Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition

Graduate Program Director & Advising Coordinator

Dr. Lauri Wright

Graduate Program Director

Application Deadlines

Fall Term . . . . . . . . May 1

Admission Requirements

 Admission Standards


  • Be an RDN or DTR. Professional licensure required


  • A master’s degree (if not, the candidate can apply to, and complete, the UNF Master’s program prior to entering the DCN)


  • A minimum of three year’s work experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics


Application Requirements


  • Application letter


  • Professional licensure


  • Three recommendation letters


  • Official transcripts of all college and/or university course work with final degree posted. Foreign degrees/transcripts must have an official evaluation


  • CV/resume


  • GRE (optional requirement)


Program Overview

The DCN will transform nutrition and dietetics practitioners into advanced level clinical scholars who have the skills, attitudes, behaviors, and high standards essential for pursuing, acquiring, and using evidence-based knowledge to make significant contributions to their communities through practice, service, and lifelong learning.


  1. Students will participate in an in-depth study of current nutrition, clinical and/or community nutrition, the needs of target populations, and evidence-based practices through didactic learning in preparation for advanced-level practice.
  2. Students will design, conduct, and analyze data that critically examine health and nutrition outcomes.
  3. Students will participate in an advanced practice outcomes based residency that will strengthen their research skills, leadership and nutrition expertise.
  4. In addition, students will participate in a community service and/or professional leadership learning activity that fosters civic and/or professional commitment and engagement.

What is a Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) Degree?
  • The Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program is an advanced practice doctoral program with emphasis on advanced evidence based practice and chronic disease prevention and treatment in underserved and other populations in both clinical and community settings. 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, 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. 
Special Notes about the Program

The DCN 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.


The University of North Florida seeks to deliver all of our fully online programs in every state. However, the complexity and fluidity of requirements in some states, including differing requirements by academic program, make this impractical. Please click on the state in which you currently reside and review its current status, including any special requirements which may exist for your academic program of interest. If the University of North Florida cannot currently provide distance education in your state, or if your program of interest is excluded, please check back as the information changes often. 


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. 

Core Requirements (39 credits) 

HUN 7xxx Advanced Topics in Nutrition Science (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Advanced Concepts in Clinical Nutrition (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Advanced Nutrition Leadership and Public Policy (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Advanced Concepts in Nutrition and Wellness (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Advanced Nutrition Counseling (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Grant Development (3 credits) 
NGR 7843 Statistical Interpretation for Advanced Practice (3 credits) 
NGR 5172 Pharmacotherapeutics (3 credits) 
PHT 6303C Applied Pathophysiology (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Pre-Doctoral Project (3 credits) 
HUN 7xxx Doctoral Project (3-9 credits)* 

Clinical Residency (12 credits) 

HUN 7xxx Advanced Practice Residency (3-9 credits)* 

HUN 7xxx Doctoral Seminar in Nutrition (3 credits) 

* For HUN 7xxx- Doctoral Project and HUN 7xxx- Advanced Practice Residency, students must register for a total of 9 credits per course over the duration of the program. Faculty will work individually with students to help them identify a strategy for their elective studies. Qualitatively, this individualized approach to helping students tailor the work to their interests and needs provides an advanced practice doctoral professional who is better prepared to work addressing the health needs of the institution and the communities they serve. 

Major Electives (3-6 credits) 

Suggested Electives (Some of these may not be available DL) 

HUN 7xxx Special Topics in Advanced Nutrition (1-3 credits) 
PHC 6103 Essentials of Public Health (3 credits) 
HSC 6505 Epidemiology & Disease Control (3 credits) 

NGR 7871 Health Informatics for Advanced Practice (3 credits)  

Graduation Requirements
  1. Successfully complete all required program of study work with a grade of “B” or better (54 credits).
  2. Successful completion of an Advanced Practice Residency.
  3. 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. Contingent on final approval by the end of June 2016, the 2016-2017 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. The 2015-16 information on tuition and fees can be viewed here
Total Program
Credit Hours
54 post-Master's degree
Approximate Enrollment 9 for the Year 1; 12 therafter