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Curriculum

MS in Nutrition 

The Master of Science in Nutrition will provide a comprehensive fully-online course of study in advanced nutrition topics to prevent and manage disease, as well as optimize health through food and nutrition strategies.  All students in the Master of Science in Nutrition Program must complete 36 credits, comprised of the following courses (descriptions of the courses are at the bottom of the page):

Required Courses (36 Credits)

  • Survey of Nutrition Concepts (HFN 500)*
3 credits
  • Current Topics: Maternal and Child Nutrition (HFN 505)
3 credits
  • Issues and Trends in Nutrition (HFN 510)
3 credits
  • Macronutrients & Metabolic Regulation (HFN 512)
3 credits
  • Micronutrients & Functional Nutrition (HFN 514)
3 credits
  • Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice (HFN 515)
3 credits
  • Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice II (HFN 516)
3 credits
  • Advanced Communications and Counseling (HFN 520)
3 credits
  • Nutrition Management and Leadership (HFN 530)
3 credits
  • Statistics (HFN 570)
3 credits
  • Research Methods in Nutrition (HFN 575)
3 credits
  • Application of Nutrition Research Literature (HFN 578)
3 credits
  • Practical Applications (HFN 580)
3 credits
Total Credits    36

* Survey of Nutrition Concepts is a MS in Nutrition prerequisite course and is not included in the 36 credits of the MS program.  If needed, it would be in addition to the required 36 credits of the MS program.

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Advanced Certficate in Nutrition

The Advanced Certificate Program is also fully-online and will provide the knowledge and skills to apply nutrition concepts to patient care.   All students in the Advanced Certificate Program must complete 15 credits, comprised of the following courses:

 

Required Courses (15 Credits): 

  • Survey of Nutrition Concepts (HFN 500)
3 credits
  • Issues and Trends in Nutrition (HFN 510)
3 credits
  • Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice (HFN 515)
3 credits
  • Current Topics: Maternal and Child Nutrition (HFN 505)
3 credits
  • Advanced Communications and Counseling (HFN 520)
3 credits
Total Credits 15

 

Advanced Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure.pdf


Additional Graduate Nutrition Course Offerings:

 (for students not pursuing MS in Nutrition or Advanced Certificate in Nutrition)

  • Contemporary Issues in the Global Food System (HFN 502) 3 credits
  • Nutrition in the Media (HFN 503): Making Sense of the Science 3 credits
  • Food Policy and Health Outcomes in the United States (HFN 525) 3 credits

The Graduate Nutrition Program follows the Health Sciences Center Academic Calendar and offers courses following this schedule:

Spring: HFN 500, HFN 505, HFN 512, HFN 516, HFN 520, HFN 525, HFN 575

Summer I: HFN 503, HFN 578

Summer II: HFN 500, HFN 510, HFN 530, HFN 578

Summer (May-Aug): HFN 512, HFN 520, HFN 570

Fall: HFN 502, HFN 514, HFN 515, HFN 570, HFN 575

Winter: HFN 503

HFN 580 will be offered on an as-need basis.

Please note: Please consider prerequisites of courses when selecting a course or courses for any given semester.  For example, HFN 515 must be taken prior to HFN 516.  You can email the Program Coordinator, Leah Holbrook, if you need advice on course selection.  IMPORTANT: If you are matriculated and will not be taking a course in a Fall or Spring semester, please contact Sharon Schmidt PRIOR TO THE START OF CLASSES to take a Leave of Absence to avoid a Late Registration Fee.

 

Course descriptions:

* Denotes course required for completion of advanced certificate.  If a student has successfully completed an earlier nutrition course, Survey of Nutrition Concepts can be replaced with another course offered within the Program.

