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Public Health Nutrition: MPH

Public Health Nutrition

The Master of Public Health (MPH) program at USU trains students to be leaders in the field of Public Health. The MPH provides students with a strong educational and research foundation in biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health, sociobehavioral public health, and public health policy and administration. MPH graduates will be prepared for careers in health care professions, academic institutions, local, state, and federal health agencies, private industry, and non-profit organizations.  

The Public Health Nutrition Degree includes interdisciplinary training in nutrition-related sciences and the core public health disciplines. Learn about the methods for quantifying dietary intake and nutritional status, the role of diet in disease risk and health promotion, and the design and implementation of nutrition policy and programs to improve local, national, and global populations. The land grant setting of Utah State University provides unique opportunities for the study of the relationship between human nutritional status and health with strong academic and research programs in nutritional epidemiology, federal and community nutrition programs, nutritional biochemistry and molecular biology, USU Extension nutrition outreach programs, food science, food safety, agricultural practices, animal health, climate change, and environmental sciences.

MPH in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences requires an undergraduate degree with coursework in nutrition, biology, biochemistry, and statistics.


Nutrition and dietetics students who complete a MPH degree in public health nutrition can seek out diverse positions in public health organizations that offer opportunities for leadership roles, professional development, and higher pay and benefits. These organizations include:

  • Local, state, and federal health agencies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Health care organizations
  • Utah Department of Workforce Services
  • WIC, SNAP-Ed, and EFNEP nutrition programs
  • Community food banks and pantries
  • International health and nutrition programs and aid agencies

Potential positions for MPH graduates include:

  • Public health nutritionist
  • Nutritional epidemiologist
  • Preparation for medical school or doctoral studies in public health
  • Public health educator
  • Management positions in school, community, and clinical nutrition programs

Registered Dietitian's (RDs) will soon be required to have a masters level degree. Dietitians often work in public health and community settings and MPH coursework and hands-on experience will be valuable for work in these settings.  The MPH degree may be a stepping stone to medical school, dental school, or doctoral degree programs in public health.

Admissions Requirements

  • Complete the online application
  • Pay the $55 application fee
  • Score at or above the 40th percentile on the GRE
  • Have a 3.0 or higher GPA on your last 60 semester or 90 quarter credits
  • Provide transcripts of all college/university credits
  • Provide three contacts for letters of recommendation
  • Include a statement of purpose in your online application
  • Prior correspondence with program faculty is encouraged

Master's Degree Plan Option(s)

The MPH requires a minimum of 42 semester credit hours including 15 credits of required core courses, common to all degree options, departmental required courses, elective courses, seminars, and credits for the Plan A, Plan B, or Professional degree options described below.

Plan A option: requires preparation of a thesis, and 6 to 15 thesis credits are required. The semester(s) during which a student registers for thesis credit should correspond as closely as possible to the semester(s) in which the thesis work is done and faculty supervision is provided. The thesis for a Plan A master's degree is to be a contribution to the field of knowledge based on the student's own research, or a treatment and presentation of known subject matter from a new perspective. The student and major professor should decide upon a problem or subject for the thesis study by the end of the student's second semester of graduate study.

Plan B option: requires the production of a scholarly paper and completion of 2-3 credits of thesis research. The Plan B paper is usually a review of literature based on inquiry, systematic research, and analytic critique of the findings. The summary and conclusions developed should enhance knowledge in the discipline. Plan B papers and reports should follow the same format specifications as theses and dissertations and are expected to reflect equivalent scholarship standards, even though they may be less intensive and not demand the originality of a Plan A thesis. Plan B papers are defended but are not reviewed by the Graduate School or signed by the dean of graduate studies. Plan B papers must be submitted to the Merrill-Cazier Library.

Professional degree: A master's degree option with no thesis or Plan B paper is available. Those seeking professional degrees must complete a supervised field or professional experience, write a capstone paper about it, and give a presentation on it to the department in which the student is enrolled. Students should contact their advisor early in their program to outline an acceptable project and to be certain that all degree requirements will be met and that all appropriate paperwork has been sent to the School of Graduate Studies.


