Admissions Requirements

A summary of Nutritional Biology Graduate Group (GGNB) program admissions requirements are listed here.  All campus admissions requirements and policies must also be followed by all applicants.  Please refer to for campus policies.

The primary requirements for admission into this program are:

  1. Evidence of intellectual achievement and potential for successful graduate study.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
  3. A Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent degree) with prior course work comparable to the GGNB prerequisites listed below.

GGNB Suggested Coursework 

GGNB suggests the following courses and/or equivalents from UC Davis be taken in preparation for graduate study in Nutritional Biology. Descriptions of these courses are found in the UC Davis General Catalog. Applicants should reference this catalog and compare the courses they have taken in their own undergraduate studies for an indication of adequate preparation for success in our graduate program.

A limited number of deficiencies in these areas can be made up after admission to the graduate program. However, these make-up courses do not count towards graduate degree unit requirements. UC Davis lower division courses (numbers under 100) are not eligible for any graduate credit for graduate students if taken while enrolled in the graduate program.

  • General Biochemistry: Biological Sciences 102, 103 or Animal Biology 102, 103
  • General Chemistry: Chemistry 2A, 2B, 2C
  • Organic Chemistry: Chemistry 8A, 8B
  • Mathematics: Six units including a course in Statistics (Statistics 13 or Agricultural Systems and Environment 120)
  • Nutrition: Nutrition 111AY, Animal Biology 102, 103
  • Physiology: Mammalian or other advanced course at a level that assumes prerequisite knowledge in biology (Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior 101)

Highly Recommended:

  • Calculus: Math 16A, 16B, 16C
  • General Physics with lab: Physics 7A, 7B

Required Application Materials

  1. Apply online – there is a nonrefundable application fee for admission of $135 (U.S. applicants) or $155 (International applicants).  Fee waivers are not offered at the program level.  The Office of Graduate Studies offers limited fee waivers at the campus level and details can be found at 
  2. Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically through the online application. Instructions will be provided to you when you apply online.
  3. Applicants whose native language or language of instruction is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores unless they have earned or will be earning a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from either a regionally accredited U.S. college or university or a foreign college or university which provides instruction solely in English. See the English Language Requirement section of the website for details. The minimum score required for admission to graduate study at UC Davis is 80 for the Internet-based test, or an overall 7.0 band score on a 9.0 scale on the IELTS.
  4. If you are an international applicant, consult the information for international students for specific requirements pertaining to your admission.

Application Procedure

  • Admission to the graduate program is generally open for the Fall Quarter only.
  • It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all application materials are submitted online by the published deadlines.
  • Master's Plan I and PhD applicants are expected contact individual faculty members whose research interests are most compatible with the student’s objectives and discuss the possibilities of  initiating graduate study with that faculty member.  Master's Plan II applicants do not require a major professor.
  • Prospective graduate students may apply for admission to either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs. Students with a bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply for the Ph.D. program if that is their ultimate goal. Generally, there are more funding sources available for Ph.D. students than for M.S. students.
  • Currently enrolled UC Davis graduate students may apply for admission/change of degree objective to either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs via an internal process by contacting the graduate programs adminsitrator.  These changes should be completed in the Fall or Winter quarters only while the admissions committee is active.


  • The Graduate Group in Nutritional Biology's Admissions Committee will evaluate the applications, along with the other required materials.
  • Applications of those considered admissible by the committee will be available for review by the faculty, including those you have specified.
  • Fellowships and scholarships are awarded on an annual cycle beginning in the Fall Quarter.
  • Research assistantships and teaching assistantships are also available throughout the various departments. Applications for departmental teaching assistantships can be obtained from the department office. Research assistantships are typically offered by faculty directly.
  • Other financial aid is available through loans, grants, and work-study. The Financial Aid Office can provide students with information and applications.
  • Graduate applicants who are US citizens or permanent residents or immigrants are required to file a "Free Application for Federal Student Aid" (FAFSA) as early as possible, as March 1 is the priority deadline. This application, submitted directly to the Federal Student Aid Program Officeis used to determine financial need. Financial need is a component of the eligibility criteria for many fellowships, and for all forms of financial aid, which is why it is required prior to any financial awards or aid disbursing to the student. The FAFSA may be obtained from any US institution of higher education or online.

Funding and Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office can provide students with information and applications. You are encouraged to apply for all forms of financial support for which you meet the qualifications. The Graduate Studies website also includes many financial resources.

Additional Sources of Information

 Information for prospective students is available online.

Information for International Students

The office of UC Davis Services for international Students and Scholars (SISS) assists international students in their pre-arrival preparation and issues the I-20 or DS 2019 document needed towards obtaining your student visa. They also provide immigration advice, financial information, general advising and counseling and host a variety of cross-cultural activities. If admitted to graduate studies at UC Davis, please go to the SISS website and access the information for newly admitted students.

Services for International Students and Scholars
(530) 752-0864
463 California Avenue, Ste. 3140
University of California One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

In conformance with applicable law and University policy, the University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, age, veterans status, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry or marital status; nor does the University discriminate on the basis of citizenship, within the limits imposed by law or University policy. The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Inquiries regarding the University's affirmative action/equal opportunity policies may be directed to Eleanor Fontes-Fulton, Director, Office for Campus Diversity and AA/EEO, 533 Mrak Hall, (530) 752-2071. Speech or hearing impaired persons may dial (530) 752-7320 (TDD).