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Nutritional Sciences

  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Facilities for Graduate Work

Facilities for research and graduate instruction in nutritional sciences include modern laboratories for biochemical, immunological, and cellular/molecular biological techniques such as cell and tissue culture, immunological assays, cytokine bioassays, radioisotope analyses, stable isotope analyses, and protein structure and function determination. Facilities are also available for analysis of vitamins, amino acids, minerals, lipids, carbohydrates, and other substances of nutritional and physiological importance. Local, state, and federal health, child-care, and geriatrics programs provide research and clinical settings. Other resources are the Life Science Library, the Mallet Chemistry Library, the Perry-Castañeda Library, the Animal Resources Center, and Information Technology Services. Graduate students have access to the Student Microcomputer Facility and to statistical applications maintained by the nutritional sciences program.

Programs of Study

The graduate program has biochemical, molecular-biological, and clinical components and includes study in the following areas: molecular and cellular aspects of nutrient function; molecular and cellular approaches to the study of nutrition and disease; nutritional biochemistry; behavioral and child nutrition; nutrient requirements and intakes and health assessment; nutrition and cancer, obesity, aging, and immunity; and nutrition education.

The master’s degree program is designed to prepare individuals for teaching in community colleges; administration in public health programs; technical positions at food, pharmaceutical, and chemical laboratories; and, for those who are registered dietitians, advanced practitioner and teaching positions in clinical dietetics. Students may also apply to the Coordinated Program in Dietetics, which provides courses and experience that will meet the requirements for registration eligibility of the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association.

The doctoral degree program is designed to prepare students for research, teaching, and administrative positions in colleges, universities, government, and industry. Competence in related fields is emphasized, and supporting work is selected from areas such as biochemistry, biology, molecular biology, computer sciences, genetics, communication, geriatrics, immunology, physiology, kinesiology, psychology, or health promotion.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2006–2007.

  • Margaret E. Briley
  • Henry Ciolina
  • Jeanne Freeland-Graves
  • Stephen D. Hursting
  • Aletha C. Huston
  • Christopher Jolly
  • Kimberly Kline
  • Michelle A. Lane
  • RoseAnn Loop
  • Nomeli P. Nuñez
  • Susan N. Perkins
  • Bob G. Sanders
  • D. Max Snodderly
  • Richard A. Willis
  • Bugao Xu

Admission and Degree Requirements

The preliminary training of students seeking a graduate degree should include courses in the following fields: inorganic chemistry with laboratory, organic chemistry with laboratory, biochemistry with laboratory, vertebrate or human physiology, cellular and molecular biology, statistics, and nutrition. The Graduate Studies Committee may recommend that some or all of these courses be completed as a prerequisite for admission to the program or in addition to the courses required for the graduate degree. For students who wish to combine the advanced degree with courses and experiences meeting the requirements for registration eligibility with the American Dietetic Association, additional courses may be required.

A handbook available from the graduate coordinator gives details of policies, procedures, and requirements.

Master of Arts

The Graduate Studies Committee must approve the Program of Work before the student is admitted to candidacy for the master’s degree. Thirty semester hours are required, distributed as follows: (1) eighteen hours in specified nutrition courses; (2) six hours in a minor or supporting field such as biology, anthropology, biochemistry, immunology, educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, health education, public health, pharmacology, or kinesiology; and (3) six hours in the thesis course, involving an original research project. The eighteen hours in nutrition must include at least three hours in research methods, at least three in research problems, at least three in seminar, and at least six in recent advances; the remaining three hours may be in either research methods or recent advances.

A degree program with report is also available, for students seeking a terminal master’s degree. In this program, Nutrition 398R and three additional hours in either research methods or recent advances replace the thesis course.

Doctor of Philosophy

The doctoral program typically requires four to five years of full-time study. Students are expected to meet the following requirements for admission to candidacy by the end of the second year: (1) completion of courses conditional to admission; (2) fifteen semester hours in nutrition, including the following courses with a grade of at least B in each: Nutrition 390 (Topic 1: Advances in Nutritional Sciences I), 390 (Topic 7: Advances in Nutritional Sciences II), and 394 (Topic 1: General Nutrition); (3) six hours of graduate coursework outside nutrition in fields germane to the dissertation research, such as biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, educational psychology, curriculum and instruction, health education, and kinesiology; (4) presentation and defense of a dissertation research proposal and satisfactory response to questions on nutrition and related sciences; and (5) approval by the Graduate Studies Committee of the proposed course plan and proposed dissertation research program. Further supporting work in nutrition or related sciences is usually needed to augment the program. All doctoral candidates must write a dissertation based on the results of their original research and must make a formal oral defense of the dissertation. The Graduate Studies Committee must certify that all of the degree requirements have been completed.

For More Information

Campus address: T. S. Painter Hall (PAI), phone (512) 471-0337, fax (512) 471-5844; campus mail code: A2703

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences, Division of Nutrition, 1 University Station A2703, Austin TX 78712

E-mail: hegrad@uts.cc.utexas.edu

URL: http://www.he.utexas.edu/ntr/ntrgrad.php

Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009

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