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Nutritional Sciences (PHD) 
Program Description

The Nutritional Sciences Department has two signature research areas:

  1. Bioactive Compounds, Nutrients and Lifestyle: Relationships to Cancer
  2. Metabolic and Behavior Factors Influencing Body Composition

Other active research programs include investigations in diabetes, obesity, immunity, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases.

Our interdisciplinary faculty hold appointments in the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, as well as research centers of excellence including the Arizona Cancer Center, Steele Memorial Children’s Research Center, Arthritis Center, Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, Sarver Heart Center, Center on Aging, BIO5 - Institute for Collaborative Bioresearch and Collaboratory for Metabolic Disease Prevention and Treatment.

  • From 2005-2016, 68 students have graduated from the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program (NSGP), 38 (56%) with a Master of Science and 30 (44%) with the Doctor of Philosophy. This includes 9 individuals from underrepresented groups. Read more on our current students or where our recent graduates are employed.
  • Students can select a mentor from among 27 faculty members representing 8 disciplines. Read more on faculty and joint appointed faculty research interests.
  • Graduate research projects reinforce strategic linkages between basic, translational and applied nutrition research. Read more on the research strengths of NSc.
  • At the University of Arizona, the Department of Nutritional Sciences is a leader in providing an outstanding graduate program that advances the discovery and translation of the role of nutrition in optimizing health for people in Arizona, the nation and the world


Department/Academic Unit(s)

Nutritional Sciences -

Thank you for considering the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona for your graduate studies!

The Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Arizona offers traditional graduate research programs leading to a Master of Science degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nutritional Sciences under the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Nutritional Sciences Department also offers online graduate programs, including a Graduate Certificate in Applied Nutrition designed to be completed in only 8 months and a Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition (non thesis) designed to be completed in 18 months.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Nancy R Driscoll
Graduate Program Coordinator
Nancy R Driscoll
Director of Graduate Studies
Richard Simpson
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Christina M Inocencio
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE
Required GRE Subject tests: None

Recommended tests:None
Recommended GRE Subject tests:None

Minimum GRE Verbal:75%
Minimum GRE Quantitative: 75%
Minumum GRE Written: 75%

Minimum TOEFL:

Internet-based) Score 79

(Paper-based) Score 550

Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available on a competitive basis in the form of teaching and research assistantships and tuition scholarships sponsored by The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Arizona Graduate College, The University of Arizona General Education Program and The Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 3, 2019
  • No Spring Admission

International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 3, 2019
  • No Spring Admission
International Conditional Admission
International applicants may be considered for conditional admission to this program at the department's discretion.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Nutrition

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Regardless of your interests, experience, or background the program requirements for your degree will be similar to other students in the program.  We have outlined these requirements at Successful students will visit this document regularly to assure they are meeting required "markers" along the way.

It is the goal of the NSGP that students entering with no or only one course deficiency will complete their Ph.D. degree within 5-6 years after entering the program. To accomplish this, new Ph.D. students must specify a laboratory for their dissertation research by the end of their third semester in the program (1 January).

With the guidance of their Advisor they must select an Advisory Committee to guide their dissertation research. The NSGP requires a minimum of four members, three must be UA tenured, tenure-track, or approved as equivalent and three must approve the dissertation. There may be one dissenting vote.

Required Courses

  1. NSC 520 Advanced Nutritional Science (3 units)
  2. NSC 602, Metabolic Integration (3 units)
  3. NSC 604 Nutrition and Cell Signaling (3 units)
  4. NSC 622A Vitamins (3 units)
  5. NSC 623 Mineral Metabolism (3 units)
  6. NSC 699 Laboratory Rotation (3 units)
  7. Statistics (3 units)
  8. Seminar (4 credits)
  9. NSC 920 Dissertation, 18 units
  10. Units for Nutritional Sciences Minor (9 units) or number of units required by minor department
  11. Electives - remaining units needed to fulfill Graduate College requirement of 63 total units (maximum of 3 units of house-numbered courses in your credits of electives)

**University-wide house-numbered courses comprise two categories of courses using alternative teaching formats: (1) courses offered in small group settings, and (2) courses taught on an individual basis. An example of a university wide house-numbered course would be 695 or 699.

Minor Requirements

Units for a Nutritional Sciences Minor is 9 units or the number of units required by minor department if the minor is not Nutritional Sciences.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 67%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.25
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 13%
Enrollment Percent Female 87%
Enrollment Percent International 0%
Enrollment Percent URM 33%

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Last revised 05 Jun 2018