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Doctor of Philosophy Nutrition and Dietetics

In the Nutrition and Dietetics doctoral degree, you will choose a specialized area of study and build upon foundational courses in dietetics and research methods before proposing, writing, and defending a unique dissertation.

Nutrition PhD candidates Rachel Ryan and Miriam Mahmood with Assistant Professor of Clinical Nutrition Jessica Bihuniak.

Degree Details

Official degree title.

PhD in Nutrition and Dietetics

Research Topics

Careers and outcomes, doctoral expectations.

A core component of completing the doctoral degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is writing and defending a dissertation on a relevant research topic of your choosing. You will work closely with faculty mentor(s) throughout the dissertation process to structure and advance the project.

Previous graduates have selected a range of topics to explore in their dissertations, including individuals’ cooking beliefs, students’ eating behaviors, and the relationship between nutrition and various food environments.

Learn more about the process for completing this degree  and view the full curriculum .

The doctoral degree in Nutrition and Dietetics offers an interdisciplinary course of study that prepares you for advanced teaching, research, administrative, and leadership positions in academic, public health, government, or other industry institutions.

Departmental participation including Fall and Spring doctoral seminar

Engagement in research project development

Teaching experience and curriculum development

Candidacy examination and research proposal in the second year

Work with a primary mentor

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Research Spotlight

Recent PhD in Nutrition and Dietetics graduate Dr. Miriam Mahmood investigated the feasibility and outcomes of an internet-based, culinary behavioral weight loss program for NYU undergrads.

Explore the Research

Funding for Full-Time PhD Students

We offer our full-time doctoral students a  competitive funding program  that includes tuition and living expenses and includes teaching opportunities, and faculty mentoring. All doctoral applicants regardless of citizenship will be considered for scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships. US students should complete the  Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)  by March 1 to also be considered for student loans. For more information about financial aid see the  Steinhardt Financial Aid website  and the  NYU Financial Aid website .

If you have any additional questions about our degree, please feel free to contact Dr. Kristie Lancaster at [email protected] .

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Nutritional Sciences Ph.D. Program

By earning a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State, you will distinguish yourself as one of the true leaders in the field of nutrition.

Focusing on leadership, nutrition research, multidisciplinary training, and marked by the integration of resources and expertise across departments and colleges, the Penn State Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences (GPN) strives to address extremely complex and far-reaching issues that include:

Enhancing knowledge of requirements for nutrients necessary for optimal growth and well-being, including the interactions among nutrients, the environment, and disease

Advancing methods for assessing nutrient intake and nutritional status

Determining the impact of food, phytochemical, and nutrient intake, as well as dietary patterns on health promotion and disease prevention

Promoting knowledge of factors affecting food preferences, dietary intake patterns, and health habits, as well as developing various intervention strategies and evaluating their nutritional impact at the individual and population level

Developing techniques and behavioral strategies to guide consumers in selecting health-promoting foods and nutritionally adequate diets

Expanding knowledge of the mechanisms of metabolic regulation in humans and other animals, including cellular, molecular, and physiological aspects

Training the next generation of scientists and clinicians in childhood obesity prevention

The general requirements of this rigorous doctoral program include a candidacy examination, core requirements, courses in your chosen program of studies, a comprehensive examination, the proposal and production of your dissertation, and a final oral examination.  

Ph.D. in Nutrition

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explore graduate studies in nutritional sciences

Earning a ph.d. in nutrition.

As Ph.D. candidate, you will be required to fulfill a minimum of six semesters of full-time study with courses in the field of nutrition and two additional graduate fields. You must pass the Admission to Candidacy examination within six semesters of matriculation and successfully defend your dissertation based on original research.

Your studies will be guided by a Special Committee that will include your research Chair and representatives of two additional graduate fields, plus an appointed representative of the field of nutrition. The committee will provide guidance in your course selections, determine your admission to doctoral candidacy and evaluate your dissertation.

Financial support is available on a competitive basis.

Learn more about admissions, special committee selection, financial support and more on the Graduate Studies homepage .

Contact us at [email protected]

As a candidate for the Ph.D. degree, you will concentrate in one of the following areas:

In this concentration, you will have the opportunity to study nutritional issues in communities, including their causes,implications, and solutions.

These issues range from obesity to food insecurity, with the unit of analysis ranging widely from families to neighborhoods to governments. Causes for inadequate nutrition are multiple and complex, resulting from biological, economic, social, cultural,and policy issues. Implications of community nutrition issues include poor health and disease.

The program seeks to influence community issues and behaviors by conducting rigorous community-based research; leading community outreach and engagement initiatives; and teaching and mentoring students.

Our faculty members are interested generally in the following areas:

  • designing, implementing and evaluating nutrition interventions and policies, in particular for limited resource and under-served populations
  • understanding people’s food choices and the contributions of social, cultural, policy, and food systems to those behaviors
  • understanding the distribution and causes of nutritional disparities in populations using tools from epidemiology, social sciences, systems science,and policy analysis

Their research interests  cover a wide range of topics.

Graduate Study: Although the program is based within the Division of Nutritional Science, you may take courses across the university to meet your educational focus. To pursue this concentration, you will need a solid understanding of the biological as well as the social basis of human nutrition and health, along with the ability to apply social science theory and methods to work with groups and populations to address nutrition issues. You will also need substantive experience related to community research and/or engagement.

You will be expected to take courses that recognize the social, psychological, cultural, agricultural, economic, clinical, and public health policy determinants of nutrition and health as well as courses that provide you with expertise in the analytic and conceptual methods to address these issues.

Opportunities After Graduation: Doctoral graduates typically work for universities, government agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and applied research institutions. Students who earn a master’s degree often work for public health, Cooperative Extension, community agencies,and educational institutions.