Janet Anderson, MS, Utah State University
Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture, Clinical Professor
Area: Dietetics
Office: AGSC 225 D
Phone: (435) 797-2104
Email: janet.anderson@usu.edu


Martha Archuleta, PhD, RD, University of Illinois
Professor, MDA Program Director
Area: Nutrition sciences
Office: 920 West Levoy Drive Taylorsville, UT 84123
Phone: (435) 797-4230
Email: martha.archuleta@usu.edu


Sheryl Aguilar, MS, Utah State University
Clinical Associate Professor, RD
Area: Dietetics
Office: NFS 221
Phone: (435) 797-7327
Email: sheryl.aguilar@usu.edu


Clara Cho, PhD, University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Area: Nutrition and neurobiology
Office: NFS 303
Phone: (435) 797-5369
Email: clara.cho@usu.edu


Carrie Durward, PhD, Penn State University
Assistant Professor
Area: Nutrition
Office: AGSC 225 D
Phone: (435) 797-2104
Email: carrie.durward@usu.edu


Korry Hintze, PhD, North Dakota University
Assistant Professor
Area: Cellular and molecular biology
Office: NFS 304
Phone: (435) 797-2124
Email: korry.hintze@usu.edu


Heidi LeBlanc, MS, Utah State University
Extension Associate Professor
Area: Food stamp program
Office: NFS 207
Phone: (435) 797-3923
Email: heidi.leblanc@usu.edu


Michael Lefevre, PhD, University of California – Davis
Professor
Area: Nutrition
Office: BTEC 313
Phone: (435) 797-3821
Email: michael.lefevre@usu.edu


Ronald Munger, PhD, University of Washington
Professor
Area: Nutrition, epidemiology, and public health
Office: NFS 311
Phone: (435) 797-2122
Email: ron.munger@usu.edu


Mateja Savoie-Roskos, PhD, Utah State University
Assistant Professor, RD
Area: Dietetics
Office: NFS 109
Phone: (435) 797-5777
Email: mateja.savoie@usu.edu


Tamara Steinitz, MS, Utah State University
Clinical Associate Professor
Area: Dietetics
Office: NFS 312
Phone: (435) 797-3467
Email: tamara.vitale@usu.edu


Heidi Wengreen, PhD, Utah State University
Associate Professor
Area: Nutrition, epidemiology, dietetics
Office: NFS 307
Phone: (435) 797-1806
Email: heidi.wengreen@usu.edu


Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Public Health Association: The American Public Health Association is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872. The Association aims to protect all Americans, their families and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health professionals and others who care about their own health and the health of their communities.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. AND is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy. Students are encouraged to be members of AND and are also encouraged to be active in their local or state AND affiliate organizations.

American School Health Association: ASHA is a multidisciplinary organization of administrators, counselors, health educators, physical educators, psychologists, school health coordinators, school nurses, school physicians, and social workers. Its mission is to build the capacity of its members to plan, develop, coordinate, implement, evaluate, and advocate for effective school health strategies that contribute to optimal health and academic outcomes for all children and youth.


Labs, Centers, Research

Center for Advanced Nutrition: The CAN provides a multi-disciplinary venue for the discussion, discovery, and dissemination of information about the biological, physiological, and psychological mechanisms of proper nutrition. The scope of discovery is broad and falls into four distinct but overlapping focus areas: bioactive foods, nutrition and the brain, ingestive behavior, and personalized nutrition.

Center for Human Nutrition Studies: The "Center for Human Nutrition Studies" at Utah State University provides the organizational structure and logistic support for research scientists with interests in conducting clinical studies with an emphasis on nutrition. The Center, with a core staff consisting of experienced clinical researchers, community interventionist, research dietitian, clinic coordinator, laboratory research associate and support staff, coupled with an outstanding clinical facility and research kitchen, is designed to serve as a resource to Utah State University researchers in efforts to secure extramural research funding and industry contracts and partnerships. The Center also provides opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to gain experience in the design and conduct of human nutrition clinical studies. The Center is managed by the USTAR Applied Nutrition Research Team in conjunction with the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science and under the administrative oversight of the College of Agriculture.

Utah Agricultural Experiment Station: The UAES is part of a network of researchers and facilities at the nation’s land-grant universities and is committed to improving agriculture and managing natural resources for the people of Utah. At research facilities on the USU campus and throughout the state, UAES supports hundreds of research projects that promote agriculture and human nutrition and enhance the quality of rural life.

Request Information for Public Health Nutrition
Description Public Health Nutrition

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences Department

College:

College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

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