Deadlines and Important Dates
Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, must be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.
- November 15, 2017 for spring (2018) semester admission
- April 15, 2018 for summer (2018) semester admission
- July 15, 2018 for fall semester (2018) admission
For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.
Specifically, as an applicant to Penn State's online MPS in Nutritional Sciences program, you must have a bachelor's degree in nutrition, animal sciences, food science, dietetics, or a related biological/biomedical or health sciences discipline. In addition, our prerequisite undergraduate courses for admission include a 3-credit course in each of the following: organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology, an introductory nutrition course (equivalent to Penn State's NUTR 251), and one advanced nutrition course (higher level than introductory nutrition). A lab component is not required. Students must obtain a grade of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in each of these courses to be considered for admission. We encourage you to contact the program for more information about the prerequisites.
Start Your Application
You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.
Begin the Graduate School Application
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
- Choose "Nutritional Sciences" as the major
- Choose "Master of Professional Studies (MPS)" as the degree
Online Application Materials
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee.
You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Education — A copy of an official transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. Upon admission and your acceptance of admission, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA & Test Scores — postsecondary (undergraduate), junior/senior (last two years) GPA is required. Applicants should have a minimum grade-point average of 3.00.
GRE scores are required for admission to the Master of Professional Studies in Nutritional Sciences program. However, the GRE or other test scores may be waived for an individual on a case-by-case basis.
You may request a GRE waiver if you satisfy one of the following criteria. Please write a few sentences that explains which criterion you meet in the notes section of the graduate school application:
- 5+ years of full time professional work experience
- successful completion of a graduate degree
English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), with some exceptions. Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page.
References — You will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of three references from academic or professional work experiences. It is strongly suggested that one of your references is a professional work reference. Please note that if you choose to request a GRE waiver, a professional work reference must be obtained from someone who supervised you in the work environment. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete.
Personal Statement — Upload your personal statement to the online application. In your personal statement, state why you have the abilities, experiences, skills and knowledge to succeed in our program. Your personal statement should also demonstrate why you are a good "fit" for our program and why our program is a good "fit" for you. Please limit your statement to 1,200 words or fewer and use 12-point font, single-spaced format.
Please address the following questions in your personal statement:
- What are my professional goals in the field I have chosen? Elaborate on your future career plans and your motivation for pursuing your master's degree.
- What are my strengths and areas/skills that I want to improve upon?
- Why am I a good fit for this program?
Going beyond the details in your résumé, please share your unique story with us in your essay. Use the assignment to demonstrate strengths and skills that you are developing through your work/volunteer experiences. If you need writing assistance, many resources are available online to help you compose an effective personal statement.
Résumé — Upload your résumé (no more than two pages) to the online application.