Doctoral Program

What are the Doctoral Degree Requirements? 

The doctor of philosophy is primarily a research degree.  Consequently, it’s heavily focused on the research and less on coursework.  The following research areas are available in the program:

  • Human Nutrition
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Public Health Nutrition

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 50 credits. If you have a M.S. in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota, the Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 48 credits (14 graduate level Nutrition credits and 6 credits outside the major will have already been completed and can be used toward the Ph.D. requirements).  

14 Graduate Level Course Credits in Nutrition

  • NUTR 8621, Presentation Skills (Fall, 1cr)  Should been taken the first fall semester
    An orientation class taught by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS)

Graduate Nutrition core series*

  • NUTR 5625 - Nutritional Biochemistry (Fall, 3 cr)
  • NUTR 5626 - Nutritional Physiology (Spring, 3 cr)
  • NUTR 5622 - Vitamin and Mineral Biochemistry (Spring, 3 cr)

Two 8xxx level courses (2 cr.each) from the following list:

  • NUTR 8620, Advances in Nutrition (Spring)
  • NUTR 8620, Advances in Nutrition (Fall)
  • NUTR 8611, The Role of Nutrition in Cancer Causation and Prevention

12 Graduate Level Course Credits Outside the Major 

  • Must include one graduate level Statistics course. 
  • Students enrolling Fall semester 2015 and later must include one graduate level research methods course (at least 2 cr.). Students can select from a list of recommended courses already offered across the university in consultation with their advisor.
  • Other courses may be from any field but must be at the 5xxx or 8xxx level. (Exceptions: 6xxx Public Health courses are allowed)
  • Certain course requirements may be deemed met if their equivalents were taken at another institution and the transfer of graduate courses for credit may also be considered when a student submits their Graduate Degree Plan to the DGS for approval.

24 Doctoral Thesis Credits (NUTR 8888)

Additional Doctoral Degree Requirements 

  • All required courses, except NUTR 8621, must be taken A/F
  • Maintenance of a 3.0 GPA
  • In addition to the academic requirements, students are expected to obtain teaching experience.  All Ph.D. Nutrition graduate students are expected to assist in teaching a course three times.
  • Passage of a preliminary written exam (See Appendix C)
  • Passage of a preliminary oral exam (See Appendix C), taken after passage of the preliminary written exam
  •  Passage of a final oral exam (See Appendix D)
  • Completion of a doctoral thesis