Graduate Study

MPH Curriculum

MPH 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 RDN practice experience.

Autumn 2021

Course requirements listed on this page apply to students entering  MPH or MPH with RDN training in autumn 2021.  Refer to curriculum archives in Current Students if you entered the program in a previous year.

1st Autumn (16-17 credits)

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

1st Winter (14-16 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 required; all welcome
NUTR 558Foundations of Dietetics1GCPD only

1st Spring (15-17 credits)

PHI 515Implementing Public Health Interventions4All MPH
PHI 516Public Health Practice3All MPH
NUTR 526Maternal and Pediatric Nutrition4All MPH
NUTR 560Nutritional Counseling for Chronic Disease2GCPD Only
NUTR 562Nutrition and Chronic Disease4All MPH

2nd Autumn (8-15 credits)

NUTR 531Public Health Nutrition3 or 6 [see note]All MPH
NUTR 532Fieldwork in Public Health Nutrition1All MPH
NUTR 559Orientation to Clinical Dietetics3GCPD only
NUTR 563Nutrition in Acute Care4GCPD only
NUTR 596 Nutrition Practice Capstone4MPH Capstone only

2nd Winter/Spring/Summer – GCPD Only (30 credits)

NUTR 561GCPD Practice Experience10 credits each quarter GCPD only

Required for MPH Students / Not Tied to a Specific Quarter

NUTR 595Nutritional Sciences Master's Practicum 6All MPH
Electives5All MPH
NUTR 700Thesis9MPH Thesis only


  • NUTR 531 credits: For NUTR 531, select 6 credits if pursuing a thesis, or select 3 credits if pursuing a capstone.
  • Capstone or Thesis:  Students may select either a 4 -credit capstone, completed via NUTR 531, or 9-credit thesis or a 4-credit capstone as the culminating event for their degree.
  • Practicum: GCPD student complete the required MPH Practicum during the GCPD Practice Experience and the credits are documented on the transcript as NUTR 561.
  • Electives: GCPD courses satisfy the elective credits required for the MPH degree.
  • Degree Requirements:  Minimum 64 credits for MPH with Capstone; Minimum 67 credits for MPH with Thesis.
  • Courses are subject to change. 

Upon satisfactory completion of a Master of Public Health in Nutritional Sciences, graduates will be able to:

  1. Meet the competencies established by the School of Public Health (SPH) and the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) for all MPH students.
  2. Meet the core competencies established by the Nutritional Sciences Program for MPH Public Health Nutrition students:
    • 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.
    • Explain, critique, and apply the process of public health practice and nutrition policy development.
    • Describe the basic components and determinants of the US food and nutrition systems.
  3. Translate knowledge and skills from Nutritional Sciences and SPH/CEPH MPH competencies to evidence-based public health nutrition practice.

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

Master of Public Health students typically complete a practice-based capstone with mentorship from an NSP faculty adviser and a community partner. Some students may choose to complete 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.