois:

  • is consistently ranked as one of the top nutrition programs in the U.S. and has achieved an eminent record in research and graduate training.
  • facilitates degree programs designed to permit flexibility and enable individualized course work and professional training.
  • allows students to design an individualized program of study, based on their particular educational interests, career objectives and recommendations of their academic advisor and graduate committee.
  • offers outstanding interdisciplinary opportunities for graduate education and research

Request information about Nutritional Sciences

If you're ready to Apply

Prospective students should complete the Graduate College Online Application for admission. All supporting materials such as transcripts, letters of reference, personal statement, etc, should be uploaded directly to your online application.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact faculty members whose research interests are most compatible with the student's objectives and discuss the possibilities of initiating graduate study with that faculty member. This is an important part of the admission process as it is the practice of the Division of Nutritional Sciences to admit a student only when a faculty member has agreed to serve as the student's major professor and provide a research assistantship. An exception may be made for students with fellowship support who may choose to do a laboratory rotation their first semester.

Prospective graduate students may apply for admission to either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs. However, students with a bachelor's degree are accepted initially into the M.S. program even if the doctoral degree is their ultimate goal.

What do I need to include with my application?

The following materials are required for admission (all applicants)

Online Application for Admission into Graduate Programs, which will include the following:

  1. Non-Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. (Official transcripts will be required at time of admission)
  2. Letters of Recommendation: Three (3) supporting letters of recommendation must be received before the application can receive full consideration for admission.
  3. Non-refundable application fee.

The online application system will direct students to check with the department to which they are applying to determine if any additional information is required for your application. The Division does not have any additional program-specific questions and does not require any additional information beyond what you are asked to provide in your online application.

What is required if I am an international applicant?

English Proficiency: If your native language is not English (including U.S. citizens), you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test within two years prior to enrollment. Arrangements to take these exams should be made directly with either service (TOEFL examinationIELTS test). Information on minimum score requirements for admission can be found at the Graduate College website. You may be exempt from the English proficiency testing requirement if you have completed at least 2 years of full-time study in a country where English is the primary language, and in a school where English is the language of instruction, within five years of the proposed date of enrollment at the University of Illinois.

In addition and in response to the temporary closings of testing centers in countries impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic, the Graduate College will now temporarily accept Duolingo English Test examination results for tests taken between February 1, 2020 and August 1, 2021. The Duolingo English Test will be accepted as an alternative to TOEFL and IELTS for proof of English proficiency for impacted applicants. If submitting the Duolingo English Test, a minimum score of 105 will be required for admission. Students with scores between 105 and 124 will be required to take the English as a Second Language (ESL) English Placement Test (EPT)* upon arrival to campus. Please visit for more information.

In addition, depending upon your English proficiency test score, you may be required to take the English as a Second Language Placement Test (EPT) immediately upon arrival on campus. The Department of Linguistics administers this test. Applicants who score at or above the campus English proficiency test score for full status admission (see the Graduate College website) are not required to take the EPT. Candidates who have been accepted into Nutritional Sciences, but have English proficiency test scores below the score required for full admission will be enrolled on "limited status" in the Graduate College. No minimum EPT score is required for admission; however, based on test results it may be recommended that students enroll in ESL (English as a Second Language) 500 & 501. Upon satisfactory removal of the language deficiency, your status will be converted to "full", provided no further conditions have been placed on your admission.

Applicants applying for Teaching Assistantships must meet the University's oral English proficiency requirements by receiving an acceptable score on either the TOEFL or IELTS. Once on campus, international students who are prospective TAs must also pass the English Proficiency Interview (EPI), which is administered by the UIUC Center for Teaching Excellence.

View EPI Procedures

You may make arrangements for the TSE examination with the Educational Testing Service prior to coming to campus.

Financial Support for International Students

If you are not offered a research assistantship for your graduate studies, you must submit evidence that you have sufficient financial support for the length of your graduate study program. As part of your application, you will be required to download and complete the Declaration and Certification of Finances for Admission to the Graduate College (pdf).