Apr 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Graduate Studies

Life University provides a broad-based educational experience for our students.  Through the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and the College of Online Education, the University offers an accredited post-baccalaureate program and three Master’s degrees that will prepare students for careers in a variety of professional fields.

The post-baccalaureate dietetic internship program provides didactic and internship opportunities for students who aspire to achieve Registered Dietitian credentials.

The Master’s in Clinical Nutrition leads to careers in organizations such as physician’s offices, hospitals, schools, health clubs, nursing homes, and food companies in areas such as research, development, sales, marketing, public relations and public education. Nutrition professionals with a Master’s degree are often considered first for positions in specialty fields such as pediatrics, critical care, and geriatrics, as well as management positions.

The Master’s in Sport Health Science leads to careers in fields such as sports chiropractic, exercise science, athletic coaching, sports injury management, and performance nutrition.

The Master’s in Positive Psychology leads to careers in research, management, and leadership in business organizations, educational institutions, and governments, as well as health care. With two tracks covering coaching psychology and general positive psychology, students are prepared for careers in the field or advanced degrees of their choice.

The faculty and staff promote an atmosphere in which open communication and free exchange of ideas can flourish in a supportive environment.

Graduate Academic Programs

College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies

Division of Sport Health Science, Department of Nutrition

Clinical Nutrition, M.S.    

Division of Sport Health Science, Department of Exercise Science

Sport Health Science, M.S.   

College of Online Education

Master of Business Administration & Positive Leadership (MBA) (Offered Online Only)  

Positive Psychology, M.S. - General Track (Offered Online Only) 

Positive Psychology, M.S. - Coaching Psychology Track (Offered Online Only)  


Graduate Tuition and Fees

Current tuition and fees for Life University can be viewed on LIFE’s website.  Tuition and fees are set by the Board of Trustees every April. 

Policies and procedures for the Office of Student Accounts can be viewed in the Student Handbook.

Financial Aid Awarding Policy

The Financial Aid Awarding Policy SS.016 can be viewed in the Student Handbook. For information and details about financial aid, please visit EagleNet (eaglenet.life.edu), www.life.edu/financialaid or make an appointment with your Financial Aid Counselor. 

Life University endeavors to maintain student costs of education at the lowest possible level without sacrificing quality. Although every attempt is made to offer applicable government financial aid programs to the students, Life University remains a private, non-profit institution and receives no direct support from government funds. See Student Accounts Office policies. 

The University and its various divisions and departments reserve the right to modify and change requirements, rules and fees without prior notice. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress and Financial Aid

Effective July 7, 2011 (supersedes all former policies), Revised June 2, 2018 

The United States Department of Education and most agencies providing financial assistance require students to maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in their course of study to continue receiving funding. Failure to maintain SAP will result in the loss of Federal Title IV financial aid as well as State and Institutional aid. The student’s entire academic history is evaluated to determine whether or not he/she is maintaining SAP. This evaluation is not affected by whether or not aid was previously received or whether a student has changed programs. The Federal Student Aid program regulations make no provision for the concept of academic amnesty or grade forgiveness. 

The entire SAP Policy AS.024 can be viewed in the Student Handbook

Graduate Academic Policies

Students should refer to each degree program section for any additional requirements specific to their program(s) of interest and application.

Application Process

The application for admission to a graduate program may be accessed by visiting LIFE.edu and clicking on the “Admissions – Apply Now” link.

A student applying for graduate admission is required to submit the following materials to Life University’s Office of Enrollment:

  1. A completed application for graduate study accompanied by an application fee of $50.00 (The fee is non-refundable and constitutes part of the application file/record);
  2. Official transcripts from all of the applicant’s previously attended colleges/universities showing courses, grades, and anticipated or actual date(s) of graduation should be sent directly from the institution where the coursework was completed to Life University’s Office of Enrollment. Unofficial transcripts may be initially accepted for admission consideration. (International transcripts require an official international transcript evaluation conducted by an approved international evaluation service. These hours must be equivalent to courses taught at Life University. Equivalency is determined by the department); and
  3. A current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with 3 personal/professional references; and
  4. A Letter of Intent stating the student’s goals and objectives for pursuing the specific graduate degree at Life University; and
  5. Official test scores (GRE or MAT)* if applicable for your graduate program; and
  6. A signed Technical Standards Form for the applicable program.

Students should refer to each degree program page/site for any additional application, admission or program requirements specific to their program(s) of interest.

*GRE/MAT test scores are waived for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

Application Procedures for International Students

Life University is approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program to accept and enroll international students.

