Human Nutrition Ph.D. Concentration

People in lab coats conducting research

The School of Human Environmental Sciences and the Department of Food Science offer a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences (AFLS) with a concentration in Human Nutrition. It develops future leaders in human nutrition who are equipped to address complex nutrition and human health issues through interdisciplinary engagement in learning and discovery. Objectives of the program include providing interdisciplinary education and training in human nutrition and nutritional sciences and preparing students for careers conducting nutritional science research in academic, government, healthcare, or industry settings.

Completion of the AFLS Ph.D. with a concentration in Human Nutrition does not meet the eligibility requirements to become a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). The Commission on Dietetic Registration requires a minimum of a master's degree plus the completion of supervised practice hours. The commission requires that individuals complete the supervised practice hours in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) for this purpose. This is not provided by the University of Arkansas.

Prerequisites to Degree Program: A Master of Science degree is desirable. A student with a Bachelor of Science and an exceptional record in academics and/or research may be approved for admission to the Ph.D. program in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences if the Graduate Student Concentration Admissions Committee of the desired concentration deems them qualified and approval is granted by the AFLSPH Steering Committee. A student admitted to the University of Arkansas, pursuing an M.S. and in good academic standing may apply to be admitted to the doctoral program and forgo completing the M.S. degree if so approved by the AFLSPH Steering Committee and the AFLSPH Graduate Concentration Admissions Committee. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on previous college-level course work is required.

Admission Requirements for Entry: To be considered for admission, a student must submit a letter of intent, along with the application for admission indicating the desired degree concentration, areas of interest and career goals. Official transcripts of all previous college-level course work must be submitted. Three letters of recommendation are required. These letters should address the character and academic capability of the applicant. Applications will first be reviewed by the AFLSPH Steering Committee which will assign the student to the appropriate Graduate Student Concentration Admissions Committee for review. The Concentration Admissions Committee will make the final determination of admittance into the AFLSPH program and the concentration.

Requirements for Doctor of Philosophy Degree: 

NUTR 5103: Nutrition Research Design and Methodology

NUTR 5113: Advanced Nutrition I

NUTR 5233: Advanced Nutrition II

CHEM 5843: Biochemistry II

Other courses are available to fill these requirements. An advisor will recommend the best courses to meet your professional goals and degree requirements.

Graduate-level Statistics Courses (6 hours required): 

EDFD 6403: Education Statistics & Data Processing

ESRM 5393: Statistics in Education & Health Professions

ESRM 6403: Educational Statistics & Data Processing

AGST 5023: Principles of Experimentation*

PLSC 5913: Research Methods in Political Science

*offered online

Research Methods Courses (3 hours required):

HESC 5463/AGED 5463 Research Methodology in Social Sciences

A graduate level statistics course is a prerequisite to this course.

Three hours from the following:

FDSC 6443: Metabolism of Xenobiotics  

FDSC 602V: Special Topics (ST: Metabolism and Chronic Disease)

Online courses are offered periodically for flexibility in degree completion.

In addition to the prerequisites to the AFLS Ph.D. program, applicants are required to have earned credit in the following: 

  • Introductory Biology (3 credits)

  • Physiology (human; 3 credits)

  • Biochemistry (3 credits)

  • Nutrition (human; 3 credits)

  • Statistics (3 credits)

Students entering the graduate program who do not have an undergraduate degree in nutrition or closely related field with training and experience will be required to take the following additional courses: 

  • CHEM 5813: Biochemistry I 

  • NUTR 5223: Nutrition During the Life Cycle 

From a BS or a BA:

  • 77 hours total
  • 15 hours core courses
  • 6 hours statistics
  • 6 hours elective
  • 2 hours seminar
  • 18 hours doctoral dissertation
  • Oral and written exam to pass program

From an MS or MA:

  • 47 hours total
  • 15 hours core classes
  • 6 hours statistics
  • 6 hours elective
  • 2 hours seminar
  • 18 hours doctoral dissertation
  • Oral and written exam to pass program


Program Contact:

Sabrina Trudo, Ph.D.
Co-Graduate Coordinator
School of Human Environmental Sciences

Jamie Baum, Ph.D.
Co-Graduate Coordinator
Department of Food Science

Program at a Glance

On campus

3-5 year program completion, depending on student pace

GRE optional

Students can enroll in fall or spring

A cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher for graduation

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