Community Nutrition and Health Promotion

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

This program prepares students for teaching, outreach, and research careers in Extension, community health, and related areas to lead community-based food, nutrition, and health programs for diverse children, families, and older adults.

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

Other courses and programs of interest include:

Descriptions of courses within the department can be found here. Graduate courses to meet career goals are also available in other departments.

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.

Prerequisites Prior to Admission:

  • Two semesters of general chemistry (CHEM 109 General Chemistry 1, CHEM 110 General Chemistry 2)
  • One semester of organic chemistry with lab (CHEM 251 Organic Chemistry)
  • One semester of biochemistry with lab (BIOC 321 Biochemistry)
  • Human Physiology with lab (BIOS 213 Human Physiology)

Undergraduate catalog


  • 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

Full Weiwen Chai bio
Virginia Chaidez photo portrait

Virginia Chaidez Associate Professor

Full Virginia Chaidez bio

Lisa Franzen-Castle Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Professor, and Extension Nutrition Specialist

Full Lisa Franzen-Castle bio

Sarah Hortman Assistant Professor of Practice

Full Sarah Hortman bio
Georgia Jones portrait picture

Georgia Jones Associate Professor, Extension Food Specialist

Full Georgia Jones bio

Megan S. Kelley Assistant Professor

Full Megan S. Kelley bio
Heather Rasmussen

Heather Rasmussen Associate Professor, Future Education Model Graduate Program Director

Full Heather Rasmussen bio

Mary Willis Professor

Full Mary Willis bio