Our Ph.D. program prepares you for a career in healthcare, government, community, industry, and university research and teaching positions.

Program Requirements

Requirements include a minimum of 46 semester credit hours as follows:

At least 33 hours of course work, 12 hours of thesis and related research, 1 credit GradFIRST seminar (for students who matriculated Fall 22 and after). Of the 33 hours in coursework, a minimum of 18 must be in Nutritional Sciences, 6 credits in statistics (see approved list below), 3 credits in physiology/biochemistry/cell biology (see approved list below), and 6 credits in area of interest (can be non-Nutritional Sciences), a minimum of 6 credits in doctoral research, 6 hours in dissertation writing, and 1 credit GradFIRST seminar (for students who matriculated Fall 22 and after).

16 hours of coursework should be in 8000/9000 level (9000, 9300, and 9010 do not count towards this requirement).

Students who do not have a Masters degree will need to take an additional 4 credits of 8000/9000 unless your electives are all graduate level only.

In consultation with their Advisory Committee, students with credit in NUTR 4100 - Mirconutrient Nutrition, or another course in vitamin and mineral nutrition may substitute for NUTR 6100 with another graduate level course in NUTR.

To find what courses are offered each semester:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Class Schedule (*NOT Course Catalog*)
  3. Under Search by Term, select semester and year; Submit
  4. Under Subject, select the Department, e.g. for Nutritional Sciences, select NUTR
  5. For Course Number, enter the course you are interested in, e.g. 8900 for NUTR Seminar class. Select Class Search at bottom
  6. If you leave the Course Number box blank, and select Class Search at bottom, you will see all of the courses taught in the Department for the semester that you selected

*Course Catalog is a listing of all the courses approved to be taught in a given Department. But some of these courses are not taught each semester, or even each year.*

Nutritional Sciences Courses (18 credit hours)

Required NUTR courses (12 credits)

^NUTR 6100 3 cr Micronutrient Nutrition (may be substituted with NUTR course if taken as undergraduate - see graduate handbook for procedure)
*NUTR 6400 3 cr Advanced Macronutrients
*NUTR 8560 3 cr Proposal Writing
*NUTR 8900 3 cr Seminar in Nutritional Sciences (must take 2 cr in first semester, 1 cr in dissertation defense semester)

Elective NUTR courses (6 credits)

^6050 3 cr Optimal Nutrition for the Life Span
^6070 1 cr Research Methodology in Human Nutritional Sciences
^6200 3 cr We Are What We Eat
^6220 3 cr Nutrition in Physical Activity, Exercise, and Sport
*6230E 3 cr Current Issues in Sports Nutrition
*6240E 3 cr Nutrition and Obesity Across the Life Span
^6500 3 cr Medical Nutrition Therapy I
^6510 3 cr Nutrition Related to the Human Life Cycle
^6520 2 cr Clinical Nutrition Interventions
^6530 4 cr Medical Nutrition Therapy II
^6540 3 cr Public Health Dietetics
*6560E 3 cr Nutrition Health and Aging
^6570 3 cr Nutritional Genetics
^6590 3 cr Metabolism and Physiology of Energy Balance and Obesity
^6600 2 cr Food and Nutrition Policy
^6610 1 cr Foodservice Procurement and Financial Management
*6620E 2 cr Management of Foodservice Organizations
^6630 3 cr Cultural Aspects of Foods and Nutrition
^6640E 3 cr Food Sanitation and Safety
^6645 2 cr Nature of Food
^6646 1 cr Food Choices and the Consumer
^6647 3 cr Sensory Evaluation of Food
^6650 3 cr Experimental Study of Food
^6660S 3 cr Food and Nutrition Education Methods
*6665E 3 cr Childhood and Adolescent Nutrition
*6670E 3 cr Nutrition Intervention
^6700 3 cr Weight Management Coaching
*6800E 3 cr Nutrition and Pharmacotherapy for Disease Management
^7040 3 cr Nutritional Epidemiology
*7600 4 cr Public Health, Physical Activity, and Nutrition Interventions
*7940 VR Nutrition, Physical Activity, Exercise, and Sport Internship
*8150 3 cr Food & Nutritional Biochemistry
*8230 3 cr Advanced Nutrition in Physical Activity, Exercise, and Sport
*8240 3 cr Nutrition and Neuroscience
*8530 3 cr Nutrition and Disease Processes I
*8550 3 cr Nutrition and Disease Processes II
*8595 1 cr Survey of Obesity and Weight Management

* Apply towards 12 credit hours of graduate level only courses

^ Cannot be repeated if taken as undergraduate. Does not apply towards 12 credit hours of graduate level only courses.

Courses in supporting area (15 minimum credits)

Statistics (6 credits)

Approved Statistics Courses

Physiology/Biochemistry/Cell Biology (3 credits)

Approved Physiology/BioChem/Cell Bio Courses

Electives (6 credits)

Choose from elective list above and/or in other area(s) of interest at graduate level

Research and Dissertation (12 credits)

NUTR 9000 6 cr Dissertation Research

NUTR 9300 6 cr Doctoral Dissertation (3 cr should be in defense semester)

GradFIRST Seminar (1 credit minimum for students who matriculated Fall 22 and after)

GRSC 7001 GradFIRST Seminar (1-3 cr)

GradFIRST Seminar Info

Minimum Total Credit Hours: 46

How long does it take?

Generally 4-5 years to complete the courses and research for the doctoral dissertation. Students on grant funding must complete all Doctoral requirements, excluding the dissertation and final oral examination, within 6 years (72 months) of enrollment.

Benefits of Our Approach

  • Talented professors with cutting-edge research
  • Small classes with highly motivated students from around the world
  • Immersion in a research team that is solving real-world food and nutrition issues

What you'll do in research

  • Give scientific presentations
  • Network at scientific meetings
  • Write and submit grant proposals
  • Publish journal articles and book chapters

Research Opportunities

What you'll do in teaching

Research and Dissertation

  • You will conduct research alongside your major professor in a specific area
  • Our doctoral students are currently conducting clinical, community, applied and basic sciences research to solve real world problems
  • You will write reviews, abstracts, and journal articles that summarize your research
  • Travel funds are available so you can present your research at scientific meetings
  • You will compile all of your research findings and summaries into a dissertation
  • Examples of doctoral research projects are in the Electronic Theses and Dissertations Database. Search by department, topic, and faculty of interest.

Combine your Ph.D. with a Dietetics Internship

Ph.D. DI information

Where are our graduates?

Graduates are employed at the CDC, USDA, NIH, and several universities including Auburn University, Emory University, Penn State, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, SUNY Plattsburg, and University of Tennessee.

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