Ph.D. Degree Course Requirements

As stated in the Graduate Degree Program Bulletin, “no specified number of courses completed or credits earned will assure attainment of the doctorate.” The Bulletin does describe a general requirement of a period of residence, a satisfactory thesis and the successful completion of a Comprehensive Exam and final oral exam. Specific course requirements for Ph.D. candidates in the graduate program in nutritional sciences are indicated below.

Core Courses (13 credits)

  • Regulation of Nutrient Metabolism I (4 credits) – NUTR 501
  • Regulation of Nutrient Metabolism II (3 credits) – NUTR 502
  • Readings in Nutrition (2 credits) – NUTR 520, completed in both Fall and Spring semesters
  • Seminar in Nutrition (1 credit) – NUTR 551
  • 500 Level Courses (4 credits) – choose from NUTR 506 (AN SC 506), 508, 511, 513, 514 (VB SC 514), 515, 532, 533, 534, 583, 597X

Additional Courses (minimum of 12 credits)

Course credits in nutritional sciences or related fields are required in addition to the core courses. An example of an additional course would be in statistics or another root discipline, such as biobehavioral health, microbiology, immunology, genetics, sociology, psychology, food science, human development and family studies, etc. At least five (5) credits should be at the 500 level.

Examples of courses include NUTR 451, 452, 453, 456, 506, 508, 511, 512, 513, 514, 515, 532, 533, 534, 583, 597X; STAT 501, 503, 511, 513, 551, etc.

The selection of additional courses should be tailored to the individual graduate student’s interests, relying on the advice of his/her advisor/research mentor and Dissertation Committee. The Dissertation Committee should be formed immediately after completion of the Candidacy Exam.

Seminar (minimum of 1 credit per year)

For Ph.D. students, one credit of NUTR 520, NUTR 551 or NUTR 590 per year is required until after the semester in which the Comprehensive Exam is passed. The recommended sequence of completion of the seminar requirement is:

  • Year 1, NUTR 520, Fall and Spring semesters (required in both semesters; complete as Fall and then Spring semester sequence only)
  • Year 2, NUTR 551, Fall or Spring semester
  • Year 3, NUTR 551, Fall or Spring semester
  • Year 4, NUTR 551, Fall or Spring semester OR NUTR 590, Fall or Spring semester (if completing the dissertation defense or final exam)
  • Year 5, NUTR 590, Fall or Spring semester when completing the dissertation defense or final exam

NUTR 590 should be taken for credit during the semester in which the student presents his/her dissertation research to the department as part of the GPN Colloquium. If NUTR 590 needs to be completed in Years 2-4 to meet the seminar requirement, the student must discuss this with his/her advisor/research mentor and the professor-in-charge of the GPN.

Communications Requirement (minimum of 5 credits)

A candidate for the Ph.D. degree in the GPN must satisfy the communications requirement before taking the Comprehensive Exam. The manner in which the communications requirement is satisfied must be approved by the student’s Dissertation Committee.

  • 3 credits of technical writing – ENGL 418 or some equivalent course work. Speech or speech communication may also be recommended by the committee. (Any substitution request must be prepared by the student’s mentor and have support of the student’s Dissertation Committee. This request must include a specific substitution and rationale for equivalent credit and be submitted in writing to the Professor-in-Charge of the GPN.)
  • 2 - 3 credits in one or more courses taken post-baccalaureate as part of the Ph.D. requirements from one of the following areas:
  • College or extension teaching – Agricultural Education 530, Agricultural College Teaching; Higher Education 546, Principles of College Teaching; NUTR 602, Supervised Experience in College Teaching.
  • Logic or philosophy of science – Philosophy 212, Symbolic Logic; Philosophy 410, Philosophy of Science; Philosophy 510, Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Science.
  • Foreign language; Education Testing Service competency in French or Spanish; Graduate School competency in other languages.
  • Computer applications