In this concentration, you will study how variations in individuals’ nutritional status affect their health and functioning. Faculty members are focused primarily on developing safe and effective methods for improving the human condition. In general, they are interested in the following:

  • maternal, infant and child nutrition
  • control of food intake and regulation of body weight,as well as animal models of obesity
  • factors that affect the absorption, metabolism and storage of Vitamin A, as well as the association between Vitamin A deficiency and disease
  • effects of nutritional alterations —for example, iron deficiency folate alterations and PUFAs—on mortality, work capacity,and behavior and cognitive functioning
  • lasting cognitive effects of early exposure to environmental toxins, such as lead and methylmercury, including exposure via breastmilk
  • metabolism, bioavailability and biological effects of Vitamin E, including mechanisms of regulation of Vitamin E status

Our faculty’s research interests  cover a wide range of topics.

Graduate Study : Although the program is based within the Division of Nutritional Science, you may take courses across the university to meet your educational focus. To pursue this concentration, you will need a solid understanding of the biological basis of human biology, nutrition, health and disease,and statistics.

Opportunities After Graduation : Graduates of this program typically work in universities, such government agencies as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the food and health industries.

In this concentration, you will explore malnutrition and hunger, which are widespread in many developing countries, as well as chronic disease resulting from poor nutrition.

The causes of inadequate nutrition can be complex, encompassing biological, economic, social and political issues. Program faculty members address nutritional problems through research, nutritional education and training; applied nutrition programs in the community, government, and international organizations; and institutional development.

Graduate Study : This concentration is dedicated to training committed professionals whose previous training and international experience provide a solid foundation for benefiting from Cornell's rigorous intellectual environment. Our faculty members have had experiences in many parts of the world, and their expertise covers the spectrum from basic biology to population-based interventions. You may take courses in political, economic, sociological, clinical and public health dimensions of nutrition. You will need a solid foundation in the biological aspects of nutrition and your academic background should include biochemistry, physiology and laboratory methods.

Opportunities: Students graduating from this program work for government ministries and other action agencies such as UNICEF and nongovernmental organizations; agencies that deliver technical assistance such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization; and applied research institutions and universities. 

In this concentration, you will investigate the basic biological processes in nutrition and nutrition’s roles in health and disease. The concentration integrates a range of disciplines including chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, genetics, neurobiology, and developmental and reproductive biology. A flexible curriculum will enable you to tailor your academic programs to your academic background, research interests, and career plans.

The research opportunities, using such methodologies as classical biochemistry, transgenics and mass spectrometry, are extensive and diverse:

  • Nutritional biochemistry studies the biochemical, metabolic, physiological and epigenetic functions and properties of nutrients and other dietary constituents. The discipline is used to examine the synergistic relationships among diet, health and disease susceptibility. Students take an integrative curriculum in nutritional biochemistry and may take foundation courses in the basic biological, chemical and physical sciences. Most students complete a minor in biochemistry or molecular biology.
  • Nutrition genomics examines the role of nutrients and dietary components in regulating genome structure, expression and stability, as well as the role of genetic variation on individual nutrient requirements. Research in nutritional genomics relies on genetic technology and models. It includes developing and using transgenic mice, microarray technologies for expression profiling, and human population genetics. Most students complete a minor in genetics.
  • Nutritional metabolomics studies the regulation of metabolic pathways and networks by nutrients and other food components, as well as the establishment of analytical methods that profile human serum and urinary metabolites to assess nutritional imbalances and disease risk. Most students complete a minor in biochemistry or molecular biology.
  • Maternal nutrition/fetal development/epigenetics  looks at the molecular-level relationships between maternal nutrition and fetal development. Research topics include how maternal nutritional status regulates fetal gene expression (metabolic imprinting) and how to identify the consequences of such imprinting throughout the life of the offspring.

Opportunities after Graduation: Graduates of this program typically follow careers in research and academics. They may work in universities, private research institutions, government and private industry. 

Graduate Studies homepage

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Human Nutrition

OFFERED BY:  DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL HEALTH

Onsite | Full-Time | 4 years

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About the PhD in Human Nutrition Program

The doctoral program in Human Nutrition is designed to train professionals to identify, understand and solve, through scientific methods, problems of public health importance in human nutrition. Graduates are expected to assume leadership roles in academia, government, industry and other private sector enterprises.

This is a  STEM designated program . Eligible F-1 visa students can receive an additional 24 months of work authorization, beyond the initial 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT).

PhD in Human Nutrition Program Highlights

Graduates will be prepared to advance knowledge in human nutrition through research and advocate the application of such knowledge through public health policies and programs.

GLOBAL NETWORK

Research opportunities in the U.S. and around the world

HEALTH EQUITY

Learn what influences food choices, diet quality, and diet-related health outcomes

CHRONIC DISEASE

Study nutrition-related chronic diseases and obesity

STEM DESIGNATED

Eligibility for a 24-month STEM OPT extension

What Can You Do With a Graduate Degree In Human Nutrition?

Human Nutrition graduates enjoy careers in academia, government and nongovernment sectors, and industry. Alumni hold faculty appointments at leading universities and ministries of health on five continents and positions at major global health organization

  • Associate Professor, UC Davis
  • Senior epidemiologist, CDC
  • Nutrition Specialist, The World Bank
  • Evaluation Specialist, Mercy First
  • Scientist, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Director, GWU

Curriculum for the PhD in Human Nutrition

Students develop the professional skills necessary to work effectively in leading roles at academic, research, programmatic and policy-setting institutions.

Browse an overview of the requirements for this PhD program in the JHU  Academic Catalogue , explore all course offerings in the Bloomberg School  Course Directory , and find many more details in the program's  Academic Guides .

