Admissions Information

Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

The human nutrition and functional medicine (HNFM) department at University of Western States (UWS) houses the following programs:

  • Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (MS-HNFM)
  • Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine

These programs are offered as a collaborative endeavor between UWS and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), the organization that founded and developed many functional medicine concepts in use today. Functional medicine is a science-based, patient-centered approach to achieving and maintaining excellent health through natural methods, with diet and nutrition at the forefront. Founded on a holistic view of health, our functional medicine programs leverage the biochemical and genetic individuality of each patient so that practitioners can treat the whole person, not just the symptoms.

Our programs are 100% online and eligible for financial aid.

What do you need?


Prerequisite Entrance Requirements

Master of Science Program

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree (or foreign equivalent) or first professional degree.
GPA Requirements: Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. *Applicants with a GPA below 2.75 please contact admissions.

Required Prerequisite Courses (MS):

  • Biology
  • Physiology or Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry (Biochemistry is required to have been successfully completed within eight years of the start of your program. If your biochemistry coursework dates back longer than eight years, you may be required to complete a recent course for college credit. UWS offers a course in biochemistry to fulfill this prerequisite.)
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Terminology

*You must earn a C- or better on each of your prerequisite courses in order for the credits to count.

**There are a number of places to get your prerequisites done. Contact your advisor for recommendations.


Doctor of Clinical Nutrition Program

Minimum Education: Master’s degree or equivalent in human nutrition
GPA Requirements: Minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. *Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 please contact admissions.

Required Prerequisite Courses (DCN):

  • Macro-/micronutrients
  • Whole food nutrition
  • Nutritional supplementation
  • Meal planning
  • Functional medicine

*You must earn a C- or better on each of your prerequisite courses in order for the credits to count.

**There are a number of places to get your prerequisites done. Contact your advisor for recommendations.


Certificate Program

Minimum Education: Master’s or Doctoral degree in a health care discipline (DC, ND, MD, DO, NP, PA, etc.)
GPA Requirements: Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in your professional degree program/health care master’s *Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Required Prerequisite Courses (certificate):

  • Biology
  • Physiology or Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biochemistry (Biochemistry is required to have been successfully completed within eight years of the start of your program. If your biochemistry coursework dates back longer than eight years, you may be required to complete a recent course for college credit. UWS offers a course in biochemistry to fulfill this prerequisite.)
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Terminology

*You must earn a C- or better on each of your prerequisite courses in order for the credits to count.

**There are a number of places to get your prerequisites done. Contact your advisor for recommendations.


Technology Requirements: You must have access to a reliable computer, basic computer skills and a dependable connection to the internet.


Credit Conversion:

  • 1 quarter credit = .67 semester credits
  • 1.5 quarter credits = 1 semester credit
  • 5 quarter credits = 3.33 semester credits

How to Apply


Entry Terms and Application Deadlines

Entry Terms: fall, spring (DCN only has a fall entry)

Admission Deadlines: Applicants are encouraged to submit their application and all supporting documents sixty days prior to their intended start date. Listed below are the priority and final deadlines that may be helpful in planning your application submission.

Spring 2023

Priority Application Deadline – January 27, 2023
Final Deadline – February 10, 2023
Deposit Deadline – February 24, 2023
Classes begin April 10, 2023

Fall 2023

Priority Application Deadline – July 28, 2023
Final Deadline – August 11, 2023
Deposit Deadline – August 25, 2023
Classes begin October 9, 2023

Deadline Considerations:

  • Applicants with in-progress coursework will still be considered for admission and are asked to submit final transcripts upon course completion.
  • We understand that some applicants may be waiting on final grades from prerequisite coursework to submit final official transcripts after the final deposit deadline.
  • We require that students submit their entire application, supporting documentation and be successfully interviewed and deposited by the deposit deadline.
  • If you are unable to submit your application and materials by the final deadline, please contact the admissions office at [email protected] or 800-641-5641.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts: UWS requires official transcripts from all prior college and universities. Official transcripts should be mailed directly from those institutions to the UWS office of admissions. Our mailing address is: 8000 NE Tillamook St., Portland, OR 97213. UWS also accepts electronic transcripts from EScript-Safe and Parchment. Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded and attached to your application.
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Applicants are encouraged to use professional or academic references whom are most familiar with your former studies, academic interest and work.
  • Interview: A personal interview is required of all applicants. The UWS office of admissions will contact you directly to schedule a personal interview after your application and transcripts have been reviewed. Interviews may be completed either in-person or via Zoom video conference.
  • Two Essays: (250-500 words each): 1. Career goals; 2. Extracurricular/volunteer activities and what you have learned from them.  
  • $50 application fee
  • International applicants must also fulfill the international student admission requirements.