Ph.D. Programs

Ph.D. in Nutrition

Virginia Survey PhotoOverview

Faculty in the interdepartmental Nutrition Program come from:

– Animal Science

– Agricultural and Human Sciences

– Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Science

– Prestage Poultry Science


The Nutrition Program is founded not only on advanced study in nutrition but also in related biological, physical and social sciences. Particular emphasis is given to the development of creativity in nutrition research. An individual program of courses, which includes certain core requirements, is developed for each student by an advisory committee.

Research activities are as diverse as the Nutrition faculty and range in level from the molecular to the whole animal, from the individual to the community. Students majoring in Nutrition are affiliated with and housed in one of the departments listed above. The choice of department, as well as faculty adviser, depends on the research interests of the student.

Research programs are primarily in the area of nutritional biochemistry or experimental animal nutrition (e.g. horses, ruminants, swine, poultry, rodents, and other species), or community nutrition and public health.

Graduates find employment in academia, government, industry, and non-profit organizations, or continue their education in medical and allied health fields.

Nutrition Graduate Handbook

Review our guide to the nutrition graduate programs:


A minimum of 72 credit hours of courses and research, including credits transferred from a Master degree, at least 20 credits in specified nutrition and biochemistry courses, and advanced coursework in related departments. The Ph.D. is a research intensive degree culminating in a dissertation. Written and oral preliminary examinations in the major and minor fields are scheduled no earlier than the end of the second year of graduate study and not later than one semester before the final oral examination. These exams for admission to candidacy are administered by the student’s advisory committee.


The following graduate courses offered in Nutrition:

Principles of Human Nutrition
Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism
Food Lipids: Issues and Controversies
Advanced Comparative Nutrition
Community Nutrition
Life Cycle Nutrition
Advanced Feed Science and Nutrition
Applied Ruminant Nutrition
Lactation, Milk, and Nutrition
Exercise Nutrition
Nutrition and Biotechnology
Protein and Amino Acid Metabolism
Mineral Metabolism
Vitamin Metabolism
Energy Metabolism
Digestion and Metabolism in Ruminants
Advanced Feed Formulation
Advanced Special Problems in Nutrition

Every nutrition student is expected to have a strong background in chemistry and mathematics. Additional graduate courses in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Genetics, Microbiology, and Physiology are available for students to enhance the basic science support areas. A minor in another program or department is encouraged. Course selection for a plan of work is by agreement between the student and their faculty advisory committee.

Refer to NCSU Course Catalog for a complete list of Nutrition courses and description.


Minimum Course Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Nutrition:

Course(s) Credits
1 BCH 453/553 Biochemistry of Gene Expression
or ANS/BCH 571 Regulation of Metabolism
2 At least one Biochemistry (BCH) course at the 700 level 3
3 All of the Following courses:
NTR 701 Protein & Amino Acid Metabolism 3
NTR 775 Mineral Metabolism 3
NTR 706 Vitamin Metabolism 2
NTR 709 Energy Metabolism 3
NTR 801 DR Seminar 1
4 At Least 5 credit hours from the following courses:
NTR 500 Principles of Human Nutrition 3
NTR 730 Human Nutrition 3
NTR 550 Applied Ruminant Nutrition 3
NTR 624/824 Topical Problems in Nutrition (Variable)
NTR 625/825 Advanced Special Problems in Nutrition (Variable)
ANS/NTR 785 Digestion and Metabolism in Ruminants 3
FS/NTR 510/710 Food Lipids 3
NTR 554 Lactation, Milk and Nutrition 3
NTR 555 Exercise Nutrition 3
NTR 824A Feed Formulation and Simulation 3


Course Requirements for a Minor (Ph.D.) in Nutrition

Course(s) Credits
1 BCH 453/553 Biochemistry of Gene Expression
or ANS/BCH 571 Regulation of Metabolism
2 At least one Biochemistry (BCH) course at the 700 level 3
3 NTR 801 DR Seminar 1 1
4 At least 8 credit hours of NTR courses at the 500 level or above

Research Advisors

If an applicant qualifies for admission, the Coordinator and the Graduate Admissions Committee will secure a member of the Nutrition faculty to serve as an advisor prior to final admission. Applicants for M.S and Ph.D. degrees are encouraged to contact the following faculty in the departments with similar interests to discuss research advising.

Department of Animal Science

J.H. Eisemann – Hormonal regulation of protein and lipid accretion in growing animals; inter-organ (tissue) metabolism.

