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Nutritional Sciences Program

MPH in Public Health Nutrition

The Master of Public Health in Public Health Nutrition program is intended to provide: a) a broad overview of the public health system and the environment in which public health nutrition recommendations are interpreted and implemented; b) basic analytical and administrative skills necessary to integrate nutrition into the public health core functions of assessment, policy development and assurance; and c) an opportunity for advanced study of a particular topic in public health nutrition related to a studentís special interests and career goals. Graduates of the program would be expected to participate in policy analysis, program development, and to design and manage population-based community wide interventions as part of a large-scale public health program.

General Program Description


The program adheres to the curriculum guide established by The Association of The Faculties of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition that lists the knowledge and skills in advanced nutrition, public health, social and behavioral sciences, and education specifically required in graduate education for the preparation of public health nutritionists.

While completion of the program involves specific requirements including core public health and core nutrition courses and the preparation and presentation of a masterís thesis, the program is structured to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate students with a wide variety of interests. Students select an appropriate academic/thesis adviser from the core faculty, and throughout the program, this faculty adviser monitors the studentís progress and assists in mapping out an appropriate plan of study. Students may also select a research topic that coincides with their individual interests.

In terms of specific course offerings and faculty expertise, the program currently has particular strengths in the area of Epidemiology, program planning and evaluation, health policy, maternal and child health, and social and behavioral sciences. Concurrent and block field experiences under the joint supervision of an experienced practicing public health nutritionist and a faculty adviser are an integral part of the program. Every attempt is made to secure placements that compliment the studentís areas of interest.

Combining RD Training with the MPH

The Program offers the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-approved Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics, which is required for attaining registered dietitian (RD) status. Through this optional program, training in the application of nutritional sciences to dietetic practice is provided through didactic, clinical, and community experiences.

NOTE: Students in the Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics may apply 8 credits of the practice experience toward the Nutritional Sciences MPH Degree requirements.

Curriculum, Thesis and Practicum

The curriculum and learning objectives for the MPH may be seen on our MPH page.

The MPH Program includes a thesis and an 8-week Practicum. The Practicum follows the guidelines outlined by the Association of the Faculties of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition. During the summer quarter following the first year of the program, students complete their block field experience, working full-time in a facility for at least six weeks under the supervision of a qualified professional.

Students are appointed an appropriate academic advisor from the core faculty, and throughout the program, this faculty advisor monitors the student's progress and assists in mapping out an appropriate plan of study. During the course of their study, students will choose a thesis chair and select a research topic that coincides with their individual interests.

Completion of the program normally requires five to six quarters of full-time study. The optional Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics requires enrollment for additional quarters). Students usually enroll for at least twelve credit hours per quarter. Ten credit hours are required for full-time student status. Part-time study is not recommended, but may be possible for some students.

For additional admissions requirements please visit our Admissions Information page.

Useful Links

MPH Practicum Projects
School of Public Health

Updated November 15, 2013


Close Up - A Look at the People of SPH: Jennifer Otten

Jennifer Otten, Assistant Professor and expert on food systems, is featured in April's SPH Close Up.  How much food do we throw away?  About one out of every four grocery bags, says food expert Jennifer Otten.  Find out what we can do to reduce our waste: http://ow.ly/LYMcm


Healthy Nutrition: From Farm to Fork
Jamie Bachaus, NSP MPH student, and Jennifer Otten, NSP Assistant Professor, guest authored the March 2015 issue of Elevate Health, the quarterly research digest of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The issue explores the link between public health and food systems and looks at recent evidence on how the US food system impacts such things as food availability, affordability, and quality.
Download the Issue

Faculty Postions Available The Nutritional Sciences Program and Department of Health Services are accepting applications to fill positions at the rank of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor (WOT). Position Announcement & Application Instructions



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