Doctor of Philosophy Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences

The doctoral program prepares students for careers conducting original research in nutritional sciences in academic, governmental, health-care, or industrial settings. This degree program has two options: Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology and Applied & Community Nutrition.

Admission Criteria

A bachelor's degree from an accredited college showing potential for achievement in scholarly activities. Prerequisites for admission are the same as those listed above for the M.S. program.

Requirements for Ph.D. Degree

Doctoral candidates are required to take a total of 72 credits: 33 course credits and 39 research credits.

For Nutritional Biochemistry & Physiology, students are required to complete Nutrition: A Biochemical and Physiological Basis (16:709:552, 4 credits; 16:708:553, 4 credits), Nutrition Seminar (16:709:602, 2 credits), Statistics (3 credits), Biochemistry (6 credits), Physiology (3-6 credits), Principles of Nutrition Research (16:709:515, 3 credits), Topics in Nutrition (16:709:620, 1 credit), Nutritional Aspects of Disease (16:709:506, 3 credits), and additional relevant courses (up to a total of 33 credits) in consultation with their advisor and the Curriculum Committee.

For Applied & Community Nutrition, students are required to complete Nutrition: A Biochemical and Physiological Basis (16:709:552, 4 credits; 16:708:553, 4 credits), Nutrition Seminar (16:709:602, 2 credits), Community Nutrition (16:709:521, 3 credits), Theories, Models, and Concepts in Applied & Community Nutrition (2 credits), Seminar in Nutrition Education (minimum of 2 credits), Statistics through regression (6 credits), and two of the following three courses: Introduction to Applied Nutrition Research (16:709:503, 3 credits), Survey Design (3 credits), or Nutrition Epidemiology (16:709:530, 3 credits). The students complete additional relevant courses (up to a total of 33 credits) in consultation with their advisor and the Curriculum Committee.

All students must pass a written qualifying exam (usually at the end of their second year of residence in graduate school). This exam covers course work as well as the ability to critically read the literature, interpret experimental data, and design novel experiments. The doctoral thesis involves completion of original research in an area relevant to nutrition, under the guidance of a faculty member. The thesis is presented in a public seminar, defended orally to a committee consisting of members of the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program, and submitted to the Graduate School prior to the award of the Ph.D. degree. Typical time for completion of all doctoral work is five years.