Graduate Study



Applicants to the Master of Public Health in Public Health Nutrition apply through both the UW Graduate School and SOPHAS.

Applicants to the Master of Science (MS) in Nutritional Sciences apply through the UW Graduate School only.

Applicants to the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD) (RDN training) first select a degree program within the UW Graduate School application and/or SOPHAS (MS or MPH) and then indicate that they are also applying to the GCPD. The GCPD does not take part in the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System (DICAS).

Admissions information for all programs is available on our Apply page.

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

The Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program 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 your UW Graduate School application and show as received in your Application Checklist (applicant dashboard). However, consideration of GRE scores is no longer part of the review or decision process for the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health 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

Applicants may still apply with a few prerequisites outstanding if they can be finished before the start of autumn quarter. (All prerequisites must 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 our website for additional information.

Each year the program receives approximately 125-150 applications, and we offer acceptance to approximately 16-20%. 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 Nutritionist, and PhD students.

A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater for your 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 it’s related to nutrition. Some of our strongest students have come from completely different fields including communications, law, public affairs, marketing, accounting, research, food and event services, and fundraising.

All application materials (including transcripts and recommendations) are submitted online. Applicants are asked to refrain from send materials directly to the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program unless specifically instructed to do so.

Admitted applicants who accept their offers 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 been previously 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 by the UW Graduate School, and those credits must meet certain University requirements. If admitted to the program, transfer students can request a review of their prior coursework after matriculation. No decision to accept transfer credits will be made until after enrollment.


The Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program offers a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Nutrition, a Master of Science (MS) in Nutritional Sciences, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nutritional Sciences*. Any of those programs can integrate the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD), which 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.

*We are accepting applications to our PhD program only from students currently enrolled in our master’s programs. Suspending admissions to outside applicants allows 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 UW Seattle campus. You can search for universities offering distance learning programs on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

A full-time schedule is 10 credits each quarter. 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.

Many of our students do work part-time, but holding down a full-time job and completing our master’s degree program is difficult, if not impossible.

Costs and Funding

Tuition and fees are established by the University of Washington. Please visit the UW Registrar’s Office website for more information on residency classification.

Though financial assistance through the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program is limited, students who have already been accepted to the program may be eligible for assistantships, scholarships, or other financial assistance. International students requesting an F1 student visa must show proof of financial ability.

Current master’s and doctoral students are eligible to apply for several academic student employee (ASE; teaching assistant, research assistant, and reader/grader positions) and scholarships offered by the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program. There are a limited number of competitively awarded research assistantships that are typically awarded to the top graduate applicants to provide support during the first year of study 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 found funding 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 our Costs & Funding page for more information.


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; the food and supplement industry; consulting practice (business, private); corporate wellness; and sports performance. The 2022 median annual earnings for dietitians and nutritionists in the Seattle-Tacoma area were $76,720, while the national median was $69,350. Visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 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.

Questions can be directed to Our calendar includes dates for information sessions and online advising sessions.

See the advising page for additional resources.

Students can request to take classes with non-matriculated (NM) status. Keep in mind, however, that credits earned while in NM status are not applicable toward a graduate-level degree.

The UW Graduate School does allow students to have Graduate Non-Matriculated status. If you are interested in pursuing this option through the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program, please contact our office at