  • Recent dissertations
  • Student timeline

Courses Available in the Following Areas:

  • Micronutrients
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Newborn Health
  • Adolescent health
  • Epidemiology

Admissions Requirements

For general admissions requirements, please visit the  How to Apply  page. This specific program also requires:

Prior Graduate Degree

A minimum of 1 year of postbaccalaureate education or experience such as a master's degree, a dietetic internship, medical training, or other relevant work experience

Prior Work Experience

Not required but highly desirable

Standardized Test Scores

Standardized test scores (GRE) are  optional  for this program. The admissions committee will make no assumptions if a standardized test score is omitted from an application, but will require evidence of quantitative/analytical ability through other application components such as academic transcripts and/or supplemental questions.  Applications will be reviewed holistically based on all application components.

Program Faculty Spotlight

Yeeli Mui

Yeeli Mui, PhD '17, MPH, examines structural interventions to address food system issues and advance health equity through the lens of urban policy and planning.

Mika Matsuzaki

Mika Matsuzaki

Mika Matsuzaki, PhD, MPH, MS, is a life-course epidemiologist studying how policies, built environments, and equity affect nutrition-related chronic diseases and obesity.

Julia Wolfson

Julia Wolfson

Julia Wolfson, PhD '16, MPP, studies individual, structural, and policy factors that influence food choices, diet quality, and diet-related health outcomes.

Parul Christian

Parul Christian

Parul Christian, DrPH '96, MSc, studies how to improve maternal and child nutrition and prevent micronutrient deficiencies with effective solutions in low-income settings.

All full-time PhD students will receive the following support for the first four years of the program either through endowments, grants, or research projects: full tuition, individual health insurance, University Health Services clinic fee, vision insurance, and dental insurance.

Need-Based Relocation Grants Students who  are admitted to PhD programs at JHU  starting in Fall 2023 or beyond can apply to receive a $1500 need-based grant to offset the costs of relocating to be able to attend JHU.   These grants provide funding to a portion of incoming students who, without this money, may otherwise not be able to afford to relocate to JHU for their PhD program. This is not a merit-based grant. Applications will be evaluated solely based on financial need.  View more information about the need-based relocation grants for PhD students .

Questions about the program? We're happy to help.

Elisabeth Simmons, MEd Academic Program Administrator [email protected]

  • Degrees Offered

PhD in Nutritional Sciences

Description.

The doctoral program in Nutritional Sciences offers interdisciplinary training to prepare students to meet the needs for expanding the base of new knowledge in nutritional sciences and to apply this knowledge in public health and clinical health care settings. The PhD program is designed to assist students in gaining an advanced understanding of nutrition and metabolism, and of related biological, biochemical, molecular, and behavioral sciences, in acquiring skills in research methods, and in developing timely and original hypotheses in nutritional sciences. Students first undertake coursework covering the fundamental areas of study and the core knowledge areas. Students then develop their dissertation project, an original research endeavor focused on one primary and another secondary core knowledge area. A general and a final examination are required to complete the degree.

Applicants to the PhD program in Nutritional Sciences may also apply for the  Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics (GCPD)  to incorporate the coursework and supervised practice necessary to sit for the Registered Dietitian Exam while completing the PhD degree.

Likely Careers

The PhD program prepares students for careers in teaching and research in academia, industry, and government.

Evidence of experience related to the broad areas of nutrition, dietetics, public health, or research.

Application Deadline:   Dec. 1 for Autumn Quarter entry

Competencies

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

  • Meet the  competencies  established by the School of Public Health for all MS and PhD students;
  • Apply knowledge of human nutrient requirements and their relationship to metabolic pathways and physiological function to the design of research, teaching, and policy proposals;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Critically examine the process, rationale and issues related to establishing nutrient requirements and dietary guidance for the population;
  • Apply conceptual models of evidence-based approaches to promoting nutritional health;
  • Construct testable hypotheses, develop appropriate study designs, and conduct research, which will significantly expand knowledge of nutritional sciences;
  • Disseminate research findings through oral presentations and peer reviewed journals;
  • Develop and prepare proposals for procuring research funding; and
  • Develop and provide instruction in a higher education academic setting, demonstrating use of evidence-based pedagogical principals.

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Nutrition Doctoral Degree Program

Phd in nutrition.

Nutrition graduate program

Pursue nutrition research focused on improving human health.

    Request Info about OSU Grad School

In the Oregon State University’s nutrition doctoral program, you’ll focus on human nutrition for the promotion of optimal health and disease prevention.

You’ll work alongside knowledgeable, welcoming and nationally recognized faculty who are contributing exciting discoveries to the field, while improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities in Oregon and beyond.

The PhD in Nutrition is designed to prepare you for a professional career in nutrition through a combination of coursework and research.

Nutrition research

As a nutrition doctoral student, you will apply the specific skills and knowledge you gain in coursework to projects conducted under the direction of faculty members with whom you share research interests.

Faculty study a broad range of areas, including:

  • the biology of human and animal milks
  • neuroendocrine regulation of body weight and bone metabolism
  • antioxidants and gene expression in cancer prevention
  • food security
  • school and community nutrition education programs
  • nutrition education
  • the role of diet in metabolic diseases
  • nutrition epidemiology
  • sustainable protein sources to combat child malnutrition

Faculty contact information and a detailed description of the nutrition research being conducted at Oregon State may be found on each laboratory’s webpage

Graduate student handbook

Detailed information about degree requirements and coursework

  • Nutrition graduate student handbook

Funmi Amoda

Funmi Amoda

Funmi was initially drawn to nutrition because her dad died of liver cancer 11 years ago.

“I really want to know the etiological roles of diet and lifestyle in the development of cancer."

With her nutrition epidemiology research, she’ll be doing just that.

Learn more about Funmi Amoda’s journey to Oregon State’s nutrition doctoral program.

Tuition and funding

Graduate assistantships are available in teaching and research to highly qualified candidates.

Annual support ranges from $9,595-$22,176 based on assignment (and also includes a waiver of graduate tuition).

More information about how to apply for funding and deadlines:

  • Fellowships

Careers in nutrition

After completing the Doctor of Philosophy in nutrition, you will be able to synthesize and communicate knowledge in your field of study; identify central issues, problems and research priorities in your field of study; and design, conduct, interpret and communicate original research.

