Public Health Nutrition
Program Concentration: Public Health Nutrition
These guidelines are provided to supplement those published in the Harvard School of Public Health Official Register and Information for Doctoral Students.
- To develop the ability to translate research into practice through skills in nutrition surveillance, policy, program planning and evaluation, management, information dissemination and oral and written communication.
- To acquire detailed knowledge regarding the biological basis of nutrition and the mechanisms by which diet can influence health.
- To gain an interdisciplinary perspective on public nutrition in both its domestic and international context.
- To develop the necessary quantitative skills in biostatistics required for the evaluation of diet and disease relationships in epidemiologic studies.
- To attain skills in developing research proposals that require the integration of knowledge about human nutrition with epidemiologic concepts in order to improve diet and activity and reduce disease risk in populations.
The Public Health Nutrition program provides rigorous training in the biological aspects of nutrition, epidemiology, biostatistics and select related disciplines. The overall objective is to develop the ability to translate research into practice. The program includes the following components:
1. Formal course work
4. Thesis research project
Students admitted to this program are required to have a general background in the biological sciences and other relevant public health nutrition coursework. Successful completion of program requirements leads to a D.Sc. degree (or Dr.P.H. degree for those with an M.D. or other professional doctoral degree).
Doctoral students are required to complete coursework totaling a minimum of 80 credits that are inclusive of schoolwide requirements, departmental requirements and a practicum. Of the 80 credits, students are required to complete at least 40 academic credits distributed over one major field (20 credits) and two minor fields (10 credits each). In addition, students must take courses in at least two out of an additional four Public Health Nutrition Competencies (minimum 5.0 credits) and plan and conduct a research practicum (6.25 credits). The school requires that all students take a full year of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. A minimum of two academic years of full-time residence is required.
Students with advanced standing (such as those already holding an advanced degree) may have certain course requirements waived if equivalent courses have been completed. Waiver petitions must be approved by the faculty advisor, the department faculty, and the Committee on Admissions and Degrees (CAD).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PUBLIC HEALTH IN NUTRITION PROGRAM
Formal course work (Years 1 and 2). The major field of study will be Public Health Nutrition. In addition, all students will select either Epidemiology or Biostatistics as one of the two minor fields. The second minor field will be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor; the choice will provide development in a behavioral or social science that is relevant to applied research in public health nutrition. The following sequence of courses is suggested:
|1||I (Fall)||*EPI 201||Epidemiology||2.5|
|*EPI 202||Elements of Epidemiologic Research||2.5|
|*BIO 201||Introduction to Statistical Methods||5.0|
|*NUT 201||Principles of Nutrition||2.5|
|*NUT 203||Nutrition Seminar||1.25|
|*NUT 209||Seminars in Food Science and Technology (alternate years)||2.5|
|1||II (Spr)||*ID 238||Programs and Principles of Public Health Nutrition (under development, will be offered in 2003-04)||2.5|
|*NUT 300||Food Supply and Nutrition||1.25|
|*BIO 210 orBIO 211||The Analysis of Rates and Proportions or Regression and Analysis of Variance in Experimental Research||5.0|
|PHN Comp||PHN Competency (See below)||2.5|
|*NUT 202||The Science of Human Nutrition||5.0|
|NUT 350||Nutrition Research||†|
|*ID 512||Advanced Topics in Nutrition (Part 1)||2.5|
|2||I (Fall)||*ID 209OR PHN Comp||Nutrition in Child Growth and OR PHN Competency if taking NUT 210cd or MCN200c in Spring||2.5|
|*EPI 205ab||Practice of Epidemiology (or GSE A090)||2.5|
|NUT 350||Nutrition Research||†|
|~HPC 506or ID 262||The Practice of Public Health in the U.S or ID 262aIntroduction to the Practice of International Health||2.5 or 1.25|
|*NUT 205||Advanced Topics in Nutrition (Part 2)||2.5|
|2||II (Spr)||*NUT 210or ID 202OR PHN Comp||Nutritional Problems in Less-Developed Countries or Physical Growth and Development, Part I OR PHN Competency if took ID 209 or Nutrition in the Elderly in the Fall||2.5|
|NUT ###||Applied Research Practicum||1.2518.75|
|Epidemiology Minors (Select a minimum of 7.5 credits)(The 2.5 credits from Epi 202b will count towards the EPI Minor) NUE 216cd Nutritional Epidemiology (Required of minors)||2.5|
