Food Science & Human Nutrition: Human Nutrition, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science and Human Nutrition: Human Nutrition Concentration

department head: Nicki Engeseth

associate head of graduate programs: Michael Miller

overview of admissions & requirements:

overview of grad college admissions & requirements:

department website:

program website:

department faculty:

college website:

address: 260 Bevier Hall, 905 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

phone: (217) 244-4498


For the Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science and Human Nutrition, students are required to select a concentration:

Food Science

Human Nutrition

Graduate Degree Programs in Food Science & Human Nutrition

Graduate Majors:

Food Science & Human Nutrition, MS (on campus & online)


Food Science

Human Nutrition

Food Science and Human Nutrition, MS – Professional Science Master's

Food Science and Human Nutrition, PhD


Food Science

Human Nutrition

Joint Degree Program:

Food Science & Human Nutrition, PhD and Master of Public Health, MPH

Research Areas

 In addition to receiving training in the general field of food science or human nutrition, students have the opportunity to conduct research in the following areas of specialization:

  • Food processing, engineering, and biotechnology
  • Food ingredients, properties, and interactions
  • Food microstructures, micro-carriers, and nanotechnology
  • Food chemistry
  • Food microbiology and biomass conversion
  • Food safety and security
  • Sensory sciences
  • Dietary quality and food and nutrition patterns for optimal health
  • Nutrition and disease interactions, including cancer, metabolic disorders, and gastrointestinal health
  • Nutrition across the life span
  • Biochemical and molecular nutrition
  • Clinical nutrition
  • Community nutrition

For additional information go to

The PSM involves rigorous scientific training in the area of food science and/or human nutrition; additionally, instruction is provided in applied business knowledge and skills. This program is designed for those who seek careers in a science-based setting with significant managerial and leadership responsibilities. For additional information go to


In addition to meeting the Graduate College admission requirements, a student planning to pursue a graduate degree in the department should have a baccalaureate degree in a recognized field of biological, physical, agricultural, or engineering science. Background deficiencies may be removed with graduate credit courses designed for this purpose. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required of all applicants, and those whose native language is not English are required to submit the results of the TOEFL or IELTS as evidence of English proficiency. Minimum TOEFL and IELTS scores can be found at Students can be admitted to start in fall, spring, or summer semesters except for the PSM concentration, which admits fall semester only. For information on the role faculty have in the admissions process go to

Internship in Dietetics

The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition offers a dietetic internship for master's and doctoral students specializing in human nutrition. Completion of the degree and the internship qualifies the student to take the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. For information on our dietetic internship program please contact Ms. Jessica Madson (

Online Program

A non-thesis Master of Science in Food Science program is offered via live, synchronous online sessions using distance education technology. The program ensures the same degree of excellence, and courses are instructed by the same faculty, as the on-campus non-thesis program. Courses are typically offered in the evening. For requirements and additional information, please contact Dr. Dawn Bohn at

Graduate Teaching Experience

Teaching is neither a Graduate College nor a FSHN requirement. A limited number of teaching assistantships are available to FSHN graduate students. Students are selected to be Graduate Teaching Assistants by the Department Head in consultation with the course instructor.

Financial Aid

Illinois PSM students may not hold assistantships or other tuition and fee waiver-generating appointments; statutory waivers and tuition scholarships are accepted. Financial aid for non-PSM graduate students is available in the form of fellowships, teaching and research assistantships, and tuition and partial fee waivers. Qualified candidates are considered for financial support upon application. Additional information on financial aid for graduate students can be found at

Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science and Human Nutrition: Human Nutrition Concentration

If a candidate has a master's degree in a related area, a minimum of 64 graduate hours, including up to 38 graduate hours of thesis research, must be completed. In consultation with the adviser and advisory committee, the remainder of the 64 graduate hours required for the degree consists of courses selected from inside or outside the department that are appropriate for training in the student's field of specialization. Upon completion of all necessary formal courses and special options, the student is required to take an oral preliminary examination. After passage of the preliminary examination, the student's activities are primarily devoted to thesis research. Upon submission of the dissertation, the candidate is required to pass a final oral examination before a graduate faculty committee.

For additional details and requirements refer to the department's graduate handbook and the Graduate College Handbook

 Entering with approved M.S./M.A. degree

Concentration-specific coursework selected in consultation with advisor26
FSHN 599Thesis Research (max applied toward degree)0 to 16
Total Hours in residence64

  Entering with approved B.S./B.A. degree

Concentration-specific coursework selected in consultation with advisor26
FSHN 599Thesis Research (max applied toward degree)70
Total Hours96

Other Requirements

Other requirements may overlap
Minimum Hours Required Within the Unit: 8
Minimum 500-level Hours Required Overall 12
Additional courses may be required beyond the concentration minimum per Advisory Committee recommendation
Qualifying Exam Required Yes
Preliminary Exam Required Yes
Final Exam/Thesis Defense Required Yes
Dissertation Deposit Required Yes
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Total Hours for Concentration in Human Nutrition26
Required Courses:17-19
MCB 450Introductory Biochemistry (or higher)3
FSHN 420Nutritional Aspects of Disease3
FSHN 426Biochemical Nutrition I3
FSHN 427Biochemical Nutrition II3
FSHN 465Principles of Food Technology3
FSHN 593Seminar in Foods and Nutrition2
To meet 26-27 hours minimum, of which at least 3 (thesis MS) or 6 (non-thesis MS) hours need to be graded courses at the 500-level.
FSHN 421Pediatric Clinical Nutrition3
FSHN 424Biopsychology of Ingestive Behavior3
FSHN 428Community Nutrition3
FSHN 429Nutrition Assessment & Therapy3
FSHN 440Applied Statistical Methods I4
FSHN 480Basic Toxicology3
FSHN 510Topics in Nutrition Research (Up to 4 hours count toward degree)1 to 3
FSHN 520Advanced Clinical Nutrition (up to 6 hours count toward degree)2
FSHN 590Dietetic Internship I (Restricted to dietetics internship students only. Students enrolled in the Graduate Dietetic Internship may count up to 5 hours of FSHN 590 or FSHN 591 towards 500-level course requirements.)5
or FSHN 591 Dietetic Internship II
FSHN 592Graduate Internship Experience (Up to 2 hours count toward degree)0-2
FSHN 598Advanced Special Problems1-8
or NUTR 593 Individual Topics in Nutrition
NUTR 511Regulation of Metabolism4
NUTR 550Grantsmanship and Ethics3
NUTR 590Disciplinary Seminar (Up to 2 hours count toward degree)0 to 2
ANSC 421Minerals and Vitamins3
ANSC 520Protein and Energy Nutrition3
ANSC 524Nonruminant Nutrition Concepts2