Department of Nutrition

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Public Health Nutrition

A graduate degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Tennessee can lead to excellent careers and professional opportunities in the public, voluntary, and private health sectors.

The program’s mission is to promote an understanding of public health nutrition, including assessment, policy development, and assurance, for the enrichment of the physiological and social well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Program Highlights

One of only six programs in the country for nutrition leadership education and training for the maternal and child population.  Our program focuses on public health nutrition and leads to a graduate degree.

  • The US Public Health Service, Maternal and Child Health Bureau training grant is a prestigious award, which helps address the need to provide well-trained public health nutrition leaders with special interests in the maternal and child population.
  • Member of the Association of Graduate Programs in Public Health Nutrition, Inc.—the primary association dedicated to establishing and maintaining standards of graduate education for Public Health Nutritionists.
  • The program is one of only eighteen in the country that endorses and meets curriculum guidelines for public health nutrition graduate degrees.
  • The Public Health cognate is in association with the Master of Public Health, which is accredited by the Council for Education in Public Health for Community Health/Preventive Medicine. The program was the first in the country to be accredited outside a school of medicine by the Council for Education in Public Health.

The Public Health Nutrition program’s strengths are nutrition science and its applications to public health concerns, including those of the maternal and child population, overweight and obesity.

  • A leadership emphasis fosters professional development of alumni, who are demonstrated leaders.
  • A population-based focus with an emphasis on community-based strategic planning and program and fiscal management, which prepares alumni for leadership in community-based programs.
  • A behavioral emphasis to promote healthy eating and physical activity also prepares alumni for intervention programs.
  • Strong linkages and collaborations with community partners, including the Knox County Health Department provide advanced-level practice to complement didactic course work.

The program is the first in the country to receive federal funding for graduate training. Overall, it is the second oldest program in the country.

  • The University of Tennessee has been educating and training master’s-level Public Health nutritionists since 1943. This contributes to a rich history and tradition.

The University of Tennessee, Department of Nutrition is a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Accredited Provider with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).

More information on Public Health Nutrition MS Program

More information on Dual MS-MPH Program

More information on Nutritional Sciences PhD Program

For more information on the Public Health Nutrition Program, contact:

Marsha Spence, PhD, MS-MPH, RD, LDN
Associate Professor of Practice
Director, Public Health Nutrition
Department of Nutrition
1215 Cumberland Avenue
The University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-1920
Phone: 865-974-6265
Fax: 865-974-3491

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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.