Nutrition Sciences

Major: Nutrition Sciences
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 90.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 30.1901
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9121

About the Program

The program mission is to develop scientists who are able to contribute to the scholarly generation of nutrition science knowledge, spanning the overlapping disciplines of human nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, food safety, human physiology, exercise physiology and community nutrition; and the translation of this knowledge with respect to health, disease prevention and treatment.

Nutrition scientists who have a PhD can be involved in research, education, industry, community health, and/or clinical practice. With the current epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, the need for PhD-educated nutritionists who can discover and design new treatment interventions is of major public health interest.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess a minimum of a Bachelor's of Science degree in biology, chemistry, nutrition, exercise physiology, food science or a similar area with a strong science base, and have taken an advanced undergraduate course in biochemistry, as well as a course in human nutrition and a course in basic statistics.

  • College/University transcripts with a minimal overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): minimum combined score of 308 on the Verbal and Math sections
  • Two letters of recommendation from advisors, supervisors, professors, and/or mentors
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement outlining career plan, topic of research interest and preferred Nutrition Sciences faculty mentor with whom he/she would like to work

Degree Requirements

The PhD program consists of 90.0 quarter credits. The 90 credits include 45.0 credits of course work, 45.0 credits of research, as well as a research dissertation. Additionally, all PhD students will be required to obtain a minimum of 10 contact hours of nutrition-related teaching experience.

Required Nutrition Courses (18 credits):
NFS 525Nutritional Assessment Through the Life Cycle3.0
NFS 601Research Methods3.0
NFS 602Methods of Nutrition Research3.0
NFS 680Special Topics3.0
NFS 810Topics in Metabolic Nutrition3.0
NFS 811Topics in Community Nutrition3.0
Required Statistics Courses (9 credits):
RSCH 759Foundations of Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 811Intermediate Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 814Intermediate Biostatistics II3.0
Required Professional Skills Courses (9 credits):
RSCH 770Foundations in Research Methods3.0
RSCH 813Measurement Theory in Healthcare3.0
RSCH 815Scientific Inquiry and Writing3.0
12.0 credits chosen from graduate nutrition, basic science or other courses, as determined by the faculty mentor and/or dissertation committee12.0
Independent Research (30 credits):30.0
Dissertation Research (12 credits):12.0
Dissertation Research
Total Credits90.0

Nutrition Sciences Faculty

Joan Rosen Bloch, PhD, CRNP (University of Pennsylvania). Associate Professor. Maternal and infant health outcomes with a particular focus on racial and ethnic perinatal health disparities.
Charlene Compher, PhD, RD, CNSC, LDN, FADA, FASPEN (Drexel University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Robin M. Danowski, MS, RD, LDN. Instructor. Renal Nutrition
Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, FAND (Drexel University) Director, Center for Nutrition & Performance. Clinical Assistant Professor. Energy expenditure; sports nutrition
Franceso De Luca, MD (Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Angelo Del Parigi, MD (University of Bari, Italy) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Jonathan Deutsch, PhD (New York University). Professor. Social and cultural aspects of food, culinary education, culinary improvisation, recipe and product development; food sustainability.
RoseAnn DiMaria-Ghalili, PhD, MSN, BSN, CNSC (New York University, School of Education, Division of Nursing). Associate Professor. Nutrition and surgical recovery to improve the care of older adults undergoing surgery; nutrition assessment, inflammation, and health outcomes.
Garrison L. Draper, MSc, CSCS, USAW, ISPAS (Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting instructor
Susan Ettinger, PhD, RD, DABN, CDN (Columbia University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Debi Page Ferrarello, RN, MSN, MS, IBCLC, RLC (Jefferson University, Arcadia University). Instructor. Human lactation
Andrea Judge, MPH, IBCLC, RLC (University of North Carolina). Clinical Instructor. Human lactation
Joseph Kehayias, PhD (Indiana University). Professor. Body composition analyses; measurement of sarcopenia; osteoporosis; energy expenditure.
Tanya V.E. Kral, PhD (Pennsylvania State University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Beth L. Leonberg, MS, MA, RDN, CSP, FAND, LDN (Colorado State University, Rowan University) Director, Didactic Program in Dietetics . Associate Clinical Professor. Pediatric nutrition.
Rachelle Lessen, MS, RD, IBCLC, LDN (Arcadia University). Instructor. Human lactation
Michael Lowe, PhD (Boston College). Professor. Prevention and treatment of eating disorders and obesity; effects of appetitive responsiveness and dietary restraint on eating regulation; psychobiology of obesity-proneness; empirical foundations of unconscious processes.
Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD (Arizona State University). Associate Professor. The development and evaluation of modifications in the natural environment to promote healthier living; farm to table school initiatives
Juan Muniz, PhD (Oregon State University). Visiting Research Professor. Food microbiology; community-based research to assess pesticide levels in homes; prevention of health effects of pesticides for indigenous farmworkers.
Jennifer Nasser, PhD, RD, FTOS (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Dopamine-mediated mechanisms of food intake regulation in humans and its impact on metabolic homeostasis, especially as it applies to obesity, eating disorders and aging.
Margaret O'Neil, PT, PhD, MPH (MCP Hahnemann University; Duke University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Adjunct Associate Professor. Measurement of and interventions to improve physical activity and fitness levels and promote participation in children and youth with who are overweight/obese and those with physical disabilities (especially cerebral palsy).
Irene E. Olsen, PhD, RD, LDN (Tufts University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Kavitha Penugonda, PhD (Kansas State University) Manager, Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory. Assistant Clinical Professor. Nutrient bioavailability in foods; nutritional supplements on health
Jennifer Quinlan, PhD (North Carolina State University). Professor. Food microbiology; microbiological quality and safety of produce, dairy and meat products in markets in high vs. low socioeconomics areas, Bacillus and Clostridium spores in food processing.
Sobhana Ranjan, PhD, RD (University of Delhi, India) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Barry Ritz, PhD (Drexel University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor.
Patricia A. Shewokis, PhD (University of Georgia). Professor. Roles of cognition and motor function during motor skill learning; role of information feedback frequency on the memory of motor skills, noninvasive neural imaging techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy(fNIRS) and electroencephalograpy (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Sinclair A. Smith, MS, DSc (Boston University) Chair, Health Sciences. Professor. Effects of aging, dehydration, and oral creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle metabolism using phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Anatomy, physiology, and exercise science.
Deeptha Sukumar, PhD (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Vitamin D and magnesium and bone mineral density; obesity and bone mineral density.
Alison Ventura, PhD (Pennsylvania State University) Courtesy Appointment. Visiting Research Professor. Factors that contribute to the development of eating behaviors and dietary preferences during infancy and early childhood.
Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, ACSM-CEP, FACSM (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) Chair, Nutrition Sciences. Professor. Prevention of obesity and diabetes across the lifespan; mineral metabolism and exercise; energy balance; sports nutrition.

Emeritus Faculty

Donna H. Mueller, PhD (Temple University). Associate Professor Emeritus. Clinical nutrition; pediatric nutrition; nutrition in pulmonary diseases, especially cystic fibrosis; nutrition in developmental delay; dental nutrition; dietetic education and professional development.
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