All supporting materials (transcripts, letters of reference, personal statement, etc.) should be uploaded directly to the online application.


All Food Science and Human Nutrition degrees are STEM-designated programs.

Food Science and Human Nutrition Graduate Applicant Requirements

  • GRE is not required for any applicant. *
  • Minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0)
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of professional interest
  • Non-English speaking applicants should submit TOEFL/IELTS scores with their application materials. View COVID-19 admissions impacts.
    • Minimum acceptable score requirements are available on the Graduate College website. *If your internet-based test TOEFL score is between 79-102, you can still be admitted, but on limited status, as per the rules of the University of Illinois Graduate College. Students who remain on limited status are not eligible for financial support from this institution.
  • If you are applying to a thesis-based M.S. or Ph.D., you must find a faculty member willing to train and serve as your major professor before you can be accepted into the Department. This is not a requirement for non-thesis programs.
    • Although applications will be posted for faculty to review, we suggest that applicants take a proactive role by directly contacting faculty members with whom they would be interested in working. A full list of graduate faculty advisors and their research areas is available on the graduate advising faculty page.

Food Science and Human Nutrition does not require additional information beyond what is required through the online application, but applicants should include a brief phrase that describes their research focus in the ‘other specialization’ section of the application.

*GRE OPTIONAL:  The GRE is no longer a requirement of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Graduate Program.  Applicants may upload GRE scores to their application for consideration but the GRE is not required to apply.

Application Deadlines

Although most of our graduate students enter into the program in the fall, students may begin their graduate programs during the fall (August), spring (January).

  • Fall Admission
    • for full consideration of a Fellowship, all application materials must be received by - December 15
    • Application deadline without consideration for a Fellowship - May 15
  • Spring Admission - October 1

Pre-requisite Suggestions

Students with undergraduate degrees in the sciences (chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, chemical engineering, nutrition, food science, etc.) have generally already taken the prerequisite courses for our first year graduate-level classes. If you have a non-science background and are interested in food science, before applying you should take courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physics, statistics, and calculus. Students interested in nutrition should take courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physiology, and statistics before applying.

International Applicants

Since we have a large number of international applicants each year, admission is very competitive. We only admit a few international students each year. International students who have attended an English-speaking university and/or who come to visit our campus generally have a better chance for admission.

Please use the following codes when submitting test scores using Educational Testing Service (ETS):  TOEFL (international students) and optional GRE scores (ETS codes: UIUC-1836, Department-00).

Program Codes

  • 10KS0037MS Food Science and Human Nutrition MS
  • 10KS0037PHD Food Science and Human Nutrition PHD