Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Human Nutrition or Nutritional Sciences?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers two graduate degree programs for nutrition: Human Nutrition (HN) and Nutritional Sciences (NS).

The Human Nutrition degree is housed in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), and NS is in the Division of Nutritional Sciences (DNS). DNS is not a department; but a campus-wide interdisciplinary graduate program composed of faculty members from 8 colleges and 18 different departments, including faculty from FSHN. A primary function of DNS is to enhance interdisciplinary nutrition research and graduate education by integrating teaching and research resources and expertise across departments, colleges and campuses. In general, graduate students in HN and NS end up taking many of the same core curriculum courses for their degrees.

Potential graduate students interested in nutrition should review the research interests of faculty in both FSHN and DNS and compile a list of potential faculty advisors. If the student finds a faculty research program of interest, and if the faculty member is a member of DNS but not in FSHN, then the only option for this student to earn a nutrition graduate degree under that faculty's supervision is to join the DNS program. However, if the student's interests are in the research area of a faculty member who is a member of both FSHN and DNS, then that student, after evaluating the differences between the HN and NS programs, should talk to the potential faculty advisor as to which program to apply to. Besides differences in program requirements, there may be a need to apply to one or the other program based on the potential source of the student’s funding (e.g., fellowship, training grant).