Nutritional Sciences

The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. University of Connecticut undergraduates can pursue a fast track pathway (4 + 1 program) that allows them to earn both a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in five years. Students elect to emphasize one of three overlapping areas in human nutrition: Molecular Nutrition, Metabolism, and Community Nutrition. Each emphasis area is interdisciplinary in approach and is supported by a broad range of local, national, and international collaborations. The Master’s program usually requires a thesis and the Ph.D. program requires a dissertation. Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree in personalized nutrition as their primary graduate program are encouraged to apply to the Department’s stand-alone Master of Science in Personalized Nutrition (MSPN) online program.

Master of Science

There are two options for the Master’s Degree Program: Plan A (thesis option) and Plan B (non-thesis option). All M.S. students are required to take a minimum of 30 credits.

Requirements: GRAD 5910; NUSC 5100, 5200, 5300, 5394; three credits of statistics, and three additional graduate credits constitute the core requirements. A minimum of 21 course credits is required for the thesis option, in addition to nine thesis credits. Students earning the Master of Science degree are required to complete an examination process that consists of two parts. Part one is a written general knowledge examination with a closed book. Part two is an oral presentation and defense of the thesis research.

Doctor of Philosophy

All Ph.D. students are required to take GRAD 5910*; NUSC 5100, 5200, 5300; two credits of NUSC 5394; three credits of statistics, and a minimum of six additional graduate credits of courses plus 15 credits of research for the dissertation (GRAD 6950).

*Students may also satisfy the Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) requirement by completing a two-day RCR workshop offered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. However, this workshop is not offered for academic credit; therefore, the one credit from GRAD 5910 must be replaced with an additional graduate credit from another course.

In addition to the requirements listed in the Graduate Catalog, Ph.D. students in Nutritional Sciences are expected to present a seminar on a topic close to their area of research to the whole department. Ph.D. students are required to take the pre-doctoral examination. Once the written exam is completed, the oral examination follows. During the oral examination the student will be asked questions that cover multiple areas of nutrient metabolism, physiology and other nutrition-related topics that the advisory committee finds pertinent. The exam generally takes no more than two hours. The Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences does not have a related area or foreign language requirement.

The programs are offered by the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.