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Graduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

Graduate School


Animal and Nutritional Science (ANSC)


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This program is offered in Durham.

The Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences offers the Ph.D. in animal and nutritional sciences in conjunction with the animal science program in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Information on the Ph.D. program is described below.  For information about the master of science programs in nutritional sciences ( or animal science (, please visit their respective websites, including the course listings for molecular, cellular, and biological sciences (MCBS) and nutritional sciences (NUTR).

Degree Offered: Ph.D.

The Ph.D. degree in animal and nutritional sciences has, as its primary research foci, the study of biological and nutritional processes that promote animal and human health and disease, and in the case of animal health, its effect on production. Areas of research specialization include human nutrition, mammalian physiology and pathology, nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, and reproduction and endocrinology. Research activities utilize human, animal, and cell culture systems to investigate nutrient metabolism and a molecular-level understanding of life processes and diseases.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the Ph.D. program will be expected to present recent (within five years) general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and possess a background in basic sciences appropriate for advanced study in the proposed area of specialization (for example, courses in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics). Although not required for candidacy in the Ph.D. program, an M.S. degree is suggested for most students. The student's committee may require certain undergraduate courses as part of the graduate program if additional competencies would be beneficial to the student.

Degree Requirements


Ph.D. in Animal and Nutritional Sciences

The Ph.D. in animal and nutritional sciences trains students to gain advanced knowledge and develop research expertise in such areas as the cellular and molecular biology of various nutrients, nutritional physiology and biochemistry, vascular biology and cardiovascular disease, immunology and genetics, obesity and diabetes, dairy nutrition, human nutrition, reproductive physiology, and endocrinology. It prepares students for future careers in technical consulting, education, and research in academic, industrial, and government institutions. Students with appropriate academic training at the baccalaureate or master's degree level will design a program of study in conjunction with a faculty guidance committee. The student will advance to candidacy after successful completion of all relevant graduate courses and passing a qualifying examination conducted by the guidance committee, which will contain oral and/or written components at the discretion of the committee members. The "guidance" committee for doctoral students will consist of a minimum of five members, three of whom must be from within the Animal and Nutritional Sciences Program; at least one member must be from outside the program. After the student's advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, a doctoral committee (which can be different from the guidance committee) will be appointed to supervise and approve the dissertation.

The dissertation must be based on original hypothesis-driven research of publishable quality. A public presentation of the dissertation research findings will be followed by a final examination, which will be primarily an oral defense of the dissertation. The candidate will be required to serve as a teaching assistant for a minimum of two semesters or to teach a course for one semester. Skills in communicating scientific information will be fostered by presenting one seminar during each year of enrollment.  This requirement could include the dissertation defense seminar.


For a complete listing of courses, check animal science; molecular, cellular, and biological sciences; and nutritional science

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