Graduate Study

MPH Curriculum

The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Nutrition curriculum involves public health coursework, practicum, fieldwork, and culminates in a capstone project or thesis.

If completing the MPH with RDN training, you will take an additional 30 credits of RDN practice experience.

Autumn 2023

Course requirements listed on this page apply to students entering the Master of Public Health (MPH) or MPH with RDN training in autumn 2023.  Refer to curriculum archives in Current Students if you entered the program in a previous year.

Year 1 Autumn (17 credits)

PHI 511Foundations of Public Health3All MPH
PHI 512Analytic Skills for Public Health7All MPH
NUTR 500Food Systems Seminar1All MPH
NUTR 513Food and Society2All MPH
NUTR 520Nutrition and Metabolism I4All MPH

Year 1 Winter (13-16 credits)

PHI 513Analytic Skills for Public Health II3All MPH
PHI 514Determinants of Health3All MPH
NUTR 512United States Food Systems Policy3All MPH
NUTR 521Nutrition and Metabolism II4All MPH
NUTR 536Nutrition Education Principles & Practice2GCPD only
NUTR 558Foundations of Dietetics1GCPD only

Year 1 Spring (14-16 credits)

PHI 515Implementing Public Health Interventions4All MPH
PHI 516Public Health Practice3All MPH
NUTR 526Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition3All MPH
NUTR 560Nutritional Counseling for Chronic Disease2GCPD Only
NUTR 562Nutrition and Chronic Disease4All MPH

Year 2 Autumn (8-15 credits)

NUTR 531Public Health Nutrition3All MPH
NUTR 532Fieldwork in Public Health Nutrition1All MPH
NUTR 559Orientation to Clinical Dietetics3GCPD only
NUTR 563Nutrition in Acute Care4GCPD only
NUTR 596 Nutrition Practice Capstone4All MPH

Year 2 Winter/Spring/Summer (30 credits)

NUTR 561GCPD Practice Experience10 credits each quarter GCPD only

Credits Not Tied to a Specific Quarter

NUTR 595Nutritional Sciences Master's Practicum 6Non-GCPD
NUTR 700Master's Thesis9Optional
VariousElectives5All MPH


  • Courses and timing are subject to change.
  • Use these tables in conjunction with your official degree audit and guidance from NSP Student and Academic Services.
  • MPH students must complete a minimum 63 credits.
  • GCPD courses satisfy the elective credits required for the MPH degree.
  • GCPD student complete the required MPH Practicum, NUTR 595, by way of the NUTR 561 Practice Experience.
  • All graduate students complete either a practice-based capstone with mentorship from a faculty instructor and a community partner or a research-based thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and committee. The curriculum above presumes you will be completing NUTR 596 Nutrition Practice Capstone as your culminating experience requirement. Decisions to pursue the capstone or thesis are typically made in winter and spring of year 1.

Upon satisfactory completion of a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Public Health Nutrition, graduates will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of human nutrient requirements in relation to genetics, metabolic pathways, and physiological function across the life course.
  • Assess nutritional status of individuals and groups.
  • Appraise how nutritional factors across the lifespan are linked to non-communicable diseases (NCD) and quality of life.
  • Apply appropriate public health frameworks and methodologies to address a public health nutrition problem.
  • Critique public health practice decisions and nutrition policy development.
  • Describe the basic components and determinants of the US food and nutrition systems.
  • Recognize the means by which social inequities and racism, generated by power and privilege, undermine nutritional health.

You’ll work with our practicum faculty adviser to be matched with a practicum site that incorporates your special interests, desired professional skills set, and MPH core competencies.

Learn more about MPH practicum

You’ll complete one fieldwork experience by enrolling in NUTR 532. MPH + GCPD students may count the fieldwork experience toward their 96 hour community rotation requirement.

Read about fieldwork

MPH students complete either a practice-based capstone with mentorship from a faculty adviser and a community partner or a research-based thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and committee.

See past student projects

Through the MPH coursework and hands-on fieldwork and practicum experiences, you’ll achieve competencies established for all MPH graduates by the Council on Education for Public Health, the accrediting body for schools and programs of public health.

These foundational competencies include areas such as evidence-based approaches to public health, planning and management to promote health, policy, leadership, and systems thinking.

Additionally, the Nutritional Sciences MPH program is a member of the Association of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition which aims to promote excellence in graduate education for public health nutritionists who will design and manage population-based community nutrition programs and services.