Advanced Communication and Counseling (3 credits)*

This online course examines the role of professionals in promoting general health and wellness for individuals and groups in a community setting. Application of key theoretical models of behavior change and evidence-based intervention strategies are explored. Strategies and skills in counseling the individual client and group are examined and applied. Additional topics include techniques for communicating nutrition information to the public, the media and ensuring cultural competence.(Prerequisite: Survey of Nutrition Concepts, or equivalent upon approval)

Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice I (3 credits)*

This two part online course will offer the student an opportunity to explore the role of diet and nutrition in the prevention, progression and treatment of chronic diseases.  First the role of diet in mediating oxidation and inflammation is reviewed.  This is followed with presentations of nutrition therapy for specific conditions, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease, as well as issues regarding gut health, food intolerances, and gastrointestinal conditions. Nutrition for cancer prevention and nutrition to support athletic performance is also included. (Prerequisite: Survey of Nutrition Concepts, or equivalent upon approval)

Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice II (3 credits)

The second half of this two part online course will further explore medical nutrition therapy for gastrointestinal disorders, liver and pancreatic disease, metabolic disorders, psychiatric and behavioral disorders, pulmonary disease, renal dysfunction, cancer, metabolic stress, surgery and infection. The principles and practices of enteral and parenteral nutrition will be covered.  (Prerequisite: Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice I)

Application of Nutrition Research Literature (3 credits)

This course will facilitate development of the critical thinking skills necessary to become efficient consumers of nutrition-related, peer-reviewed literature so that graduates can continuously update their knowledge base for application to practice.  Students will increase their awareness of new developments in the field of nutrition by first reviewing the nutrition, science or health sections of local or national media outlets that reference newly released peer reviewed articles.  Students will then refine their literature search skills to find peer-reviewed research on the topic, and then work in small groups to critically analyze and present the research literature and the groups’ conclusions. (Prerequisite: Research Methods in Nutrition)

Current Topics: Maternal and Child Nutrition (3 credits) (formerly Contemporary Issues Across the Lifespan)

This online course examines current trends in research on nutrition topics related to maternal and child health with a focus on evidence-based recommendations. Topics include fertility, intrauterine influences on development, maternal nutrition and infant feeding, breastfeeding, supplementation, asthma and allergic disease, nutrition and neurological development, gut microbiota in early life, links between early life and adult disease and environmental influences on early childhood feeding challenges. (Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Nutrition Program or HFN 500)

Food Policy and Health Outcomes in the United States (3 credits)

This online course is an overview of how food access and health outcomes are influenced by federal and local municipal public policy. The class will include a brief overview of the American political system followed by a deeper analysis of some specific public policies that can lead to food access inequities and adverse health outcomes including, but not limited to:  taxation, land use and zoning, agriculture policy, environmental policy, education policy, economic inequality, media influences and cultural biases. At the conclusion of the semester, students will be asked to conduct a case study analysis of a recent federal and local food policy decision and asked to evaluate the ways in which the policy succeeded or failed in achieving its mission. How should success and failure measured? How could the policy be improved? What unintended consequences were discovered? Is the policy scalable to other municipalities?  Note: this course is only available to non-nutrition students and students who matriculated into this graduate nutrition program in term 1168 or later.

Issues and Trends in Nutrition (3 credits)*

This online course will provide an overview of current and emerging issues in food and nutrition with a focus on topics that impact nutrition recommendations for patients or the public. Students will explore how these trends may shape patient recommendations and barriers to implementing such recommendations. Students will also examine the disconnect between the research and current food policy, as well as existing evidence to support broad-based change to alleviate chronic disease risk and soaring health care costs.  (Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Nutrition Program or HFN 500)

Macronutrients and Metabolic Regulation (3 credits)

This online course is designed to promote an in depth understanding of the role of macronutrients in human health and nutrition. The digestion, absorption and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the relationship of energy metabolism will be extensively studied. (Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Nutrition Program or HFN 500) 

Micronutrients and Functional Nutrition (3 credits)

This online course is designed to promote an in depth understanding of the role of micronutrients in human health and nutrition. The digestion, absorption and metabolism of vitamins and minerals will be extensively studied. (Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Nutrition Program or HFN 500)

Nutrition Management and Leadership (3 credits)

