Student working with lab equipment in the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

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.

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

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 in Nutrition Sciences program 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, as well as non-dissertation research hours.

  • End of Year 1: Identify research mentor
  • End of Year 2*: Produce first research publication

Year 3: Candidacy examination occurs.

Years 4 and 5: Committed to dissertation research. Including completion of original research project, writing of related publications, and dissertation defense.

*Students without a thesis masters degree will complete their thesis requirements during Year 2.

Core Completion Requirements

The following is an overview of the PhD in Nutrition Sciences' Core Course Requirements, listed in chronological order. This outline reflects the first two years of study, subsequent years include additional research hours and elective coursework.

  • Fall (Year 1)
    • NTR 621: Applied Statistics to Nutrition Sciences I (3 credits)*
    • NTR 690: Seminar (2 credits)*
    • NTR 733: Laboratory Instruments and Methods in Nutrition Research (1 credit)
    • NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)**
    • GRD 717: Principles of Scientific Integrity (3 credits)
  • Spring (Year 1)
    • NTR 637: Applied Research in Nutrition Sciences (3 credits)*
    • NTR 733: Laboratory Instruments and Methods in Nutrition Research (2 credits)
    • NTR 623: Applied Statistics II (3 credits)
    • NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)**
  • Summer (Year 1)
    • NTR 618: Nutritional Biochemistry (6 credits)*
  • Fall (Year 2)
    • NTR 636: Scientific Methods (3 credits)*, Fall EVEN Years
    • NTR 747: Molecular Biology and Nutrition Sciences (3 credits), Fall EVEN Years
    • NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)**
    • Elective (3 credit hours)***
    • Non-Dissertation Research Hours
  • Spring (Year 2)
    • NTR 779: Obesity in the 21st Century (3 credits)*, Spring ODD Years
    • NTR 788: Advanced Nutrition Seminar (1 credit)**
    • Non-Dissertation Research Hours

*Denotes courses offered online only

**NTR 788 needs to be taken for a minimum of 5 semesters but should be taken in every Fall and Spring while enrolled in the program. Additional credits of NTR 788 beyond 5 credits may be applied as electives.

***Students should register for electives in odd years.

All students complete a minimum of 12 non-dissertation research hours (NTR 798) and 12-dissertation research hours (NTR 799) in addition to 24 hours of elective coursework.

Approved Electives

The following is an overview of the approved electives for students in the PhD in Nutrition Sciences program. Other electives may be approved by the PhD Program Director in the Department of Nutrition Sciences.

  • Fall Elective Offerings
    • NTR 609: Applied Nutrition for Physical Activity and Disease Prevention (3 credits)*
    • NTR 632: Nutrition Counseling and Education (4 credits)*
    • NTR 704: Principles and Practice of Nutrition Support (3 credits)*
    • NTR 761: Enhanced Research Production Thru Intensive Writing (3 credits)
  • Spring Elective Offerings
    • NTR 631: Community Interventions for Healthy Lifestyles (3 credits)*
    • NTR 666: Nutrition, Mindfulness, and Wellness (3 credits)
    • NTR 701: Advanced Medical Nutrition (3 credits)*
    • NTR 769: Race, Nutrition & Health (3 credits)*, Spring EVEN Years
  • Summer Elective Offerings
    • NTR 500: Communication in Nutrition (1 credit hour)
    • NTR 750: Body Composition and Energy Metabolism (3 credits), Summer EVEN Years
  • Other Elective Offerings
    • NTR 755: Teaching Practicum in Nutrition Sciences (3 credits)**

*Denotes courses offered online only

** NTR 755 may only be taken after completing some CIRTL teaching courses and with permission of the program director.