Application Materials

In addition to these materials, international students must meet the application and admission requirements for their intended, unique program of study.

  1. Complete the admissions application online.
  2. Submit official transcripts from all of the applicant’s previous college work should be sent directly from the institution where the coursework was accomplished directly to Life University’s Office of Enrollment. 

International students who received their BS, MS degrees, American students who have some classes taken outside of the United States must have a course-by-course or comprehensive evaluation with GPA and graduation date (if applicable) done either by the Foundation for International Services (FIS) https://www.fis-web.com/credential-evaluations/  and/or Spantran https://spantran.com/web/ evaluation companies that offer considerable discount for the evaluation and faster and convenient service if you use their application forms. Questions about the FIS or SpanTran evaluation forms should be sent at international@life.edu    

    3.  For international applicants/prospective students, Life University may also require a standardized assessment of English language competency (see related admission requirements). Testing options include:

  • OPTION 1: Duolingo English Proficiency Test results as a part of the international admissions process. A minimum score of 85 is required.
  • OPTION 2: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). A score of a 69 or higher on the Internet-based test.  TOEFL scores must be sent via the https://www.ets.org/toefl by accessing your account and selecting Life University/The Life University TOEFL code is 5358.
  • OPTION 3:  IELTS (International English Language Testing System). A minimum score of 5.5 on the IELTS is required. A paper report of the test scores must be ordered by accessing your account at https://www.ielts.org/en-us and send to this address:

                      Life University
                      Office of Enrollment
                      1269 Barclay Circle
                       Marietta, GA 30060

  • Note: The following category of international applicants are exempt from the English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement
    1. International students who have graduated from high school in the United States and/or its territories
    2. International students who have received SAT/ Reading/Writing Language sub score of 2; or, ACT-English sub score of 18
    3. International students who have taken 24 or more credit hours in an American college and/or have passed English Composition I, English Composition II or equivalent classes
    4. International students who have received a four-year degree from the United States
    5. Applicants from the following countries where English is official language are exempt from English language proficiency exam requirements: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Canada — except Québec, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), Ghana, Guam, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Micronesia Islands, Federated States of Montserrat, New Zealand, Nigeria, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Helena, South Africa, Scotland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales), Virgin Island, Zimbabwe

*Additional items may be required depending on the student’s program of interest

International Application and I-20 processing Deadlines

Life University recommends that all international students apply at least one year prior to their intended start date. International students must submit required application materials at least 60-90 days prior to the start of the quarter. The Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 will be issued after the receipt of the proof of funding and other relevant documents. Please see the I-20 processing deadlines here: https://www.life.edu/admissions-pages/international-student-enrollment

Criminal Record

All applicants must reveal whether they have a criminal record and cooperate by providing complete information for its review. A record of serious criminal convictions, particularly for a felony or where a minor is involved, may disqualify an applicant for admission and/or for licensure in most states. 

Application Schedule

All admissions requirements for the specific Master’s degrees should be met and all official documentation, including GRE/MAT scores, received by Life University’s Office of Enrollment 30 days (60 days for all international students) prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended matriculation or as of the specific application deadline as indicated above.

A student seeking admission to the Sport Health Science program may begin their course of study at Life University in any quarter as applications for admission are accepted quarterly throughout the year. Students seeking admission to the Clinical Nutrition program or Master of Positive Psychology program should follow the applications deadlines and guidelines as listed. 

Acceptance into the Master of Clinical Nutrition program or Master of Positive Psychology program is limited to Fall and Spring quarters of each year.  Application materials should be received by August 1 of each year for a Fall start date and by February 1 each year for a Spring start date. 

Admissions Process

For all categories of applications, admissions-related documents/data are maintained by Life University’s Office of Enrollment, according to Retention and Disposition of Records guidelines established by the University and related AACRAO guidelines. 

Recommendations for admission status are sent to the Graduate Admissions Committee. After review by the Graduate Admissions Committee, recommendations for admission status, including denial, are confirmed by the Assistant Dean of the respective degree programs in the College of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and approved by the Dean.

Study in the Graduate Program is comprehensive, challenging and demanding. Every student is expected to be a professional leader and an example of good character and goodwill in the community. The University has, therefore, set guidelines, standards, and requirements for graduate admission. 

