Nutrition and health research integrates information from many disciplines. Biochemistry, physiology, psychology, food science, genetics and cell biology are at the heart of our understanding of nutrition and its application.

The Nutrition Science Graduate Program curriculum incorporates the Interdepartmental Nutrition Program (INP) concentration, providing interdisciplinary training for students interested in nutrition science. Faculty from several departments provide a wide range of expertise and training opportunities. The program is governed by four committees that oversee program operations, admissions and courses.

Interested students should apply to the nutrition science graduate program. Once admitted, students train under a Nutrition Science faculty mentor and learn a variety of approaches to address important nutrition issues. When applying to the graduate program, prospective students should indicate their preferred area of training by selecting one of the following training groups:

  • Biochemical and molecular nutrition
  • Human and clinical nutrition
  • Animal health, growth and development
  • Population nutrition and health promotion

Program Highlights

  • The nutrition science program offers an integrated approach, inviting collaboration with faculty from a variety of departments at Purdue, including Animal Sciences, Basic Medical Sciences, Food Science, Forestry and Natural Resources, Health and Kinesiology, Nutrition Science, Psychological Sciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Comparative Pathobiology as well as the Indiana University School of Medicine and Purdue University Fort Wayne.
  • The mentor-based program allows students to work directly with one of the graduate faculty mentors in biochemical and molecular nutrition, human and clinical nutrition, animal science and growth/development or population nutrition and health promotion.
  • Graduate students have the opportunity to learn fundamental scientific knowledge of human nutrition in health, behavior and chronic diseases; use cutting-edge technology and data analyses to address questions relevant to human nutrition and health improvement; improve critical-thinking ability and communication skills to become leaders in the field; and more.

Potential Careers

  • Food industry
  • University faculty
  • Food and nutrition policy
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Clinical nutrition researcher
  • Nutritional consultant in companies
  • Government agencies and non-profit institutes (USDA, NIH etc)

Plan of Study

MS Plan of study PhD plan of study

Interdisciplinary Programs

As a student in the nutrition science graduate program, you’ll have opportunities to enhance your graduate degree through the following programs.

Dual Degree PhD/MS/MA + MPH

This is an ideal track for graduate students who are interested in pursuing a nutrition science graduate degree and a Master of Public Health simultaneously. Your plan of study must accommodate completion of both degrees.

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Dual Title PhD in Nutrition and Gerontology

This dual-title PhD links an established discipline-based program of study with an interdisciplinary perspective on aging. This degree uniquely prepares you to pursue a wide range of careers in higher education and/or research on aging.

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Research Areas/Training Groups

Students and faculty in this training group are interested in examining the mechanisms controlling nutrient or phytochemical metabolism or defining diet-disease relationships. These researchers depend upon the basic sciences of cell biology, molecular biology, physiology and biochemistry. This work provides the foundation for future, more applied studies that lead to improved dietary practices or the use of nutrition in the treatment of disease.

Nutrition Science Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Students and faculty in this training group conduct translational research that extends beyond the more basic research to examine the mechanisms controlling nutrient or phytochemical metabolism, define diet-disease relationships and understand the basis for food selection. They utilize human subjects and animal models and depend upon knowledge of physiology and biochemistry. This work is often directly applicable in clinical practice or in public health.

Nutrition Science Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Animal Health, Growth and Development

Students and faculty in this training group examine the role of nutrition in fostering optimal growth and development of production animals and improving the health of production and companion animals. These researchers utilize animals in their studies and depend upon knowledge of physiology and biochemistry. This work is often directly applicable to the field or in clinical veterinary practice.

Affiliated Faculty

Population Nutrition and Health Promotion

Students and faculty in this training group examine nutrition in the context of human populations and communities. These researchers integrate knowledge of nutrition, epidemiology, social science and prevention in their work. This training area includes developing nutrition interventions and educational programs, investigating new approaches to measure and characterize nutrition exposures and engaging community partners to improve food behavior and health.

Nutrition Science Faculty

Affiliated Faculty


The major emphasis in our graduate programs is on research conducted under the supervision of a program faculty member. In selecting your major professor, you will want to ensure alignment of research interests.

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Jiang Qing

Qing Jiang | Program Director

For questions regarding the nutrition science graduate program, please contact Professor Qing Jiang at

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