What will I learn?

Our mission is to discover, translate, and disseminate health-related advances in the nutrition, food, and exercise sciences. The work of the faculty and graduate students in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (HNFE) contributes significantly to scientific progress through molecular and clinical advances leading to prevention and improved treatment of obesity and chronic diseases; behavioral discoveries that lead to effective intervention programs for youth and adults; and interdisciplinary research teams who speed the translation of scientific discoveries to effective therapeutic and public health interventions that will benefit Virginians and the nation. We provide exceptional training for our students focusing on the preparation of future professionals who are knowledgeable, committed to life-long learning, ethical, culturally sensitive, and able to work collaboratively as well as independently. Training in the use of rigorous scientific inquiry is the cornerstone of the HNFE graduate program. We foster innovation across all three Virginia Tech missions areas - teaching, research, and outreach - by (1) supporting programs that promote sustainability and community viability and encouraging student participation in research and extension; (2) designing, developing, and implementing programs and policies through a participatory and shared effort between the HNFE research and teaching community; and (3) utilizing our teaching and research expertise to improve the health across diverse populations. Finally, the department's main focus is on addressing one of the most critical public health challenges of today - chronic disease.

The Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise offers doctoral degrees in one of three focus areas: Molecular and Cellular Science, Clinical Physiology and Metabolism, and Behavioral and Community Science. The minimal requirements for the doctoral degree are 90 graduate credit hours of which at least 27 credit hours are based on graded course work (21 credit hours of 5000-level or higher) and at least 30 credit hours of dissertation research. The Department requires PhD students to complete Translational Science in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise (HNFE 5204) and 6 credit hours of statistics. Students are also required to complete Ethics and Integrity and Diversity and Inclusion Training.

Which department am I in?

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Study options

Full Time (90 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$14,207.50 per year
USD $14,207.50 for 9 or more credit hours (Fall and Spring Semesters).

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected October 2021

Start date

18 January 2022


Virginia Tech

925 Prices Fork Road,



24061, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Students must have at least a 3.3 GPA on applicant's most recent two years of university coursework.

For international students

Admission to the Graduate School is contingent upon receipt of a four year (or 3 year degree recognized by the Bologna process) bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and the presentation of evidence of potential to pursue graduate work.

Minimum GPA: 3.0

Testing Requirements:


iBT - Total: 90.0

Listening Subsection: 20.0
Writing Subsection: 20.0
Speaking Subsection: 20.0
Reading Subsection: 20.0

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - Total: 6.5

Application Deadlines: Fall: Feb 01; Spring: Oct 01.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About Virginia Tech

The AdvantageVT program offers the ideal gateway for students who want to combine English language studies with course credits.

  • Ranked in the top 5% universities globally
  • Excellent pathway programs for international students
  • Over 110 undergraduate and 170 postgraduate programs
  • Education driven by innovative technology and research