Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)

Nutritional Sciences (Ph.D.)

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Why pursue a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at UNH?

A Ph.D. in nutritional sciences will help you advance your career in nutrition and advance your understanding of the role of nutrition in human health. As a graduate student in the department of agriculture, nutrition and food systems, you will be a part of an interdisciplinary department focusing on the farm to fork to the health and wellness continuum. You will also develop independent and team research experience and graduate prepared to pursue a wide range of careers.

Program highlights

UNH is among the nation’s highest-performing research universities, having earned a Carnegie Classification R1. Our research portfolio brings in more than $110 million in competitive external funding each year. Federal and state funding is available for research on diverse aspects of nutrition, foods and agricultural sciences, and you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with leading researchers worldwide. As a graduate student at UNH, you’ll have the opportunity to work in several top-notch research facilities, as well as in state-of-the-art assessment and teaching facilities including a simulation clinic and an applied research laboratory. Coursework offers numerous experiential learning opportunities to build research, food system, and epidemiology skills to give you a strong foundation for work in a variety of clinical, community or research settings.

Potential career areas

  • Community nutrition
  • Government agencies
  • Healthcare
  • Higher education
  • Industry
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Public health
  • Research

Contact

Department of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems
University of New Hampshire
Kendall Hall
129 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824
(603) 862-2130

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Curriculum & Requirements

The Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences trains students to gain advanced knowledge and develop research expertise in such areas as nutritional physiology and biochemistry, cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, obesity, diabetes, human nutrition, and food systems. It prepares students for future careers in technical consulting, education, and research in academic, industrial, and government institutions.

Admission Requirements: Students applying for the program will be expected to present recent scores (within five years) from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and possess a background in basic sciences appropriate for advanced study in the proposed area of specialization (for example, courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics). Although not required for candidacy in the Ph.D. program, an M.S. degree is suggested for most students.

Students with appropriate academic training at the baccalaureate or master's degree level will design a program of study in conjunction with a faculty guidance committee. The student will advance to candidacy after successful completion of all relevant graduate courses and passing a qualifying examination conducted by the guidance committee, which will contain oral and/or written components at the discretion of the committee members. The guidance committee for doctoral students will consist of a minimum of five members, three of whom must be from within the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Program; at least one member must be from outside the program. After the student's advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, a doctoral committee (which can be different from the guidance committee) will be appointed to supervise and approve the dissertation.

The dissertation must be based on original, hypothesis­-driven research of publishable quality. A public presentation of the dissertation research findings will be followed by a final examination, which will be primarily an oral defense of the dissertation. The candidate will be required to serve as a teaching assistant for a minimum of two semesters or to teach a course for one semester. Skills in communicating scientific information will be fostered by presenting one seminar during each year of enrollment. This requirement could include the dissertation defense seminar.

Core Course Requirements
ANFS 901Introduction to Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Graduate Studies 11
ANFS 997Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems Seminar 21

Nutrition knowledge-related  

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding in key content areas of nutritional sciences and public health nutrition issues 

Research design and analysis   

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of study designs utilized in nutrition-related research
  • Independently conduct nutrition-related data analyses
  • Interpret the results and scientific literature to inform dietary recommendations, public policy, or chronic disease intervention  

Scientific method  

  • Demonstrate the ability to independently design and defend an original, hypothesis-driven project to advance the field of nutritional sciences.

Critical thinking  

  • Integrate scientific evidence and critically evaluate research findings in specific fields related to nutritional sciences.

Communication skills  

  • Disseminate evidence-based information on nutritional sciences and public health
  • Deliver nutrition research findings to multiple scientific audiences (i.e. research conference, academic journal)
  • Incorporate critical feedback in their research and academic work

Professionalism  

  • Conduct research in an ethical manner
  • Demonstrate collaboration and leadership skills

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (priority*), Aug. 1 (final) *Applications completed by Jan. 15 will be given priority consideration for admission and financial support. Applications completed after Jan. 15 will be considered based on openings and funding.
  • Spring: Oct. 15 (final)
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts are required for any school you earned a degree from, attended for at least one year, or attended for 2 or more semesters. Exceptions to this rule may be approved at the discretion of the program you are applying to and the UNH Graduate School Admission’s office.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores, including waiver requests and current COVID related impacts, please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

Some academic departments recommend that international applicants, living outside of the United States, and planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. If your desired program is not on the form, departments prefer a full application be submitted. Preapplication requests will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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