Texas Tech University

Nutritional Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Nutritional Sciences


How to Apply

The Graduate School online application system is designed to help you easily navigate through the application process and ensure you complete your application in a timely manner.

ALL documents must be submitted through the online portal and directly to the department.

How to Apply


  • Fall: January 15


  • Summer: January 15


  • Spring: June 15

Requirements and Prerequisites

        • Requirements:
          • GPA: minimum of 3.0
          • TOEFL: minimum of 80
              (international students only)
          • Resume/CV
          • Letters of Recommendation (3)
        • Optional Attachments:
          • Personal Statement of Professional Goals
        • Recommended courses previously taken:
          • Biochemistry
          • Anatomy and Physiology
          • Statistics 
          • A Nutrition Course

NS Research and Research Labs


The Doctor of Philosophy in Nutritional Sciences degree requires a minimum of 72 hours (includes a minimum of 12 dissertation hours and includes at least 12 hours in the specialization track area). A maximum of 30 hours of transfer credit from the student's master's program will be allowed.

Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses in Nutritional Sciences

Advisory Committee

The student should select a Chairperson of his/her Doctoral Advisory Committee by the end of the first semester of study or as soon a possible thereafter. In consultation with the Chairperson, the student will select a Doctoral Advisory Committee. The Doctoral Advisory Committee shall be composed of at least 3 members of the graduate faculty from within Nutritional Sciences, at least 1 graduate faculty member outside Nutritional Sciences (either within or outside the College of Human Sciences), and a 5th graduate faculty member chosen at-large outside the College of Human Sciences. The Doctoral Advisory Committee must contain a total of 5 or more members of the Graduate Faculty for the final examination (dissertation defense), at least 1 being from outside the College of Human Sciences. The Doctoral Advisory Committee is responsible for approving the course work program (Program for the Doctoral Degree), advising the student regarding changes in his/her program, conducting the qualifying examination, approving the research proposal, supervising the conduct of the research, and participating at the defense of the dissertation.
Completion of the Program for the Doctoral Degree form identifies the Doctoral Advisory Committee and the Chairperson. Hence, official approval of this form by the Graduate School places the student under the direction of the Chairperson of the Doctoral Advisory Committee for the remainder of his/her academic program. If the Program for the Doctoral Degree form is not completed and the Doctoral Advisory Committee is not constituted and approved prior to the start of the second year, the student, at the option of the Graduate School, may not be permitted to register for courses.

Preliminary Examination

At the beginning of the student's first semester, the student will take preliminary exams in all courses completed at the master's level that the student would like to have count toward the required 72 hours for the doctoral program of study. A score of 75% or higher on any exam taken will be required to receive credit for that course. The Graduate Adviser for Nutritional Sciences will arrange the testing date and time for all new doctoral students.

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination is a comprehensive written and oral examination, administered by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, covering competencies in synthesis and application of knowledge acquired during the course of study. This must be taken after most of the course work has been completed. At least 4 months must elapse between the qualifying (written and oral) examination and the final examination (dissertation defense).

Written questions will be graded, and an oral examination will be held usually within three weeks of the written examination. The Doctoral Advisory Committee may terminate the student's program after the qualifying examination if the performance is not satisfactory.

Admission to Candidacy

The Doctoral Advisory Committee Chairperson will send a letter of recommendation for admission to candidacy to the Dean of the Graduate School with a copy to the Nutritional Sciences Graduate Adviser after the candidate has successfully completed the qualifying examination.


A dissertation proposal must be approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee in advance of initiating the research. A dissertation must be written under the direction of the Doctoral Advisory Committee in accordance with instructions from the TTU Graduate School: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/academic/ThesesDissertation.php. Doctoral students are required to provide the chairperson of their Graduate Advisory Committee with a bound copy of the dissertation unless the chairperson signs the waiver form indicating that he/she does not want a copy.

The doctoral student will prepare a manuscript for publication (as first author) of dissertation research findings. If work is not submitted for publication within one year after thesis completion, the Advisory Committee Chairperson and committee members will have the right to publish research findings. Authorship will include the student's name.

Final Oral Examination

A required final public oral examination (defense of dissertation) will be scheduled after the dissertation has been reviewed by the Doctoral Advisory Committee Chairperson. The revised copy will be distributed to the Doctoral Advisory Committee members at least 3 weeks prior to the examination. The Graduate School requires 3 weeks notification prior to the examination. The required Defense Notification Form noting the time, place, and other information is available at: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/gradschool/academic/FormsResources.php. The examination is conducted by the Doctoral Advisory Committee, the Graduate Dean or his/her representative, or other designated person(s), constituting a total of at least six persons. A period of at least 4 months must elapse between the dates of the Qualifying and Final Examinations.

Doctoral Degree Student's Responsibilities

General responsibilities:

For Required Steps and Forms in the Doctoral Program and deadlines, go to this TTU Graduate School website:

Specific responsibilities:

  • Read the Graduate Catalog: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/officialpublications/catalog/.
  • Confer with Graduate Adviser concerning:
    • Research interests
    • Selection of Doctoral Advisory Committee Chairperson
  • Confer with the Doctoral Advisory Committee Chairperson about:
    • Program for the Doctoral Degree form (to be developed with Doctoral Advisory Committee) and submit to the Graduate School for approval.
    • Course registration (consult with Graduate Adviser each registration period)
    • Potential members of Doctoral Advisory Committee
    • Content and scheduling of qualifying examination
    • Rechecking the approved Program for the Doctoral Degree form with Graduate Adviser when registering for the semester in which the degree is to be conferred, and make changes as necessary.
  • Confer with the Doctoral Advisory Committee members about:
    • Their membership on Doctoral Advisory Committee
    • Content and scheduling of qualifying examination
    • Research proposal development, presentation, and approval
    • Guidance during research
    • Planning committee meetings
    • Planning for final oral examination

Degree Plan

Degree Plan

Contact the Graduate Advisor

Dr. Wilna Oldewage-Theron
(806) 834-0567

Nutritional Sciences