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Doctorate in Nutritional Sciences

Our PhD in Nutritional Sciences emphasizes research and application of research ranging from basic molecular and cellular sciences to clinical and community applications. Students enter our program with either a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a master’s degree in nutrition or a closely related discipline. Graduates are prepared for careers in higher education, industry, healthcare and governmental programs.


The program focuses on research and students gain extensive experience in their areas of choice. All students take a core set of classes, including macronutrients and micronutrients in human nutrition, research methods, statistics for experimenters, emerging topics in nutrition and grant writing.


Beyond core classes, students work with faculty advisors to develop individual plans of study to meet their goals. The program offers specializations in bioinformatics, community/public health nutrition, molecular biology, statistics and more. All students participate in research and complete 15 to 40 dissertation hours.


Students entering with a master’s degree must complete 60 hours of coursework. For those with a bachelor’s degree, 80 hours are required, and students earn the master’s degree after successfully completing 30 credit hours. 


Course information


Research and Faculty

All graduate faculty possess a PhD and/or Registered Dietitian credentials and integrate personal experiences and research into the curriculum. The department’s robust research portfolio includes the role of micronutrients in cancer, diet effects on the microbiome, international nutrition, metabolic risk indicators, nutrition and fitness for military and first-responders and obesity prevention programs and policy.


Research Areas:

Research Labs:

Meet our faculty

College research initiatives

Department of Nutritional Sciences graduate studies



Fresh produceThe PhD program requires the following courses for admission:

  • Biochemistry (undergraduate or graduate level)
  • Physiology (undergraduate or graduate level)
  • Graduate level nutrition (six credits)
  • Graduate statistics (three credits)

If the master’s degree is in a subject area other than nutrition, 30 hours undergraduate or graduate courses related to nutritional sciences are required. Conditional acceptance will be considered for those who do not meet these requirements. 


Graduate student resources

Additional admission prerequisite information


To apply to the Nutrition, PhD program, submit the following:

  • Graduate College application 
  • Submit transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.0 undergraduate GPA required) 
  • Current resume/vita
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • Personal goals statement (1-2 pages) 
  • If English is a second language, applicants must submit results for TOEFL or IELTS tests.
    * GRE is not required. 

Application deadlines:

Domestic students: July 1 (Fall) & November 1 (Spring)

International students: February 1 (Fall) & August 1 (Spring)


Cost & Assistance

Paid graduate research or teaching assistantships are available. Most doctoral students receive some financial support from the department. 


Assistantships and support


Financing graduate school 


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