Master of Science: Nutrition and Exercise Physiology | Nutrition | Health & Behavior Studies

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

Master of Science: Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

Forward-thinking faculty at Teacher’s College created in 1982 the first U.S. graduate program combining nutrition and exercise sciences. The Program in Nutrition and the Program in Applied Physiology offer a joint course of study leading to a 55-credit master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (NEP). In addition to the core courses in nutrition, students are required to take core 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, and high school athletic teams as well as health centers, community centers, and hospitals.

Nutrition and exercise are hot topics of conversation in schools, homes, the workplace, and all over the media as our national obesity epidemic grows. It’s 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. Increasingly recognized as key contributors to the success of professional sports teams, sports dietitians are in training rooms at colleges and universities and are in schools 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.

The NEP program 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 places students in a hands-on environment where they apply classroom learning in 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 affect lifestyle changes in individuals and groups.

Here are the courses required for the master's degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.

Students who pursue this degree are eligible to apply to the Dietetic Internship Program following completion of M.S. prerequisite courses, most of the master’s courses, and verification of completion of the Didactic Program in Dietetics.

Additional Information

The nutrition and exercise physiology master's degree provides a thorough grounding in both nutrition science and exercise science as well as training in the 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.

As a registered dietitian-nutritionist with ACSM certification and professional experience, graduates are able to successfully sit for the exam for Board Certification in Sports Dietetics issued by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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