V. Fellner – Microbial physiology and rumen function.

S.W. Kim – Nutrition and digestive physiology including (1) protein and amino acid nutrition of swine and other monogastric animals, (2) Nutrition during pregnancy and lactation and (3) Applied monogastric nutrition.

J.M. Luginbuhl– Nutritional management and forage-based feeding systems for meat goats.

J.A. Moore – Applied horse and ruminant (especially beef cattle) nutrition.

J. Odle – Ontogeny and regulation of lipid digestion and metabolism; neonatal nutritional biochemistry; medium-chain triglyceride metabolism; carnitine metabolism; intestinal growth and metabolism in normal and pathophysiological states – role of milkborne growth factors.

M.H. Poore – Utilization of grazed and harvested forages by beef cattle as influenced by nutrient supplementation. Determining the feeding value of locally available by products for beef cattle. Nutrient management in forage production systems utilizing animal wastes as fertilizer sources.

S.E. Pratt-Philllips – Equine nutrition and exercise physiology: glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity and regulation of glycogen re-synthesis after strenuous exercise.

P.D. Siciliano – Micro-nutrient requirements of horses.

Eric van Heugten – Energy, protein, and mineral nutrition of swine. Lean growth modeling. Applied swine nutrition.

Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Science

J.C. Allen – Milk protein processing; food allergy; mineral nutrition; lactation and milk secretion; effects of physiological and processing factors on mineral availability, causes and prevention of diabetes.

S.L. Ash – Evaluation of dietary practices and nutrition knowledge among population groups, particularly the elderly.

S. Goodell – Community and public health nutrition; childhood obesity prevention and intervention.

A. Fogleman – Improving maternal and infant health care with emphasis on breastfeeding and human milk.

K. Harris – Functional properties of plant foods, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of flavonoids and related compounds.

S. Komarnytsky – Role of diet and nutrition in prevention of chronic metabolic diseases and inflammation, emphasizing pathological mechanisms of insulin resistance and muscle loss.

Prestage Department of Poultry Science

K.E. Anderson – Pullet management; nutritional regimen effect on skeletal development and subsequent performance; quality enhancement in shell eggs.

J. Brake – Broiler Breeder reproduction, hatchery management, broiler nutrition and management.

W. J. Croom – Intestinal physiology, toxicology.

P.R. Ferket – Nutrition and development of turkeys; nutritional factors affecting skeletal problems and immune function; supplemental enzymes in poultry diets; feed extrusion processing; rendering animal by-products.

J. Grimes – Turkey management. Turkey breeder management, and turkey waste management.

P. Mozdziak – Muscle biology, cell and molecular factors influencing muscle growth.

Edgar O. Oviedo – Broiler nutrition and management, nutrient and waste management; mechanisms of nitrogen and amino acid utilizatio; computerized growth models; feed additives, feedstuffs, feed processing methods; dietary electrolyte balance and mineral requirements.

C. M. Williams – Biotechnology applications for value-added processing of animal by-products; anaerobic fermentation of animal manure for energy production, odor control and pathogen management; stable isotope geochemistry for determining the fate of land applied animal manure.


Internships can be a valuable educational experience and preparation for future employment. However, interrupting research progress for internships and coops often leads to a delay in the time required for the degree. In most cases there are limits to the number of semesters that research assistantships and tuition benefits can be paid. Some research projects involve industry cooperation, or opportunities to be involved in projects in remote locations. NC State offers special non-curricular training, such as Preparing the Professoriate, and Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching, through the Graduate School; participation in these programs can coincide with research and course work.


Ready to Get Started?


My name is Maryanne Perrin and I’m a doctoral student in Nutrition Science at North Carolina State University.

I have a BS Industrial Engineering and an MBA, but have always loved food (growing it, cooking it, and eating it!).  As I headed down the path of changing my career focus to nutrition science, NC State ended up being the best fit for me because I wanted a strong biochemistry-based foundation for my understanding of nutrition and human health.

My research is focused on expanding the supply of pasteurized donor milk, a life-saving food/medicine, for fragile infants. While Dr. April Fogleman is my major advisor, I have had the pleasure of working with at least a half dozen faculty in the department and across campus in the pursuit of my research. This work has allowed me to get exposure to both quantitative research methods (studying the composition of human milk in a lab setting) and qualitative research methods (using traditional qualitative research tools as well as new techniques using social media).

From the day I started the program my advisers have encouraged me and given me the time and space to find a research topic that I was passionate about, which is something I especially appreciate about this program. After graduation, I plan on either teaching at the university level or working in the field of public health.