The Gillings MPH/RD is a twenty-four-month program preparing students for careers in clinical nutrition or public health and community leadership. This program is also for students who have received a Verification Statement* from an ACEND® Accredited/Approved Didactic Program in Dietetics. The program includes coursework and experiences that satisfy the Future Education Model Requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to prepare students for eligibility to take the examination for dietetic registration; coursework also satisfies competencies for the Associations of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).
All students are required to participate in a set of course requirements and experiential requirements. There are three groups of courses:
- Public health core courses that orient all MPH students to the public health perspective and use of population based data management;
- In-depth knowledge of biological, clinical and behavioral aspects of human nutrition and food selection; and
- Understanding of nutrition problems in the community and application of public health to their solutions.
A total of 42 credit hours of coursework (as outlined below) is required to complete the MPH degree; additionally, 1,000 hours or more of approved supervised field experience (incorporated into the two year degree) are required for completion of the MPH/RD Program. Information about the hours of supervised field experience can be found in the Public Health, Clinical, Food Service, and Advanced Nutrition Experience sections of the program handbook.
*An official Verification Statement must be given to the Academic Coordinator.
NUTR 711* Nutrition Across the Lifecycle (3 credits)
NUTR 712 Nutrition Communication, Counseling and Culture (3 credits)
SPHG 711 Analysis (2 credits)
SPHG 712 Methods and Measures (2 credits)
SPHG 713 Understanding Public Health Issues (2 credits)
Total Credits: 12
NUTR 714 Nutritional Biochemistry, Metabolism and Health (3 credits)
NUTR 715 Medical Nutrition Therapy (4 credits)
SPHG 721 Conceptualizing Public Health Solutions (2 credits)
SPHG 722 Implementing Public Health Solutions (4 credits)
NUTR 701 MPH Practicum Preparation – RD specific (2 credits)
Total Credits: 15
Clinical Nutrition Field Experience – 10 weeks (0 credits)
Foodservice Management Experience – 2 weeks (0 credits)
Total Credits: 0
NUTR 723 Community Nutrition (3 credits)
NUTR 805 Food and Nutrition Policy (3 credits)
Elective(s): NUTR 600 Macronutrient Metabolism (3 credits) or other option(s) depending on interests
Total Credits: 6 + elective(s)
NUTR 765 Nutritional Epidemiology (3 credits)
NUTR 760* Food Science, Production and Meal Preparation (2 credits)
NUTR 760L* Food Science, Production and Meal Preparation Lab (1 credit)
SPHG 992 Nutrition MPH Integrative Learning Experience (3 credits)
Elective(s): NUTR 620 Micronutrient Metabolism (3 credits) or other option(s) depending on interests
Total Credits: 9 + elective(s)
January – May: Food Systems Management Self-Study (online)
Summer Session II
Public Health Nutrition Management Field Experience – 6 weeks (0 credits)
Advanced Nutrition Experience – 6 weeks (0 credits)
Total Credits: 0
A Comprehensive Examination is taken after the first year covering core public health material.
*Students who are RDs or have a verification statement may take an elective or a core public health course in place of these courses.
Assessment of Prior Learning/Transfer Credit
The MPH Program follows The Graduate School’s policies for credit of prior learning. The policy can be found online at handbook.unc.edu.
The Graduate School’s handbook states that:
Up to 20 percent of the total hours required for the master degree may be graduate-level courses transferred from another approved institution or from this institution for courses taken before admission to an academic program in The Graduate School (e.g., courses taken as a continuing studies student, an undergraduate, or as a non-degree student). Credit received for graduate-level courses taken as an undergraduate may be transferred into an academic program with the program’s approval provided the course did not count toward the requirements of the undergraduate degree. Transferred credits will not be included in the program residence credit calculation.
Students who are not successful in this concentration are counseled to consider finishing their MPH in Nutrition (without the requirements that lead to obtaining their RD). The Program Director and MPH Committee work with the student on a case by case situation to provide student support and counseling into career paths that are more appropriate.