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 Graduate Resource Links

Graduate Programs


Prior to making a formal application we suggest that you review the School’s faculty {Directory:Faculty by Area of Interest} to see if their research is compatible with your interest. In addition you can discuss the availability of research or teaching assistantships. Financial assistance is very competitive basis and each professor determines the availability of space and financial assistance for graduate students in their program. If you decide to apply, the following materials must be submitted to the Graduate School:

Applications will not be processed until all required materials have been submitted. All application materials become the property of the University and cannot be returned.

One set of official transcripts of all previous college or university work from each institution attended. Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institution(s). If the college or university will supply you with an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope, you are to obtain the transcript in that manner and submit it unopened. If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the Graduate School at the following address. Original transcripts should be mailed to the Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803.

  • Transcripts from LSU, Baton Rouge, need not be submitted.

  • International applicants: Include degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document.

Appropriate test scores sent directly to the Graduate School by the appropriate testing service (The LSU code for ETS reporting is R6373-5).

Test Scores: One or more of the following official test score reports must be sent directly from the testing agency to the Graduate School at the address shown above. Reporting test scores yourself on the Application for Admission form, though considered unofficial, can speed the processing of your application for admission and for assistantship or fellowship consideration.

  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test: Required for all applicants

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS): Required for international applicants from countries other than United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, or certain Caribbean Islands. If you have a degree from a U.S. college or university or a degree from any of the listed countries, you are exempt from this requirement.

You must have a TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based test; 213 on the computer-based test; or 79 on the internet-based test for admission. Alternatively, the score required for IELTS is a minimum of 6.5.TOEFL test scores should be sent directly to LSU by Educational Testing Service. Please write to the Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000, or call (609) 771- 7670 for information about sending official score reports.

The LSU code is R-6373-5. IELTS test scores should be sent directly to LSU by IELTS.


Applications for graduate admission must be accompanied by a NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE application fee (via credit or debit card). Additional late fees, where applicable, are assessed for applications submitted after the noted deadlines.

Applications can be submitted at any time, but if you wish to receive full consideration for all scholarships and fellowships, fall semester applications must be received by the January 1 priority date. Applications received after that date can be considered for any financial assistance that remains. Contact the graduate adviser in your program for additional information on departmental deadlines. Please click here to confirm the deadlines and application fees.

* International applications received after the deadline will be automatically processed for the following semester or summer term. There are no late fees associated with the January 1 priority date for full consideration for assistantships and fellowships.


Graduate students are responsible for reading and knowing the policies, rules, and regulations of the University and the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences found on the LSU website, the General Catalog, the Graduate Bulletin, and this School handbook. Each graduate student is responsible for following the LSU Code of Student Conduct, policies on Academic Integrity, safety rules, Policy Statements (PS) of LSU, and Presidential Memoranda (PM) of the LSU System. Additionally, students should know the policies and regulations of the LSU Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) when conducting their research.

It is especially important that graduate students follow the schedules and deadlines contained in the resources in the previous paragraph for their protection and for completion of their graduate degree in a satisfactory and timely manner. The information in this handbook is intended as a guide to supplement the information in other resources and will not answer all questions which may arise. Additional information can also be obtained by the student from the Major Professor, School of Nutrition and Food Sciences Graduate Programs Advisor, and the Graduate School, in that order of communication sequence.

The following definitions are some basic terminology of graduate studies.

Graduate Programs Advisor:
Serves as the initial point of contact for all students, instructs students and faculty about Graduate School policies and procedures, serves as the liaison between the Graduate School and the School, maintains graduate student records, and serves as the chair of the School’s Graduate Committee.
Dr. Erin McKinley
Assistant Professor
Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics
Graduate Programs Advisor
285 Knapp Hall
phone: 225-578-1631
email: emckinley1@lsu.edu

Graduate Faculty (Ph.D.):
Graduate faculty members are either on a tenure track, have completed the tenure and promotion process or have been appointed to the graduate faculty because of having particular expertise. Graduate faculty will generally be assistant, associate, or full professors. Faculty members from other campuses, such as the LSU AgCenter, Pennington Biomedical Center or LSU Health Sciences, and other institutions require approval from the Graduate School for appointment to graduate faculty. A full graduate faculty member is one who has completed the tenure and promotion process and is an associate or full professor.

Graduate Program Committee:
Members of the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences graduate faculty members who make recommendations to the Director and School graduate faculty members on policies, procedures, and standards for graduate education, graduate course and graduate programs in nutrition and food sciences.

Major Professor/Advisor:
The chair of the Graduate Advisory Committee who bears the major responsibility in the day-to-day supervision of the student's research. This may be a full member or an associate member of the graduate faculty.

Graduate Advisory Committee:
The committee for each graduate student that advises on coursework and research and supervises the Program of Study and research project for a graduate student on behalf of the Department. The Graduate Advisory Committee must have three faculty members for M.S. students and at least four for Ph.D. students, with at least two members from the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences of which at least one member must be a full member of the graduate faculty and one Dean’s Representative. Any declared minors or areas of concentration require representation on the Graduate Advisory Committee, either from among the first three (M.S.) or four (Ph.D.) members or by additional appointments. Minors also require approval by the Head of the Minor Dept and Minor representative. Members of the Graduate 3 Advisory Committee who are not either full or associate members of the graduate faculty must be appointed as affiliate graduate faculty members through LSU Graduate School approval procedures.

Examination Committee:
The Examination Committee will ordinarily be the Graduate Advisory Committee, with one additional member for doctoral committees assigned by the Graduate School to conduct General Examinations and Final Examinations of Theses or Dissertations. Examinations are open to other members of the faculty but without vote.

Program of Study:
A listing of the specific courses to be taken by the graduate student for their graduate degree. This is established by the student and approved by their Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee. Specific courses required of M.S. and Ph.D. students in nutrition and food sciences concentrations are in following sections. Additional courses required of a graduate student will depend on their academic background as well as their proposed research area and if there are declared minors or areas of concentration. The courses for each graduate student will be discussed and approved by the student's Major Professor and Graduate Advisory Committee. The student has the ultimate responsibility for the graduate academic program so it is important for students to establish their committees as early as possible, preferably during the first semester of graduate work. In addition to these courses, students may also be required to take English courses as determined by the Graduate School and the English Department, usually in the first semester

Dean’s Representative:
(Ph.D. only): The Dean of the Graduate School appoints an outside member to the Graduate Advisory Committee to ensure that the general and final examinations are conducted properly and in a manner consistent with maintaining program quality, and that students are questioned and treated fairly. The Dean’s representative is a full voting member of the committee.

Practicing Dietetics in Louisiana:
The State of Louisiana has a licensing law for the practice of dietetics. At this time only RDs (RDNs) can obtain a license to practice dietetics in Louisiana. Therefore, students need to refrain from providing nutrition/diet advice to individuals since students violating this law will be referred to the Licensing Board. In addition, since providing such advice is a violation of Louisiana law, this is a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. If you choose to violate this law, under no circumstances, should you identify yourself as being an LSU student, since LSU does not condone this practice. If you have any questions about this, please contact Dr. O’Neil, who, in addition to directing the Didactic Program in Dietetics, is also the Consumer Protection Coordinator for the State of Louisiana.

Degree Programs

Master of Science (MS)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

revised: 24-Feb-2022 10:43