Graduates find employment as researchers and teachers at universities, researchers and leaders in federal and state agencies (NIH, USDA, FDA) or companies in the nutrition and food space.

Alumni highlight

Robert Beverly

Robert Beverly, PhD

Now working at FDA as a postdoctoral fellow

We’re here to help

We’re happy to connect with you by email, phone or virtual meetings.

For questions about the application process and requirements, contact COH graduate admissions .

To talk about curriculum and life as a doctoral student, contact our Graduate Program Manager Rafael Arroyo

For academic or professional information specific to the nutrition doctoral program, please contact the Program Director David Dallas, PhD

Analyzing data

Faculty advisors

Not sure how to find a PhD advisor or how to start a conversation with a potential advisor?

Here are some tips

School of Public Health

PhD in Nutrition

Phd nutrition.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in nutrition prepares you for a career in academia, governmental agencies, research institutes, nonprofit organizations, and private industry. The program is designed to provide an advanced curriculum in nutrition, professional skills, and competencies required to support careers in teaching and research.

Program Director -  Sujatha Rajaram

Get details on the standard cost of attendance at LLU. View Estimates.

Student Housing

The GRE is not required for applicants who meet the admissions criteria. If an applicant does not meet the minimum GPA requirements, the GRE is required in order for the application to be considered. For prospective students who wish to strengthen their application, GRE scores can be submitted as an option, but it is not required. GRE scores must have been attained within the last five years.

A legacy of over 50 years in plant-based nutrition research

The Loma Linda University School of Public Health has a rich history of plant-based nutrition research. We engage in interdisciplinary research across public health disciplines and the Basic Sciences. This collaborative way of working is how we continue to promote and build on our core legacy of vegetarian and plant-based nutrition. Some key studies include:

  • Nutritional epidemiology studies relating plant based diet patterns to health outcomes and longevity ( the Adventist health Study )
  • Several clinical trials with plant foods ( nuts and soy) intervention and health outcomes
  • Vegetarian nutrition education research
  • Environmental impact of plant based diets compared to animal inclusive diets.

Areas of curricular strength and research emphasis include: 

  • Plant-based diets and the health of the individual
  • Populations and the plane
  • Nutritional epidemiology
  • Diet and chronic disease risk reduction 
  • Community nutrition

Leading the conversation on plant-based nutrition

Guided by its Nutrition faculty, the School of Public Health hosts the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition (ICVN), the premiere scientific conference on the health effects of plant-based diets held every 5 years. The conference is designed to provide a review of the accumulated findings, and introduce theoretical concepts, practical applications, and implications of vegetarian dietary practices for both the prevention of disease and the promotion of health, as well as for the furthering of research endeavors. The theme for the 7th ICVN was Plant-foods for the health of people, populations and the planet.

The 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition

In February 2018, we hosted the 7th International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, on the campus of Loma Linda University. Since 1987, the congress has been held only every 5 years and is the premier scientific conference on the health effects of plant-based diets. It brings together international scientists, physicians, nutritionists, dietitians, and other health professionals to showcase the latest advances from basic science, epidemiology, and clinical trials in vegetarian nutrition. Proceedings for the 7th ICVN are underway.

Visit the 7th ICVN website .

Connect with us

Request more information, prerequisites & learning outcomes, who should consider this program.

Those who may benefit from the program include individuals seeking careers in:

  • Academia (teaching and research)
  • Researcher in private industry, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, research institutes
  • Public health nutritionist
  • Leadership role in academia and public health sector

Prerequisites

  • Master's degree in nutrition preferred; or an M.S. or M.P.H. degree with completion of all prerequisite courses; or a health professional degree at the master's level or higher (M.D. or equivalent)
  • Applicants with a master’s degree in another field may indicate their relevant training, research and/or practice experience, or educational background comparable to the M.P.H. or the M.S. degrees. Dr.P.H. and Ph.D. degree applicants who are admitted without a CEPH-accredited M.P.H. degree will be required to take PHCJ 606 Public Health Fundamentals, EPDM 509 Principles of Epidemiology, STAT 521 Biostatistics I or AHRM 514 Biostatistics  (that covers SPSS and R, SAS), or equivalent courses to fulfill the public health fundamental learning outcomes described in section D.1 of the 2016 CEPH criteria. 
  • Advanced biochemistry (may be taken concurrently with the program)
  • Anatomy and physiology, microbiology, general chemistry and organic chemistry
  • G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher preferred

Learner Outcomes

Upon graduation from the Ph.D. in Nutrition program, the graduates should be able to:

  • Evaluate advanced knowledge in nutritional science and explain the biological mechanism underlying the relationship between nutrients, foods, and diet pattern and health.
  • Critically evaluate the evidence base and advocate for the role of plant-based diets in promoting health of the individual, population groups, and the planet.
  • Apply analytical and fundamental concepts in nutritional epidemiology.
  • Conduct a research study that addresses a nutrition problem, collect/abstract, analyze, and interpret the data and report findings.
  • Effectively communicate nutritional science, orally and in writing, to the scientific community and the public, to advance the field and to promote public health.
  • Use best-practice modalities in pedagogy to deliver educational experiences in an academic setting.
  • Apply the principles of scientific and professional ethics in research, teaching, and practice.

Educational Effectiveness Indicators

  • Assessment from required courses
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation proposal defense (qualifying examination)
  • Dissertation manuscript: submission of two manuscripts from the dissertation to peer-reviewed journals. One manuscript published in peer-reviewed journal (from dissertation or non-dissertation).
  • Oral defense of dissertation
  • Teaching assistant
  • Presentation at a scientific conference

Program Requirements

Culminating experience.

As a part of the culminating experience, the student must have one publication in peer-reviewed journal (co-authorship or review article acceptable), submit two manuscripts from their dissertation research to peer reviewed journals, successfully defends dissertation, and submits a committee approved dissertation manuscript. Further details provided in the SPH Doctoral Handbook.

