The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutrition was the first degree offered by the Department of Nutrition. Since the first three students received their MPH degrees in 1951, the program enrolls cohorts of about 40 residential students per year. Beginning in 2018, The Registered Dietitian (RD) Program at The Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the first in the country to be an ACEND®-accredited Future Education Model program. The program, offered both on campus and online, is recognized throughout the United States for the excellence of its training in public health nutrition.

Nutrition is recognized as one of the most important environmental determinants of health throughout the life cycle. It is a key factor in successful pregnancy outcomes, in the physical and mental development of infants and children, and in promoting health throughout the lifespan. Current research stresses nutrition and diet as critical factors in prevention and treatment of most chronic disease, including obesity, heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. The safety, quality, quantity, and distribution of local, national and world food supplies are major public policy issues.

Completion of the MPH with Concentration in Nutrition/Registered Dietitian Program provides the graduate with a strong background in the science and practice of public health along with a sound knowledge of the science of human nutrition and food science. Students complete the degree as well as all related internship training within 2 years and are then eligible to sit for the CDR exam to become a Registered Dietitian.

The mission of the MPH Registered Dietitian Program is to prepare future leaders in nutrition and dietetics through effective classroom education and practical community and clinical experiences both locally and globally.