University of Vermont

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences

Animal, Nutrition and Food Sciences Doctoral Program

The doctoral program is a joint enterprise between the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Vermont. In addition, the program draws upon faculty expertise and research facilities from across the campus, including faculty members and core facilities from the College of Medicine, the General Clinical Research Center, and the Vermont Cancer Center.

This interdepartmental doctoral program in Animal, Nutrition, and Food Science (ANFS) was established in 2003 with the goal of training a new generation of scholars to have an interdisciplinary perspective on agricultural and life science research and teaching, while allowing for the development of focused areas of specialization and expertise.

In addition to completing a common core of interdisciplinary courses, all ANFS doctoral students select from one of three areas of specialization: Nutrition, Food Sciences, or Animal Sciences. Within these areas of specialization, students are provided with advanced education and research training in topics that include mammalian physiology and endocrinology, mammary gland and lactation biology, basic and applied nutrition, food systems and food studies, food microbiology, and food technology.

The interdisciplinary program provides the flexibility necessary for doctoral students to gain competence in the area of their choice. The extensive research facilities of the participating departments are available to all graduate students enrolled in the program.

What coursework/research experience is involved?

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy requires a minimum of seventy-five credits earned in courses and in dissertation research, including a minimum of thirty credits of course work, at least fifteen of which must be graded and may not count towards a master’s degree, and a minimum of twenty credits of dissertation research. A minimum of fifteen credits in courses used in compilation of the grade-point average must be taken in residence at the University of Vermont following matriculation for the Ph.D.  Other requirements include:

  • Doctoral Dissertation Research: Minimum of 20 credit hours.
  • A course in statistics (e.g. Stats 211).
  • Research Methods in Nutrition and Food Sciences: (NFS 360): A graduate-level NFS course focused on advanced research methods, including grant preparation, Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements, data analysis and presentation.
  • Nutrition and Food Sciences Seminar (NFS 350): Weekly meetings focused on research presentations and critiques within the department (2 credits required).
  • Teaching Experience:  All doctoral candidates must acquire appropriate teaching experience in their chosen fields prior to the award of the degree. The nature and amount of teaching, for which no academic credit is allowed, will be determined by each candidate's advisor and Dissertation Defense Committee.
  • Comprehensive Examination: A written and oral comprehensive examination (format to be decided up on by your advisor and Dissertation Defense Committee members).
  • Research and Dissertation: Original research (and a written dissertation) conducted under the supervision of your faculty advisor
  • Dissertation Defense: After presenting your dissertation research findings at a public seminar open to the college community, a dissertation defense committee (three University of Vermont graduate faculty members, one outside of the department) engage the graduate student in an oral defense of the dissertation.
  • For any additional University Ph.D. requirements, policies, and forms:  see the Graduate College website at:

Am I qualified to apply?

Yes if...

  • You have an earned M.S. degree in nutrition, food science, or related field.
  • You are interested in pursuing research in nutrition and food science.
  • You have taken an undergraduate or graduate course in biochemistry, which has organic chemistry as a prerequisite.
  • You took the GREs with satisfactory results in the general (aptitude) portion.
  • For applicants for whom English is not a first language, a TOEFL score of 100 or above is required for a funded assistantship.

After Graduating Here is Where Some of our Graduates Found Employment:
  • Assistant Professor, University of Vermont
  • Assistant Professor, Drexel University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford
  • Assistant Professor, University of Washington-Seattle
  • Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts
  • Assistant Professor, Univesity of Connecticut
  • Rsearch Associate, University of Vermont
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell
  • Research Manager, Lactalis American Group, NY
  • Safety Services Manager-Food Safety for Walt Disney Co, FL
  • Associate Director, Global Quality Policy, Training and Special Situations Management, Kraft Foods

Need more info? Contact: Professor Stephen Pintauro, or 802-656-0541.

To apply: Access application materials here

Deadline: Feb 15, for students seeking funding (assistantships, fellowships).
Decisions are made by March 15.

Applications from students not seeking funding are accepted on a rolling basis.

Last modified September 19 2014 11:25 AM