MPH: Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing

Degree Overview

Program Description

Demand for highly skilled nutritionists in communities across Canada to address complex public health issues such as obesity, chronic disease prevention and food security, requires the development of new interdisciplinary graduate education models.  To meet this demand, the MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option is designed to provide dietitians from across Canada and abroad with enhanced access to professionally relevant learning experiences. 

The program requires students to be on campus for only one semester (approximately 14 weeks), followed by participation in an innovative Summer Institute (see below), a worksite practicum and web-based course work. The combination of personal networking, distance education, interdisciplinary collaboration, enhances learning experiences, enables students to maintain employment while pursuing graduate studies, and builds much needed nutrition expertise in communities across Canada and internationally.

Please note that the MScCH program in Public Health Nutrition no longer exists. Applicants interested in this program should apply to the MPH Community Nutrition – Advanced Standing.

Program Goals

The MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option provides graduate education to practicing registered dietitians who wish to enhance their understanding of public health theory and approaches. Completion of this MPH program enables students to meet the academic requirements for practice as Public Health Nutritionists in Ontario.  Applicants interested in this option should indicate this in their letter of intent in their online application.

Program Objectives

Through the MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option, graduates will

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to public health nutrition practice and research
  2. Apply principles of population health and broad determinants of health to public health nutrition practice.
  3. Apply critical thinking and analytical approaches in addressing public health nutrition issues.
  4. Establish professional relationships with peers, faculty and public health leaders

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, voluntary organizations and the food industry.

Admission Requirements

  • Minimum 5 years relevant professional work experience
  • Membership in a regulatory body of dietetics

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.  

Program Requirements

Students registered in this program are required to complete 5.0 Full Course Equivalents (FCE) within the maximum time frame of 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time.  Please note that most full-time students complete their degree in 1 year, while part-time students usually need 2 to 3 years. The table below shows is a guideline of what and when courses and/or practicum are taken, including the Summer Institute.

Year 1, Fall Term (September – December)  - ON CAMPUS

 

CHL5004H: Introduction to Public Health Sciences1

0.5

CHL5300H: Public Health Policy

0.5

CHL5221H: Community Health Appraisal Methods II

0.5

NFS1201H: Public Health Nutrition

0.5

Elective2

0.5

 

 

Year 1, Winter Term (January – April)

 

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

0.5

CHL 6011H: Required MPH Practicum - worksite / or Elective2

0.5

 

 

Year 1, Summer Term (May – August)

 

NFS1211H: Summer Institute (Community Nutrition)

0.5

NFS1221H: Nutrition Programs and Strategies (on-line)

0.5

CHL 6011H: Required MPH Practicum - worksite / or Elective2

0.5

                                                                Total (Full) Credits Required

5.0

1CHL5004H begins earlier in September than regularly scheduled graduate courses and continues into the Winter session with 2 final days in February.

2Students wishing to meet Ontario requirements to practice as a Public Health Nutritionist must take a second Methods course instead of an elective.

Summer Institute: Community Nutrition (NFS1211H)
This two week intensive course begins with skill development modules on adult education, program planning and evaluation and communication and concludes with student lead discussions on current “hot topics” in community nutrition practice. The Summer Institute provides degree students and nutrition professionals and other related disciplines with opportunities to learn from public health experts and local leaders through continuing education activities. Summer Institute topics will be selected each academic year to reflect current trends and/or controversial issues in public health and community nutrition practice.

Integration with professional work
The MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option is designed to allow students to incorporate their professional work experience into learning activities so that both students and public health organizations benefit from the program. Students are encouraged to discuss the program with their employers in order to identify mutually beneficial project topics and practicum opportunities and to seek employer support during the course of their studies.

A Note about the Practicum

The MPH Community Nutrition - Advanced Standing option practicum is intended to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their knowledge of specific aspects of public health, develop new skills, and apply knowledge and skills acquired through the program course work. Students will complete 160 hours of specific project work at their places of employment or in other appropriate settings, by pursuing initiatives that challenge them to develop new expertise and insight.  If the scope of the project is beyond 160 hours, students may complete an optional practicum for an additional 0.5 FCE.

Students will work closely with the program director to identify a suitable project.  Examples of appropriate projects include conducting a community assessment, evaluating a program or intervention, developing a new program or strategy, comparing two or more approaches to addressing a nutrition-related issue.  If necessary, another faculty member or field mentor with subject expertise will be assigned as a student advisor for the duration of the project.  Students are encouraged to discuss potential practicum projects with their employers in order to identify initiatives that will support the strategic directions and objectives of that organization. Students are required to provide the program director with a letter of support for the practicum project from the host organization.

If you have any questions or would like further information about this program, please contact Melanie Morris by email (melanie.morris@utoronto.ca) or by telephone (416-978-2345).

Other Educational Opportunities

· Global Health Focus

· Strategic Training Program in Public Health Policy

· Strategic Training for Advanced Genetic Epidemiology

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