Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees are offered in Nutritional Sciences. There are three major areas of expertise within the Department: Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition, Human Nutrition and Metabolism, and Community Nutrition. Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition is based on laboratory studies of biochemical metabolism in the cell, tissue, and whole animal. Human Nutrition and Metabolism involves human studies or trials to examine nutrient metabolism in health and disease. Community Nutrition focuses on public health areas of nutrition including community-level nutrition assessment, education, and intervention programs. Each emphasis area is interdisciplinary in approach and is supported by other departments at the University of Connecticut, as well as collaborative arrangements with other institutions. Opportunities for interdisciplinary research and study exist with other departments and university units, including the University of Connecticut Health Center, the Department of Sports, Leisure, and Exercise Sciences, the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, the Biotechnology Center, the School of Pharmacy, the Department of Pathobiology, the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences, the Department of Human Development and Family Relations, and the Department of Animal Sciences. All programs require a thesis, dissertation or expanded paper, in addition to the completion of appropriate Graduate courses and examinations.
See our Graduate Students page for a list of current students.
The Department has nine graduate faculty members (see faculty homepages for more details) including:
In addition, there are jointly appointed faculty whose primary appointments are in Allied Health Sciences, Animal Science, Kinesiology and Pharmacology, or the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.
Admission to degree programs is determined by evaluation of undergraduate academic standing and preparation, letters of recommendation, GRE scores (a minimum of 1000 points by adding Verbal + Quantitative and a minimum of 3.0 in the writing evaluation is required) and a personal interview, when feasible. Priority is given to applicants with an undergraduate background in Nutritional Sciences or a related area. Where inadequate undergraduate preparation is apparent, students must take the necessary preparatory course work prior to graduate study. Applications are mostly done on line in the graduate school web site: http://www.grad.uconn.edu/prospective/online.html .
Pre-requisites: The pre-requisites for the graduate program are: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physiology, Biology and Basic Nutrition.
Application deadlines: Application deadlines are April 1st for the fall semester and October 1st for the Spring semester.
Additional program information including the latest Graduate School Bulletin, is available from the Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Nutritional Sciences, U-17, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269, or you can contact Dr. Fernandez via electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Upon request, copies of abridged versions of the departmental Annual Report are available to provide information on recent departmental and programmatic activities. Program information is also available on our Web Page.
Master of Science
At present, approximately one-third of the Nutritional Sciences graduate students are enrolled in programs leading to the M.S. degree. Most M.S. candidates are enrolled in the Plan A program which requires a minimum of 15 credits, a written general examination, and a research thesis. The course work is designed to develop an advanced level of knowledge in nutrition and related sciences, and prepare the student for developing specific research competencies. The thesis topic is selected by the student and the Major Advisor. Near the end of the course work phase, all M.S. students must successfully complete a comprehensive written General Nutrition Knowledge examination prepared by the Graduate Committee and the Advisory Committee. The non-thesis M.S. program (Plan B) is available for a small group of students who already have practical experience in the field of Nutritional Sciences. This program requires that each student complete a minimum of 24 credits, pass the comprehensive written examination, and prepare a review paper that is to be presented orally to the Department.
Masters degree research projects span a wide range of interests. The following thesis titles illustrate this diversity:
Doctor of Philosophy
The Ph.D. program consists of three parts:
Dissertation topics vary widely, as illustrated by the following list of recent titles (1996-03):
Applicants for admission should consult the Departmental Web Page and the Graduate School for detailed information. After all forms, including GRE scores and three letters of recommendation, have been received, the departmental Graduate Committee will review all credentials relative to requirements for admission. Applicant files are then circulated to all Graduate Faculty members to match an applicant with a prospective advisor for acceptance into the graduate program. The Graduate Faculty evaluate applicants on the basis of their transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE scores (TOEFL scores when applicable), and research interests. Those students meeting entrance requirements, whose goals are consistent with Departmental programs, who have an identified advisor, and have their financial needs met, will be admitted to the Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences. Financial assistance is available in the form of Research Assistantships, named Fellowships, and University Scholarships. Financial aid forms must be completed before aid can be considered (see the Graduate Bulletin and application materials)
There are a number of common reasons why applicants are not accepted:
The Department of Nutritional Sciences has excellent facilities for the training of graduate students. Since 1991, several renovation projects have been completed to update our research laboratories including the lipid laboratory and animal care facilities. Our laboratories contain a full range of equipment for molecular and metabolic research, as well as facilities for tissue culture and human metabolic studies. The University Biotechnology Center offers a wide range of support services for the synthesis and characterization of macromolecules. Through collaborative arrangements, clinical and field research sites are available for specific research and training projects on campus, within the region, and also abroad. Research collaborations are currently active at clinical centers in Hartford, the Human Performance Laboratory in Athletics, the Hispanic Health Council, and other community agencies in the state.
The main campus library, Homer Babbidge Library, and the Medical School library in Farmington house current journals and an extensive collection of reference materials. Computerized search services are available at the University libraries and also within the Department via the Internet. A computer room is available with high capacity, state-of-the-art computer hardware and software needed for analysis and reporting of health and nutrition surveys as well as for graphic design for publications and production of posters for scientific presentations. The Department also has access to high quality desktop publishing software and printers. Numerous computing facilities are available throughout campus. UConn's Information Technology Department runs mainframe services available to graduate students.
The following are selected examples of positions held by recent advanced degree graduates of our department:
News and Updates
Spring 2015 Seminar Series
Please go to the CAHNR Scholarships and Financial Aid page for Scholarship information