Public Health Nutrition

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.

See a list of public health nutrition faculty 

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.

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, this concentration requires: 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). Please see table below:

Courses Required

GH 545Nutritional Assessment (Spring)
Select one course from the life course nutrition group below
GH 534 Diabetes: A model for Global non-communicable Disease Prevention and Control (Spring)
GH 546 Maternal and Child Nutrition
GH 551 Diet and Chronic Disease
GH 552 Global Elimination of Micronutrient Malnutrition
GH 579 Non-communicable Diseases Prevention and Control
Select one course from the research/program methods group below
GH 567 Shaping Healthy Food Systems through Policy (Alt Spring)
GH 568 Community Engaged Food Security (Alt Spring)
EPI 537 Epidemiology of Chronic Disease (Fall) 
EPI 591L Methods in Nutrition Epidemiology

Suggested Electives

Course NumberCourse Title
GH 502 Survey Methods
GH 503 Applied Survey Methodology
GH 515 Transforming Public Health Surveillance
GH 522  Qualitative Research Methods
GH 525 Qualitative Data Analysis
GH 538 Food and Nutrition in Humanitarian Emergencies
GH 543 Fundamentals of Qualitative Data Analysis
GH 546 Maternal and Child Nutrition
GH 555 Proposal Development
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 580 Control of Food and Waterborne Diseases
Epi 544 Epidemiology of Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases
NRSG 614 Human Lactation and Breastfeeding Management

*Courses designed primarily for the PHD program in Nutrition and Health Sciences that would be appropriate for students seeking fundamental courses in nutritional biochemistry or metabolism and the clinical aspects of nutrition


Public Health Nutrition Faculty

Read about faculty who teach public health nutrition courses or conduct research in this concentration area by clicking on the names below. 


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

  1. Describe the magnitude, distribution and trends of nutrition problems in populations
  2. Assess the nutritional status of individuals using anthropometric, diet and biochemical methods
  3. Evaluate the causes and consequences of malnutrition in all its forms.
  4. Critique the evidence base for the efficacy/effectiveness of nutrition programs or policies ("/" means and or)
  5. Propose innovative approaches to address nutrition problems