Public Health Nutrition Concentration

The field of public health nutrition seeks to understand the complex causes of malnutrition, including both over and under-nutrition, and the consequences of malnutrition on growth, development, communicable and non-communicable disease, and economic productivity through the life course and across generations.

Public health nutrition also concerns itself with the development and evaluation of programs and policies to improve diets and nutritional status. The public health nutrition practitioner requires a solid understanding of the biology of nutrition, the individual, community and socio-political determinants of dietary intakes and nutritional status, and the principles of program and policy design, implementation, and evaluation. As such, the public health nutrition concentration takes a broad perspective with respect to both content and methodological approaches to equip students for careers in public health nutrition. Graduates can use these skills to serve government agencies, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, applied research institutions, and universities in the U.S. and globally.

Course Requirements

The concentration requirements include a methods course in nutritional assessment and a combination of nutrition courses based on areas of interest (maternal and child nutrition, food security, chronic disease prevention, etc). Practica opportunities and thesis projects are often conducted in conjunction with ongoing faculty research projects and/or with nutrition programs implemented by government agencies, international NGOs, or community-based organizations.

In addition to the department requirements outlined here, the concentration requirements include a methods course in nutritional assessment and a combination of nutrition courses based on areas of interest (maternal and child nutrition, food security, chronic disease prevention, etc).


Upon completion of the MPH in global health with a concentration in public health nutrition, the graduate will be able to:

  • Assess the major forces that influence the health of populations around the world.
  • Critique major global priorities and the reasons for their prioritization.
  • Critique the evidence for improving health delivery systems and health statuses of individuals, communities, and populations around the world.
  • Design programs, policies, and/or interventions intended to improve health services and the health statuses of individuals, communities, and populations.
  • Conduct research, including formulation of specific research aim, conducting a literature review and formulating a hypothesis and selecting appropriate methodologies related to the emphasis.
  • Compose a written scientific thesis that is consistent with department guidelines and relevant writing style sources.
  • Present the key methods, findings, and public health implications of research on a poster and verbally communicate it to an audience of public health professionals.
  • Assess the nutritional status of individuals using anthropometric, diet, and biochemical methods.
  • Calculate the magnitude, distribution, and trends of nutrition problems in populations.
  • Evaluate the causes and consequences of under and over-nutrition in populations.
  • Critique the evidence base for the efficacy and effectiveness of nutrition programs and policies.
  • Develop innovative and integrated approaches to address nutrition problems.

Sample of GH courses relevant to public health nutrition at Rollins:

Course NumberCourse Title
GH 545 Nutritional Assessment
GH 546 Maternal and Child Nutrition
GH 551 Diet and Chronic Disease
GH 534 Diabetes: A model for Global non-communicable Disease Prevention and Control
GH 552 Global Elimination of Micronutrient Malnutrition
GH 591L Methods in Nutrition Epidemiology 
GH 560 Monitoring and Evaluating Global Health Programs
GH 548* Human Nutrition I (cross-listed IBS 580)
GH 549* Human Nutrition II (cross-listed IBS 581)
GH 538 Food and Nutrition in Humanitarian Emergencies
GH 579 Non-communicable Diseases Prevention and Control
GH 567 Shaping Healthy Food Systems through Policy
GH 568 Community Engaged Food Security

*Courses designed primarily for the PhD program in nutrition and health sciences that would be appropriate for students seeking basic courses in nutritional biochemistry or metabolism, or the clinical aspects of nutrition.