College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences


Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences-Food Science, Nutrition and Health concentration will provide opportunities for advanced study and research that enhance human health by developing a food supply that is sustainable, safe, nutritious, accessible and affordable.  This innovative degree encompasses basic and applied sciences and the interrelationships among food, nutrition and health. The program will prepare students for successful careers as faculty, researchers, entrepreneurs and leaders in academia and industry in both the public and private sectors; these leaders will make a meaningful difference in the nexus of food and human health.

Program Outcomes

The program will prepare students to: 

  • Use critical thinking skills to solve complex issues impacting food and nutritional sciences. 
  • Develop and demonstrate effective communication skills through project and dissertation work, as well as conference presentations.
  • Conduct research or undertake advanced projects in a specific area of interest in food and nutritional sciences.
  • Be active and effective leaders in professional societies and demonstrate and model discipline expertise.

Scholarly Engagement

Faculty members are active in professional organizations and typically attend the following annual meetings with their students: 

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)
  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) 
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) 
  • American Society for Nutrition (ASN) 
  • Experimental Biology (EB) 
  • Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine and American Public Health Association
  • International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

In addition, faculty members serve as editors, guest editors, members of editorial boards, regular reviewers for many academic journals in the field of food, health, and nutritional sciences.

Research Labs

Students have access to the following laboratories: 

Food Preparation Laboratory (Drs. Silva and Colleran); Food Safety and Microbiology Laboratory (Dr. Ibrahim); Food Chemistry Laboratory (Dr. Yu); Food Product Development Laboratory (Dr. Tahergorabi); Human Nutrition and Performance Laboratory; Molecular Nutrition Laboratory (Dr. Kang); Food Sensory Laboratory (Dr. Silva); Functional Foods and Human Health Laboratory (Dr. Sang); Food Process Engineering Laboratory (Dr. Chen); Community Nutrition and Health Disparities Lab; Molecular Food Microbiology and Epidemiology Laboratory (Dr. Williams).

Employment Opportunities

Graduates of the program find employment within academia as postdoctoral students, assistant professors or research associates; in Industry as project managers and senior level scientists; and in Government.

For more information

Dr. Roberta Claro da Silva, Program Coordinator