We prepare students for careers in nutrition, exercise, health and healthcare, hospitality, and research. Our graduates pursue careers in health care, research, academia, governmental agencies, and businesses. 

Preference for admission, assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships is given to applicants who apply by February 15 for the fall semester and November 1 for spring semester (6 months before the semester starts). Graduate assistantships for research and teaching are available for the upcoming fall semester on a competitive basis.

We offer the following degrees:

  • Master of Science (M.S., thesis and non-thesis, 6 Specializations)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D., research intensive, 2 Specializations)  

It takes approximately 2 years to complete an M.S. program and 4 years to complete a Ph.D. program.  

Applicants interested in research training and research careers should apply for M.S. Option A (research thesis) or Ph.D. (90 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree, including master's degree coursework).

Applicants interested in healthcare, dietetics, community nutrition, or hospitality careers should apply for the non-thesis master's. 

Students are recommended for admission by departmental graduate faculty.

Research training programs, M.S. or Ph.D. with Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition Specialization, and Ph.D. in Human Sciences, require at least one faculty member who agrees to serve as the student's research advisor.

Applicants focused on research must communicate with individual graduate faculty by providing compelling reasons why their application should be considered in addition to serving as their graduate research advisor. Detailing volunteer, professional, and research experience as well as demonstrating passion and interest in their areas of research are key components.

To learn more about each graduate faculty members' areas of research, teaching, and other interests, you can review their bio pages online in the NHS faculty directory, online at:  cehs.unl.edu/nhs/nhs-faculty-and-staff as well as search for them online via PubMed pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov or Google Scholar scholar.google.com.

Our graduate programs include:

  • Ph.D. in Nutrition (CODE: NTRN-PHD), 90 credit hours with dissertation

       For students with a strong interest in nutrition research with a STEM focus. STEM focus is needed for many areas of optional practical training: go.unl.edu/4bvu.

       There are no specializations with this Ph.D. Our nutrition research faculty focus in these areas: 

Prerequisites for Admission

For nutrition, dietetics, and exercise, preference for admission includes completion of undergraduate courses documented on transcripts in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, human physiology, and human anatomy, as well as advanced nutrition (for dietetics). Any potential course deficiencies should be discussed with your program contact or graduate advisor prior to admission. Admission prerequisites and requirements include: 

  • Applicants should have a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, dietetics, exercise science, food science, health education, health sciences, hospitality/restaurant management, nutrition science, or other major related to their desired area of study.
  • Applicants should have specific prerequisite courses on their transcripts related to their desired area of study.
  • Applicants not having a relevant bachelor's degree are welcome to apply but should take prerequisite courses related to their desired area of study before applying.
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Preferred minimum GRE scores: 145 Verbal; 150 Quantitative; 3.0 Analytical (writing).
  • Required minimum TOEFL score (International students only): 550 paper; 79 internet; or 6.5 IELTS.

Application for Admission and Deadlines

Application information for the M.S. in Nutrition and Health Sciences (choose one of 6 Specializations) or the Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a specialization in Biomedical and Molecular Nutrition or Nutrition and Health Sciences can be found online at unl.edu/gradstudies/academics/programs/NUHS-MS and unl.edu/gradstudies/academics/programs/NTRN-PHD.

Preference for admission, assistantships, scholarships, and fellowships is given to applicants who apply by February 15 for the fall semester and November 1 for spring semester (6 months before the semester starts).

Applications submitted less than 4 months before the start of each semester may experience delays in processing (after April 15 for fall, after September 1 for spring, and after February 15 for summer). If you plan to submit a late application, notify the department of your intention to apply. Be sure to include the degree and program are you applying to along with names of the graduate faculty members you have requested to consider serving as your graduate advisor.

Application for Assistantships and Fellowships

Graduate assistantships for research and teaching, as well as fellowships and scholarships, are available for the upcoming fall semester. A separate application is required. Additional information can be found online at cehs.unl.edu/nhs/assistantships.

We hope you will apply and join our graduate program! 

Graduate Program Chair
Heather Rasmussen

Heather Rasmussen Associate Professor, Professional Studies in Dietetics Program Director

Full Heather Rasmussen bio
Graduate Student Coordinator

Morgan Harris Graduate Student Coordinator