Admission Requirements

A graduate student must have submitted the following materials and met the appropriate standards to be considered for admission in full standing:

  1. Submitted a complete application package to the Master’s program
  2. A prospective graduate student, for admission consideration, must possess, at a minimum, either a Bachelor’s degree or a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from a regionally accredited institution or institution nationally accredited by an agency recognized by USDOE. *See exceptions below.
  3. Minimum GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale during last 90 quarter or 60 semester hours
  4. Successfully completed program-specific prerequisite coursework.

Students should refer to each degree program page/site for any additional application, admission or program requirements specific to their program(s) of interest. 

*Students with an undergraduate degree and enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic Program at Life University may enter a graduate program providing they fulfill all other admission requirements.

Students enrolled in the Doctor of Chiropractic Program at Life University without an undergraduate degree may apply to the Master’s of Sport Health Science program upon completion of a total of 180 quarter or 120 semester hours. However, the master’s degree will not be awarded until the first professional degree or undergraduate degree is conferred.

Graduate Applicants Who Do Not Meet Full Admission Requirements

Any graduate applicant who does not meet the Full Admission requirements may be considered for Provisional Admission. Applicants may be considered for admission and may be admitted under provisional guidelines and required to fulfill requirements before and/or while attending.

Returning Graduate Students


Any previously admitted and enrolled graduate student who left in good standing and who has not been enrolled at Life University for less than 3 consecutive quarters must first petition for reactivation to the Registrar’s Office. This form can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office Forms website. Once completed, this form may be referred to the Admissions Committee and/or Dean of the College for evaluation.

Reapplication for Admission (Readmission)

If a previous graduate student remains out of school for three or more consecutive quarters or left Life University while not in good standing, that individual must submit a new admissions application to the Office of Enrollment (apply.LIFE.edu) and be reviewed by the Graduate Admissions Committee and/or the Dean of the College.  This requirement does not apply to Dual Degree students who are enrolled at Life University for consecutive quarters in either declared program, including those enrolled in the DC program. Students who “sit out” from one of their programs while enrolled in the second program will not need to complete the Readmissions Application.

If the student has attended other colleges or universities since studying at Life University, official transcripts must be submitted from those institutions. Unofficial transcripts may be initially accepted for admission consideration.

Admission Status

Accepted – Full: This status is assigned to each applicant whose completed record has been evaluated by the Office of Enrollment which subsequently recommends that the applicant meets the admission requirements and has submitted all required documentation. This recommendation is presented to the Admissions Committee and/or the Dean of the College. An applicant may be  accepted by the Committee and/or the Dean with no outstanding requirements or documentation.

Accepted – Conditional: Applicants who have met minimum admission requirements but who are unable to provide one or more of the required application materials may be admitted conditionally in some instances and required to submit satisfactory final documents/credentials before explicit deadlines provided.

Applicants will be designated as conditionally accepted pending receipt of official transcripts indicating completion of prerequisite coursework and/or other required documentation. In cases in which coursework is completed but delivery of official transcripts and/or test scores is pending, enrollment may be permitted. Upon completing conditions successfully, the applicant’s status will be converted to an updated admission status if all conditions are met on or before the first day of classes.

Accepted- Provisional:​ This status is assigned to each applicant whose record has been evaluated by Enrollment who subsequently recommends that the applicant does not meet the admission requirements for full acceptance. This recommendation is presented to the Admissions Committee and/or the Dean of the College. An applicant may be accepted by the Committee and/or the Dean with outstanding requirements.

Upon completing the provisions of acceptance successfully, the applicant’s status will be converted to an updated admission status if all provisions are met on or before the first day of classes.

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Accepted – Student-at-Large:

Student-at-large status is designed for students who wish to take a limited number of graduate courses that are related to their personal interest, academic or professional background. Students who do not necessarily want to receive a degree from Life University or who do not meet the requirements for full standing or provisional admission acceptance may apply for student-at-large status and, at a later time, apply for degree-seeking status. Students accepted under this status are not enrolled as degree seeking students in a graduate degree program and, therefore, do not qualify for financial aid.

  1. There is no limit to the number of hours that may be accumulated as a student-at-large, but hours may be limited as determined by the individual Graduate Program.
  2. If a student seeks to change the admission status from student-at-large, all required admissions materials must be submitted for review. It is the prerogative of the Graduate Admissions Committee and the Dean to accept or reject the application for graduate study.

NOTE:  International students seeking an F-1 academic visa status are not eligible to apply as non-degree-seeking students.

