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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the Ph.D. in Medical Nutrition Science? We've got answers! Here are answers to some of our program's FAQs.

Do I need a Master of Science degree to be admitted to your program?

Although we can admit students with a Bachelor of Science degree, students who already have a Master of Science in nutrition or a related field compete more favorably.

I have a Master of Science degree in another field but now I want to get a Ph.D. Can I be admitted to your program?

Because nutrition science applies knowledge from basic science in physiology and biochemistry, we would want to know about courses you have taken in the past. It would not be possible to admit you to our Ph.D. program without at least some past coursework in nutrition, biochemistry, and physiology. If you are committed to changing fields and do not have coursework in these areas, we could advise you on how to obtain it.

What kinds of positions are available to someone with a Ph.D. in Medical Nutrition Science?

Individuals with a Ph.D. in Nutrition are hired for positions in academia, industry, and government.

Should I apply to the Ph.D. in Medical Nutrition Science program or the Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program?

Only registered dietitians can choose between these advanced degrees. In general, the DCN is designed to advance your career prospects as a clinician in practice. It does include some research; however, the Ph.D. program is more heavily focused on research. Both degrees could lead to a position in Academia, however, the expected roles of a Ph.D. and a DCN in the same department would likely differ.

Are assistantships available?

We have Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which offer support in semesters when you teach. We also have a variable number of grant-funded Graduate Research Assistantships. Ph.D. students who are registered dietitians may hold full or part-time positions while completing their Ph.D. program requirements.

Is financial aid available?

Yes. Financial aid is available for degree-seeking students, and information can be obtained from the Student Financial Aid office. Submit applications for financial aid by March 1 for priority status.

How long will it take me to earn a Ph.D.?
It is important for you to understand that a Ph.D. is designed to move you toward independence as a professional researcher and educator, so the program is not heavily structured once required courses are completed.

On average, students take 3.5 years to complete the program. Those who arrive knowing what they want to research typically take a shorter time than average. Students who are working generally take longer than average. The research project chosen also influences the amount of time needed to complete the program.

School of Health Professions

Dietetics and Nutrition
KU Medical Center
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 4013
Kansas City, KS 66160
913-588-5355 • 711 TTY