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Nutritional Sciences

Our graduates work as college and university faculty, federal, state and local nutritionists/researchers, nutritionists/researchers with private corporations, media professionals, and private consultants.

Mission

The graduate program in the Department of Nutritional Sciences has been in existence since 1974 and is one of many programs in the Graduate School.  Since its inception the Department has produced Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy graduates who are making meaningful contributions to the nutrition profession locally, nationally and internationally.

Objectives

The Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences has three major objectives:

1. To foster a program of excellence with specialized expertise in the study of human nutritional issues with particular emphasis on the needs of the underserved poor, ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged populations

2. To prepare competent graduate professionals in the field of human nutrition, with the skills and abilities to improve the nutritional wellbeing and the quality of life for individuals and families

3. To conduct disciplinary and interdisciplinary research in order to improve the nutritional wellbeing and the quality of life of ethnic minorities and the underserved

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Admission Requirements

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is preferred and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in major course work is required. Each graduate department may have additional "special admission requirements" which are noted on this page.

  • Completed on-line application and signature page
  • The non-refundable $45 application fee (Waivers accepted for FAMU Feeder Program and McNair Scholars)
  • Official transcripts must be submitted directly from the Registrar’s Office from ALL colleges and universities attended
  • GRE Scores (Only official score reports are accepted within 5 years of the test date) www.gre.org
  • Statement of Academic and Research Interest
  • Autobiographical Sketch (Personal biography)
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation

Master of Science

A student who does not meet the above requirement may be admitted as a provisional degree student.

Two categories of students may be admitted provisionally into the master's programs of the Graduate School:

  1. those who have the minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and who would otherwise qualify for regular degree admission status except for deficiencies in course preparation and
     
  2. those who have less than the minimum 3.0 cumulative average but who on other grounds are judged by the department as capable of completing a graduate program. A student having only a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution who is admitted into the master's programs in the latter category must have a GPA of 2.7; students admitted from graduate programs must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in graduate courses. All students admitted provisionally may take a minimum of nine credit hours per semester and are allowed a maximum of one year to qualify as a regular degree student. However, students in this category who were admitted with less than a 3.0 GPA must complete 12 graduate credits during the academic year.

Students seeking the Master of Science in Nutrition must show evidence of successful completion of the following undergraduate courses: one year of general chemistry*, one year of organic chemistry*, one semester of biochemistry, and two semesters of nutrition. These courses are considered deficiencies for students who have not previously enrolled in them. 

Doctor of Philosophy

Students desiring to enter the Ph.D. program in nutrition must: hold a master's degree and show evidence of having successfully completed at least one year of general chemistry*,  lecture and lab, one year of organic chemistry*, two semesters of nutrition, one semester of zoology or physiology, and one semester of biochemistry. In addition, students who pursue the option in experimental nutrition must have completed one semester of quantitative analysis.

    International Applicants

    In addition to the requirements listed above you must meet the following:

    • Official transcripts, certificates and/or mark/grade sheets must be sent directly from the college or university to the Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions, and must show proof of degree(s) earned, courses taken and marks/grades received. Also, ALL transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (www.wes.org) or AACRAO (www.aacrao.org) and be forwarded to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions.
    • TOEFL Scores (Minimum computer-based score of 213 is required and only official score reports are accepted within 2 years of the test date) www.toefl.org
    Degree Requirements

    Special Degree Requirements

    All students seeking a master's degree in Nutrition must complete at least 32 semester credits and a thesis. A maximum of 6 credits may be taken from courses which may be taken by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The required core courses are 270-301, and 270-302; and Statistics (Psychology 218-207, Biology 280-430 or Education 253-205). 

    All students pursuing the M.S. degree are required to complete a qualifying examination before they may have a thesis research proposal approved or be admitted to candidacy. The qualifying examination is written and consists of a subject-matter component. A graduate student who fails the qualifying examination on the first attempt may again attempt to pass the failed component(s) when offered during any subsequent semester. A third attempt will not be allowed. A passing grade for the qualifying examination must be at least 80%. 

    Master of Science in Nutrition 

    Students must take a minimum of 32 semester credits of graduate level courses, including: Nutritional Sciences 270-301, 270-302, and 270-310; 10 semester credits from courses at the 300 level in Nutritional Sciences; statistics; and the remainder of credits from graduate 200- or 300- level courses in nutrition and food or related graduate disciplines, such as education, communications, biochemistry, statistics, psychology, sociology, zoology, or chemistry. 

