About

About Us


The Program in Nutrition is a vibrant forward-looking program that builds on its rich past. Since its founding in 1909, the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College has been a leader in developing strategies for promoting health through encouraging dietary change.

Its mission 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, the Program

  • Educates the next generation of nutrition and dietetics professionals to fulfill a variety of entry-level and leadership roles;
  • Generates new knowledge, policy, and models for nutrition practice through research, scholarship and demonstration projects;
  • Contributes to the enrichment of the community and the profession by service to the field.

To educate the next generation of nutrition professionals, the Program in Nutrition offers masters and doctoral degrees in nutrition education, nutrition and public health, nutrition and exercise physiology, community nutrition education, and behavioral nutrition.

Through these degree programs, students gain a thorough grounding in nutrition science, medical nutrition therapy, nutrition education and counseling, dietary assessment, community nutrition, and also in exercise science for students in our nutrition and exercise physiology concentration.

More specifically, the Program in Nutrition emphasizes the development of competencies in:

  • Integrating knowledge from the fields of nutrition science, (exercise science where appropriate), foods, the behavioral sciences, medical nutrition therapy, community nutrition, and nutritional ecology to design and implement interventions for diverse individuals, groups and communities locally, nationally and around the world.
  • Critically evaluating the scientific, policy and lay literature about food, food systems and nutrition-related issues.
  • Facilitating healthful, just, and sustainable food choices, dietary practices, and active lives through direct education along with addressing structural inequities through policy, system, and environmental change
  • Designing and implementing public health nutrition assessments and programs;
  • Applying sports nutrition principles to recreational and competitive athletes (for appropriate degree students);
  • Thinking critically and independently;
  • Acting collaboratively and effectively with others in organizations and communities on important issues related to food, nutrition, and sustainability of the food system;
  • Conducting food and nutrition‐related research.

Because of the breadth of its aims, the Program admits academically qualified students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than nutrition or the related sciences (following their successful performance in the science prerequisite courses). Such 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 selected audiences in the community; practicing nutrition counseling skills; medical nutrition therapy cases studies; food education and gardening projects in schools; dietary assessments and analyses, and social media and web-based nutrition activities. Supervised practice in sports nutrition with college athletics programs is included in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology degree.

To generate new knowledge, the faculty are actively engaged in cutting-edge and transformative research, and evaluation, policy, and other scholarly activities. They write articles for peer-reviewed journals, books, and reports. Students, both masters and doctoral, are an integral part of these activities. These include childhood obesity prevention research and programs, impact of nutrition education on breast cancer survivors, impact of changes in school lunches and of transforming school cafeteria design, dietary practices of those with celiac disease, parental feeding practices, the role of exercise in diabetes prevention, 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 that serve the public as well as professional ones such as Greater New York Dietetic Association and New York City Nutrition Education Network, national professional associations, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior, and American Society for Sports medicine, to international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and International Union of Nutrition Scientists.

About - Integrated MS-RDN Track

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.

Objectives:

  • At least 80% of full-time program graduates complete the program/degree requirements within three years (150% of the program length).
  • At least 80% of part-time program graduates complete the program/degree requirements within five years (125% of the program length). 
  • Of graduates who seek employment, 80% are employed in nutrition and dietetics or related fields within 12 months of graduation.
  • At least 80% of program graduates take the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists within 12 months of program completion.
  • The program’s one-year pass rate (graduates who pass the registration exam within one year of the first attempt) on the CDR credentialing exam for dietitian nutritionists is at least 80%.
  • At least 80% of graduates who respond to the exit survey will rate the quality of the Integrated MS-RDN Track as good or excellent.

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.

Objectives:

  • At least 80% of program graduates who respond to the Alumni Satisfaction Survey describe their preparation as good or excellent in each of the following areas: integrating research, theory and practice; enhancing healthful, just, and sustainable food choices and active lives; and working effectively with diverse individuals, groups, and communities.
  • At least 80% of employers who respond to the Employer Satisfaction Survey describe our program graduates' preparation as good or excellent in each of the following areas:  integrating research, theory and practice; enhancing healthful, just, and sustainable food choices and active lives; and working effectively with diverse individuals, groups, and communities.

NOTE: Outcomes data are available for the Integrated MS-RDN Track goals and objectives upon request.

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