MPH in Public Health Nutrition

Admission to the Public Health Nutrition major has been suspended. Please see changes in the MPH program at this link.

The MPH major in Public Health Nutrition (PHNU) trains students to integrate the knowledge, skills, and experience fundamental to all public health disciplines and to apply this integrated knowledge to alleviate diet-related health problems among diverse population groups. An understanding of human nutrition is important to maximize the health of individuals in a diverse society that faces nutrition-related diseases of both deficiency and excess. A complete understanding of human nutrition is built on knowledge of its fundamental biological and biochemical bases. It also involves an understanding of societal, psychological, cultural and behavioral influences that affect food consumption, and therefore, human well being.

Public Health Nutrition advances knowledge regarding the role of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion and applies this knowledge to planning, managing, delivering and evaluating nutrition services and programs. The program is designed to train professionals to assume leadership positions in assessing community-nutrition needs and in planning, directing and evaluating the nutrition component of health-promotion and disease-prevention efforts.

buffet of veggies

Graduates will be prepared to advance knowledge regarding the role of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion and apply this knowledge to planning, managing, delivering, and evaluating nutrition services and programs. Graduates of the program will be expected to participate in policy analysis, program development, and to design and manage population-based community wide interventions as part of large-scale public health programs.

Employment often includes health departments, federal and private food assistance programs, work site health promotion programs, nutrition advocacy organizations, health centers and schools.

PHNU graduates will have the following core competencies:

  • Identify and assess diet-related health problems of under-nutrition and over-nutrition among diverse population groups.
  • Identify the social, cultural, economic, environmental and institutional factors that contribute to the risks of under-nutrition and over-nutrition among diverse populations.
  • Develop educational and other population-based intervention strategies to improve food security.
  • Develop policies to reduce barriers to food insecurity and to improve the food choices and nutritional status of diverse populations.
  • Describe techniques to guide consumers in selection of food and nutritionally adequate diets.
  • Communicate nutrition related issues skillfully, utilizing different media in varied settings.
  • Apply the principles of management to community-nutrition programs.
  • Participate in advocacy efforts to improve the nutritional status of various populations.
  • Monitor and recommend public policies to protect and promote nutritional status and health of diverse populations.
  • Contribute to the body of nutrition knowledge through active research of an applied nature.

The Plan of Study outlines required courses and electives for the PHNU. A Plan of Study is filed within the first 12 semester credit hours of admission to the MPH degree. Click to see a Plan of Study for PHNU.