    Doctor of Philosophy in Nutrition

    Two options are offered in the Ph.D. program in Nutrition: experimental nutrition, and community nutrition. Specific related courses at the graduate level are required to support each option. These courses should be taken early in the Ph.D. program. A departmental committee will determine the individual requirements for matriculation in the program, which are in addition to general graduate requirements. 

    Students desiring to continue in the Ph.D. program in nutrition must: Take a preliminary examination for evaluation of his or her background in nutrition, reasoning, and mathematics during the first year of matriculation in the Ph.D. program. Take a qualifying examination covering course work prior to admission to candidacy and dissertation research. Take a final oral examination based primarily on the dissertation research and related areas of study. 

    Courses at the 300 level are open to students who meet the prerequisite requirements for these courses but who are not necessarily enrolled at that time in the Ph.D. program in nutrition.

    Following are the degree options, along with their course requirements: 

    Experimental Nutrition : Nutritional Sciences 270-310 (to be taken a minimum of 4 semesters), 270-311, 270-312, 270-313, 270-314, 270-315, and 270-319 and 1 to 12 credits of 270-401 and 270-402. Optional courses strongly recommended include Nutritional Sciences 270-284 and 270-316. Required supportive courses are Physiology 217-210, Biochemistry 205-251 and 205-252, Chemistry 205-259, and 6 credits of graduate statistics. 

    Community Nutrition : Nutritional Sciences 270-284, 270-310 (to be taken a minimum of 4 semesters), 270-311, 270-312, 270-313, 270-314, 270-315, 270-316, 270-317, and 270-318 and 1 to 12 credits of 270-401 and 270-402. Required supportive courses include a minimum of 18 credits of graduate courses in the sciences, humanities or social sciences, with approval of the adviser, including 6 credits in graduate statistics and 3 credits of biochemistry. 

    Nutrition and Human Development : Nutritional Sciences courses may be taken by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. The required core courses are 270-301, and 270-302; and Statistics (Psychology 218-207, Biology 280-430 or Education 253-206). 

    All students pursuing the M.S. degree are required to complete a qualifying examination before they may have a thesis research proposal approved or be admitted to candidacy. The qualifying examination is written and consists of a subject-matter component. A graduate student who fails the qualifying examination on the first attempt may again attempt to pass the failed component(s) when offered during any subsequent semester. A third attempt will not be allowed. A passing grade for the qualifying examination must be at least 80 percent. 

    Admission to Candidacy

    M.S. Program

    Admission to a Master’s degree program does not automatically admit a student to candidacy for the Master’s degree. A student will be admitted to candidacy upon completion of a majority of the requirements for the Master’s degree, except the thesis or its equivalent.

    Prior to admission to candidacy, a student must:

    1. Submit an admission to candidacy form available at http://www.gs.howard.edu/formandapplications/MasterCandidacyFormf.pdf.  It must include a list of graduate courses completed, those in process, and those courses in the field yet to be completed.

    2. Pass all of the required core courses.

    3. Pass the qualifying or comprehensive examination administered by the

    department (where applicable).

    4. Demonstrate proficiency in expository writing in addition to satisfying the RCR requirement as described in Other Requirements for the Degree, p.31.

    5. Pass the foreign language examination or fulfill the approved substitute where applicable.

    6. Secure the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or other institutional committees as required for the research project.

    7. Receive approval of a thesis subject or an optional requirement as determined by the advisory committee in the major department.

    8. Receive the endorsement of the advisory committee in the major department.

    9. Receive the approval of the Graduate School.

    Admission to candidacy must be achieved at least six weeks prior to the end of the semester in which the student expects to receive his/her degree. Candidacy for the Master's degree shall be valid for no more than two academic years. Any student seeking renewal of candidacy must apply to the Graduate School through the department for reinstatement. The department in which the student is seeking the degree shall determine the conditions under which he/she may be reinstated, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee of the Graduate School.

    The responsibility for fulfilling these requirements on time is that of the student. The departmental Director of Graduate Studies should be consulted regarding any of the stated requirements. Students should carefully note the specific requirements of their department relative to admission to candidacy and regard them as additional to these general requirements.

