Our mission is to improve and protect the public’s health through teaching, research and practices that foster optimal nutrition.

To that end, the Nutrition concentration focuses on nutrition science, as well as on behavior change, communication, counseling and the effects of dietary culture on the individual and within the community.

What You’ll Learn

As a student in the Nutrition concentration, you will gain the skills to:

  • Assess scientific evidence for nutritional guidelines and recommendations.
  • Evaluate how social, cultural, environmental and community factors affect dietary intake and nutrition-related outcomes in individuals, families and communities.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing evidence-based, nutrition-related professional and consumer communications using a variety of media platforms.
  • Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes related to public health nutrition programs.

Looking for more flexibility?

Explore the online version of our Nutrition concentration with MPH@UNC.

Career Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the employment of dietitians and nutritionists will grow by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations1.

Graduating with a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a concentration in Nutrition will empower you to meet the growing demand for nutritionists in a range of professional settings where disease prevention and nutrition promotion are needed. These settings include public health nutrition programs, governmental agencies, nonprofits, public policy organizations and nutrition marketing and media companies.

Providing one-on-one, personalized nutritional counseling requires a registered dietitian (RD) license. While this concentration does not prepare you for RD licensure, it will equip you with the skills needed to offer nutritional and dietary guidance to groups of people. (If you are interested in pursuing RD licensure, explore our MPH/RD program.)

Examples of potential careers in nutrition include:

  • Web-based nutrition and health policy expert
  • Industry product development consultant
  • Fitness industry health coach
  • Correspondent or journalist for a media publication

Graduates from the nutrition program have gone on to work for a variety of lifestyle and health-related companies and publications, such as the Food Network, Southern Living, EatingWell and Shape magazine.

Learn more about the opportunities that await you with an MPH from the Gillings School.

Required Courses

In addition to the interdisciplinary, 12-credit Gillings MPH Core, you will take:

  • NUTR 611: Nutrition across the Life Cycle
  • NUTR 630: Nutrition Communication, Counseling and Culture
  • NUTR 705: Human Nutrition
  • NUTR 805: Food and Nutrition Policy
  • NUTR 813: Nutritional Epidemiology
  • NUTR 992: Nutrition MPH Culminating Experience

Concentration Competencies

This program will empower you with the knowledge and skills to achieve the following core competencies:

  • Assess the scientific evidence for nutritional guidelines and recommendations.
  • Assess dietary intake and nutrition status of individuals and populations.
  • Evaluate how social, cultural, environmental and community factors have an impact upon dietary intake and nutrition-related outcomes in individuals, families and communities.
  • Independently plan, develop and evaluate nutrition-related health promotion and disease prevention services, products, programs or interventions (including policy analysis), using appropriate evidence or data.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in writing evidence-based, nutrition-related professional and consumer communications, using a variety of communication platforms.
  • Practice in compliance with current federal regulations and state statutes and rules related to public health nutrition programs.

Requirements and Sample Plan of Study

Nutrition Requirements (PDF)

Nutrition Sample Plan of Study (PDF)


Contact

Want to learn more?

Contact Jonathan Earnest, student services manager in the Department of Nutrition, at earnestj@email.unc.edu.

Concentration Leader

Melinda Beck, PhD
Professor and associate chair for academics
Department of Nutrition
melinda_beck@unc.edu


1https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm

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