PhD Curriculum

Students first undertake coursework covering the fundamental areas of study and the core knowledge areas. Students then develop their dissertation project. A general and a final examination are required to complete the degree.

The requirements listed below reflect the current curriculum for students beginning the PhD Program in Autumn 2018. The requirements for students entering in previous years are archived for reference: entered Autumn 2017

Learning Objectives

Upon satisfactory completion of a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, graduates will be able to:

  1. Meet the competencies established by the School of Public Health for all MS and PhD students;
  2. Meet the core competencies established by the Nutritional Sciences Program for all Nutritional Sciences students;
  3. Apply knowledge of human nutrient requirements and their relationship to metabolic pathways and physiological function to the design of research, teaching, and policy proposals;
  4. Select appropriate methods to perform an in depth assessment of the nutritional status of individuals and groups as part of a planning process that takes into consideration the planned outcomes, uses of the assessment and resource limitations;
  5. Justify the importance of nutritional sciences in terms of how nutritional factors across the lifespan affect etiology, incidence, and prevalence of major diseases, quality of life, and productivity at work and school in the population;
  6. Critically examine the process, rationale and issues related to establishing nutrient requirements and dietary guidance for the population;
  7. Apply conceptual models of evidence-based approaches to promoting nutritional health;
  8. Construct testable hypotheses, develop appropriate study designs, and conduct research, which will significantly expand knowledge of nutritional sciences;
  9. Disseminate research findings through oral presentations and peer reviewed journals;
  10. Develop and prepare proposals for procuring research funding; and
  11. Develop and provide instruction in a higher education academic setting, demonstrating use of evidence-based pedagogical principals.

PhD Degree Requirements in Nutritional Sciences


Course Name Credits
Required Nutrition Courses: 35 credits
NUTR 500 Graduate Seminar: Current Issues in Nutrition (A) 1
NUTR 513 Food and Society: Exploring Eating Behaviors in a Social, Environmental, and Policy Context (A) 2
NUTR 520 Nutrition and Metabolism I (A) 3
NUTR 521 Nutrition and Metabolism II (W) 3
NUTR 522 Nutrition and Metabolism III (Sp) 3
NUTR 529 Nutrition Research Design 2
NUTR 531 Public Health Nutrition (W) 5
NUTR 562 Nutrition and Chronic Disease (Sp) 4
Additional 500-level Nutrition courses 12
Other requirements: 43-55 credits
Other Sciences (related to specific interests) 22
 EPI Epidemiology (EPI 511 or EPI 512/513) 4-8
 BIOST Biostatistics 8-12
Research Methods 8-12
Undoing Racism in Public Health 1
Dissertation Credits: minimum 27 credits
NUTR 800 Dissertation (A,W,Sp,S) 27

TOTAL credit requirements: 105-117

GCPD Requirements

PhD students enrolled in the RD training program (GCPD) will need to complete the following courses:

  • GCPD Seminar (NUTR 561A, 1 credit)
  • Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition (NUTR 526)
  • Food Safety and Health (NUTR 545)*
  • Nutrition Education Principles and Practice (NUTR 536)
  • Nutritional Counseling for Chronic Disease (NUTR 560)
  • Nutrition in Acute Care (NUTR 563)
  • Orientation to Clinical Dietetics Practice (NUTR 559)
  • Supervised Practice/Practice Experiences (NUTR 561, 30 credits)

The timing of PhD student course and internship requirements will be coordinated on a case by case basis to accommodate their dissertation research projects.

* GCPD students holding a DPD verification statement waive out of NUTR 545