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The Graduate School

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.

The DCN program 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.

DCN Program Information

Meet the UNF DCN Community

Special Notes

The DCN program has a higher tuition rate than other UNF graduate programs. Please refer to the Clinical Nutrition Tuition & Fees for additional information. Students will also be subject to additional per credit hour fees.

Application Deadlines

Fall Term . . . . . . . . May 1

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Jenifer Ross
Assistant Professor
(904) 620-2328

The following items must be submitted no later then the deadline posted above. Incomplete applications with outstanding requirements, or those post-marked after the posted deadline, are subject to cancellation. Once an application has been canceled, the decision can not be reversed. Applicants may apply for the next application cycle.

  • UNF admission application
  • Application fee
  • If applicable, collection holds and judicial holds must be cleared
  • All of the below university and program requirements
  • University Requirements
    • A baccalaureate degree from an accepted institutional accreditor, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.
    • Transcripts, and foreign evaluations if applicable, from all post-secondary institutions attended. Admitted students will be prompted to provide official copies. 
  • Program Requirements
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Letter of intent
      • Discuss academic and professional experiences and goals
    • Professional licensure
      • RDN
    • Three recommendation letters
      • One from a colleague; one from an employer; one from a person of applicant's choice 
    • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution
      • Applicants that do not have a master's degree should first complete the UNF Master's program
    • Minimum of five year's work experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics