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Nutritional Sciences


Administrative Unit:Nutritional Sciences
College/School: College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Admitting Plans:M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor

Faculty: Professors Ntambi (chair), Eide, Eisenstein, Groblewski, Ney, Schoeller, Smith, Sunde; Associate Professors Lai, Tanumihardjo; Assistant Professor Yen. Members of the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences from outside the department: Adams, Armentano, Attie, Bertics, Binkley, Broderick, Carey, Clagett-Dame, Combs, Cook, Crenshaw, DeLuca, Drezner, Folts, Goldman, Greer, Grummer, Hayes, Kanarek, Karasov, Kemnitz, Kling, Kudsk, Mares, Pariza, Prolla, Reed, Robbins, Schaefer, Simon, Weindruch

Overview

Modern nutrition is a multidisciplinary, integrative science, and the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Nutritional Sciences (IGPNS) has been developed to meet this diversity in approach and objective. Thus, students can focus their training in one of three emphasis groups: (1) biochemical and molecular nutrition, (2) human nutrition, or (3) animal nutrition. The degrees offered are the master of science and the doctor of philosophy in nutritional sciences.

It is the program's goal to provide graduate students interested in nutrition with an opportunity to obtain specialized training in a specific research area and also to obtain a general background in the science and practice of nutrition. The program is sufficiently flexible to allow students with a wide variety of undergraduate degrees to meet the background prerequisites. The program draws on the strengths of faculty in a number of the university's colleges and academic departments to enhance the instructional and research experience.

The training objectives of the IGPNS are to provide students with an understanding of basic nutritional principles as they apply to both humans and animals, to provide them with current knowledge in a specific area of emphasis, to make them aware of the integrative and multidisciplinary nature of nutrition research, and to direct them toward a successful career through the thesis and publications.

Biochemical and molecular nutrition. This emphasis group focuses on the application of biochemical and physiological approaches to the understanding of nutrient function and metabolism in systems ranging from the whole animal to the molecular level.

Human nutrition. This emphasis group takes a comprehensive view of human nutrition with emphasis on the maintenance and promotion of human health. It utilizes diverse research approaches to carry out studies on nutrient requirements, metabolism, and interactions. Research may involve physiological and biochemical studies, animal models and epidemiological, and educational or clinical interventions.

Animal nutrition. This emphasis group takes a comprehensive view of animal nutrition with a focus on expanding understanding of nutrient utilization. Research activities involve both the performance of domestic animals and general comparative nutrition across animal species. Studies may range from applied animal feeding trials to basic studies on nutrient metabolism or integrated whole-animal metabolism with an emphasis on quantification and regulation.

Thirty-three students from throughout the world are currently enrolled in the program. Twenty-four are doctoral candidates and nine are seeking master's degrees.

The graduate faculty have well-developed, competitively funded research programs and have been recognized for their activities by receiving national awards. They are active in national and international nutrition activities, and serve on editorial boards, as society officers, and as participants in numerous workshops and on advisory committees.

Financial Aid 

Assistantships and fellowships are available to support students. Information about financial assistance may be obtained from the department office.

Admission 

Candidates for graduate study in nutritional sciences should have a strong background in mathematics, chemistry, and biological and medical sciences or social sciences. Specific prerequisites for the graduate program include five to six semesters of chemistry, three semesters of biological sciences including a course in animal physiology, mathematics through trigonometry, and a course in calculus or statistics. Students who have not completed all the requirements may be admitted, but deficiencies should be made up during the first year of graduate study.

In general, all applicants must have a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required as well as three references and a personal statement. Acceptance requires approval by the Department of Nutritional Sciences and the Graduate School.

For more information: Kate Wilmot, Department of Nutritional Sciences, 1415 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1527; 608-262-2727; nutrisci@nutrisci.wisc.edu; www.nutrisci.wisc.edu.