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Technical Standards

Background: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination against applicants for admission to education programs on the basis of disability and require “reasonable accommodation” for “qualified” persons. Qualified persons are those who meet the eligibility requirements of the academic program, i.e. passing scores on admission tests, completion of prerequisite courses and ability to perform the academic and nonacademic standards of the education program with or without a reasonable accommodation. The Nonacademic Technical Standards include those physical, cognitive and behavioral standards that are required for the satisfactory completion of all aspects of the curriculum and the development of professional attributes required by all students at graduation.

If a person is accepted into the Dietetics & Nutrition PhD program, he/she will be asked to state if the Nonacademic Technical Standards can be met with or without accommodation. It is the accepted student’s responsibility to notify the PhD Graduate Director if there is any reason why the accepted student cannot meet the Nonacademic Technical Standards for the Dietetics & Nutrition PhD degree with or without accommodation. The acknowledgement of need for accommodation to meet the Nonacademic Technical Standards will be reviewed by the PhD Graduate Director. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

Our philosophy:  The Department of Dietetics & Nutrition and the University of Kansas Medical Center have a commitment to nondiscrimination, access and reasonable accommodation. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

PhD Degree in Dietetics & Nutrition: The PhD degree prepares students to interpret and participate in research in nutrition within academic and healthcare organizations. The graduates must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad range of activities. Therefore, all students who are admitted into the PhD degree program in Dietetics & Nutrition must meet the following abilities and expectations:

Observational Abilities (Necessitates the functional use of vision and hearing.) The admitted student must be able to:

  • Observe, learn from and analyze class demonstrations and experiences in disciplines relevant to dietetics and nutrition that include but are not limited to biochemistry, physiology, statistics and research methodology.

  • Read and comprehend text, numbers and graphs.

Communication Abilities (Includes hearing, speech, reading and writing.) The admitted student must be able to:

  • Communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with students, faculty, scientists, health providers and clients.

  • Understand lectures and readings.

  • Read and comprehend technical and professional materials. Follow verbal and written instructions.

  • Independently prepare papers and take examinations on paper and computerized versions.

  • Present lectures and research results verbally and in writing.

  • Use the computer in coursework and in communication with faculty and administration.

Motor Capabilities
The admitted student must be able to:

  • Travel to sites involved in coursework.

  • Travel within the university to sites such as the library, classrooms, etc. Use a computer.

  • Prepare assignments both written and online.

  • Make public presentations to large and small audiences

Intellectual Abilities
The admitted student must be able to:

  • Understand and perform measurements, calculations, synthesis, analysis, reasoning and problem solving.

  • Participate in research activities involving either / or animals, laboratory or patient oriented research activities.

Behavioral and Social Skills
The admitted student must have:

  • The emotional health required to fully utilize intellectual abilities, to exercise good judgment, to act ethically and to complete projects in a timely manner.

  • Self-motivation and requires little supervision.

  • Appropriate, sensitive and effective relationships with clients, faculty, members of health team and/or research collaborators and other diverse groups.

  • Attention to detail and flexibility to function in a research setting.

  • Reliability and responsibility to complete assigned tasks in a timely manner without supervision.

  • Ability to adapt to change in time, place and structure of academic setting.

Last modified: Sep 07, 2018

Students may enter this program during the fall or spring semester.

Application deadlines:

  • Fall semester entry: February 1
  • Spring semester entry: September 1

Learn about this program

Program overview

Eligibility and requirements

How to apply

Tuition and fees


Student handbook

Opportunities are available for graduate assistantships, faculty research, travel awards, etc. Learn more.