Program Curriculum

Each student must meet the minimum requirements of the Laney Graduate School with regard to total credit hours in course work.

Students are expected to begin their training in the fall semester. It normally requires four to five years to complete the requirements for the PhD degree. However, holders of MS, MPH, MD, DDS, DVM, or similar degrees, on recommendation of the program governing committee, may be admitted in advanced standing, allowing completion of the PhD program in a shorter period of time.

Entering Nutrition Health Sciences students take required coursework during the first year. Required core courses include Human Nutrition 1 and 2, Epidemiology 1, Biostatistics 1, and Nutritional assessment. Prior related coursework may be substituted for any of these classes, by agreement with the Director of Graduate Studies.

In general, all NHS students take the same classes during the first semester. In the second semester, different courses are required of students depending on their subspecialty. Group One is typically taken by students who plan to conduct clinical and/or biochemical research while Group Two is typically taken by students likely to pursue population-based research.

Students in years two and beyond will have a customized set of electives, agreed upon by the student, thesis mentor, and Director of Graduate Studies that will provide the appropriate background for their thesis work. These electives may be taken from the relevant offerings of any of the graduate or professional programs at the University. Students are expected to complete at least three rotations, using these experiences to explore opportunities for thesis work and to expand their own skills across the discipline of human nutrition.

In addition, students are required to take the graduate seminar class for a total of 3 years (1 year at the introductory level and 2 years at the advanced level). The Laney Graduate School-required Jones Program in Ethics (JPE) and teaching curriculum (TATTO) are taken during inter-sessions. Entering students will take JPE 600 just prior to beginning their first semester. Four sessions of JPE 610 are required thereafter in order to graduate. The required TATTO training program is offered in the summer between the first and second years, and students are assigned to be teaching assistants in one course during their second year. 

In the third year, students are expected to have completed all the other formal requirements of the program except for their thesis work by this time.

Students are required to take at least 4 advanced courses (totaling at least 12 credit hours) in or closely related to their area of concentration. The courses are selected by the graduate student in consultation with the student's advisory committee and the Director of Graduate Studies. Students are encouraged to continue to take courses throughout their tenure at Emory and to explore the wide range of offerings throughout the University, recognizing that not all courses are taught every year.