Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University

Graduate Degrees

The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers graduate study leading to a Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nutritional Sciences. Graduate study in NSCI emphasizes research and the application of research to the field of human nutrition. Graduate students work with advisers and advisory committees to develop flexible, yet rigorous programs of study and research that meet the degree requirements and students’ professional goals within an area of specialization in the field. Visit our Graduate Students section for detailed information about the graduate program and resources.


The PhD degree is awarded in Nutritional Sciences. Two options are available: a 60 hour program for MS graduates and a 80 hour program for BS graduates.

The focus of the program is to prepare individuals for careers in a variety of areas including higher education, industry, healthcare and governmental programs. The PhD program includes a strong emphasis on research in areas ranging from basic molecular and cellular sciences to clinical and community applications. Students also gain experience in resource generation, knowledge sharing and community engagement.

Each program of study is designed by the student under direction of his/her faculty adviser and advisory committee to develop the student’s competence in an area of specialization and research methodologies.
Doctoral training includes:
15-30 hours of dissertation research
Qualifying examination covering core nutrition knowledge
Comprehensive exam focused on the specialization area
Participation in research throughout the program.


The MS degree program is designed to develop research skills, stimulate independent thought and critical thinking, and provide up-to-date knowledge in a variety of areas of human nutrition. Students in the MS program-nutrition option can choose one of two tracks: thesis or non-thesis.

The MS degree with thesis requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, including six credit hours of thesis research (NSCI 5000). The non-thesis MS degree requires a minimum of 34 credit hours with three credit hours of NSCI 5843, including a comprehensive examination, a written research paper, and an oral presentation. Required courses included macronutrients, micronutrients, research methods, statistics, and seminar.

An online Master of Science degree in nutritional sciences with an option in dietetics is also offered to Registered Dietitians through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). Great Plains IDEA students may select OSU as their “home” university.

None of the graduate degrees include the courses required to become a Registered Dietitian (RD). If the RD credential is the goal, then the required undergraduate courses for the Didactic Program in Dietetics may be taken before beginning the M.S. or concurrently with graduate work.

Visit our Graduate Students section for detailed information about the graduate program and resources.

Visit our NSCI Directory for faculty contact information and to click through to individual Graduate Faculty profile pages and learn about research areas.