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.
If you are interested in applying to the Experiential Track of the MPS in Nutritional Sciences, please note that there are separate application deadlines and requirements. Also note: to be eligible for the Experiential Track program, your undergraduate graduation conferral date must be before the start of the program which is the first day of classes. If you have questions or need clarification, please contact the program prior to applying.
What You Need
Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:
Official transcripts 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 their academic history. If you are admitted, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.
GPA and 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 explain 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. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.
References (3) — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names and email addresses of three references. 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.
Questions — You will need to answer questions on the application that indicate whether you are applying to the MPS in Nutritional Sciences with or without the optional Experiential Track. If you are interested in the Experiential Track, you will need to indicate your preference for geographic location for the in-residence supervised experiential learning semesters.
Résumé — Upload your résumé (no more than two pages) to the online application.
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.
Work/Volunteer Experience (for Experiential Track applicants only) — Documentation of 500 hours of work or volunteer experience completed within two years of application. (Of the 500 hours, 300 hours must be in a nutrition- or dietetics-related field.) You will be required to complete the Experiential Track of MPS Program (ExpMPS) - Supplemental Hours Form to document your experiences. This form will need to be uploaded with your Graduate School application.
DPD Verification Statement (for Experiential Track applicants only) — For students with a bachelor’s degree from an ACEND accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD), you will be required to upload your DPD Verification Statement with your Graduate School application.
Start Your Application
- Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
- Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
Checking Your Status
You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.