Corequisites

NUTR 504: Nutritional Metabolism

STAT 509: General Statistics

STAT 548 or STAT 549: Analytical Applications of SPSS or Analytical Applications of SAS

NUTR 517: Advanced Nutrition I: CHO, Lipids

NUTR 518: Advanced Nutrition II: Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals​

Required Courses

Micronutient metabolism course or equivalent, macronutient metabolism course or equivalent, nutr 504 nutritional metabolism 3, stat 548 analytical applications of sas and r 2, or stat 549 analytical applications of spss, stat 521 biostatistics i 3-4 or ahrm 514 biostatistics, public health core, epdm 509 principles of epidemiology 3, phcj 606 public health fundamentals 4, phcj 608a doctoral seminar for public health 1, phcj 608b doctoral seminar for public health 1, phcj 608c doctoral seminar for public health 1, phcj 614 pedagogy: the art and science of teaching 2, phcj 615 intermediate biostatistics 3, phcj 618 transformative communication 2, nutrition core, nutr 617 preventive nutrition i: carbohydrates and lipids 2, nutr 618 preventive nutrition ii: protein, vitamins andminerals 2, nutr 619 preventive nutrition iii: phytochemicals 3, nutr 620 advanced topics in nutrition 6, nutr 664 vegetarian nutrition: person, population, planet 3, phcj 624a scientist forum 1, phcj 624b scientist forum 1, phcj 624c scientist forum 1, rele 525 ethics for scientists, relr 5__ graduate-level relational (relr 540 recommended) 3, relt 5__ graduate-level theological 3, electives 6, research core, nutr 634 concepts of nutritional epidemiology 3, nutr 639 research methods in nutrition 2, nutr 685 preliminary research experience 2, nutr 698 dissertation 12, stat 568 data analysis 3, total units - 73, meet your program director, sujatha rajaram, phd.

Program director

Sujatha Rajaram, PhD

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what to do with a phd in nutrition

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Ph.D. in Nutrition

Improving health and advancing knowledge in nutrition science.

The Ph.D. program in Nutrition focuses on public health nutrition issues, preparing graduates to teach and conduct scholarly inquiry or undertake careers in higher education, public policy, or industry within contemporary areas in nutrition, including nutrition and applied health sciences; nutrition across the lifespan (including maternal and child health nutrition and healthy aging); rigor, reproducibility, and transparency; community-based participatory research; randomized controlled trials; nutrition diagnostics; international nutrition; and implementation science. The program includes opportunities for experiential components including internships in industry or policy.

Gain program insight from distinguished faculty Dr. Carla Miller, Dr. Nana Gletsu Miller, and Dr. Kit Elam by listening to our Nutrition Faculty Expert Panel. Topics include the Nutrition Lab, research areas, student academic appointments, and career outcomes.

what to do with a phd in nutrition

"The Nutrition major is a great choice for students with an interest and passion for understanding nutrient regulation, human health and well-being, and disease prevention. The program emphasizes factors affecting dietary patterns, as well as improving behavioral strategies to facilitate the adoption of health-promoting foods and nutritionally adequate diets. Elective courses allow students to tailor the training to fit their research interests."

–Carla Miller, Ph.D. Professor, Director of the Ph.D. program in Nutrition

The typical duration of the Ph.D. in Nutrition program is four years. Students spend the first year completing core competencies in public health and the nutritional sciences. Students develop a plan of study in conjunction with their faculty mentor and advisory committee, identifying opportunities for research and/or field experiences.

During the program, students may explore a variety of nutrition topics, including:

  • Regulation of nutrient metabolism and the biological mechanisms underlying the relationships among dietary intake, disease development, and health maintenance;
  • Foundations of public health;
  • Research methodology and statistical methods;
  • Nutrition education and behavioral change;
  • Communicating nutrition science to diverse audiences;
  • Current topics in nutrition.

The final year includes a focus on the student's dissertation research, publication of research findings, and communication of findings to diverse audiences.

Enhance your education

Students work with a faculty mentor in areas that include nutritional assessment, conducting controlled feeding trials, developing and implementing behavioral interventions to improve health or disease management, and evaluating approaches to improve the nutritional status of populations through public policy and programs.

Students tailor their training to fit their interests with elective courses and a degree minor. Common elective topics include epidemiology, health behavior, statistics, cell biology, biochemistry, and physiology. The minor must be in a designated area outside of nutrition, and common minors include (but are not limited to): health behavior, biostatistics/epidemiology, kinesiology, and anthropology of food.

Is it for you?

The Nutrition major is a great choice for students with an interest and passion for improving optimal health and well-being and disease prevention across the lifespan.

Admission Requirements

Students from various backgrounds are eligible to apply for this program, but all applicants should have taken undergraduate courses in biochemistry, physiology and general nutrition. A master’s degree also is required for admission to the doctoral program.

To apply, prospective students must complete two separate applications for admission—one through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS), and one through the IU Graduate School.

Learn More About How to Apply

See degree information in the bulletin

Learn more about the Department of Applied Health Science

See faculty in this program

The following professional organizations are affiliated with our program or popular among our students:

  • American Public Health Association apha.org
  • American Society for Nutrition nutrition.org
  • Experimental Biology experimentalbiology.org
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics eatright.org
  • Society for Nutrition Education & Behavior sneb.org
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine sbm.org

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PhD in Nutrition

Advance your career in this fast-growing field with a nutrition doctorate program..

Go deep in one area of nutrition, such as how economic and other factors affect food access. Develop your research, teaching, and management skills. And make a meaningful impact on solving nutrition-related health problems with UMass Amherst’s PhD in nutrition.

You’ll apply our pioneering use of multimodality methods in your research, from digital storytelling to participatory action research.

