Online Programs

Master's Degree in Nutrition Education - Online Courses

Learn How to Nourish Your Community

The online Master of Science in Nutrition Education from American University delivers the most relevant courses in nutrition, education, communication and behavior change to help you understand the current health-related challenges and solutions facing our nation today. Completion of these courses will help students obtain a career in nutrition education.

The program can be completed in as little as 20 months. The exclusive curriculum provides focused theoretical and practical training in the field of nutrition. It will prepare you to:

  • Develop programming and intervention skills related to nutrition.
  • Design and implement nutrition education programs in corporations, government organizations, schools and universities.
  • Use all the steps of select models and theories and cultural competence in nutrition program development.
  • Translate research and theoretical nutrition concepts into practice.
  • Take the Certified Nutrition Specialist® credential upon completion of additional coursework and supervised practice experience beyond this degree.
  • Demonstrate scientific knowledge in nutrition, consistent with health recommendations, throughout the lifecycle.
  • Identify and describe the relationship between dietary patterns and chronic disease.

Upon graduation, you will have the skills to become a nutrition educator in a variety of settings, including public health departments, nonprofit organizations, school systems, government, gyms and health clubs and food companies, in addition to independent health coaching and nutrition counseling roles.

Hear from our graduates on how they are applying their new skills to their career.

Courses

Core Courses (24 Credits)

This course explores the role of nutrition through the entire life span. Beginning with conception, pregnancy, early childhood feeding, adolescence, adulthood and the elderly, each lifecycle is discussed with an understanding of the physiological changes and their implications for nutritional factors. Special emphasis is placed on using this information in nutritional education programming. Prerequisite: HPRM 645.

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In this course students learn how to design, implement and analyze studies involving nutrition-disease associations. Research methods and its challenges are assessed in relation to epidemiology, focusing specifically on food and nutrition.

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In this course, students explore the current status of nutrition and nutrition education in the United States and identify the factors that influence nutrition status. Students learn to perform a needs assessment, and design and implement educational strategies.

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This course is the second in a two-part sequence designed to develop knowledge and understanding of effective instruction in nutrition education. The course focuses on the development of instructional methodologies, content area knowledge used to understand assessment, and evaluation in a number of settings.

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This course addresses distinct forms of delivering health promotion messages to consumers, professionals, and large groups through various communication methods and social marketing. The course is divided into three modules, covering health coaching, mass health communication, and consumer health writing and public speaking. Students have the opportunity to coach individuals, advocate for a health issue, or give a presentation on a health-related topic.

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The role of nutrition in maintaining health and physical fitness is studied in relation to the responsibilities and opportunities of a nutrition educator. Current food myths, diets for those in athletic programs, and special needs of overweight and underweight clients are included.

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This course provides students with an overview of the theory and application for assisting individuals and groups in changing lifestyle behaviors related to health promotion. Includes cognitive behavior techniques for changing lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, obesity, stress or diet for the reduction of chronic disease risk. Students deepen their understanding of select theories and practices necessary for effective health behavior change.

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This course explores the role of vitamins and minerals in maintaining cellular health through biochemical and physiological mechanisms. Topics provide an in-depth view of specific vitamins and minerals as well as effective ways to translate this information toward efforts for prevention of chronic disease.

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Elective Courses (6 Credits)

Choose Two Courses:

Examine the promotion of healthy behaviors and beliefs in the school setting from early childhood through higher education based on the Center for Disease Control's Division of Adolescent and School Health coordinated school health program model.

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This course allows students to translate theory into practice and to relate content to fitness and sports. Included are topics on weight and body composition, eating disorders and guidelines through proper nutrition. The material covered gives students comprehensive knowledge of nutrition for use in complementary fields focusing on sport and exercise.

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This course is designed to address the strategies used to assist in reversing the obesity epidemic. Students gain an understanding of the trends of obesity, risk factors associated with being overweight, and chronic disease patterns. Further, strategies of proper weight management are explored on an individual and societal level, looking at current diet trends and evaluating their health implications.

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