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Teachers College, Columbia University
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In the Department of Health and Behavior Studies

Graduate Degrees > Master of Science: Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

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Master of Science: Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

The Program in Nutrition and the Program in Applied Physiology offer a joint course of study leading to a 54- to 57-point Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (NEP). In addition to the core courses in nutrition, students are required to take a core of courses in applied physiology. The program prepares students to provide individual counseling and group education in nutrition and exercise and to design and implement exercise and nutrition programs in weight control centers, work sites, fitness centers and with Olympic, professional, collegiate, or high school athletic teams as well as health centers, community centers, and hospitals. 

Additional Degree Information

Diet and exercise are hot topics of conversation in schools, homes, the workplace, and all over the media as our national obesity epidemic grows and it is recognized that anyone with the goal of optimizing health and fitness needs the right balance of nutrition and physical activity. At the same time, nutrition’s critical role in sports performance is well accepted.  We find more dietitians in the training room, as colleges and universities are increasingly hiring Registered Dietitians (RD). RDs are also increasingly recognized as fundamental components of professional sports teams, as good nutrition proves to be a smart investment in optimizing competitive performance, while high school athletic programs look to RDs to ensure the health and safety of competitive adolescent athletes.

The goal of the nutrition and exercise program at Teacher College is to provide our students with a comprehensive foundation based on the most current research evidence, and to provide a practical environment where they can apply these learned skills. A focus of our program is to promote the symbiotic relationship of nutrition and physical activity.

Upon graduation our students leave the program empowered, prepared to explore the vast field of nutrition and exercise, and eager to contribute their expertise to improve the health and athletic performance of individuals and groups.

Find out more about the field at the following website:

Program Description
Forward thinking faculty at Teacher’s College created the first graduate program in the U.S. combining nutrition and exercise sciences in 1982.  Offered jointly by the Program in Nutrition and the Program in Applied Physiology, students earn a 52 point Master of Science degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. 

Taking the lead once again, our NEP program now provides nutrition students with experiential learning in both nutrition and exercise physiology as they engage with student athletes and other participants through our partnerships with area colleges and athletic organizations. Our unique program connects students in a hands-on environment where they apply classroom learning to the real world.

This cross-discipline program gives students a competitive edge over graduates of other programs, allowing them to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the exploding field of sports nutrition.  Upon successful completion of the program, students will be fully prepared to provide individual counseling and group education in nutrition and exercise and to design and implement exercise and nutrition programs in weight control centers, work sites, fitness centers, health centers, schools, university athletic departments, professional and amateur sports teams, and hospitals.  The newest theories in nutrition education and motivational interviewing will be applied as students learn how to successfully effect lifestyle changes in individuals and groups.  

Additional Information
This master's degree provides a thorough grounding in both nutrition science and exercise science as well as training in use of appropriate educational and behavioral theories and strategies for promoting healthy lifestyles, preventing and managing disease, and enhancing athletic performance. Provision is made to develop the competencies required by the American College of Sports Medicine for certification as a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Health Fitness Specialist.

Students who pursue this M.S. degree are also eligible to apply to the Dietetic Internship (DI) Program following completion of partial course work for the M.S. and completion of other academic prerequisites. The DI program and successful completion of the RD exam leads to the registered dietitian (RD) credential.  These certifications prepares students to work in sites that require both an RD and ACSM certifications and leads to the ability to successfully sit for the exam for Board Certification in Sports Dietetics issued by the American Dietetic Association (

Here are the courses required for the master's degree in  Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Several courses required for the master's degree in nutrition and exercise physiology may be taken concurrently with the Dietetic Internship Program. 

Prerequisites for the M.S.