PhD in nutrition course requirements (46 credits):

  • Seven advanced core courses (21 credits)
  • One public health course (3 credits)
  • One nutrition elective or independent study course (3 credits)
  • Three graduate seminars (3 credits)
  • PhD dissertation (18-credits) 

Students may elect to pursue a minor in other areas (e.g., biostatistics or epidemiology), and 12 credits are required for claiming a minor.

Note: Introductory Biostatistics (BIOSTATS 540) may be part of the 24 credits in the major concentration or the 12 credits in minor concentration for BIOS. Principles of Epidemiology (EPI 630) may serve the same purpose for the major concentration and the minor concentration for EPI.

Benefits list

Nutrition group with fruit

Support for Your Education

Doctoral students have priority in teaching positions and tend to support themselves with these offerings during the first three years. Faculty assist students in applying for federal or foundation funding to support independent research projects. Currently, all UMass doctoral students are funded.

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CEPH Accreditation

Every program in the nutrition department, like every other department within the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, is fully accredited by the  Council of Education for Public Health , a key benefit of attending UMass.

Nutrition lab students

Research Centers and Institutes

You’ll find a wealth of opportunities in our two primary research centers. The Institute for Global Health promotes healthy living in developing nations. The Center for Research and Education in Women's Health seeks to better understand health factors that affect women from birth through old age.

Featured class

This course provides the molecular basis on how dietary factors regulate the pathogenic progression of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other nutrition-associated metabolic disorders.

Featured faculty

Soonkyu chung.

Focus on obesity, brown adipocytes, adipose inflammation, dietary polyphenols, epigenetics.

Soonkyu Chung

Megan Patton-Lopez

Focus on community nutrition, implementation science, child and adolescent health, healthy eating and active living, health equity.

Megan Patton-Lopez

Focus on nutritional epidemiology; cancer epidemiology; genetic and tissue-based biomarkers; multi-omics data; neurodegeneration

Chaoran Ma

Application information & deadlines

Prospective students apply through the UMass Graduate School .

Spring Application Deadline

October 1, 2023.

Applications for spring admission are due by Oct. 1.

Fall Application Deadline

February 1, 2024.

Applications for fall admission are due by Feb. 1.

Offering an interdisciplinary approach to the study and application of the relationship between diet, foods, and health. 

  • Graduate Admissions in Nutrition
  • DI: Application and Admissions Requirements
  • Financial Aid and Scholarships
  • Department of Nutrition

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Nutrition (NUT)

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The Department of Nutrition seeks to improve human health by conducting research on enhancing nutrition. The department strives to accomplish this goal through research aimed at improved understanding of how diet influences health, the dissemination of new knowledge about nutrition to health professionals and the public, the development and evaluation of nutritional strategies, and the education of researchers and practitioners.

What are the Areas of Specialization within this Field of Study?

  • Nutritional Epidemiology: this area provides rigorous training in the biological aspects of nutrition, epidemiology, biostatistics and select related disciplines.  The overall objective is to enable students to investigate relationships between diet and disease.
  • Public Health Nutrition: this area focuses on combining principles and practices from nutrition and social and behavioral science to develop, implement and evaluate programs and policies that promote optimal nutrition and population health and well-being. Students will be skilled in quantitative and qualitative methods, program development and evaluation, health disparities, health behavior change and health policy.

What research competencies and skills will students develop?

  • Acquire detailed knowledge regarding the biological basis of nutrition and the mechanisms by which diet can influence health. This includes a basic understanding of metabolism, physiology, and molecular genetics;
  • Develop quantitative skills required for the evaluation of diet and disease relationships in epidemiologic studies;
  • Attain skills in developing research proposals for the study of diet and disease. This requires the integration of knowledge about human nutrition with epidemiologic concepts;
  • To develop skills in the oral and written communication of scientific information.
  • Nutrition science and principles
  • Translation of science into practice
  • Analytic skills and research methods
  • Policy and leadership
  • Cultural competency

Who are the faculty in the department associated with this Field of Study?

Information on the faculty in the Department of Nutrition.

Who is the departmental contact from whom more information about doctoral training in this Field of Study may be sought?

Stefanie Dean, Nutrition, Academic and Educational Project Coordinator, tel: 617-432-1528

What are the required courses for this Field of Study?

Required courses for the Nutrition Field of Study

More information on the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Case Western Reserve University

PhD Programs

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  • Biomedical Scientist Training Program (BSTP)  
  • Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) .

Biomedical Sciences Training Program (BSTP)

Priority will be given to applications received by December 1. We will continue to review applications received after the priority deadline, but not beyond the final application deadline of January 1. The School of Graduate Studies processes the application and your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Committee as soon as it is complete. Learn more about the application process. 

Please note that our program has limited financial resources for supporting students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

In order to earn a PhD in Nutrition or SYBB, a student must complete:

  • Rotations in at least three laboratories, followed by selection of a research advisor
  • Core and Elective coursework, including responsible conduct of research, as described in the plan of study.
  • 36 hours of coursework (24 hours of which are graded) and 18 hours of NTRN or SYBB 701 Dissertation Research
  • A qualifying examination for advancement to candidacy in the form of a short grant proposal and an oral defense

During the dissertation period, students are expected to meet twice a year with their thesis committee, present seminars in the department, and fulfill journal publication requirements. Throughout the doctoral training, students are expected to be enthusiastic participants in seminars, journal clubs, and research meetings in the lab and program.

Each graduate program follows the overall regulations established and described in CWRU Graduate Studies and documented to the Regents of the State of Ohio. 

Apply for BSTP

Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

Students in the MSTP are required to complete the standard requirements for the PhD degree, in addition to the curricular requirements for the MD degree. Upon completion of their PhD work, the students will return to medical school curriculum to complete their MD.  More information on this program can be found on the MSTP website . 

Apply for MSTP

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Students in our PhD program work closely with a research advisor and mentor with an active NIH-funded research program for their focused research area.  

Four men in white lab coats gather around a computer.  One is sitting and the other three are standing.

