Since its founding in 1909, our Program in Nutrition at Teachers College has been a leader in developing strategies for promoting health through encouraging change in communities, individual behaviors, and the environment. We include a critical examination of race, equity, and inclusion across our curriculum and provide experiential learning at clinical, community, media, research, and food service sites throughout New York City’s diverse communities.
The mission of our Program is to facilitate change in individuals and communities through strategies for modifying personal food choices, food access, food policy, and the food system within which food choices are made to ensure healthy people in healthy and sustainable communities.
To fulfill this mission, our Program:
To educate the next generation of nutrition professionals, our Program offers Master of Science (MS) degrees that prepare graduates to complete the Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist (RDN) exam. The MS degrees offer three concentrations: Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Public Health, and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
Students in all concentrations gain a thorough grounding in nutrition science, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition education and counseling, dietary assessment, nutrition research, and community nutrition. The nutrition education concentration offers extra courses in psychology and education. The nutrition and public health concentration offers extra courses in public health and epidemiology. The nutrition and exercise physiology concentration offers extra courses in exercise science and sports nutrition.
More specifically, through our Program curriculum, students:
Due to the breadth of our aims, we admit students who have undergraduate degrees in a wide variety of fields besides nutrition and dietetics, students who are career changers, and students who understand health disparities that confront or challenge low-resource communities. These students bring valuable knowledge, skills and attitudes to our Program and to the field of nutrition.
Our Program provides extensive opportunities for practical experiences in addition to traditional classroom lectures and discussions. Among the course-related educational experiences are field experiences in community nutrition; planning and teaching of nutrition sessions to select audiences in the community; practicing nutrition counseling skills; presenting medical nutrition therapy cases; conducting food education and gardening projects in schools; performing dietary assessments and analyses; and initiating social media and web-based nutrition activities. Supervised practice in sports nutrition with college athletics programs is included in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology master’s degree.
To generate new knowledge, the faculty are actively engaged in cutting-edge and transformative research, as well as evaluation, policy, and other scholarly activities. Faculty write articles for peer-reviewed journals, write books, and engage in other scholarly activities. Both master’s and doctoral students are an integral part of these activities, which include childhood obesity prevention research and programs, and research on the impact of nutrition education on breast cancer survivors, research on the impact of changes in school lunches as a result of education and transforming school cafeteria design, research examining dietary practices of those with celiac disease, research on parental feeding practices and child health, research on the role of exercise in diabetes prevention, research on the impact of soda taxes on perceptions and attitudes, and much more.
To contribute to the enrichment of the community and the profession, the faculty are actively engaged in activities at the local, national and international levels. Local community organizations include Greater New York Dietetic Association and New York City Nutrition Education Network. National professional associations include the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, and American Society for Sports Medicine. International organizations include the Food and Agriculture Organization and UNICEF of the United Nations and International Union of Nutrition Scientists.
The Program in Nutrition’s new Integrated MS-RDN Track blends didactic education and supervised experiential learning together in an intensive two-year, 12-month-per-year program. The Integrated MS-RDN Track eliminates the need for a Dietetic Internship Program by providing supervised experiential learning hours that meet the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) before completing the RDN credentialing examination as well as becoming state certified or licensed. These hours are fulfilled both within the classroom and at community, clinical, and food service worksite locations within the New York City and surrounding areas providing opportunities for rich professional experiences with diverse settings and audiences.
The Integrated MS-RDN Track offers three specializations: Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Public Health, and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. All share a common core of courses plus unique specialization courses. The Integrated MS-RDN Track specializations in Nutrition Education and in Nutrition and Public Health consist of 50 credits completed at Teachers College, whereas the Integrated MS-RDN Track specialization in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology consists of 57 credits completed at Teachers College. Two additional culinary courses (for a total of 8 credits) are completed at nearby Lehman College of the City University of New York.
The Program in Nutrition has a long proud history. Founded in 1909 by Mary Swartz Rose, our firsts include the first integrated nutrition science and nutrition education program in 1909, the first public health nutrition master’s degree in 1947, the first course on environmentally-sustainable diets and food systems in 1970 based on the seminal thinking of Professor Emerita Joan Gussow, the first nutrition and exercise joint master’s degree in 1982, and the first to include a focus on nutrition education policy with the founding of the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, & Policy within the Program in Nutrition in 2013. In 2021, we will be among the first in the New York City area to offer an Integrated MS-RDN Track to our students.
The Program in Nutrition has been a strong leader in the field throughout these many years. Our faculty have been influential thinkers and our graduates have provided leadership in numerous areas related to food, nutrition, and dietetics. About 30 new graduate students join us each year from around the world. Some hold undergraduate degrees in nutrition while others are career changers, bringing with them extraordinary knowledge and skills, all of which enrich our classes. The Program in Nutrition is committed to enhancing equity and inclusion and providing a supportive environment for students of diverse backgrounds to thrive.
Mission of the Integrated MS-RDN Track
The mission of the Program in Nutrition’s new Integrated MS-RD Track is to prepare the next generation of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for leadership roles in nutrition education, public health, and exercise physiology. Our graduates integrate research, theory and practice to foster healthful, just, and sustainable food choices and active lives for diverse individuals, groups, and communities locally, nationally, and around the world.
Students completing the Integrated MS-RDN Track meet all competencies and performance indicators set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) and all competencies set forth by the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB). Download ACEND and SNEB competencies and performance indicators below.
ACEND Competencies & Performance Indicators
SNEB Nutrition Educator Competencies
Goals and objectives of the Integrated MS-RDN Track
Goal 1: To prepare graduates for entry-level and leadership roles in nutrition education, public health nutrition, and nutrition and exercise physiology.
Goal 2: To prepare graduates to enhance motivation, facilitate action, and create supportive environments to assist diverse individuals, groups, and communities to make healthful, just, and sustainable dietary and lifestyle choices.
NOTE: Outcomes data are available for the Integrated MS-RDN Track goals and objectives upon request.