Nutrition Sciences

Major: Nutrition Sciences
Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 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 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)
  • 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 they would like to work

Degree Requirements

The PhD program consists of 90.0 quarter credits. The 90.0 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.

Minimum Credits Required for the PhD in Nutrition Sciences

  • For students admitted with a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of 90.0 credits is required for the PhD, including all required courses.
  • For students admitted with a master’s degree, the minimum number of credits required varies from 75.0 to 90.0.

For students who, as part of their master’s degree, completed courses equivalent to foundation courses in the PhD curriculum, the minimum number of credits may be reduced by up to 15.0 approved credits. The Graduate Committee of the PhD Program in Nutrition Sciences makes this determination.

Required Nutrition Courses
NFS 526Lifecycle Nutrition3.0
NFS 546World Nutrition3.0
NFS 629Readings in Nutrition Science3.0
Required Research and Statistics Competencies Courses
RSCH 700Foundations in Quantitative Research3.0
RSCH 720Foundations of Biostatistics3.0
RSCH 721Intermediate Statistics in Health I3.0
or RSCH 714 Qualitative Research Methods I
RSCH 743Grantsmanship3.0
or RSCH 742 Scientific Writing
Choose one of the following:3.0
Community Based Participatory Research
Introduction to Epidemiology
Qualitative Research Methods I
Qualitative Research Methods II
Intermediate Statistics in Health II
Interpretation of Data
Intermediate Mixed Methods Research
Required Research Credits39.0
Dissertation Research
Scientific Electives *27.0
Understanding Prevention and Prevention Programs
Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences
Biochemistry of Metabolism
Biochemistry of Major Diseases
Biology of Neuron Function
Neurobiology of Disease
Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
Behavioral/Process Addictions
Behavior and Social Change Theories
Community Engagement in Public Health Practice & Research
Multi-Method Data Analysis in Community Health & Prevention
Community Health and Prevention I: Community Engagement & Assessment
Community Health and Prevention II: Program Planning and Evaluation
Design and Grant Writing for Community Health Programs
Qualitative Research in Community Health
Epidemiology of Cancer
Social Epidemiology
Food Composition & Behavior
Food Microbiology
Food Microbiology Laboratory
Microbiology & Chemistry of Food Safety I
Advanced Food Product Development
Nutritional Impact of Food Processing Methods
Food Chemistry
Food Analysis
Functional Foods
Microbiology & Chemistry of Food Safety II
Sensory Evaluation of Food
Global Cuisine Studio
Culture and Gastronomy
The Contemporary Food System
Qualitative Data and Mixed Methods Analysis
Health Disparities: Systemic, Structural, Environmental & Economic
Nutritional Assessment Through the Life Cycle
Macronutrient Metabolism
Micronutrient Metabolism
Research Methods
Methods of Nutrition Research
Nutrition and Exercise Physiology
Community Nutrition
Techniques in Nutrition Sciences Research
Topics in Metabolic Nutrition
Topics in Community Nutrition
Independent Study in NFS
Independent Study in NFS
Independent Study in NFS
Independent Study in NFS
Independent Study in NFS
Special Topics in NFS
Special Topics in NFS
Special Topics in NFS
Special Topics in NFS
Special Topics in NFS
Neuroanatomy and Behavior
Total Credits90.0

Also includes any course in IPS 700-899, NHP 700-899, and RSCH 700-899.

Sample Plan of Study

First Year
NFS 5263.0RSCH 7213.0NFS 5463.0
RSCH 7203.0Electives6.0RSCH 7223.0
Elective3.0 Elective3.0
 9 9 9
Second Year
RSCH 7003.0Electives9.0NFS 6293.0
Electives6.0 NFS 9973.0
  RSCH 743 or 7423.0
 9 9 9
Third Year
NFS 9999.0NFS 9999.0NFS 9999.0
 9 9 9
Fourth Year
NFS 9999.0  
Total Credits 90

Nutrition Sciences Faculty

Nyree Dardarian, MS, RD, LDN, CSSD, FAND (Drexel University) Director, Center for Nutrition & Performance. Clinical Assistant Professor. Energy expenditure; sports nutrition
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.
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
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
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. Implementation of methods to maximize nutrient density of food provided in community food services.
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.
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 electroencephalography (EEG) and methodology and research design.
Deeptha Sukumar, PhD (Rutgers University). Associate Professor. Vitamin D and magnesium and bone mineral density; obesity and bone mineral density.
Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RD, ACSM-CEP, FACSM (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) Visiting Research Professor, courtesy appointment. Professor. Nutrition Sciences. 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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