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College of Human Sciences

Optimizing Human Performance

Ph.D. in Nutrition and Food Science

Today’s interest in healthy lifestyles is translating into a remarkable range of career opportunities related to diet, fitness, and health. Florida State University’s doctoral program in Human Sciences, Nutrition and Food Science major, prepares students to pursue careers in a wide variety of health-related careers as well as academia.  It is a research intensive and competency-based program.  Current research includes body composition, functional food, chronic disease and aging response, food allergy, and safety/quality detection methods.

This major has two areas of specialization:

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition Science

A dietetic internship may be available to those who qualify.


A related degree is required and the completion of core coursework for the associated master’s degree program offered at FSU (or the equivalent) is highly recommended.

Admission Requirements

  1. An upper-division undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. The same scale applies for graduate-level work. A professional degree is not counted for university GPA requirements.
  2. A master’s degree or post-baccalaureate professional degree from an accredited university.
  3. A competitive Graduate Record Examination revised General Test (GRE) score; recommended score of above the 50th percentile (approximately 150) in both verbal and quantitative sections with a 4.0 or higher on the writing section. Please note that it can take up to ten (10) days after sitting for the GRE for an official score report to be sent to the university.
  4. International students must have an official TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 80 (internet-based) to meet university requirements. The department recommends 600 (paper-based) or 100 (internet-based) for a competitive application to the doctoral program. Our department does not accept other English proficiency examinations (i.e. IELTS).
  5. A visit to the department is strongly encouraged. Please contact the College’s graduate office to schedule your visit. Before you submit your online application and pay the application fee, you should directly contact graduate faculty members in your area of interest to see if they have room in their labs and are willing to mentor you.

Attainment of these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission decisions are based on assessments of all aspects of the student’s application materials. The department reserves the right to increase standards if warranted by enrollment limitations and by the number and quality of applicants. Financial aid is a separate process from the admission to a graduate program.

Application Process & Deadlines

Only complete applications will be reviewed. This program admits in the fall (April 1 deadline) and spring (October 1 deadline). All application materials must be received by the deadlines posted.

In order to be considered for an assistantship, applications should be completed by February 1 for fall, and July 1 for spring.

  1. Apply Online and pay the application fee.
    • Upload a personal statement (statement of purpose) outlining your research interests and career goals. Include how your background and prior training make you a good candidate; why Florida State University is a good fit for you. You must state whether you wish to pursue the Food Science specialization or the Nutrition Science specialization. We strongly encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the research interests of the faculty in their area of specialization. In the statement, please indicate your top choices of faculty members with whom you would like to work.
    • Upload a resume or vita (information should be current).
    • Upload contact information for three recommenders. The recommenders should be professionals you have worked with who are familiar with your academic performance and can speak directly about your qualification for this degree. Academic recommendations are preferred, but relevant professional recommendations will be accepted. No personal recommendations or letters from peers will be accepted.
    • Submit official test scores (GRE and, if required, TOEFL) to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required.
    • Submit official transcripts (with translations if necessary) to the FSU Office of Admissions. We require transcripts from EVERY post-secondary institution you attended (even if those courses are posted to another institution’s transcript).
  2. Submit official test scores (GRE and, if required, TOEFL) and official transcripts to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required. We require transcripts from EVERY post-secondary institution you attended (even if those courses are posted to another institution’s transcript).

Please allow up to ten (10) business days for the Office of Admissions to process your incoming materials.

Course Requirements

Students are required to earn six (6) CHS graduate credit hours that count toward the degree prior to graduation by attendance in one or more summer terms in the Department or the College of Human Sciences. The Ph.D. program in Human Sciences, with areas of emphasis in Nutrition and Food Sciences is a competency-based research degree; this degree has no total hour requirement; however, the student must advance to Master’s in the field of specialization.

Registered Dietitian (R.D.) Credentials

For those students who wish to pursue a Registered Dietitian (RD) credential in the U.S., the department offers a dietetic internship that may be completed concurrently with the Ph.D. in Human Sciences, major in Nutrition and Food Sciences. Doctoral students that have completed Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) undergraduate courses may be eligible to apply to +DI.

If applying for the DI to start in the fall semester, all admissions application materials must be received for the doctoral program by December 15 of the preceding year. For more information, please visit the DI website.

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