Acquire skills in nutrition practice, policy, and communication along with foundational knowledge in nutritional science, epidemiology, and public health.
The Harvard Chan School now offers a Master of Public Health (MPH)-65 degree that explores the role nutrition plays in the health and well-being of the world’s populations from a variety of vantage points; recognizing the vast array of influences on diet, nutrition, and health—including environmental, socioeconomic, political, and cultural factors.
Core coursework (totaling 65 credits) emphasizes methodological strategies to develop, analyze, and evaluate interventions, programs, and policies typically used in public health nutrition and will be reinforced in unique practicum projects.
As a student in this program, you will:
- Choose from a variety of electives tailored to your personal career goals. Focused areas of interest may include: nutrition policy, health disparities, nutrition epidemiology, global health, social and behavioral sciences, and planetary health. You may also develop your own focused area of interest.
- Complete a unique practicum experience to apply knowledge and skills obtained in the program to create a project that has real-world application.
- Practicum topics cover a variety of interests, such as culinary nutrition, national school and feeding programs, community nutrition, and global health. Topics may also involve opportunities within Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals.
- Apply critical reading skills to enhance your ability to effectively communicate and translate nutrition information to the public, in the workplace, and in the media.
Watch below: Two Harvard Chan representatives answer questions about the MPH program.
*2.5 credits are earned through the practicum course offered during the academic year. The practicum experience occurs during the summer.
The course schedule for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is accessible through my.harvard Course Search. To view courses, select the “Harvard Chan School” button under browse courses, or use the search bar and filters.
Additional Information About Required Courses
Core program required courses (12.5 credits)
- ID 201 Introduction to Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Fall 1st year (7.5)
- ID 216 Critical Thinking and Action for Public Health Professionals, Fall 1st year (5.0)
MPH Practicum and Culminating Experience course (2.5 credits)
- Practicum, Summer after 1st year
- Culminating Experience, Fall of 2nd year
- Joint practice sessions for all MPH-65 students and field of study specific sessions will be added to the curriculum as determined by the OED practice office
Nutrition Required Courses (20 credits)
- NUT 201 Introduction to Public Health and Nutrition, Fall 1st year (2.5)
- NUT 202 The Biological Basis of Human Nutrition, Spring 1st year (5.0)
- NUT 203 Nutrition Seminar Part I, Fall 1st year (2.5)
- NUT 206 Nutrition Seminar Part II, Spring 1st year (2.5)
- Nutrition Communication in Practice, Spring II, 1st year (2.5)
- Nutrition Translation and Behavior Changes, Spring I, 1st year (2.5)
- NUT 232 Designing and Evaluating Behavioral Interventions Targeting Diet and Physical Activity, Fall II, 2nd year (2.5)
3 courses related to focused area of interest (7.5 – 15 credits)
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should apply to this program?
The MPH-65 program in Nutrition is suitable for those both early in their careers or established in their careers, who wish to develop or further their expertise in nutrition. Prospective students will need to meet the following criteria:
- A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Most successful applicants will have achieved a grade point average of 3.0 and above (out of a 4.0 requirement)
- At least two years of post-baccalaureate work
- Previous coursework in the biological sciences is preferred but not required
For more information on GRE and other application requirements, visit the Harvard Chan School Office of Admissions.
What kind of careers could students pursue after graduation?
The MPH-65 program in Nutrition prepares those early in their careers for positions across a broad spectrum, ranging from state and local agencies to federal and international public health agencies; non-governmental organizations; non-profit and charitable organizations or donor-aid agencies; the health care industry; the food industry; as well as entrepreneurship or research coordination.
Sample Employers for MPH Nutrition Graduates May Include:
- State and Local Agencies (ie. WIC)
- Federal Public Health Agencies (USDA, FDA, CDC, NIH, etc)
- International Public Health Agencies (WHO, USAID)
- Non-Government Agencies
- Non-Profit Organizations
- Charitable Organizations
- Health Care Industry
- Academia/Research (study coordinator role)
- Food Industry
Sample Job Titles for MPH Nutrition Graduates May Include:
- SNAP-Ed Educator
- WIC Nutritionist or Director
- Community Health Nutritionist
- Extension Specialist
- Farm to School Coordinator
- Food Policy Director
- Nutrition Epidemiologist
- Nutrition Educator
- Nutrition Communications Specialist
- Nutrition Specialist
- Nutrition Officer
- Program Manager
- Technical Advisor
- Project Manager
- Program Manager
- Health Promotion Disease Prevention Coordinator
- Study Coordinator
- Food Labeling Specialist
- Worksite Wellness Director
- Health Improvement Project Manager
- Program Coordinator
- Food and Nutrition Consultant
- Food and Nutrition Journalist/Author
- Study Manager
- Policy Director
- Nutrition Policy Advocate
- Food and Nutrition Analyst
- Nutrition Scientist
- Manager of Nutrition Services
- Community Health Nutritionist
- Food and Nutrition Advisor
- Public Health Nutritionist
- Director of Health and Nutrition
- Childhood Obesity Prevention Fellow
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, George Washington University
How long will the program take to complete?
The program is typically full-time, and runs for 1.5 years (3 semesters), starting in September, and concluding in December of the following year. Students will complete their practicum during the summer.
Will I have an academic advisor?
Yes, upon entry to the program, each student will be paired with a Harvard-affiliated advisor who will provide academic guidance and assist them with course selection. Students may also be able to work with other faculty based on their interests.
What funding is available for master’s degree students?
Information on financial aid is available here.
Is this an accredited dietetics program/does it fulfill requirements to become a Registered Dietitian?
Currently, no. If you are interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian, please refer to this website which lists accredited programs in dietetics.
Can I take courses at other Harvard schools?
Yes, students may have the opportunity to take courses offered by select Harvard Schools and other universities in the area. For more information, check out this sample of cross-registration elective courses taken by previous MPH students.
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