Doctor of Clinical Nutrition

The Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) program is designed for students with a registered dietitian credential (RDN), with current professional licensure when required by their state, a Master's degree, and currently working in the field of nutrition and dietetics.  This advanced degree will broaden the knowledge base and enhance critical thinking skills to keep pace with the medical complexity of today's clinical nutrition practice. Students will expand their interprofessional experiences, communication skills, medical nutrition therapy skills, management and leadership skills, and research. The program is offered by the KU Department of Dietetics.

Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles in clinical nutrition or higher education settings through cutting-edge coursework and completion of outcomes-based research projects. Educators, employers and practitioners recognize the competitive advantage that an advanced degree offers to elevate graduates as experts in the field. 

Evidence-based practice requires outcomes research to determine best practices. Advanced-level practitioners need strong research skills to develop and direct appropriate and valuable research projects. Program faculty conduct human nutrition research and are well-equipped to mentor students through the research process.

The program is offered fully online, with one orientation and experiential learning campus visit required. The program faculty are located at the KU Medical Center campus of the University of Kansas, which along with The University of Kansas Health System forms the region's top academic health center. The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and training institution serving as a center for learning, scholarship, and creative endeavor. 

The mission of the Doctorate of Clinical Nutrition is to serve the citizens of Kansas, the region, and the nation by producing advanced-level nutrition and dietetic practitioners, transformational leaders and researchers.

Academic Goals of Program

  • To graduate students with mastery of applied medical nutrition science for advanced-level practice.
  • To produce graduates who apply existing knowledge and research to clinical settings, evaluate and disseminate findings to advance clinical practice.
  • To produce graduates with mastery of interprofessional collaboration, critical thinking, communication, management and leadership skills.