Newswise — The University of North Florida’s Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors recently approved the Graduate School at UNF adding a new Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition (DCN) degree program to its graduate course offerings, making it a one-of-a-kind doctoral degree in Florida and the only other DCN degree in the country.

This innovative Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition, under the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program in the Brooks College of Health at UNF, is scheduled to start this fall and will meet a need in providing nutritionists and dietitians with innovative skills to meet emerging dietetic challenges in the 21st century. Applications for this program will be accepted late spring/early summer of this year.

“We’re excited to offer a Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition as it will prepare nutritionists and dietitians to develop the advanced level skills necessary to critically analyze the evidence in order to design and implement programs, policies and procedures that promote health and wellbeing of communities,” said Dr. Judith Rodriguez, director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Flagship Program at UNF.

Besides UNF, Rutgers University is the only other university in the country that offers the DCN degree program. Like their program, the University’s novel DCN degree program will be fully online and will target practicing dietitians who already have a master’s degree but who wish to earn the professional doctorate for the advanced training and leadership opportunities the degree provides. A minimum of three year’s work experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics is also required.

The doctoral degree program will have an emphasis on advanced evidence-based practice and chronic disease prevention, as well as treatment for the underserved and other populations in both clinical and community settings. The program will also prepare practitioners for leadership roles in clinical, community or higher education settings through the course work, advance practice residency and the production of applied scholarship.

“Within a few years, all new registered dietitians will be required to hold a graduate degree, and those in supervisory roles will likely be expected to hold DCN degrees,” said Dr. John Kantner, dean of UNF’s Graduate School. “The University is well positioned to prepare a new generation of leaders in dietetics and nutrition for the growing population of Florida.”

This new professional Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition degree joins several other new and upcoming graduate programs at UNF, such as the Master of Management and Master of Social Work, which is using UNF faculty strengths to serve the needs and interests of Northeast Florida and the entire state.

With the additional new doctoral and master’s degree programs, UNF now has a total of four doctoral programs, 29 master’s degrees in 64 areas of concentration and 56 bachelor’s degrees in 73 areas of concentration.

For more information the new Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition degree, its admission standards and graduation requirements as well as program of study, visit

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.

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