NUTR: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential) Details

UNC Gillings Program Details
NUTR: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential)

Our top-ranked department is unlike any other in the nation. Because we are positioned within a school of public health and a school of medicine, we can provide students with a broader range of faculty expertise and instruction and greater opportunities for critical, ground-breaking and innovative research. The work of our faculty members and students makes a real difference in people's lives. Our goal is to advance nutritional solutions to problems in public health and educate the next generation of leaders in nutrition. The department offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and postdoctoral degree programs, as well as training to support certification as a registered dietitian (RD).

We weigh multiple factors in admissions decisions. If you have questions about your qualifications for the program, please contact us.

This program prepares graduates for leadership in nutrition research, teaching, and service. Students conduct original research, culminating in a dissertation that expands the boundaries of nutrition knowledge, theory, and/or methodology. Doctoral students study the broad spectrum of areas that comprise nutrition (basic nutrition science, nutrition epidemiology, and nutrition policy), plus receive in-depth training in a single area or specialization. Faculty interests address a range of topics related to the role of nutrition in disease prevention and healthy development. Research and teaching interests in the Department reflect the role of nutrition across the lifecycle, basic nutrition science and metabolism, international nutrition, nutritional determinants of disease, impact of nutrition interventions and policies, and the promotion of health and prevention of nutrition-related chronic diseases throughout life.

Prospective PhD applicants: Read this open letter to prospective PhD candidates from Dr. Melinda Beck

Overview of NUTR Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential)

Program Focus

Students develop research and teaching skills in nutrition through coursework, doctoral research, practice opportunities, and preliminary doctoral examinations to prepare them for careers in scientific research or teaching at universities, federal or state agencies, industry or private research institutions.Students may minor in other fields, such as Epidemiology.

General Information

Minimum Credit Hours:
30
Expected Duration:
4-5 yrs
Learning Environment:
Residential
Dual Degree Options Available:
No
Application Cycle:
Fall
See application details page for more info.
Application Deadline 1:
January 14, 2014
See application details page for more info.

Applicant Information

Who Should Apply:
Individuals planning for careers in scientific research or teaching at universities, federal or state agencies, industry or private research institutions.
Applications Received:
~70
Applicants Admitted:
~10
Enrolled Student Demographics:
  • 77% / 23% female to male
  • 33% minority, including 19% underrepresented minorities (defined as Black or African American, Hispanic of any race, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander)
  • 17% international
  • mean age of 29
Our School is committed to diversity and inclusion.
Total Students Enrolled:
~50
Incoming Class Size:
Matriculating class size for the program: 30-39

Program Costs & Funding

Estimated In-State Tuition & Fees:
~11,000 per year
Estimates for this academic year only. Does not include summer tuition and fees. Additional special School/course/course overload/program/other fees may apply. See the UNC Finance Division's website for the most current data.
Estimated Out-of-State Tuition & Fees:
~$27,500 per year
Estimates for this academic year only. Does not include summer tuition and fees. Additional special School/course/course overload/program/other fees may apply. See the UNC Finance Division's website for the most current data.
Funding:
All PhD students are funded for their first two years, and virtually all students are funded for their entire time in the program. For 2011-2012, students in this program received funding from various UNC sources, including department, School and University. Data below include only funding administered by UNC. Categories are not mutually exclusive.

  • 90% of students received some tuition support.
  • 18% of students received some loans.
  • 24% of students received non-service awards.
  • 82% received some teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or other temporary compensation.

Admissions Information

Prior Degree Required:
Bachelor’s or Relevant master's or professional degree
Required Prerequisites:
Coursework in Biochemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Organic Chemistry, and Human Nutrition
Standardized Test(s) Accepted:
GRE(TOEFL/IELTS for int'l students only.), MCAT, DAT
Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions.
Standardized Test(s) Scores:
On average, incoming students had 79th percentile verbal and 75th percentile quantitative. Standardized test scores are one of many factors we consider in making admissions decisions. If you have concerns about your scores, please talk with us.
Undergrad G.P.A.:
Incoming students had a mean undergraduate GPA of 3.4
Letters of Recommendation Required:
3 (academic and/or professional; academic preferred)
Faculty-Student Match Required:
Faculty advisor is required prior to admission.
Interviews Required:
Not required, but it is highly recommended that prospective students contact the department directly. Please contact Student Services ManagerJoanne Lee to be directed to the appropriate faculty.
Work Experience Required:
None required
Competitive applicants have prior relevant educational or work experience that supports a research focus.
Visit Opportunities:
The department hosts a recruiting visit in the fall (by invitation only) for promising prospective students. There are also School-wide opportunities.

During the Program

Comprehensive Exam Type(s):
Comprehensive written and oral exams
Capstone, Thesis or Dissertation:
Dissertation
Practicum, Internships & Fieldwork:
Independent research and teaching experience. See these special opportunities for doctoral students at the NRI
Global Options Available:
The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health strives to integrate global content and approaches across the School's courses, programs and degrees. We believe that every student should emerge from our School with an understanding of global health issues. Some courses are focused largely on global issues, others are designed so that global and local issues are intertwined and some still are evolving. Learn more about these options.

Many enrolled students will have the opportunity to pursue our graduate global health certificate, while others may choose global health courses, internships or independent study with global focus.

After the Program

Employment Opportunities:
University Professor; nutrition or metabolism researcher; food scientist; work in nutrition policy and legislation; government agencies; leadership careers in teaching and research
Example Job Responsibilities:
Lead research efforts focused on advancing our understanding of, and solutions to, nutrition-related public health problems.

Program Contact:

Joanne O. Lee
Student Services Manager
(919) 966-7212
260 Rosenau Hall
CB 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461
USA