Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program: Ph.D., International Nutrition

International Nutrition Program

Malnutrition and hunger are widespread in many developing countries, and chronic disease resulting from poor nutrition is an emerging problem. The causes of inadequate nutrition are many and complex as they encompass biological, economic, social and political issues. The Program in International Nutrition trains individuals who are dedicated to eliminating hunger, malnutrition, and chronic disease. The Program faculty addresses nutritional problems through research, nutritional education and training; applied nutrition programs in the community, government, and international organizations; and institutional development. The Cornell Program in International Nutrition is dedicated to training those committed professionals whose previous training and international experience provide a solid foundation for benefiting from Cornell's rigorous intellectual environment.


Students graduating from the Program in International Nutrition work for government ministries and other action agencies (such as UNICEF and non-governmental organizations), agencies that deliver technical assistance (such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization), applied research institutions, and universities. Recent graduates, almost without exception, have found the job of their choice when they graduated.


The Program in International Nutrition tailors the curriculum to meet each student's career goals. Under the guidance of their faculty advisor, students may focus their curricula on biological and clinical aspects of nutrition, or on the social, economic, or cultural aspects of nutrition. The Program is managed within Cornell's Division of Nutritional Sciences, but involves faculty across the university. The faculty members have had experience in many parts of the world, and their expertise covers the spectrum from basic biology to population-based interventions and policy.

Courses are offered in the political, economic, sociological, clinical, and public health dimensions of nutrition. Numerous seminar series offer presentation and interpretation of issues, and informal discussion of modern methods of research and research results.

Study in international nutrition begins with a solid basis in human nutrition, and should include biochemistry, physiology, and laboratory methods. In addition to courses in the biological aspects of nutrition, students are expected to take courses that recognize the social, cultural, agricultural, economic, and public health policy impacts of nutrition, and courses that provide them with expertise in the analytic methods used to describe and understand these impacts. Many students minor in areas such as development sociology, agricultural economics, anthropology, epidemiology, communication, food science, and policy analysis because their research is multidisciplinary.

The breadth of knowledge and the emphasis on the sociopolitical and biosocial contexts of nutrition are the distinguishing features of the Program in International Nutrition at Cornell. Students and faculty benefit from the opportunity to integrate the foundations of basic biological aspects of nutrition and their interactions with population-based intervention and policy. Collaborative ties with research and training institutes throughout the world ensure that the study of nutrition at Cornell is truly global in scope.

The faculty members of the Program in International Nutrition are involved in many research areas. The following is a list of some current subject areas:

* Maternal and Child Nutrition

  • Human lactation and reproduction

  • Child growth and development

* Nutrition and Health

  • Nutritional causes of deficiency and chronic diseases

  • Nutrition and parasites

  • Sociocultural determinants of nutritional status

  • Functional consequences of malnutrition

* Nutritional Epidemiology, Assessment and Surveillance

  • Nutritional epidemiology

  • Surveillance for program planning and policy development

  • Nutritional anthropometry and body composition

  • Food insecurity

* Food and Nutrition Policy

  • Impacts of macroeconomic and agricultural policies

  • Impact of economic policies on poverty, consumption, and malnutrition

* Program Development and Management

Director of Graduate Studies Field of Nutrition Graduate Admissions Committee B19 Savage Hall Cornell University Ithaca , NY 14853-6301 or e-mail to: Telephone: (607) 255-2628 Fax: (607) 255-1033