This online course is designed to develop effective management skills in clinical nutrition services. The emphasis will be on the management of clinical services in highly regulated health care settings. Case studies and problem-based learning scenarios will complement online instruction and readings.  Personnel issues, cost containment, benchmarking and management principles pertinent to clinical functions will be discussed and applied to real life situations.Accreditation and regulation processes will be covered in depth and the focus will be on the Joint Commission Accreditation process and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   (This course is only available for students matriculated in the Graduate Nutrition Program)

Practical Applications (3 credits)

Students enrolled in this online course will have the opportunity to choose between two types of culminating projects, a research paper addressing a clinical question or a continuous quality improvement project addressing a clinical question or practice. Students will work with a mentor who will supervise and guide the student as they select their project and topic and progress through the semester.  Mentors will recommend a grade to the program coordinator after careful review of the finished project. Students may also seek an onsite agency mentor if utilizing their worksite to complete a CQI project, but will be responsible to provide all requested information to their assigned mentor who will ultimately recommend a grade.  (Prerequisite: completion of 27 credits inclusive of Research Methods in Nutrition, Statistics and CQI, Application of Nutrition Research Literature; program consent required)

Research Methods in Nutrition (3 credits)

This online course precedes the culminating project required for completion of the Master’s degree in Nutrition.  Students will work independently to develop a research project.  This process will include the following: formulation of a research question or hypothesis, study design and design of data collection methods.  Issues regarding the protection of human subjects and protected health information will be discussed.  (Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Nutrition Program; Pre or Co-requisite: HFN 570)

Statistics (3 credits)

This online course facilitates the development of the knowledge base to support statistical reasoning and the skills necessary to conduct statistical analyses appropriate in a health care or public health environment.  This includes data collection methods, data cleaning, hypothesis testing, confidence limits, and statistical analysis procedures, such as analysis of variance, simple linear regression, and multiple regression.  This class will require the use of Excel, especially the Data Analysis Pack, for data organization, presentation of data, and statistical analysis procedures.  Additional topics include techniques for summarizing results of various statistical procedures, as well as designing appropriate tables and graphs.  (Prerequisite : Admission to the graduate nutrition program; prior undergraduate statistics course)

Survey of Nutrition Concepts (3 credits)*

This online course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of nutrition science.  Dietary sources and functions of macro and micronutrients are reviewed, as well as the basics of their metabolism and their impact on disease prevention, energy balance and common health problems. (Prerequisite: Physiology; Department consent required)

This course is NOT appropriate for a student with an undergraduate degree in nutrition/dietetics. It is a prerequisite course for those MS students without a nutrition background.  While it is required for the Advanced Certificate program, it is only required for the MS program if the student has not taken a nutrition undergraduate course that would satisify it. 

 

Nutrition in the Media: Making Sense of the Science (3 credits)

This online course will increase students awareness of the pervasive nature of food and nutrition messaging and the varied motivations behind them.  Basic concepts related to nutrition and food science will be presented along with the skills and resources needed to critically evaluate future issues and trends in nutrition.  Topics to be discussed include popular supplements, fad diets, common chronic diseases and related dietary recommendations, sustainable food practices and food labeling.

This course is NOT included in the MS in Nutrition or in the Advanced Certificate Program.  It is designed as an elective for non-nutrition students.

Contemporary Issues in the Global Food System (3 credits)

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, this online course will draw on everything from economics and ecology to sociology, anthropology, and the arts to demonstrate why agriculture and food are the single biggest way that humans touch the planet. Each week, we will examine topics ranging from organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, animal welfare, hunger and food security, farm bill reform, farm-to-school efforts, urban agriculture, food sovereignty and local food economies. Students will gain the ability to evaluate and understand contemporary food issues as they relate to local and global challenges. Course materials will draw on current events, popular media and published research in food and drink, and also be guided by the student’s own interests and particular career needs. 

This course is NOT included in the MS in Nutrition or in the Advanced Certificate Program.  It is designed as an elective for non-nutrition students.