Graduate Application Information & Requirements

Students admitted into the FSHN graduate program must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work or an appropriate MS program. Letters of recommendation and previous work experience are also weighed in the application review process. If an applicant meets our academic guidelines, one professor in FSHN must agree to act as major advisor for the student to be admitted. Therefore, not all qualified applicants can be admitted. Because of a recent change in policy, outstanding candidates may apply directly for the PhD program if they have obtained a BS degree. Decisions about direct admission into the PhD program will be made by the Graduate Affairs Committee.

Click here to apply to the FSHN Graduate Program

What You Need To Know Before You Apply

Decisions regarding acceptance is made following consideration of the applicant’s academic record, experience, personal qualifications and proposed program of study.  Admission to Michigan State University graduate programs is open to all candidates on the basis of: 1) academic preparation and ability and 2) availability of financial resources, laboratory facilities and faculty with willingness and space to take additional students in the desired area of study.

Admission is open without regard to race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, political persuasion, sexual preference, marital status, handicap, age, or (in the case of U.S. citizens or permanent residents) financial needs.

Contact a Faculty Member Before Submitting Your Application

Please note: We have a limited number of openings for students. Before filling out the applications and paying the application fees, contact faculty members in your specific area of interest to determine if there is a faculty member who has an opening and is willing to take you into their group. An agreement with a faculty member to serve as your major advisor upon admission is required for admission. Faculty contact information and areas of interest are available under Research.

Timing of Application

  • Fall enrollment applications are due: April 15th
    • Applications received by December 1 will be given priority review
    • Applicants are urged to apply by mid-Fall to be considered for any departmental funding, laboratory space and competitive University fellowships.
  • Spring enrollment applications are due: August 15th
  • Summer enrollment applications are due: January 15th   

Application Procedures

  1. Application Materials
    Upload the following application materials directly to the MSU Office of Admissions website: Application for Admissions to Graduate Study.
        • Transcripts
        • Personal Statement: Please address each of these areas in your statement:

          1. General background and life experiences (social, economic, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges) which motivated you to pursue this degree. These could be experiences inside or outside of the classroom that contributed to your desire to get a graduate degree. 
          2. This includes research experiences, specific coursework, or job experience related to the desired degree. 
          3. Please provide examples of experiences which show perseverance in the face of obstacles and/or experiences which demonstrate initiative. 
          4. Consider a time when a project you were working on failed. What was your response? How did you handle it? 
          5. Elaborate on other personal attributes that will contribute to your success in graduate school.

        • Academic Statement: Please address each of these areas in your statement:

          1. Please elaborate on your scientific interests and passions. 
          2. Which advanced degree you are pursuing? 
          3. Why you desire to pursue your advanced degree at MSU in the department of FSHN? 
          4. What will you contribute to FSHN? 
          5. What you think you might find most difficult about graduate school? 
          6. What opportunities for further development do you seek from FSHN? 
          7. What are you career goals and plans.

        • Test Scores: Due to cancellations of many international English language proficiency tests, MSU will be temporarily accepting the following tests for international students applying for fall semester 2023.
          • Duolingo English Test
          • IELTS Indicator
          • TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition

  2. Additional Information:
    • We accept photocopies of test scores in order to review applications, but we must receive official scores sent from the testing center, for students who receive an offer of admission to be admitted.
    • International applicants from non-English speaking countries are required to take either the TOEFL in order to have their application reviewed. Applicants from some English speaking countries may also required to present proof of English language proficiency.
      • Any questions regarding the university's minimum language proficiency requirements for English can be answered by the English Language; (+1) 517-353-0800.
    • We must have official transcripts from every university or college that you have ever attended. International applicants must include official transcripts translated into English. The official transcript should come from the degree granting University in a sealed stamped envelope. Please send to the Food Science & Human Nutrition Department.
    • If graduated with a degree, we also need a certification of graduation or degree granting diploma.
    • Chinese students must obtain verification of transcripts and graduation certificates from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). Students should send copies of their documents along with payment to CDGDC. The CDGDC verifies grades and degrees and then sends via carrier service directly to the FSHN Department. Please have documents sent to:

      Michigan State University
      Trout Bldg., FSHN Department
      469 Wilson Road
      Room 106
      East Lansing, MI 48824

      Please note that if you are admitted and have not received a degree granting transcript, you will also need to use this process again during your first semester at MSU.

  3. Recommendation Letters
    The MSU application process will prompt you to provide names and email addresses of your letter writers. The system will then send a request and link to them to upload a letter.
  4. Status of Application
    Check the status of your application to the graduate program. As soon as we receive your University Application and enter it into our database, a status page is created. The status page indicates what items we have received, and will also indicate a decision once it has been made.

The following codes are used to apply for graduate programs in FSHN:

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
0354 Food Science M.S.
0355 Food Science Ph.D.
0474 Food Science/Environmental Toxicology Ph.D.
5272 Human Nutrition M.S.
5273 Human Nutrition Ph.D.

International Applicants

We encourage international students to apply as early as possible because there is an extended waiting period for visa applications; preferably a year ahead of the semester they wish to enroll in.

Please visit the MSU Graduate School's page for international applicants for valuable information regarding degree equivalencies, English language requirements, and more.