Ph.D. in Nutrition Sciences

jose-daniel-krista-yann-akilah-2The Ph.D. in Nutrition Sciences program provides training and research experiences in classical nutrition, clinical nutrition, nutrition and disease prevention, and metabolism of nutrients. Students in the program learn the science of nutrition as it relates to maintaining the health of individuals and populations, as well as to the care and treatment of individuals with a variety of diseases.

Areas of study include the following:

  • experimental design;

  • nutritional biochemistry;

  • energy requirements;

  • body composition;

  • geriatric nutrition;

  • community nutrition; and

  • disease prevention.


Applicants should have a Baccalaureate (B.S. or B.A.) degree in a recognized field of biological, physical, chemical, agricultural or engineering science from an accredited university. To meet Graduate School and Departmental standards a student must submit a completed application form to the Graduate School. To ensure prompt application processing, the Graduate School encourages applicants to apply online at the following address: The application form needs to be accompanied by:
  • non-refundable application fee (UAB Graduate School has waived this fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents);
  • three letters of recommendation based on thorough knowledge of the applicant’s background and abilities;
  • transcripts from all colleges and universities attended;
  • brief statement of research interests, professional goals, and past performance;
  • results of Graduate Record Examination taken within two years;
  • results of Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. Required only for applicants whose native language is not English.


Acceptance to the DNS PhD Program: All applications for the PhD program are evaluated by departmental committee. Recommendations from the Committee are given to the Vice Chair for Education who recommends acceptance of candidates to the UAB Graduate School. Students recommended for admission to the Graduate Program will receive a letter from the UAB Dean of the Graduate School. In addition, a letter will be send to the students from the DNS Vice Chair for Education that indicates the offer of acceptance.

Download a copy of the Ph.D. Student Handbook by clicking here or you can also download the  Ph.D. in Nutrition Sciences 2012 Quicksheet by clicking on the images below.

PhD_Nutrition_Sciences_2012_front PhD_Nutrition_Sciences_2012




The typical graduate student takes 4-5 years to complete the requirements for a PhD degree. The maximum amount of time allowed by the Graduate School to complete a PhD degree is seven years. In the first year, much of the student’s time will be devoted to coursework; however, the student will also gain valuable laboratory/clinical research experience during research rotations. The program leading to the PhD degree in nutrition sciences is designed to provide training and research experience in classical nutrition and various aspects of clinical nutrition, human health, and metabolism. The program emphasizes the science of nutrition, from a variety of perspectives, as demonstrated by our courses:




Credit Hours

BST 621 & 622



NTR 701

Advanced Medical Nutrition


NTR 718

Nutritional Biochemistry


NTR 722

Recent Advances in Nutrition Cancer Research


NTR 725

Human Nutrition Through Life Cycle


NTR 726

Consumer issues in Nutrition


NTR 733

Laboratory Instruments and Methods in Nutrition Research (Rotation)


NTR 736

Research Methods


NTR 745

Origin of Cancer: Microenvironment


NTR 747

Molecular Biology in Nutrition Sciences


NTR 750

Body Composition and Energy Metabolism


NTR 769

Race, Nutrition and Health


NTR 779

Obesity in the XXI Century


NTR 788

Advanced Nutrition Seminar


NTR 789

Diabetes and Energy Metabolism


NTR 798

Non-dissertation Research


NTR 799

Dissertation Research


NTR 699

Master’s Level Thesis Research
– Students completing M.S.


GRD 717



Compiled by Dr. Jose R. Fernandez, Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education, Nutrition Sciences

A description of these courses can be found at the UAB School of Health Professions Catalog - Course Descriptions website. Courses NTR 701, 718, 725, 726, 736 and 747 are core courses, defined as required courses that provide the basic knowledge expected for our students to have. BST 621 and 622 are also considered core courses. GRD 717, the Graduate School Ethics class is also required.  It is required for students to obtain a final grade greater than “C” to pass all core courses. Students will also participate in Journal Clubs of his/her choosing to broaden knowledge both inside and/or outside the student’s area of interest and to learn how to critically evaluate the scientific literature. By the second year in the program students are expected to spend more time in the laboratory developing the research projects, reducing the amount of course work and increasing the emphasis on research.


Students are expected to complete the PhD program in 4-5 years.  The following timeline is recommended for students to follow:

Year 1 and 2:  Completion of core courses and other recommended courses. By the end of Year 1 the student should have identified a line of research. By the end of Year 2 the student is expected to be working in producing a research publication. For students who arrive to the program without a Master degree (or another graduate degree), the summer of the 2nd year should be spent on finishing the requirements for a MS in Nutrition Sciences.

Year 3: Students are expected to complete their candidacy examination.

Year 4 and 5: Student focus on writing publications related to his/her research and finish dissertation.


Nutrition Sciences Ph.D. Program Curriculum (admission requirements, program curriculum, and application procedure from the Graduate Catalog)

Download the Nutrition Sciences Ph.D. Student Handbook 2015-2016

Tuition and Fees

SACSCOC Accreditation
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, doctorate, and professional degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of The University of Alabama at Birmingham.