    Ph.D. Program

    Admission to the Ph.D. program does not automatically admit a student to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. A student shall be admitted to candidacy upon completion of most requirements for the Ph.D. degree, except the dissertation.

    A student can be admitted to candidacy upon meeting the following requirements:

    1. Submit a complete admission to candidacy form to the Graduate School available at http://www.gs.howard.edu/formandapplications/PhDCandidacyAppForm1.pdf.  It must include a list of graduate courses completed, those in process, and those courses in the field yet to be completed.

    2. Pass all of the required core courses.

    3. Pass the qualifying and/or comprehensive examination administered by the department (where applicable).

    4. Demonstrate proficiency in expository writing in addition to satisfying the RCR requirement as described in Other Requirements for the Degree, p.31.

    5. Pass the foreign language examination or fulfill the approved substitute (where applicable).

    6. Secure the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or other institutional committees as required for the research project.

    7. Receive approval of a dissertation topic via a process determined by the advisory committee in the major department. A copy of the approved dissertation proposal must accompany the request for the admission to candidacy.

    8. Receive the endorsement of the advisory committee in the major department.

    9. Receive the approval of the Graduate School.

    Admission to candidacy must be achieved at least one semester prior to that in which the student expects to receive the degree. Candidacy for the Ph.D. degree shall be valid for no more than five academic years. Any student seeking renewal of candidacy must apply to the Graduate School through the department for readmission. The department in which the student is seeking the degree shall determine the conditions under which the student may be reinstated, subject to approval of the Graduate School.

    The responsibility for fulfilling these requirements is that of the student. Students should consult the Director of Graduate Studies in their department if in doubt as to any of the requirements. Students should carefully note the specific requirements of their departments relative to admission to candidacy and regard them as additional to these general requirements.

    Residence Requirements

    M.S. Program

    A minimum of six credit hours per semester constitutes residency. A student must be in residence in the Graduate School for at least one semester in order to be recommended for a degree. Credits transferred from other accredited graduate institutions may not be used to meet the residency requirement.

    Ph.D. Program

    A minimum of six (6) credit hours per semester constitutes residency. A student must be in residence in the Graduate School for at least four (4) semesters in order to be recommended for a degree. Credits transferred from other accredited graduate institutions may not be used to meet the residency requirement.

    Caution to Prospective Students

    The Board of Trustees of Howard University on September 24, 1983, adopted the following policy statement regarding applications for admission: "Applicants seeking admission to Howard University are required to submit accurate and complete credentials and accurate and complete information requested by the University. Applicants who fail to do so shall be denied admission. Enrolled students who as applicants failed to submit accurate and complete credentials or accurate and complete information on their application for admission shall be subject to dismissal when the same is made known, regardless of classification."

    All credentials must be sent to:

    Howard University Graduate School 
    Office of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
    4th and College Streets, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20059

    Faculty
    • Dr. Celia De Souza Batista, Assistant Professor and Interim Chair

      celia.desouzabatista@howard.edu | 202-806-5666

      Nutritional therapeutics for sickle cell disease Health disparities

    • Dr. Chimene Castor, Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator

      chimene.castor@howard.edu | 202-806-5657

      Health disparities: impact of sleep on dietary intake Metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in minority males Use of technology for tailored interventions

    • Dr. Thomas V. Fungwe, Associate Professor

      thomas.fungwe@howard.edu | 202-806-5775

      Nutrigenomics: Role of diet in chronic disease Prevention (obesity, diabetes, cancer) Cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions

    • Dr. Avis P. Graham, Assistant Professor and Director of the Coordinated Program in Dietetics

      apgraham@howard.edu | 202-806-5658

      Child and adult obesity School feeding programs

    • Dr. Allan A. Johnson, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

      ajohnson@howard.edu | 202-806-7111

      Risk factors for overweight/obesity and cardiovascular disease Cardiovascular health in faith-based populations

    • Dr. Oyonumo E. Ntekim, Assistant Professor

      oyonumo.ntekim@howard.edu | 202-806-5648

      Molecular Bases for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and metabolic syndrome New drug development, bioactive herbal constituents and functional genomics

    • Dr. Linda Thompson, Assistant Professor

      linda.thompson@howard.edu | 202-806-5685

      Chronic disease prevention Nutrition/health disparities

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