CurriculumStudents who are enrolled in the PhD in Nutrition Sciences program complete coursework through a planned, structured, yet flexible program of study that is tailored to meet your needs. Being in an environment that fosters novel learning and use of cutting edge technology, your learning experience will facilitate both scholarly proficiency and in-depth understanding about nutrition sciences. Our coordinated and interdisciplinary courses will help you transcend boundaries and allow you to succeed in professional and academic arenas.


The PhD in Nutrition Sciences program provides training and research experiences in basic and translational nutrition science. Students learn the science of nutrition as it relates to maintaining the health of individuals and populations, as well as the biochemical basis and application of nutrition to promote health and prevent disease.

Possible areas of study are:

  • experimental design
  • nutritional biochemistry
  • energy requirements
  • body composition
  • geriatric nutrition
  • community nutrition
  • disease prevention


Program Timeline

Most students complete the PhD program in Nutrition Sciences within 4 to 5 years of full-time study. The following is a general overview of the program timeline:

Years 1 and 2: Complete core and elective coursework.

  • End of Year 1: Identify research mentor
  • End of Year 2: Working on or producing first research publication (students without a thesis Master's degree spend the summer of Year 2 finishing the thesis requirement for the MS in Nutrition Sciences degree)

Year 3: Candidacy examination.

Years 4 and 5: Complete research project, write related publications and complete dissertation.


Core Completion Requirements

The following is an overview of the core requirements (33 total core credit hours) listed in chronological order:

Fall (Year 1)

*NTR 621: Statistical Methods in Nutrition Science I (3 credits)

*NTR 690: Seminar (2 credits)

NTR 733: Laboratory Instruments & Methods in Nutrition Research (2 credits)

GRD 717: Principles of Scientific Integrity (not a core course but is required) (3 credits)

Spring (Year 1)

*NTR 637: Applied Research in Nutrition Science (3 credits)

NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)

Summer (Year 1)

*NTR 718: Nutritional Biochemistry (6 credits)

Fall (Year 2)

*NTR 623: Statistical Methods in Nutrition Science II (3 credits)

*NTR 736: Scientific Methods (3 credits)

NTR 747: Molecular Biology & Nutrition Sciences (3 credits)

NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)

Spring (Year 2)

*NTR 779: Obesity in the 21st Century (3 credits)

NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)

*Courses offered online only

NTR 788 will be taken two more additional semesters (for a total of 5 semesters)


Approved Electives

The following is an overview of the approved electives. Other electives may be approved by the Program Director and/or Vice Chair for Education.


NTR 604: Principles & Practice of Nutrition Support (3 credits)

NTR 609: Applied Nutrition for Physical Activity & Disease Prevention (3 credits) (offered Fall odd years)

NTR 632: Nutrition Counseling & Education (4 credits) (offered Fall even years)

NTR 778: Enhanced Research Production Thru Intensive Writing (2 credits)


*NTR 701: Advanced Medical Nutrition (3 credits)

NTR 769: Race, Nutrition & Health (3 credits) (offered Spring even years)

NTR 631: Community Interventions for Healthy Lifestyle (3 credits)

NTR 666: Nutrition, Mindfulness, and Wellness (3 credits)


*NTR 750: Body Composition & Energy Metabolism (3 credits) (offered Summer even years)

Other electives may be approved by the Program Director and/or Vice Chair for Education.

NTR 722: Recent Advances in Nutrition and Caner Research (3 credits)

NTR 745: Origin of Cancer Journal Club (1 credit) 

NTR 755: Teaching Practicum in Nutrition Sciences (4 credits)

*Courses offered online only