HHNS student in lab

PhD Human Health and Nutritional Sciences

Graduate programs in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences program focus on physical activity and diet as powerful lifestyle determinants of human health. The interaction between genetics and environmental factors ultimately determines the health of an individual. Lifestyle is a major component of our environment that can be modified to affect human health.  

Tap into the department’s research strengths in nutritional and nutraceutical sciences, general and exercise physiology, and biomechanics, with a focus on lifestyle, genetics and human health. Past doctoral theses have focused on aging, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, nutrition and exercise, biomechanics, metabolism, and neuroscience, among other topics. 

Graduates end up careers in academia, industry, or professional practice, such as health care.  

Computer showing sensors worn by student

Degree Details

The majority of PhD students’ time is devoted to research in fulfilment of the dissertation requirement. Coursework can be established through discussion with the student's advisory committee.  

Students can choose one of three specializations: 

  • Biomechanics 
  • Nutrition, Exercise, and Metabolism 
  • Nutrition and Nutraceutical Sciences 

PhD students will become candidates for the PhD degree upon completion of a qualifying examination, which must be conducted not later than the fifth semester of the PhD program. The exam will be primarily research-focused. 

Collaborative Specialization

Collaborative Specializations

A collaborative specialization is an intra-university graduate field of study that provides an additional multidisciplinary experience for students enrolled in and completing the degree requirements for a Human Health and Nutritional Sciences graduate program. Opportunities for collaborative specializations are available in the areas of Neuroscience, Toxicology, and One Health.  

Student uses ultrasound machine to examine arm

Research Strengths

Human Health and Nutritional Sciences has more than 25 faculty members specializing in a variety of research areas. These efforts are focused on understanding the basic underlying biological aspects of health, at the level of the individual, not community or populations. Research efforts are underway to better understand aging, neurological/sensory disorders, osteoarthritis, and chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type II diabetes, among many other topics.

Choosing an Advisor

Check out Before You Apply for helpful advice on identifying and reaching out to faculty members.

Contact Us:

Dr. Stephen Brown, Graduate Program Coordinator
519-824-4120 ext. 53651

Mira Jashari, Graduate Program Assistant
519-824-4120 ext. 56356

Karen White, Graduate Admissions Assistant
519-824-4120 ext. 52730