Community Nutrition and Health Promotion

Community Nutrition and Health PromotionDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Graduates from this program will be leaders in enhancing health with expertise to: 

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate research-based public policies and programs that enhance food security, nutrition, and health in diverse communities
  • Address disparities in food, nutrition, and health through health behavior change and multi-level ecological approaches through policy, systems, and environmental change
  • Adapt programs in culturally appropriate ways to meet food, nutrient, and health needs across the life cycle

Highly recommended courses (credit hours):

  • NUTR 805 Research Methods (3)
  • NUTR 859 Nutrition: A Focus on Life Stages (3)
  • NUTR 860 Health Behavior Theories and Approaches (3) 
  • NUTR 956 Community Nutrition (3) 
  • NUTR 976 Organization and Management in Community Nutrition and Health Promotion (3)
  • Experiential Learning through community-based practicums, internships, and research (12)
For additional career information, click here.

Other courses and programs of interest include:

Descriptions of courses within the department can be found online at:

Graduate courses to meet career goals are also available within other departments, find them online at:

Total credits required:

  • Minimum of 90 semester hours of credit, including 12-55 hours of dissertation

Doctoral Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Available annually starting in the fall.

  • Teaching is in the fall and spring semesters, with summer teaching also available.
  • Includes partial health benefits and full tuition-waiver of up to 12 credit hours in fall and in spring semesters.
  • High priority for students who:
    • Are committed to a teaching and research career
    • Have an undergraduate or graduate degree in nutrition, dietetics, public health, or health promotion
    • Have taught or completed courses in nutrition and metabolism, community nutrition, health promotion, health behavior, and/or dietetics at the undergraduate or graduate level
    • Have work experience in community nutrition, health promotion, public health, Extension, teaching, and/or research
  • Only students with completed applications will be considered for this graduate assistantship.

For more information regarding assistantships and fellowships, click here.

Preferred Courses Prior to Admission: 

To be successful in the program, the following courses are preferred - consult with your advisor. 

  • Two semesters of general chemistry (CHEM 109A General Chemistry I and CHEM 110A General Chemistry II)
  • One semester of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 251/CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry)
  • One semester of biochemistry (BIOC 401/BIOC 401L Elements of Biochemistry or BIOC 431 Biochemistry I: Structure and Metabolism)
  • Human physiology with lab (BIOS 213/BIOS 213L Human Physiology)

Undergraduate catalog

GRE is not required.


  • Academic Faculty
  • Government Scientist
  • Health Consultant
  • Health Data Analyst
  • Health Department Director
  • Health Policy Researcher
  • National/International Public Health Leader
  • Non-profit Health Program Director
  • Policy Advisor
  • Private Practice Scientist
  • Public Health Officer
  • Research Scientist
  • State Health Program Director

Associated Faculty

Weiwen Chai portrait picture

Weiwen Chai Associate Professor

Lisa Franzen-Castle Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialist

Sarah Hortman Assistant Professor of Practice

Georgia Jones Associate Professor, Extension Food Specialist

Megan S. Kelley Assistant Professor

Heather Rasmussen

Heather Rasmussen Interim Department Chair, Associate Professor, Professional Studies in Dietetics Program Director

The Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences is committed to creating an environment that is welcoming to all;
where each person feels accepted, valued, and safe. To learn more, visit: