Eligibility & Requirements

The doctoral program in Medical Nutrition Science typically requires approximately 60 semester hours of graduate course work beyond the Bachelor of Science degree.  For those enrolling with a Master of Science Degree in Nutrition, approximately 30 graduate hours (700-900 level) are generally required.

Prior coursework and the student’s research interests will be considered in designing the plan of study. Students become doctoral candidates after completing the advanced nutrition courses and passing a qualifying exam in nutrition written by faculty in the Department of Dietetics and Nutrition. Students will be required to complete a comprehensive exam over all coursework and to provide an oral defense of their dissertation research project.

  1. College Course Work Requirements
    The course work required depends upon whether the student is accepted to the PhD program from a Bachelor of Science or a Master of Science degree as well as on the area of study of these degrees (nutrition, biological sciences or other areas of study). Hours for completion are the ultimate decision of the student’s research advisor and research committee.

    Here's a summary of possible credit hours required to enter the program:

    Core Courses – 36 - 39 credit hours
    Electives – 11 – 14 credit hours
    Dissertation – a minimum of 10 credit hours
    Total hours to completion - ~ 60 credit hours after the Bachelor’s degree

    Degrees earned outside the United States must be evaluated for equivalency.

    Please note: students may be accepted on a provisional admission basis if some requirements have not yet been met at the time of application.

  2. Graduate Record Examination Score
    An official score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required and official results must be sent directly to our office. Recommended scores for the sections of the GRE are 1000 combined total for Verbal and Quantitative, and 3.5 and above for Analytical Writing. For GRE information, visit www.gre.org.

  3. Grade Point Average
    To pursue the PhD program, the applicant must meet the general KU requirements for admission as a graduate student. The minimum GPA requirements for admission to the PhD program are:

    1. An undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required for regular admission status.

    2. Evidence of successful completion (equivalent grade of B or higher) of undergraduate or graduate coursework in nutrition, biochemistry, genetics, or other biological science.

    Within the guidelines established by the Graduate Studies, no credit is actually transferred toward the doctorate; however, relevant prior graduate work will be taken into consideration in setting up individual programs of study leading to the PhD.


International Students:
An applicant is considered an international student if he or she requires a visa, or currently resides in the U.S. with non-immigrant status, or currently resides in the U.S. while applying for permanent residency. Additional requirements and documentation, such as proof of English language proficiency, are required for international students to become eligible for KU programs. Please review the information for international students before applying.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University's programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Last modified: Jul 29, 2013
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