Offer of Admission Acceptance and Confirmation

An applicant admitted to Life University is expected to enroll in the academic program and the quarter for which they have applied and been admitted.  The admitted student may request to defer their start term within 3 quarters from the quarter for which they were originally accepted. The deferral request must be submitted in writing to the Office of Enrollment (Admissions) a minimum of 30 days prior to the start of the quarter for which they were originally admitted. The request can be submitted by email to the student’s enrollment representative via email or mail, specifying their name and original term of admission and specifying the term for which they wish to defer their enrollment as well as a brief description of the reason for the deferral.

  • Requests received after this timeframe are ineligible for consideration, and a new application must be submitted as well as any required documents and/or application processing fees.
  • An admitted applicant failing to give notice and secure prior approval of a deferral will be required to reapply for admission.
  • If a request to defer an admission is considered and accepted, the student will be held to the admission standards in effect during their actual entrance date.  Life University reserves the right to request any or all of the required admission materials, updated credentials or documentation, and/or application processing fees for reapplication.
  • In order to accept an offer of admission, confirm plans to enroll, and reserve a seat in the entering class, admitted students are required to submit the applicable enrollment deposit before the start of the term. (The required and established academic level deposit amounts are or will be posted on the terms and deadlines website.)
  • The enrollment deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable within 30 days of the quarter’s start date. Please note that the full amount of the enrollment deposit will be credited toward the student’s first quarter tuition bill.
  • The refund or transfer request can be submitted by email to the student’s enrollment specialist via email or mail, specifying their name and original term of admission and specifying the term for which they wish to defer their enrollment or their refund request as well as a brief description of the reason for the deferral or the refund.
  • Late applications (completed after published deadlines) that are considered for and earn admission may be required to submit the enrollment deposit within 7 days of the admission notification.

Denied Acceptance

This status is assigned to each applicant whose file has been deemed complete and evaluated by the Office of Enrollment, presented to the College’s Admissions Committee and subsequently denied acceptance by the Committee and/or the Dean of the College.

International Student Rules & Regulations

F-1 visa international student who voluntarily or involuntarily remains out of the program for five (5) consecutive months or more, for any reason, must apply for readmission through the Office of Enrollment and submit all the required admissions documents and a new bank letter, sponsor letter, and pay a new SEVIS fee for the Department of Homeland Security fee to obtain a new I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for an F-1 visa (I-20) from Life University.

F-1 visa international graduate students must register for a minimum of 9 credit hours every quarter as a part of the status compliance. Exclusions apply to students who are in their last two quarters. Questions must be addressed at international@life.edu

F-1 visa graduate international students are eligible to apply for off-campus internships within any program from the beginning of the program as soon as all the CPT requirements are met. Off-campus internships for F-1 students are governed by the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) rules. CPT is authorized and administered by the Director of the Department of International Programs (PDSO). F-1 students can be transient students at another college as soon as they are in a good standing with Life University and accepted at another college. Immigration records of international transient students remain active while they are taking classes outside U.S. college.

F-1 visa students are eligible for summer break after one academic year (three consecutive quarters) at Life University. Eligible F-1 visa international students must submit summer break forms to the Director of the Department of International Programs (PDSO) and follow the reactivation rules of the Registrar’s Office.

Satisfactory Academic Progress for F-1 visa international students

International students on an F-1 visa must maintain a GPA of 2:00 or higher. International students will lose legal status if their GPA falls below 2:00 within two consecutive quarters and no academic progress was made by the end of the third consecutive quarter. Such students will be issued Academic Warning (1st quarter), Academic Probation (2nd quarter), and Academic Suspension (3rd quarter).  If such an international student did not make academic progress and a GPA is still below 2:00 by the end of the 3rd quarter, the Department of International Programs will terminate his/her I-20 and issue a Notice to leave the country immediately.

Academic Progress and Degree Completion


  1. All graduate students will be advised each quarter by their assigned Academic Advisor.
  2. Once advised, Master’s students may register through EagleNet during their assigned registration time.

Course Loads

A course load of nine credit hours of graduate level work is considered full time. A graduate student may register for up to sixteen credit hours but may not exceed this limit.

Courses and Credits

Transfer of Credits

A student may be able to transfer up to 12 quarter hours (nine semester hours) of graduate credit (depending on program) earned from a regionally or nationally accredited institution. International credits may be considered based on the submission of official international transcripts and an official international transcript evaluation conducted by an approved international evaluation service. These hours must be equivalent to courses taught at Life University. Equivalency is determined by the department.

