“Nutrition is the science of food; the nutrients and the substances therein; their action, interaction, and balance in relation to health and disease; and the process by which the organism (e.g., human body) ingests, absorbs, transports, utilizes, and excretes food substances” (American Medical Association).

Students who study nutrition at the Friedman School are expected to have a basic familiarity with the vocabulary of human biology and/or the basic sciences.   

All degree programs at the Friedman School (except MAHA) require incoming students to have taken a one-semester, college-level course in either General Physiology (preferred), Biology, or Chemistry prior to their enrollment.  Elective versions of these courses are unacceptable. Eligible courses must include all of the following topics:


  • General Physiology course requirements: Course should include all of the following:  the structure and function of cells, tissues, and human organ systems. Lab not required.
  • General Biology course requirements: Course should include all of the following: basic biological chemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism and energy transformation, and genetics. Lab not required.
  • General Chemistry course requirements: Course should include all of the following: chemical bonds and structures, chemical reactions, thermodynamics, and states of matter. Lab not required.

Graduate Degree Programs

  • Agriculture, Food and Environment: undergraduate level course in biology and/or chemistry
  • Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition: undergraduate level courses in general nutrition, general biology, general chemistry (with lab), organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Food Policy and Applied Nutrition: undergraduate level course in biology and/or chemistry
  • Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance: Applicants must be midcareer professionals. Candidates must have significant field experience and have proven leadership qualities. Please note, if you are a native English speaker, passing a reading comprehension and an oral language exam is required in order to graduate. Non-native English speakers who were primarily educated in an English speaking environment may also be required to demonstrate their proficiency in a second language by completing a reading and oral foreign language examination.
  • Nutrition Communication: undergraduate level courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry and human physiology. Please note that the chemistry courses need to be taken sequentially and not concurrently.
  • Nutritional Epidemiology: undergraduate level courses in general nutrition, general biology, general chemistry (with lab), organic chemistry and biochemistry
  • Combined Detetic Internship/Master's Degree: Complete an accredited Didactic Program in Dietetics. Earn a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; a minimum university cumulative grade point average of 3.0 is required.
  • Master of Nutrition Science and Policy: undergraduate level courses in nutrition (Tufts offers a 6-week introductory nutrition course online every summer), general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology or physiology, and college-level mathematics.

Exempting from NUTR201 or NUTR202

All science and policy students enrolled in the Friedman School must take either NUTR201 – Fundamentals of Nutrition Science or NUTR202 – Principles of Nutrition Science to fulfill their degree requirements. (See Academics > Courses for when these courses are offered). 

Please note: NUTR201 is meant for policy students (FPAN, AFE, NutComm, and MPH). NUTR202 is meant for science students (BMN, EPI). Students required to take NUTR202 may not substitute NUTR201.

Students may petition to exempt from NUTR201 (policy students) or NUTR202 (science students) if they:

  • Majored in nutrition, dietetics, or food science as an undergraduate or graduate student
  • Are licensed or registered dietitians with a current valid certificate or license
  • Completed a comparable upper level undergraduate or graduate course elsewhere with a grade of ‘B’ or better. (Students will be asked to provide the course syllabus, textbook title/author/edition, and other course materials upon request). 

The Exemption from Requirement form is available under Student Life > Documents, Forms, and Policies

Non-degree/Special Student

Non-degree seeking students should contact the Admissions Office regarding prerequisite courses for individual Friedman courses.