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By earning a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from Penn State, you will distinguish yourself as one of the true leaders in the field of nutrition.

Focusing on leadership, nutrition research, multidisciplinary training, and marked by the integration of resources and expertise across departments and colleges, the Penn State Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences (GPN) strives to address extremely complex and far-reaching issues that include:

  • Enhancing knowledge of requirements for nutrients necessary for optimal growth and well-being, including the interactions among nutrients, the environment, and disease

  • Advancing methods for assessing nutrient intake and nutritional status

  • Determining the impact of food, phytochemical, and nutrient intake, as well as dietary patterns on health promotion and disease prevention

  • Promoting knowledge of factors affecting food preferences, dietary intake patterns, and health habits, as well as developing various intervention strategies and evaluating their nutritional impact at the individual and population level

  • Developing techniques and behavioral strategies to guide consumers in selecting health-promoting foods and nutritionally adequate diets

  • Expanding knowledge of the mechanisms of metabolic regulation in humans and other animals, including cellular, molecular, and physiological aspects

  • Training the next generation of scientists and clinicians in childhood obesity prevention

The general requirements of this rigorous doctoral program include a candidacy examination, core requirements, courses in your chosen program of studies, a comprehensive examination, the proposal and production of your dissertation, and a final oral examination.  

The National Research Council has ranked Penn State’s GPN among the nation’s top programs.