Program Details

Minimum Credit Hours

Application Cycle

Application Deadline
Priority Deadline: December 12, 2023
Final Deadline: January 9, 2024

Prospective Nutrition PhD students should complete an information request to assist with faculty/research matching.

Expected Duration
4-5 Years

Learning Environment

Admissions Information

Who Should Apply
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.

There are two application paths available for certain doctoral programs. Depending on your objectives, you may apply directly to the Nutrition program or you may apply via the Biological and Biomedical Sciences application umbrella. Please visit program websites to determine the best fit for your objectives.

Prior Degree Required
Master’s degree or relevant experience preferred but not required.

Required Prerequisites
All prerequisites must be completed by the first day of class if offered admission.

  • Anatomy/Physiology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Human Nutrition

Undergraduate G.P.A.
An average grade of B (cumulative GPA 3.0) or better is required.

Letters of Recommendation Required
3 (academic and/or professional)

Not required, but it is imperative to identify a faculty match for admission. This requires contact with faculty members who share your research interests. It is recommended that all prospective nutrition doctoral students complete an information request to assist with matching.

Visit Opportunities
Learn about opportunities to connect with faculty, staff, and current students virtually and in person.

How To Apply

I. Complete UNC Graduate School application
The Graduate School Application is a common application system for UNC Chapel Hill programs.

More Information

1. Application Fee

The UNC Graduate School application fee is $95. Information on UNC Graduate School Fee Waiver Requests

2. Faculty Interest(s)/mentor(s)

You are asked to list faculty with whom you’d like to work; it’s important to reach out to faculty members who share your research interests early in the cycle to establish connections and seek a match. A mutual faculty match is required before admission will take place. It is recommended that all prospective nutrition doctoral students complete an information request to assist with matching.

3. Applicant information,  including North Carolina residency information.

4. Area(s) of interest

Select up to three (3) areas of interest from the dropdown.

5. Educational history

Please upload a copy of your most recent transcript(s), including your current term grades, if applicable. (If grades are not yet available, send them to the UNC Gillings program contact as soon as they become available.) Be sure the transcript reflects the name of the institution and any degrees you received.

We advise that you order two copies of your transcript(s) to be sent to you. If you are admitted and choose to enroll, UNC will require official transcript(s) showing degree(s) awarded.

6. Community standards

You will be asked about honor code, crime, academic sanction, military discharge, etc.

7. Upload your personal statement.

The personal statement should address the following issues (limit to 2-3 pages with no specific formatting).

  • A brief statement of what interest you most about the Nutrition doctoral program at UNC-CH.
  • Specific aspects of nutrition, or research questions that interest you.
  • Previous research or job experience. Please identify specific research skills
    (computer, laboratory methods, survey development, etc.). Applicants with prior research experience should describe in detail their research projects, including hypotheses tested, methods, results and conclusions. For data collection purposes, please provide the Number of Months of Prior, Full-Time Research Experience. For many individuals, this value will reflect months of summer research experience or full-time research experience following college. Do not include labs associated with a course (e.g. organic chemistry course with lab).
  • Career goals upon completion of graduate studies.

8. Upload your resume or CV.

9. Enter names of recommenders. UNC will then send them an email with instructions for submitting a letter on your behalf.

3 Letters of Recommendations are required.

10. Report test scores, if applicable.

GRE scores are neither required nor typically recommended for applicants.

International applicants must submit official TOEFL or IELTS standardized test scores. Code 5816 routes to UNC. TOEFL/IELTS scores must be no more than two years old.

11. Document submission (check legibility of uploads)

Applicants should preview all documents uploaded into the application system to ensure that all documents are legible for committee review.

12. Track your progress.

You will be able to track status through the Graduate School application. Once a decision is made, you will receive an email instructing login to the Graduate School application portal to see the decision letter.

II. Application Review Process

More Information

1. Department reviews application and recommends a decision.

Time-to-decision varies. Departments make recommendations to the UNC Graduate School for admitting and denying applicants. Final decisions are rendered by the UNC Graduate School.

2. UNC Graduate School reviews department recommendation and renders a final decision:

The UNC Graduate School reviews all admissions recommendations made by programs. Once final decisions have been made, the UNC Graduate School will send the applicant an email instructing them to login to their application portal to see the decision letter.

III. Costs and Funding

More Information

When estimating costs, please visit the UNC Cashier’s Office and use the Graduate and Professional Program Tuition and Fees link. Please note that the tuition and fees of graduate programs at Gillings vary from other graduate programs at UNC.

Gillings departments and concentrations consider both domestic and international applicants for funding. Please see below for helpful tips and resources:

  • Applicants will be reviewed for eligibility for UNC Graduate School scholarships and fellowships. Departments and concentrations will decide which applicants to nominate. No additional application is required.
  • Please refer to our School’s Costs and Funding page and/or UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Scholarships and Student Aid (OSSA) website.
  • Apply for FEDERAL financial aid by March 1 (please verify this date via FAFSA). If you have been admitted and completed the FAFSA form by their deadline, the UNC Office of Scholarship and Student Aid will create a financial aid package for you.
  • Funding offers are extended at the time of admission and typically guarantee at least two years of tuition, student fees, health insurance, and a stipend at the NIH recommended minimum. Most Nutrition doctoral students are funded throughout their program.
  • Students positions at Gillings are posted here. The UNC Graduate School also provides resources for funding, including a listserv for incoming and current students, here.

During and After The Program

For more information on our curriculum and graduate school/career outcomes, please see our Student Handbook.



Gillings Admissions

U’Ronda Higgs
Academic Coordinator

Linda Adair and Susan Smith
Co-Directors of Graduate Admissions and

Department of Nutrition
Our offices are located on the second floor of Rosenau Hall.
Faculty and Staff
Academic Coordinators
MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

135 Dauer Drive
245 Rosenau Hall, CB # 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461
(919) 966-7218