Frequently Asked Questions

Click each question below for details.


No. Applications are reviewed year-round, and, if admitted, students may begin their graduate studies Fall semester (August), Spring semester (January), or Summer semester (May). However, the Graduate School requires at least one month between admission and the start date for domestic students and at least 3 months for international students. Further, the application review process takes at least one month. Thus, applicants from the U.S. are encouraged to submit a completed application packet to the university at least 3 months prior to the desired start date and international applicants are encouraged to submit a completed application packet to the university at least 5 months prior to the desired start date. To be considered for a graduate assistantship (see questions #10-13), applicants are encouraged to have a completed application submitted before March 1 for Fall admission.

To apply to the Graduate Program in Nutrition (MS or PhD program), students must complete the following:

  • Complete and submit an online application form www.grad.auburn.edu
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit official transcripts and official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. These should be submitted to the Graduate School, 106 Hargis Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849. USA
  • Make arrangements to submit 3 letters of reference
  • Submit a copy of your resume and statement of purpose

International applicants: In addition to the above, international applicants must also submit official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores to the Graduate School, 106 Hargis Hall, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

Reference letters are submitted online. A person writing the reference letter will receive official communication from the Graduate School, asking the person to submit the reference letter for the student.

Yes. Applicants interested in a Master's degree or PhD in the area of nutrition must take the GRE General Test. Auburn University's ETS institution code is 1005.

Scores must be no more than 5 years old.

Yes. Auburn University will accept either TOEFL or IELTS scores. If you received a Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited university in the United States, whose instruction is in English, then the requirement for TOEFL or IELTS is waived.

TOEFL scores of at least 550 on the written test; 213 on the computer-based test; 79 on the internet based test with 16 in each section; or IELTS scores of at least 6.5 are required by the Graduate School.

Successful applicants for the Master's program have at least a 2.75, but more often a 3.0 or better GPA, on all undergraduate course work from an accredited U.S. institution. Successful applicants for the PhD program have at least a 3.0 on all graduate course work.

No. Applicants with a Bachelor's degree will be reviewed only for admission into the Master's program. Once in the Master's program, students may apply to be considered for the PhD program.

Yes, but the departmental assistantships are very competitive. There are a few teaching assistantships which are generally awarded to applicants with a Master's degree who are beginning the PhD program. There are also a few graduate research assistantships awarded to both Master's and Doctoral students. Most assistantships are available to students wishing to begin graduate studies in the Fall semester.

Click here to download the form. Mail the completed assistantship application form to Dr. Ramesh Jeganathan, PhD, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Nutritional Sciences 260 Lem Morrison Drive, 101 Poultry Science Bldg., Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

No. Only applicants admitted to the graduate program are considered for assistantships.

Graduate assistants are most often awarded a 25% time assistantship; a person on a 25% time assistantship is paid to work 10 hours per week. Graduate assistants on at least a 25% time assistantship also receive a tuition waiver. However, the tuition waiver does not pay some of the university fees; these fees must be paid by the graduate student. For additional information on Graduate Assistantships see www.grad.auburn.edu and the Auburn University Bulletin under Graduate Assistantships available at www.auburn.edu.

Yes, 6 semester credit hours taken as part of a graduate program at another university are allowed to be transferred into the department's Master's degree program if the student's graduate program committee approves. For the doctoral degree, master's degree course work may be accepted with approval from the graduate program committee. However, at least 18 semester hours must be earned as a graduate student at Auburn University in graded graduate course work. Further, credit will only be allowed for course work in which a grade of B or higher is earned. See the Auburn University Bulletin under Transfer of Credit from Other Institutions available at www.auburn.edu for more information.

Once a completed application packet has been received and reviewed by the graduate admissions committee within the Department of Nutritional Sciences, the graduate program director notifies the Graduate School of the committee's decision. The Graduate School will then review the decision of the committee and notify the applicant via email and/or by mail.

The Master's degree programs with the thesis option require 30 credit hours and generally take 2 years to complete depending on the nature of the research/thesis topic. The Master's degree programs with the non-thesis option require 33 credit hours and generally take one to 1.5 years.

No. However, the applicant is strongly encouraged to review research being conducted by Department of Nutritional Sciences faculty to enable the applicant, if admitted, to engage in an area of research that is of interest to him/her. Faculty research information may be found at this link.

Yes. All graduate work towards a Master's degree must be completed within a period of five calendar years. Doctoral students have four calendar years after admission to candidacy to complete all remaining requirements for the doctoral degree program.

Yes. Students can choose to complete their course work required for the Master's program in Nutrition entirely via distance education (online), or choose a mix of online and face-to-face classes. For details, regarding the online MS program in Nutrition, click this link.

Yes. You can defer your admission to the graduate program for up to 1 year. For additional information on graduate studies, the applicant is directed to the Graduate School web site at www.grad.auburn.edu and the Auburn University Bulletin (see the section titled the Graduate School) available from www.auburn.edu.

To be considered for the Master's degree program in nutrition, applicants need to have taken at the undergraduate level at least 2 semesters of inorganic / general chemistry (with labs), one semester of organic chemistry (lab not required), one semester of general biology (with lab), 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology (with labs), one semester of a basic nutrition course, and, ideally, but not required, one semester of biochemistry.