MPH: Community Nutrition

Degree Overview

Program Description

The Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in the field of Community Nutrition provides advanced level preparation in community nutrition practice and entry level preparation in general dietetics.  The entry level component has been accredited by the Dietitians of Canada and graduates of the MPH program are eligible for membership in Dietitians of Canada and other provincial regulatory bodies such as the College of Dietitians of Ontario.  This MPH program emphasizes principles of adult education: self-assessment, self-directed learning, critical reflection, as well as the importance of continuous learning and interdisciplinary practice.  It is administered jointly by the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Department of Nutritional Sciences.

The MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option is available to experienced practicing dietitians who wish to enhance their understanding of public health theory and approaches.

Program Goal

The MPH Program in the field of Community Nutrition prepares students to be critically reflective practitioners with the knowledge and skills to work in a variety of community health roles throughout their careers.

Program Objectives

Graduates will:

  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills to analyze information and solve problems creatively;
  • Review and discuss the ethical challenges in Community Nutrition in order to respond appropriately in practice;
  • Achieve core competency of an entry level dietetic practitioner as outlined by the College of Dietitians  of Ontario and the Partnership for Professional Dietetic Education and Practice;
  • Understand the scope of and conceptual basis underlying advanced community nutrition practice;
  • Develop their capacities, knowledge and skills to work as partners in interdisciplinary community health teams in a variety of work settings;
  • Develop expertise according to their own unique interests and needs; and
  • Develop the capacity to assess and find ways to satisfy life-long learning needs

Career Opportunities

Graduates are employed as nutritionists and consultants in public health departments, and local, provincial and federal levels of government. They are also employed by community health centres, not-for-profit organizations and the food industry.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have completed a four-year degree with specialization in Nutritional Sciences from a Canadian Food/Nutrition program that is accredited by the Dietitians of Canada, or equivalent. For individuals who completed their undergraduate dietetics education outside of Canada, these courses should be assessed by Dietitians of Canada. A copy of the assessment must be included with your online application to the program. Please visit Dietitians of Canada to download this form and obtain assessment information.

Applicants seeking membership in the Dietitians of Canada and provincial regulatory bodies must complete all undergraduate courses required for membership prior to admission to the MPH Community Nutrition Program.

We advise all prospective students to review the general admission requirements prior to submitting an application.  From this link, information about how to submit an application, timelines and specific information for international applicants can be obtained. 

Applicants to the MPH Community Nutrition field are required to have successfully completed the equivalent of one half credit undergraduate statistics course.  Graduates of undergraduate degree programs that are accredited by Dietitians of Canada meet this requirement through the research methods and statistical analysis component of those dietetic education programs. 

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete 10.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) within the maximum time limit of 3 years as a full-time student or 6 years as a part-time student. Please note that most full-time students complete their degree within 2 years. The table below shows the distribution of required and elective courses, together with practica, which are taken throughout the program.

Year 1, Fall Term (September – December)


CHL5004H: Introduction to Public Health Sciences1


CHL5300H: Public Health Policy


CHL5221H: Community Health Appraisal Methods II


NFS1484H: Advanced Nutrition2 / or Elective4


NFS1208H: Field Observation and Program Laboratory I3




Year 1, Winter Term (January – April)


CHL5220H: Community Health Appraisal Methods I


NFS1209H: Field Observation and Program Laboratory II3


NFS1211H: Community Nutrition


NFS1225H: Nutrition Metabolism for Public Health Nutrition2 (on-line) /

 or Elective4




Year 1, Summer Term (May – August)


CHL6010Y: Required MPH Practicum - Community Setting (duration 8 weeks)


CHL6011H: Required MPH Practicum extension - Community Setting (duration 4 weeks)


CHL6011H: Practicum l - Clinical Setting3 (6 weeks)




Year 2, Fall Term (September - December)


NFS1210H: Selected Topics Management/Community Food Systems3


NFS1221H: Nutrition Programs and Strategies


NFS1201H: Public Health Nutrition




Year 2, Winter Term (January – April)


CHL6020Y: Optional MPH Practicum (8 weeks)


CHL6021H: Optional MPH Practicum short extension (4 weeks)


                                                                    Total (Full) Credits Required



  1. CHL5004H begins earlier in September than regularly scheduled graduate courses.
  2. Students will choose between NFS1484H Advanced Nutrition and NFS1225H Nutrition Metabolism for Public Health Nutrition (on-line).
  3. Students who have completed dietetic internships are exempt from: NFS1208H, 1209H, 1210H and clinical practicum (CHL 6011H). Electives will be taken in their place. 
  4. Students often take courses in other Public Health fields as well as other University of Toronto departments with the Program Director's approval.

Electives Courses

The following is a list of elective courses that previous students have taken. Students should see this as an opportunity to tailor their academic work to suit their professional needs and career interests.

CHL5109H: Gender and Health


CHL5110H: Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation


CHL5411H: International Health


CHL5801H: Health Promotion


JXP5807H: Health Communication


NFS1220H: Clinical Nutrition


EDT1101H: Program Planning in Adult Education


EDT1105H: Community Education and Development


EDT1110H: Basic Process in Facilitating Adult Learning


HAD5712H: Canadian Politics and Health Policy




Students who wish to qualify for registration with a provincial dietetics regulatory body must complete three practica: two-12 week practica (3.0 FCE) in a community setting and one 6 week practicum (0.5 FCE) in a clinical setting. Practica are completed during the summer following year one and the winter of year two.

Students who are Registered Dietitians are required to complete one 8 week practicum (1.0 FCE).

Faculty collaborate with students to identify specific learning needs, review options for practicum settings and aid students in finding appropriate field advisors. Some examples of practica sites include public health departments, community health centres, not-for-profit agencies, the food industry, government, commodity agencies, hospital outpatient settings and other ambulatory care agencies.

Other Educational Opportunities
Global Health Emphasis
Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy
Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology

Preparation for Doctoral Studies

The MPH program in Community Nutrition and its Advanced Standing Option does not require students to complete a thesis.  However, students have the opportunity to complete research practica and research papers, and are eligible for most PhD programs. Applicants wishing to pursue doctoral studies should familiarize themselves with the specific admission requirements of doctoral programs of interest.

Dietitians of Canada
The College of Dietitians of Ontario
The Department of Nutritional Science