Foods and Nutrition (FDN) offers graduate programs leading to Master of Science (thesis and non-thesis) and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees.

Master of Science

Thesis Option

Graduate Students in the thesis option conduct an in-depth research study in one of the department’s specialized program areas in conjunction with supporting coursework.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis master’s degree program provides a research experience and additional coursework to prepare you for clinical, community, industry and government careers.  In contrast to the M.S.-thesis option, the required research project is smaller in scope and is not designed for students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree.

M.S. Dietetic Internship

These graduate students complete supervised practice hours within healthcare or community-based settings that qualify them to take the registration exam to become a registered dietitian.  Students may pursue either the thesis or non-thesis option.

Ph.D. degree

The Ph.D. program allows extensive research and study in any one of our department’s specialized program areas.  Doctoral students are provided with customized training in research methodologies; effective grant writing; dissemination of research findings at scientific conferences and in published journals and books; teaching students and/or the public in academic and community settings; and making scholarly contributions to the profession and society. 

Careers for FDN students completing a Ph.D. include positions as university faculty, government agency experts and as scientists in the food and pharmaceutical industries.


Research training spans the basic, clinical, and applied sciences.  Research experiences, courses, internships, certificates, and certifications prepare students for careers in:

  • academia
  • industry
  • government
  • hospitals
  • long-term care
  • public health
  • schools
  • wellness programs

View student research

Interdisciplinary Education

Our faculty and students have interdisciplinary perspectives involving:

  • obesity
  • dietetics
  • genetics
  • children
  • clinical
  • phytochemicals
  • sports
  • public health
  • regenerative medicine

View all concentrations

Classroom or Online

Courses are offered in traditional classroom settings and a growing number of courses and programs are offered in online and distance education formats.  The School Nutrition Director Certification Program is fully online.

Financial Aid

More than 90% of our full-time graduate students are awarded financial aid and work alongside our faculty conducting research, providing nutrition interventions in community settings, and teaching undergraduate courses.