The Systems Biology and Bioinformatics (SYBB) program has two tracks: Translational Bioinformatics and Molecular and Computational Biology.

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Course type

Qualification, university name, phd degrees in nutrition and dietetics.

18 degrees at 15 universities in the UK.

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About Postgraduate Nutrition and Dietetics

Nutrition and Dietetics is an evolving field which focuses on the exploration of nutritional sciences and dietetics. A PhD programme in England delves into rigorous academic and research training, studying topics such as clinical nutrition, public health nutrition and policy making.

There are more than ten PhD programmes in nutrition and dietetics offered in England and to qualify for a PhD course, candidates typically need a relevant master's degree or an equivalent qualification in nutrition or related health science, along with a strong research proposal. Prior professional experience in clinical or community nutrition is an advantage. This programme aims to prepare students for leadership roles in academia, research institutions or public health organisations, providing them with the skills to address complex nutritional challenges and contribute to nutritional science and dietary practices.

What to Expect

A PhD in Nutrition and Dietetics in England offers an opportunity to engage in a rigorous academic and research-intensive programme. Students explore advanced topics in nutritional sciences, such as metabolic pathways, the role of nutrients in disease prevention and management and the development of therapeutic dietary strategies. The curriculum often includes advanced statistical methods, research design and the ethical considerations of nutrition research.

Throughout their studies, candidates are expected to contribute to the knowledge of the field through dissertations, peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. Assessment methods include the submission of a doctoral thesis and oral examinations, where candidates defend their research findings.

Graduates are equipped with the skills to drive forward research and practice in nutrition and dietetics, prepared for roles as researchers, educators, or policy advisors in academia, healthcare or government agencies, playing a vital role in advancing the field of nutrition and promoting healthier societies.

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Related subjects:

  • PhD Nutrition and Dietetics
  • PhD Dietetics
  • PhD Food Science
  • PhD Food Science and Technology, Nutrition and Dietetics
  • PhD Food Technology
  • PhD Nutrition

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  • Course title (A-Z)
  • Course title (Z-A)
  • Price: high - low
  • Price: low - high

Nutrition PhD

University of glasgow.

Research on nutrition at Glasgow covers a wide range of areas including gut, food and metabolism as well as diet and chronic disease at Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)
  • 5 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)
  • 5 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences PhD

Newcastle university.

Explore cutting-edge health science research across biomedical, nutritional, and sport science disciplines with our MPhil and Read more...

  • 36 months Full time degree
  • 72 months Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

Clinical Nutrition PhD

University of nottingham.

Internationally renowned for research on nutrition and metabolism, healthy aging, public health dietetics and the prevention of chronic Read more...

  • 4 years Full time degree: £5,100 per year (UK)
  • 8 years Part time degree

PhD Nutrition and Health

University of plymouth.

Study for a PhD degree with the School of Health Professions and join a supportive community of researchers who are working to further Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,500 per year (UK)
  • 4 years Part time degree: £3,030 per year (UK)

Food Business and Nutrition Science PhD

University of west london.

Research in the London Geller College of Hospitality and Tourism (LGCHT) focuses on exploring innovation within the food sector; whether Read more...

  • 4 years Full time degree: £3,995 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,000 per year (UK)

MPhil/PhD Clinical Sciences and Nutrition

University of chester.

The Department has a very strong presence in postgraduate education offering well established MSc degrees in the following areas of Read more...

Food and Human Nutrition MPhil, PhD

Our Food and Human Nutrition PhD and MPhil seek to understand how food affects human health and wellbeing. Within your research, you'll Read more...

  • 36 months Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)

Nutritional Sciences PhD

The overarching theme of the school's nutritional sciences research group is the scientific understanding and improvement of nutrition Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £5,100 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree

PhD Food Policy, Nutrition and Diet

University of hertfordshire.

A University of Hertfordshire research degree is an internationally recognised degree signifying high levels of achievement in research. Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £5,925 per year (UK)

Obesity and Endocrinology PhD

University of liverpool.

The Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease researches clinical aspects of obesity and diabetes in humans, with particular reference to Read more...

  • 2 years Full time degree: £4,712 per year (UK)
  • 4 years Part time degree: £2,356 per year (UK)

University of Manchester

Programme description Our PhD/MPhil Nutrition programme enables you to undertake a research project that will improve understanding of Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,786 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,393 per year (UK)

Exercise, Nutrition and Health PhD

University of bristol.

A PhD in Exercise, Nutrition and Health equips students with the skills and experience to apply research methods and the tools to Read more...

  • 4 years Full time degree: £4,758 per year (UK)
  • 8 years Part time degree: £2,379 per year (UK)

Life Course Sciences MPhil/PhD/MD(Res)

King's college london, university of london.

The School of Life Course Sciences encompasses four research and teaching units in the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine which span and Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £6,936 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £3,468 per year (UK)

PhD Food, Nutrition and Health

University of reading.

The outstanding quality of our research is internationally recognised, making Reading one of the most highly regarded food and nutrition Read more...

Nutrition and Health Phd

University of aberdeen.

Basic, policy and industry informed research on the impact of human nutrition on cells, tissues, whole body and population health. The Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree

Human Nutrition, Dietary Patterns and Physical Activity PhD

Abertay university.

The food and drink industry is extremely important to the UK/Scottish economy and Abertay research within the Division of Engineering and Read more...

  • 3 years Full time degree: £4,829 per year (UK)
  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,415 per year (UK)

PhD Nutrition Innovation Centre for food and HEalth (NICHE)

Ulster university.

Our mission in NICHE is the achievement of global excellence in nutrition research and education. Our nutrition research activities are Read more...

  • 6 years Part time degree: £2,360 per year (UK)

PhD/MPhil Food and Nutritional Sciences

Course type:.

  • Full time PhD
  • Part time PhD

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Adeline stands in the Foods Lab in front of a counter with stovetops and mixers

Driven by empathy

Overcoming an eating disorder motivates addie sholar to excel in her academic journey.

