Nutrition (PHD)


Nutrition, PhD

On Campus 90 cr

The Interdepartmental Nutrition Program's mission is to develop cutting-edge, multidisciplinary education and research programs that integrate animal biology and food to improve human and animal nutrition and health.


The program offers an extensive curriculum and a wide range of research opportunities. Integrating the expertise of three departments allows students greater flexibility in tailoring their research and coursework to their personal and professional interests.

The department offers research-based degrees in several diverse areas of study: Animal Science, Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition, Community Nutrition and Health Promotion, Food Science, and Nutraceuticals.

Because of the diversity of degree programs offered through the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences and the Nutrition Interdepartmental program, students are encouraged to refer to the Nutrition and Health Sciences website to learn more about areas of study and degree programs, admission requirements, and step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

Applying for Admission

Standard requirements for all graduate programs

  • Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
  • Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.

    If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certificates, diplomas, and degrees plus certified English translations.

    After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certified records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certified copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.

  • If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency is required.

    When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

  • If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
  • Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.

Additional requirements specific to this program

  • GRE (optional)
  • English Proficiency:  Minimum 550 paper TOEFL, 79 internet TOEFL, or 6.5 IELTS.
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement: This statement is one of the most critical parts of your application. This is your opportunity to tell us about your personal and professional goals, why you desire a graduate degree in this area, and anything else that provides the Graduate Committee with a glimpse of "who you are." Demonstrate to the Graduate Committee that your goals have been well thought out and that you understand what you are getting into. If you have job and/or volunteer experience that is relevant to your academic pursuits, be sure to provide details. It is helpful to highlight your strengths, although you should also address any weaknesses (such as poor grades or low GRE scores) and describe how that will affect your success as a graduate student. If you believe extenuating circumstances have hindered your academic progress, describe them in enough detail to help the Graduate Committee judge your application. (1-2 pages)
  • Faculty: Identify at least one (max 3) graduate faculty members with whom you are applying to work. Applicants must have at least one advisor willing to accept them and serve as their faculty mentor; applicants who apply without a confirmed advisor will be denied.  Applicants must communicate with individual graduate faculty, providing compelling reasons why their application should be considered in addition to serving as their graduate research advisor. Detailing your volunteer, professional, and research experience as well as demonstrating passion and interest in their areas of research are key components.  Do not contact every faculty member with a general interest; take time to explore faculty profiles and read published papers to see whose research aligns with your interests.  Applicants should also ask potential advisors about faculty research, how the applicant would fit into the lab, and whether assistantship funding is available. 
  • Funding: See NUHS Graduate Programs for information about applying for graduate assistantships and fellowships.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Academics:  Applicants should have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, dietetics, exercise science, food science, health education, health sciences, hospitality/restaurant management, nutrition science, or other major related to their desired area of study.

Admission Application Deadlines

For financial consideration: February 15 for Fall

Campus Address

110 Ruth Leverton Hall

Graduate Chair

Sathish Kumar Natarajan

Support Staff

Kelly Durkin

Tuition & Fees
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See program summaries for details like application deadlines and requirements.

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.

UNL Graduate Chairs and staff please complete the program update form to provide edits. Updates to graduate program pages are made on an annual basis in conjunction with the Graduate Application for Admission.