Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does The Ohio State University Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition (OSUN) differ from a traditional nutrition Ph.D program?
The OSUN program has over 40 faculty located in four colleges: College of Human Ecology and Education; College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; College of Medicine; and the College of Veterinary Medicine. This gives students a very diverse and experiential learning experience. Faculty members offer research opportunities in molecular and cellular nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, clinical nutrition, and applied and experimental animal and human nutrition.

2. Do you accept students every quarter?
Students are accepted every semester, but autumn semester is preferred.

3. What are the minimum admission requirements?
Doctoral degree applicants to the OSUN Ph.D. program should have a baccalaureate or master’s degree in nutrition or a related biological science. To be considered for admission, applicants are expected to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Cumulative point hour ratio of 3.30 in previous course work (students can petition a GPA below 3.30 but above a 3.0 for undergraduate course work).
  • GRE taken within the previous 5 years with minimum scores of at least 500 on both Verbal and Quantitative sections, a combined score of at least 1100, and a minimum score of 3.5 for the Analytical Writing section. In the new Revised GRE a combined minimum score of 300 is required, with a minimum score of 3.5 for the Analytical Writing section.
  • If from a country where the primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of at least 600 on the paper version or 100 on the internet based version (IBT), and an 8.0 on the IELTS is preferred.

Although a master’s degree is preferred, students with an exceptional record in a baccalaureate program and experience in a research setting may be admitted directly into the doctoral program.

4. When does my application need to be turned in?
Applications need to be turned in by the last working day of November for international students and January 1 for U.S students.

5. How do I apply for a fellowship?
All students who meet the University Fellowship guidelines established by the Graduate School and who have submitted their application by the above deadlines will be evaluated by the Graduate Studies Committee and entered into the fellowship competition held by the Graduate School. Any student awarded a fellowship will be notified by the Graduate School and also by the OSUN program. For information on University Fellowships, see

6. When will I be notified about an admission decision?
The admissions committee generally meets in January and February after all applications are received to make decisions. Notification will generally occur by the end of March with some decisions occurring later as funding opportunities arise.

7. How many years will it take to graduate?
For the past two years, the average length of time it has taken an OSUN student to complete the Ph.D has been five years. The time to completion varies, however, based on advisor and research projects.

8. What are the job opportunities when I finish my degree?
Most students continue on in a postdoctoral position either at Ohio State or at another institution, but some obtain a job in industry. Beow is a partial listing of positions taken after graduation. For a complete listing, contact the program manager at

    OSU Medical Center postdoctoral fellow
    Gerber Foods nutritional scientist
    Louisana Tech University assistant professor
    Stanford University postdoctoral fellow
    NIEHS/NIH postdoctoral fellow
    Cargill innovation development manager
    Mead Johnson Nutritionals senior nutrition scientist
    University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill postdoctoral fellow
    Mahidol University — Thailand assistant professor
    Mexico private consultant

9. What types of financial aid are available?
OSUN supports first-year students with a graduate associateship that gives the student a stipend and also pays fees and tuition and 85% of health insurance. Students who do not come into the program with a faculty advisor may rotate through as many as three research programs before finding a permanent advisor. It is imperative that students work with their advisors or the director to find financial support after the first year. Forms of support are graduate research associateships (GRAs), graduate teaching associateships (GTAs), or fellowships awarded on a competitive basis through the university, college, or department of the student. Grants or fellowships also may be available from national organizations.

10. What are the responsibilities of a GRA and a GTA?
A graduate associate has the responsibility to work 20 hours a week for the unit appointing the GA. Graduate research associates typically work in the research setting organizing data and writing reports, while graduate teaching associates typically work with a professor and assist with duties associated with a class. For complete information on graduate associateships, please see the Graduate School Handbook at