Addie Sholar developed an eating disorder at 14 years old. At 18, she sought treatment and connected with a therapist, who helped her begin her six-year journey to recovery. She also received support from several dietitians to learn how to correct her restrictive eating habits.

Now, at age 24, Sholar considers herself to be fully recovered. Her experience has fueled her to pursue a career in dietetics, which she is working toward as a graduate student in the University of Cincinnati’s Accelerated Dietitian Nutritionist (ADN) program.

Five years into her academic pursuit, Sholar’s hard work and passion for dietetics is gaining recognition. In April, she received the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award from the Ohio Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—as one of only three students to be recognized statewide this year. 

I always knew I wanted to study nutrition for the right reasons; I wanted to help people

Addie Sholar

Sholar's academic journey

Sholar began her academic career at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in the fall of 2018. At the time, she had just started meeting with a therapist and dietitian for her eating disorder. Though Sholar was met with resistance about her choice to enter the field of nutrition and dietetics, she persisted anyway, earning her associate degree in dietetic technology and graduating at the top of her class in the summer of 2020.

“I always knew I wanted to study nutrition for the right reasons; I wanted to help people,” Sholar says. “Even though I was dealing with my own eating disorder, I was able to center myself in my values. I knew I had to work through it and heal to be able to provide the best care for my future clients. When things got particularly tough and I struggled to maintain motivation for recovery, I would remind myself to do it for the people that I’d help in the future.”

Sholar gained a couple hundred hours of internship experience during her time at Cincinnati State, working at UC Health's Daniel Drake Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Otterbein SeniorLife, Mercy Health – West Hospital and West Clermont City Schools.

Recognized for her outstanding GPA, Sholar received a UC Transfer Ambassador Scholarship when she transferred to the College of Allied Health Sciences’ ADN program in the fall of 2021. Over the next two years, Sholar would make the Dean’s list, maintain a part-time job and complete her community rotation working as a nutrition intern at Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

"Addie has always excelled academically, but I’ve witnessed her become more and more excited about what she’s learning over the years,” says Lindsey Mills, PhD, undergraduate program director and associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, who has taught several of Sholar’s classes and served as her mentor. “Her face lights up when talking about macronutrient metabolism, which is a sure sign she’s destined to be a registered dietitian.”

Based on her academic achievement, professional service record and interpersonal skills, Sholar was unanimously selected by UC’s nutrition faculty for the nutrition lead position at the new student-run Interprofessional Community Clinic. The clinic, which the college launched last fall in partnership with Kroger Health, aims to provide free holistic health services to underinsured and noninsured community members. Sholar and five faculty-picked student leaders from other allied health professions have spent the past two semesters helping establish standard operating procedures and seeing mock patients.

“Addie brings much well-rounded directed practice experience into the clinic operations from her training as a dietetic technician,” says Sarah Couch, PhD, the clinic’s nutrition faculty supervisor and a professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. “She has been the respectful student voice for the clinic operations, even speaking on their behalf at the opening ceremony last semester. Addie has done an outstanding job helping set up standard operating procedures, develop assessment practices and select counseling materials for the clinic, as well as successfully carry out mock patient visits as we gear up to take on our first patients.”

From left to right, Lindsey Mills, Adeline Sholar and Sarah Couch.

Couch nominated Sholar for the Outstanding Dietetics Student Award during one of the toughest semesters of her academic career. Receiving the award, Sholar says, is validation for all the hard work she’s put into her degree and speaks to how passionate she is about studying nutrition. She added that “it was the pat on the back I needed” during an especially overwhelming time and “a reminder that everything was going to be OK.”

“Addie is beyond deserving of the Ohio Outstanding Dietetics Student Award and I’m so proud to have her representing UC,” Mills adds. “She is academically gifted, mature, professional and empathetic. I have no doubt Addie will be an amazing registered dietitian.”

Sholar's future impact

Adeline Sholar in the College's Foods Lab.

A dietitian that Sholar worked with early on in her recovery journey didn’t always provide the support she needed. She says that dietitian, as well as another dietitian who later provided her adequate support, have helped fuel her passion.

“Eating disorders are terrible because you become all consumed in food and body and nothing else matters,” Sholar says. “It robs you of your life, your friends and family and normal teenager experiences, and it drains you of energy and joy.”

Sholar says she “got her life back” thanks to a few impactful therapists and dietitians, and she’s motivated to pay it forward to her future patients. 

“I hope to provide the level of care that I wish to have received when I was 18 and first getting treatment,” Sholar says. “There is so much misinformation about nutrition and the proper way to treat eating disorders. Many therapists, dietitians and doctors struggle to treat these individuals because they don’t have a holistic perspective of what eating disorders are, what fuels them and what helps these individuals heal. Because I have experienced an eating disorder—even though I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody—it gives me a better perspective on how to provide my future clients more well-rounded care.”

Though Sholar’s participation in the Interprofessional Community Clinic will end this semester, she’s excited to apply for a dietetic internship at Cincinnati Children's, where she currently works in the Human Milk and Formula Room. She’ll spend the upcoming fall and spring semesters gaining more hands-on clinical and foodservice experience before she graduates and takes her registered dietitian exam in the fall of 2025. Sholar hopes to land a job in eating disorders or an adjacent field and work with adolescents and adults in an inpatient or residential setting. 

“Nutrition is such an important component of healing from an eating disorder. To make strides on the psychological side, a person has to be nourished enough to be present for therapy.” Sholar says. “I’m studying nutrition to help these people. I can bring the softness, empathy and understanding I have developed though personal experiences when helping my future clients navigate the challenges of recovering from an eating disorder.”

Passion Meets Preparation

We're excited to train the next generation of registered dietitian nutritionist (RDNs). The University of Cincinnati has a variety of undergraduate and graduate nutrition science programs.

Katie Coburn

[email protected]

  • College of Allied Health Sciences
  • Student Experience

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