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.
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.
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.
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.