Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition

The Department of Nutrition & Dietetics offers an online Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN). The DCN program is an advanced practice doctoral program with emphasis on leadership, advanced evidence based practice and research. In contrast to a PhD in Nutrition, which is generally focused on bench research, this degree focuses on practice and emphasizes production of applied scholarship and evidence-based outcomes in practice settings. The DCN will prepare practitioners for leadership roles in clinical, community or higher education settings through the course work, advanced practice residency, and the production of applied scholarship. 



Graduates will gain expertise and skills in chronic disease prevention, clinical treatment, cultural competency, critical thinking, public policy, and outcomes research to become advanced level nutrition and dietetics practitioners and researchers. The curriculum will integrate evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics to provide the foundation for completion of an outcome based research project. The significance of developing an advanced practice Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition is evident from the increasing prevalence of dietary-related chronic diseases (such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, certain cancers, and renal disease). Graduates of the program will be rigorously trained to provide leadership in dietary prevention, intervention, and treatment of chronic disease at the individual and population level. 


The DCN is a fully online program and includes a practice residency, so it is important to determine State Authorization of Distance Education and if the applicant will be able to do a residency in his or her home state or may have to do such elsewhere. Please see the UNF State Authorization Status website for more information and updates. “State Authorization of Distance Education is a complex and dynamic environment. Prospective students should check this site often for updates. Students are required to come onsite for 2-day workshops the first three years of the program and also to defend their research project.


How to Apply


Apply Now! 


Applications are accepted from November 1 - March 15. Students are only accepted into the program during Fall semester in a cohort model. Please see the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics Admissions page for directions to apply! Just scroll to the bottom of the page.    


Contact Us 

Interested in the Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition? Please contact the DCN Director, Dr. Lauri Wright, for more information:


Dr. Lauri Wright

Director, DCN

Ph: (904) 620-1436


Program of Study 

May be completed full or part time. Students are also encouraged to obtain certifications as part of their studies with consultation and approval from their advisor.  


Nutrition Core (15 credits) 

HUN 7803 Advanced Topics in Nutrition Science (3 credits) 
HUN 7219 Advanced Concepts in Clinical Nutrition (3 credits) 
HUN 7525 Advanced Nutrition Leadership and Public Policy (3 credits) 

HUN 7990 Advanced Concepts in Public Health (3 credits)

HUN 7625 Advanced Nutrition Counseling (3 credits) OR HUN 7990 Higher Education Pedagogy (3 credits)


Research Core (9 credits)  

HUN 7831 Research Methods & Grant Development (3 credits) 
HUN 7990 Advanced Evaluation of Data in Nutrition Research (3 credits) 
HUN 6509 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits) OR HUN 7990 Qualitative Research Methods in Nutrition (3 credits)


Electives (9 credits)


HUN 7820 Advanced Concepts in Nutrition and Wellness (3 credits)  

HUN 7990 Nutrition and Global Health (3 credits)  

HUN 7990 Nutrigenomics (3 credits)  

HUN 6906 Independent Study (3 credits)  

NGR 5172 Pharmacotherapeutics (3 credits)  

HSC 6505 Epidemiology & Disease Control (3 credits) 

NGR 7871 Health Informatics for Advanced Practice (3 credits)  


Advanced Practice Residency (6 credits) 

HUN 7973 Advanced Practice Residency (3 credits)*


DCN Research Project (15 credits)   

HUN 7981 Pre-Doctoral Project (3 credits) 

HUN 7939 Doctoral Seminar in Nutrition (3 credits) 

HUN 7985 Doctoral Project (3-9 credits)



Student Benchmarks

  • Complete all course and elective course with “B” or better and core assignments: 
  • Complete clinical toolkit 
  • Complete counseling OR teaching innovation project 
  • Complete program planning and evaluation project  
  • Write >1 grant 
  • Satisfactory completion of an Advanced-Practice Residency 
  • Satisfactory completion and defense of qualifying exam/proposal defense 
  • Satisfactory completion and defense of the doctoral project 
  • Submit doctoral project manuscript to peer-reviewed journal 
  • Submit a proposal to present at a professional meeting 
  • Complete and submit AND Fellow application 

 Graduation Requirements 

  • Successfully complete all required program of study work with a grade of “B” or better (54 credits)
  • Successful completion of an Advanced Practice Residency.   
  • Once all required coursework is successfully completed the student must complete and successfully defend an Advanced Practice Residency outcomes study (this may have a clinical, community/public health, or other nutrition related focus). 

Important : The DCN program will likely carry a tuition rate that differs from other UNF graduate programs. The 2017-2018 tuition rate will be $750 per credit hour for both in-state and out-of-state students. Students will also be subject to additional per credit hour fees. View the 2017-18 information on tuition and fees can be viewed.