About our Department
The Department of Nutrition is recognized as a global leader in research and training, and is unique in that it is the only nutrition department in the U.S. that is situated in both a school of public health and a school of medicine.

We engage in innovative and interdisciplinary approaches that encourage collaborations across disciplines and capitalize on both these schools’ historical approaches to health; and thus our department has an unusual breadth of scientific and policy approaches, literally spanning from cell to society and moving from discovery to delivery. The work of our faculty and students is carried out throughout North Carolina and spans the globe to communities and populations in China, India, Malawi, Spain and The Philippines, to name a few.The Practice and Continuing Education (PACE) Division supports students during their training to become Registered Dietitians; furthers the practice of nutrition through services within our practice component; and provides professional continuing education to current practitioners.

Our Mission: The Department of Nutrition's mission is to improve and protect the public's health through teaching, research and practices that foster optimal nutrition. Our vision is to achieve optimal nutrition for all people around the globe.

The nutrition department’s organizational chart can be found here.

Our History

The Department of Nutrition of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established in 1946 with the aid of a grant from the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation. 

Support from the U.S. Children’s Bureau enabled the first three students to complete a one-year Master’s of Public Health program in 1951. From 1951 to 1972 students admitted to the graduate program in public health nutrition were required to have an undergraduate degree in food, nutrition, dietetics or home economics. With greater public interest in nutrition, increasing numbers of graduates from diverse baccalaureate programs started to seek careers in public health nutrition, and the Department began to recruit into the program persons with a broad educational base in the arts, humanities and behavioral sciences. In 1972 the Master’s Program in Public Health Nutrition added a two-year track to admit students with undergraduate degrees in the basic sciences, behavioral sciences and humanities. The Doctor of Public Health degree was offered in 1977 but with the growing popularity of the PhD program this program was discontinued in 2009. In 1991 the Department was approved to grant the Doctor of Philosophy degree, with specialization in nutritional biochemistry, nutrition epidemiology or nutrition intervention and policy. Now named the Department of Nutrition, it is recognized globally for research and training. It has also expanded to be part of both the School and the School of Medicine. 

Inclusive Excellence

At the Gillings School, diversity and inclusion mean we welcome, value and learn from individual differences and perspectives. By cultivating inclusion within the School, we better prepare our students, faculty and staff for the diverse world that awaits them. A globally-interconnected world needs culturally competent people to serve as its leaders. Diversity and inclusion are assets that contribute to our excellence.


Anna Kahkoska, MD, PhD

Kahkoska named ADA Pathway to Stop Diabetes grant recipient

Our Work in Public Health
The Gillings School’s Department of Nutrition is a global leader in research, training and public policy. As the only academic nutrition program in the United States located in both a school of public health and a school of medicine, we are uniquely positioned to engage in innovative approaches to move quickly from discovery to delivery.  Our students and faculty share and benefit from an unusual breadth of scientific, research and policy expertise as we work to improve and enhance the public’s health through better nutrition throughout North Carolina and around the world.
An unexpected path to reducing child abuse and neglect investigations nationwide
Mapping the journey to adopt glucose monitoring technology among older adults with Type 1 diabetes
Our Numbers at a Glance
Faculty Members
Students across our BSPH, MS, MPH and PhD programs
All 100 counties in N.C. have been served through out MPH Nutrition and Dietetics program
Our Programs
MPH Nutrition Concentration
MPH Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration
Master of Science (MS)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Awards and Funding

Students fund their education through a combination of sources, including loans, fellowships and awards, assistantships and grants. Several awards and scholarships are supported by generous contributions to the School and University who value the current and future contributions of our students.
Contact: Sarah Kitchens, Funding and Awards Coordinator, sarah_kitchens@unc.edu

Career Opportunities

Our Graduates Work As
Policy Assistants
Clinical/Registered Dietitian
Program Coordinators
Research Associates
Our Graduates Work With
Government agencies
Colleges and universities
Exercise and fitness centers
Food manufacturers
Health-related magazines and Internet sites
Pharmaceutical companies
Improving and enhancing the public’s health
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Department of Nutrition
Our offices are located on the second floor of Rosenau Hall.
Faculty and Staff
Academic Coordinators
MPH@UNC (MPH Online) Only:
Program Coordinator, John Sugg

135 Dauer Drive
245 Rosenau Hall, CB # 7461
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7461
(919) 966-7218