PhD in Nutrition: Online and Campus-Based Programs

Explore some of the course topics you'd study in a Ph.D. program in nutrition and check the prerequisites for enrolling in one of these doctoral programs. Read about on-campus nutrition Ph.D. programs, which are commonly available, as well as programs that are partially offered online. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Ph.D. Program in Nutrition?

As a student in a Ph.D. program in nutrition, you'll receive an in-depth education in all aspects of nutrition. Numerous required courses in nutritional science will educate you in both the chemical makeup and dietary significance of various food components, such as proteins and lipids. You'll also learn about the social science related elements of nutrition, which includes issues like community dietetics and consumer food choices.

Like all advanced degree programs, nutrition Ph.D. programs emphasize research. You'll need to take several courses teaching you how to analyze existing research in nutrition science and conduct your own original research. Your applied education in nutrition will come from hands-on clinical practice in an on-campus laboratory, an off-site internship or both.

Degree Overview Training in the chemical makeup and dietary significance of food components and the social science related elements of nutrition
Admissions Requirements Undergraduate degree in related health sciences, prerequisite courses, minimum undergraduate GPA, statement of academic purpose, personal references
Online Availability Partial online programs are available with campus visits for seminars, projects or clinical hours
Coursework Topics Molecular biology, nutrition across the lifespan, obesity and disease prevention, fundamentals of metabolism, physiological anatomy

What are the Program's Requirements?

As with many doctoral programs, admissions for Ph.D. programs in nutrition are highly selective. You must have a strong undergraduate background in nutrition or kinesiology. Many schools will admit students with undergraduate degrees in related health sciences. Some schools may require you to submit additional documents to their departments of graduate admissions, such as statements of academic purpose, minimum undergraduate GPA's, personal references and any research experiences that you may have.

Most schools require completion of a set number of core courses covering foundational topics like vitamins, minerals and food chemistry. Also, because nutrition Ph.D. programs are meant to prepare students for careers in teaching or research, some programs require the completion of several courses in research methods.

The requirements to earn your doctorate degree in nutrition don't end with theoretical coursework. Most programs require you to complete either a period of clinical residence in a position related to nutrition sciences or a teaching or research assignment. You'll also need to research, write and defend a thesis or dissertation in a relevant area of nutrition. The dissertation component of nutrition Ph.D. degrees is often the most in-depth of all graduation requirements, with research and other preparation generally taking several semesters to complete.

Are These Degrees Available Online?

Perhaps due to the intensive clinical and research requirements for Ph.D. degree programs in nutrition, there are no programs that currently allow you to earn your doctorate in nutrition fully online. Some Ph.D. programs that can be partially completed online are available on a very limited basis. Such a program may place greater emphasis on clinical nutritional studies than the sort of academic research described throughout this article.

A Ph.D. degree program in nutrition with partial online delivery may allow you to complete all your theoretical coursework through your school's online course delivery system. These online teaching and learning platforms allow you to access and submit all lectures, assignments and tests via internet. Enrolling in an online program would require you to report to your school's campus for occasional seminars and clinical hours or other applied projects.

What Kinds of Classes Will I Take?

The exact course content in a Ph.D. program in nutrition may vary slightly; some schools offer doctoral degree programs strictly in nutrition, while others combine them with related areas like kinesiology, dietetics or community health. Regardless of these specifics, all nutrition Ph.D. programs offer similar core courses and electives. Topics commonly discussed in required course curricula for nutrition Ph.D.'s may include the following:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular biology
  • Nutritional assessments
  • Qualitative and quantitative nutrition research methods
  • Nutrition across the lifespan
  • Obesity and disease prevention
  • Fundamentals of metabolism
  • Vitamins and minerals in human nutrition
  • Carbohydrate, lipid and protein nutrition
  • Physiological anatomy
  • Consumer nutrition science

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Grand Canyon University

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