The Nutrition and Public Health Concentration provides opportunities and training for students to focus practice and/or research activities on dietary assessment methodology, nutritional epidemiology, food policy and systems, behavioral nutrition interventions, and medical nutrition therapy. The goal of the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration is to prepare students and those in the public health and healthcare workforce to understand the role of nutrition in disease prevention and health promotion, dietary assessment, nutritional epidemiologic methods, nutritional physiology, and food and nutrition policy. The emergence of a robust literature on behavioral, environmental, and policy approaches to nutrition promotion supports the multidisciplinary aspect of the nutrition field. The market demand for professionals trained in nutrition and public health is increasing with the rising prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The Nutrition and Public Health Concentration is closely aligned with research and community events coordinated through the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living.
After enrollment in a degree program, students in any department, and at any campus may elect to add this concentration to their course of study. The concentration is also open to students in the Dietetic Internship Program (see https://sph.uth.edu/research/centers/dell/dietetic-internship-program). Students elect the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration by completing the required request form that must be signed by the student’s academic advisor and a member of the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration faculty who agrees to serve on the student’s advisory committee.
Course of Study
The Nutrition and Public Health Concentration will require the completion of 12 credit hours: nine (9) credit hours of courses and three (3) credit hours of practicum, thesis, or dissertation with a nutrition and public health focus. Some of the required courses may also count as degree program major, minor, or breadth requirements. Nutrition and Public Health Concentration students in degree programs requiring participation in a practicum must have an experience that is relevant to nutrition and public health. Students in the Nutrition and Public Health concentration completing a thesis or dissertation must also select a topic relevant to nutrition and public health. The faculty member representing the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration will determine if the student has met the requirements of the concentration. Completion of the concentration is noted on the student’s transcript.
Courses, Nutrition and Public Health Concentration
Students in the Nutrition and Public Health Concentration must complete at least three (3) courses (9 credit hours) selected from the list below or approved by the student’s Nutrition and Public Health Concentration faculty advisor.
Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences
PHM 1231 Advances in Medical Nutrition Therapy, 4 credits, a
PHM 1232 Public Health Nutrition Practice, 3 credits, b
PH 1237 Obesity, Nutrition, & Physical Activity, 1 credit, a
PH 1498 Food Policy (Special Topics course), 3 credits, a
Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
PH 2755 Nutrition Research Methods, 2 credits, a (only available in Houston and for Dietetic Interns)
PHM/PHD 2845 Nutritional Epidemiology, 3 credits, a
PH 5030 Diabetes Seminar, 2 credits, c
PH 5098 Culinary Medicine (Special Topics course), 3 credits (in the Demonstration Kitchen; only available in Houston)
PH 5098 Garden for Health (Special Topics course), 2 credits, a, b (in the Holistic Garden; only available in Houston)
PH 9997 - 870 Practicum – Diabetes Seminar (for Dietetic Interns)
Nutrition and Public Health Concentration Faculty
Faculty Coordinator: Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, RD, LD - Shreela.V.Sharma@uth.tmc.edu
Courtney E. Byrd-Williams, PhD - Courtney.E.ByrdWilliams@uth.tmc.edu
Deanna M. Hoelscher, PhD, RD, LD, CNS - Deanna.M.Hoelscher@uth.tmc.edu
Nalini Ranjit, PhD - Nalini.Ranjit@uth.tmc.edu
Steven H. Kelder, PhD, MPH - Steven.H.Kelder@uth.tmc.edu
Alexandra E. van den Berg, PhD, MPH - Alexandra.E.vandenBerg@uth.tmc.edu
Stefan A. Czerwinski, PhD - Stefan.A.Czerwinski@uth.tmc.edu
Jeanne M. Piga-Plunkett, MS, RND, LD - Jeanne.M.PigaPlunkett@uth.tmc.edu
Laura Moore, MEd, RD, LD - Laura.S.Moore@uth.tmc.edu
Marcia C. Otto, PhD - Marcia.C.Otto@uth.tmc.edu
R. Sue Day, PhD - Rena.S.Day@uth.tmc.edu
Shreela V. Sharma, PhD, RD, LD - Shreela.V.Sharma@uth.tmc.edu