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There are three ways to enter the Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Please see the options below for details:

Entry Point for Undergraduate Students to the Accelerated MS Program

The Fall 2024 accelerated program application is open. Apply now!

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0)
  • 61-63 credits are required to begin the program
  • Prerequisites
    Grade of C- (C for transfer), "1 course" = 3 credits minimum required  
    • Introduction to Nutrition, HRS 1006 or NUTR 1006**
    • Introduction to Dietetics, NUTR 1600+
    • Food and Culture, NUTR 1612+
    • General Chemistry 1 with lab, CHEM 0110
    • General Chemistry 2 with lab, CHEM 0120
    • Foundations of Biology 1, BIOSC 0150
    • Foundations of Biology 2, BIOSC 0160
    • Biology Lab, BIOSC 0057 or BIOSC 0058
    • Organic Chemistry, CHEM 0350, or CHEM 0310 and CHEM 0320
    • Biochemistry, BIOSC 1000**
    • Introduction to Microbiology, BIOSC 1850
    • Seminar in Composition*, 1 course
    • Writing Intensive, 1 course. Any "W" course.
    • Communications, 1 course. Oral communication preferred; other courses accepted.
    • College Algebra, MATH 0031 or higher math required. Exemption accepted.
    • Statistics, 1 course. STAT 0200, 1000 or 1100 required.
    • Social Sciences*, 1 course
    • Psychology, 1 course.
    • Business, 1 course. Any Business or Economics course.

*See the DSAS Catalog.  

**These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.

+These courses can be taken in the first year of the Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Suggested Prerequisite Schedule for Pitt Students

Application Requirements

  • Complete the application for admission by the March 1, 2024 deadline.
  • An essay addressing the following:
    • Self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills, and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian.
    • How have your experiences shaped your choice to enter a health care field, and how might these experiences contribute to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for colleagues and future patients?
  • Resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in a nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty.

Please note that admission to the program is competitive and meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee admission.

Entry Point for Post Baccalaureate Students to the MS Program

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0).
  • Verification of English Language Proficiency. Verification is required unless the following apply: 
    • the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English,
    • the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or 
    • the applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.  
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty.
  • Prerequisites must be completed for a letter grade; minimum grade of C. Coursework will be evaluated at time of application for equivalency to Pitt courses. Applications may be submitted while prerequisite coursework is in progress.
    • General Chemistry 1 with lab
    • General Chemistry 2 with lab
    • Foundations of Biology 1
    • Genetics or Foundations of Biology 2
    • Biology Lab
    • Organic Chemistry 1
    • Organic Chemistry 2
    • Biochemistry*
    • Introduction to Microbiology
    • College Algebra or higher math
    • Statistics
    • English Composition
    • English Writing
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Sociology/ Social Science/ Humanities
    • Psychology
    • Introduction to Nutrition*
    • Introduction to Dietetics+
    • Food and Culture+

*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
+These courses can be taken in the first year of the Dietitian Nutritionist Program.

Application Requirements

  • Complete the GradCAS application. 
  • Submit the application fee of $50 (U.S.).
  • A self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian. 500 words max.
  • A resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required.
  • One letter of recommendation from a registered dietitian, a supervisor in volunteer or work experience or a college professor. The letter should address the applicant's academic, professional and personal attributes, potential for meaningful graduate study, and should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service.
  • Self-evaluation prerequisite worksheet
  • Transcripts from all U.S. colleges and universities attended. 
  • A course-by-course evaluation with GPA conversion for all higher institutions attended outside the US. The evaluation may be from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Inc.
  • All admitted students will be required to provide official transcripts and/or credential evaluations to the SHRS Admissions Office prior to enrolling in classes.

If applicable:

  • Request official English Language Proficiency test scores from one of the following options. Minimum scores accepted follow:

Application Deadline

March 1.

Entry Point for DPD Graduates to the MS Program

Admissions Timeline

  • September 18, 2023 – GradCAS application opens.
  • January 2, 2024 – Application review begins.
  • March 1, 2024 - GradCAS application deadline*.
  • April 9, 2024 – Admitted student deadline to accept/decline their admissions offer.