The following are required before transfer of credit from another institution will be considered:

  1. Evidence that courses are equivalent in content and quality to those given at Life University. It is up to the transferee to prove equivalency. Examples of evidence include college catalog, course description from class, syllabi, etc.
  2. An official transcript indicating that work has been completed with a grade of “B” or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from a regionally or nationally accredited institution.

See the Completion of Degree and Graduation section of this catalog for time and completion policies.

Transient Credit Work

Students who desire to take courses at other institutions must receive prior approval from the program coordinator and the assistant dean. Courses requested for transient credit will be examined to ensure that they are not a duplication of work already completed and that they are appropriate to the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. After review and approval by the program coordinator and assistant dean, the transient credit form will be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar.

Non-degree Credit

Life University also offers graduate-level courses, workshops and seminars for professional development, including the post-baccalaureate dietetic programs. Applicants may enroll if they have earned a bachelor’s degree. An official transcript of all college-level work should be submitted prior to enrollment in courses. (Students taking workshops are not required to submit official transcripts.)

Non-credit Coursework

Life University offers the opportunity for students to audit courses for no academic credit. Prerequisites must be met for all courses. Approval may be required by the program coordinator in the program area in which the course is offered.

Prerequisite Courses

All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of at least a “C” or better.

Grading Policy

Consistent with graduate level studies, all grades earned will be counted towards calculating the student’s GPA.

Withdrawal from the University

The Withdrawal from Life University Policy can be viewed in the Student Handbook.

Student Complaint Process

Concerning academic questions or complaints, the student should first go to the instructor involved. If questions are not satisfactorily handled or the complaint adequately handled, the student should go to the instructor’s immediate supervisor (the assistant dean). The next step in the student complaint process is for the student to go to the associate dean of the college in which the student is enrolled, and then to the dean of the appropriate college if needs are not satisfactorily met through the associate dean. If students wish to appeal the decision of the dean, they should contact the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will make the final decision.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

The Graduate Program is devoted to the discovery and communication of knowledge. In this endeavor, academic integrity is critically important and taken very seriously. Students within the program are expected to adhere to Life University’s Honor Code and Standards of Conduct.

Academic Freedom

Life University is committed to a learning environment where an inclusive, equitable and accessible educational community values the free and open exchange of ideas. Foundations of the academic community are the acquisition and communication of knowledge, cultivation of the creative and critical ideas, expression of those ideas. Academic freedom is of the highest value in the learning community.

Academic freedom pertains to students as well as faculty. Life University defines students’ freedom to learn as occurring where opportunities exist in the classroom, on the campus, and in the larger community. Both faculty and students should exercise their freedom with responsibility.

In affirming the principles of academic freedom and free expression described above, the University recognizes that its faculty and students are subject to applicable state and federal laws. In addition, faculty and staff are obliged to follow the Life University employee and faculty handbooks, which shall be consistent with this statement and the principles expressed herein.

Advancement to Candidacy

Admission to Life University does not imply advancement of a student to candidacy for a degree. Advancement to candidacy is contingent on the approval of the Assistant Dean of the department and the Dean of the College after the student has met the formal requirements and has demonstrated sufficient proficiency to attain the graduate competencies required for this degree. Advancement to candidacy requires:

  1. All acceptance (admission materials) requirements must be fulfilled;
  2. Successful completion of the area of concentration course work with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; and
  3. Successful completion of a thesis, written comprehensive examination, and/or departmental research project.

Graduation Requirements

The following is a list of the requirements for graduation:

  1. A minimum cumulative 3.0 (“B”) grade point average on a 4.0 scale;
  2. Successful completion of all academic requirements;
  3. Advancement to candidacy status;
  4. Payment of all fees;
  5. Filing of a Graduate Application through EagleNet; and
  6. Completion of both the Administrative and Student Records Reviews.
    1. Office of the Registrar – completion of a formal academic records review (at least one quarter prior to degree completion)
    2. Financial Aid Office - if received federal loans, must complete Exit Counseling online at www.StudentAid.gov
    3. Student Accounting – “Perkins” exit interview and rectification of account balance

Participation in Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation ceremonies are held every term. Graduate students may participate in the graduation ceremonies during the quarter in which the student is registered and has taken the comprehensive exam or during the quarter in which the oral thesis defense is scheduled.

Five Year Completion Rule

A maximum time limit of five (5) calendar years is placed on the completion of all requirements for a graduate degree. Students are expected to complete their program of study and graduate within five calendar years from their program matriculation date. Students who do not maintain satisfactory academic progress to complete their graduate program requirements within this time limit will be ineligible to graduate.

Appeals to this rule may be made to the Dean of the College.