|EPI 203EPI 204EPI 212||Design of Case-Control and Cohort StudiesAnalysis of Case-Control and Cohort StudiesEpidemiology of Cardiovascular Diseases||126.96.36.199|
|EPI 213EPI 216EPI 222ID 221EPH 227
|Epidemiology of CancerEpidemiology in Public Health PracticeGenetic Epidemioloy of Diabetes and its ComplicationsNutritional Epidemiology II, offered alternate yearsPrinciples of Screening
Information and Data Resources in Epidemiology
|Biostatistics Minors(Select a minimum of 5.0 credits)(The 5.0 credits from BIO 210 or 211 will count towards the BIO Minor)|
|BIO 212BIO 214||Survey Research Methods in Community HealthPrinciples of Clinical Trials||2.52.5|
|BIO 221BIO 245KSG API 207GSE S-542||Discrete Multivariate AnalysisAnalysis of Multivariate and Longitudinal DataQualitative Methods in Policy ResearchQualitative Analytic Strategies||5.05.05.05.0|
PHN Competency Areas
Specific courses from the following two areas are incorporated into the above curriculum:
Nutrition Sciences (Already fulfilled above)
Analytic Skills and Research Methods (Already fulfilled above)
Students must select at least 2 out of the following 4 areas, totaling at minimum 5.0 credits. See your faculty advisor for a list of courses fulfilling this requirement. After completing 5.0 credits, students are strongly encouraged to take the remaining competencies as electives.
Management, Leadership and Policy Development
Program Planning and Evaluation
Interdisciplinary Minor (Select a minimum of 10 credits in one area)
Students must select courses in other departments at the Harvard School of Public Health or at other Harvard schools. See your faculty advisor for a list of courses fulfilling your choice of minor. Note that HSB, HPM, MCH and PIH courses previously listed can be used to fulfill minors in these respective departments, so long as the course has not already been used to fulfill a Public Health Nutrition competency.
Students may select a minor in one of the following areas that are fulfilled by courses taken at the Harvard School of Public Health:
Alternatively, students may select a minor that includes courses taken at the Kennedy School of Government, the Harvard Business School, the Graduate School of Education or the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The following are examples of minors that include courses at other schools and/or at the Harvard School of Public Health:
|†to be arranged|
Practicum. In addition to formal thesis research projects, students will be required to complete a research practicum in the public health setting involving supervised field work. It will be pass/fail and worth 5 credits at minimum. The practicum will cultivate field research skills, leadership skills, integrate and strengthen technical knowledge and quantitative skills, and enhance oral and written communication skills. It will also cultivate the capacity to work with others in a substantial project that responds effectively and creatively to the needs of an organization. Projects may be in the areas of program planning and evaluation, policy development, research methods, project management, mass media communication, information dissemination and intervention. The practicum includes a research component in the form of data collection and analysis, or outcome evaluation. Students will receive 1.25 credits for planning the practicum over a period of 16 weeks. This will usually take place during the fall of the second year but could take place earlier, depending upon prior experience.
Seminars. Attendance at the Human Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology Seminars is mandatory. These are held on Mondays and focus on applied areas of Nutrition, work-in-progress presentations, or presentations by invited speakers.
Selection of advisors. Students will initially be assigned a faculty advisor. Advisors will meet with students on a regular basis and give progress reports each term to the faculty. Every attempt will be made to assign an academic advisor who can also serve as a dissertation advisor in order to maximize early ongoing integration of coursework with research in Public Health Nutrition. When a thesis topic is identified, a new advisor knowledgeable about the research area may be assigned.
Departmental Oral Comprehensive Examination. The following guidelines will be used for this examination:
a. The Departmental Oral Comprehensive Examination tests the student’s general knowledge in the major field of nutrition and in minor fields. In addition, the student will be questioned on topics related to his/her research experiences and/or future research plans. Although a formal research proposal is not required for this examination, the examiners will test the student’s ability to do doctoral-level research by asking him/her to formulate research approaches to the thesis resear