*Students may be permitted apply to the Dietitian Nutritionist program after the application deadline, if space is available. Contact SHRS enrollment specialist Haley Ellison for more information.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • Completion of a Didactic Program in Dietetics from an accredited institution.
    • Statement of verification is required; exemption of prerequisites can be discussed by contacting our enrollment specialist.
  • Minimum cumulative and prerequisite GPA of 3.0 (based on 4.0).
  • Verification of English Language Proficiency. Verification is required unless the following apply: 
    • the applicant is a citizen of a country whose official language is English,
    • the applicant has completed a degree program at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S., or 
    • the applicant is not a citizen of a country whose official language is English but has completed a degree program at an institution outside of the U.S. where the language of instruction is English and where the official national language of the country in which the institution is located is English.  
  • Personal interview with nutrition faculty.
  • Prerequisites must be completed for a letter grade; minimum grade of C. Applications may be submitted while prerequisite coursework is in progress. Statement of verification is required; exemption of prerequisites can be discussed by contacting our enrollment specialist.
    • Foundations of Biology 1 with Lab, 4 credits
    • Genetics or Foundations of Biology 2, 3 credits
    • Human Physiology, 4 credits
    • Introduction to Microbiology, 3 credits
    • General Chemistry 1 with Lab, 4 credits
    • General Chemistry 2 with Lab, 4 credits
    • †Organic Chemistry, 3 credits
    • *Biochemistry, 3 credits
    • Communications, 3 credits
    • Business or Economics, 3 credits
    • Humanities or Social Science, 3 credits
    • Introduction to Psychology, 3 credits
    • English Composition/Writing, 6 credits 
    • Algebra, 2–4 credits
    • *Introduction to Nutrition, 3 credits
    • Introduction to the Profession of Dietetics, 1 credit
    • Food and Culture, 3 credits
    • Nutrition Assessment, 3 credits
    • Nutrition Education, 3 credits
    • Nutrient Metabolism, 3-6 credits
    • Food Applications with Lab, 4 credits
    • Food Service Management, 3 credits
    • Life Cycle Nutrition, 3 credits
    • Nutrition Therapy, 3 credits

*These courses need to have been completed within the past five years.
†CHEM 0350 (3 cr.) offered each Spring Term will satisfy the Organic Chemistry requirement. Students who do not take CHEM 0350 must take OCHEM 1 & 2 (6 cr.).
+Genetics is preferred; however, a Biology 2 course with a strong genetics component will fulfill the requirements.

Application Requirements

  • Complete the GradCAS application.
  • Submit the application fee of $50 (U.S.).
  • A self-evaluation essay, discussing strengths, skills and experiences that will contribute to success in the program and your professional goals as a registered dietitian. 500 words max.
  • A resume demonstrating evidence of adequate exposure to the field of dietetics and an appreciation of the breadth, depth, and scope of practice. This can be accomplished through either volunteer or paid work experience in nutrition and dietetics related settings; there is no minimum number of hours required.
  • One letter of recommendation from a registered dietitian, a supervisor in volunteer or work experience or a college professor. The letter should address the applicant's academic, professional and personal attributes, potential for meaningful graduate study, and should speak to your leadership experience and commitment to service.
  • Self-evaluation prerequisite worksheet
  • Transcripts from all U.S. colleges and universities attended.
  • A course-by-course evaluation with GPA conversion for all higher institutions attended outside the US. The evaluation may be from World Education Services (WES), Inc. or Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE), Inc.
  • All admitted students will be required to provide official transcripts and/or credential evaluations to the SHRS Admissions Office prior to enrolling in classes.

​If applicable:

  • Request official English Language Proficiency test scores from one of the following options. Minimum scores accepted follow:

Application deadline

March 1. 

Prerequisite Self-evaluation Worksheets

Essential Program Standards

All candidates and graduates must possess the essential physical, cognitive and behavioral abilities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies of an entry-level dietitian. Candidates with disabilities will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The following link provides detailed information on essential program standards

Clinical Clearances

Please note that this program requires students to complete portions of their education (e.g., supervised practice experiences) at facilities external to the University to meet requirements for graduation. Many of these external facilities require screening measures such as, but not limited to, criminal background check, child abuse clearance, health appraisal, fingerprint-based background check and/or drug test prior to placement at the facility. The results of these requirements may limit and potentially eliminate placement options for the student which can, in turn, result in an inability to meet graduation requirements. Additionally, conviction of a misdemeanor, felony, or felonious or illegal act abuse may prevent the student from becoming credentialed and/or licensed to practice in the field.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Supervised Practice/Experiential Learning

The University of Pittsburgh requires that all affiliates on all campuses be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved exemption. This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and postdocs. This program also requires students to complete clinical education at facilities external to the university. Many SHRS clinical partners require employees, trainees and students to be compliant with the federal vaccination requirement. This includes providing proof of vaccination or exemption to the clinical site. Failure to comply with this requirement for clinical partners may preclude the student from completing the clinical requirements of this program. Some of our clinical partners will not permit students to complete clinical rotations without proof of vaccination and will not accept exemptions.

The University of Pittsburgh, as an educational institution and as an employer, values equality of opportunity, human dignity, and racial/ethnic and cultural diversity. Accordingly, the University prohibits and will not engage in discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or a veteran of the Vietnam era. Further, the University will continue to take affirmative steps to support and advance these values consistent with the University's mission. For information on University equal opportunity and affirmative action programs and complaint/grievance procedures, contact the Office of Affirmative Action, 901 William Pitt Union, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, 412-648-7860412-648-7860.

The Dietitian Nutritionist Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, (ACEND@eatright.org), phone (1-800-877-1600 or 1-800-877-1600 x5400), or mail (120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2190, Chicago, IL 60606-6995).