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School of Adult and Graduate Education
Blaney Hall 105

Master in Nutrition
Martine Scannavino, DHSc, RDN, LDN, FAND
Chair, Department of Nutrition
The Allen Chair of Nutrition
Director, Master in Nutrition
610-437-4471 ext. 3486

Course Descriptions

Core Courses (15 credits)

Health Program Planning and Management (3 credits)

Investigation into the key concepts of health program development and evaluation. Students will be given an opportunity to apply models for developing theory-based health programs and plan a program evaluation. Models and principles of program planning and evaluation are presented and contrasted. Data gathering techniques, design considerations, and implementation strategies are covered. Other topics include systems theory applications, strategic planning methods, proposal development, and report writing.

Culture and Ethics in Healthcare (3 credits)

Consideration of the practice of health promotion, disease prevention, and health research and the ways in which cultural and social factors influence health behaviors and interventions and associated ethical decision-making practices.   Gender and culture issues affecting health, with emphasis on health disparities and how gender and cultural indicators affect behavioral risk. The relationship between health and other factors such as religion, social class/socioeconomic status, acculturation, migration, and globalization is also studied.

Evidence Analysis  (3 credits)

Application of the appraisal and synthesis of research results and evidence-based methods. Identification and use of appropriate inquiry methodologies; ethical implications of research and translational scholarship. Involving complex and conscientious decision-making based not only on the available evidence but also on client characteristics, situations, and preference (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

Health Stats/Epidemiology (3 credits)

Introduction to epidemiologic theory, principles, methods and measures commonly used in public health. Students will be introduced to the theoretical basis for and practical application of common statistical methods and principles used in public health.

Health Policy and Advocacy (3 credits)

Exploration of the roles health advocates assume and how individuals working in public health settings might participate in advocacy strategies to affect policy. The course centers on frameworks for conceptualizing and promoting the right to health and strategies to empower consumers and other health professionals to be engaged in the decision-making process, defining issues, and having a say in the development of health policies.  

Required Nutrition Courses (9 credits)

Lifecycle Nutrition (3 Credits)

Investigation of the unique aspects that affect the health and nutritional status of infants, young children adolescents, adults and the elderly and the complexity of caring for the changing nutritional needs.  This course will empower dietitians to acquire new skills related to health, well-being, and nutritional care of  populations. Government and community resources available will be discussed along with appropriate interventions

Nutrition and Non-communicable Diseases (NCD) a Global Perspective (3 credits)

Investigation of the link between food, Nutrition, diet and non-communicable diseases. Students will identify why NCDs need to be considered when addressing major nutritional challenges and develop skills to address NCD such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity in healthcare and community settings.

Nutrition Education: Facilitating Behavior Change Through Learning Across the Lifespan (3 credits)

Exploration of the current status of health education, specifically in the United States, and identify the factors that influence health status. Students learn to perform a needs assessment, and design and implement educational strategies that meet the learning needs of individuals across the lifespan.

Electives (6 credits)

Advanced Concepts in the Treatment of Disordered Eating (3 credits)

Study of advanced concepts into the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of disordered eating, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating disorder and special populations.  Focus will be centered upon the theory, diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and method of evaluation for each treatment modality presented. Treatment is considered from a team-based approach to include psychological, cognitive, and physiological processes.

Applied Sports Nutrition (3 Credits)

This course will provide guidance for optimal nutrition for training and sports performance. Course topics include energy balance, macro- and micro-nutrient needs, hydration, timing and composition of pre- and post-activity meals, body composition, and ergogenic aids. Learning will address macronutrient and micronutrient needs in general and cover unique needs in various sports.

Advanced Topics in Nutrition (3 credits)

Student centered, faculty led experience provides the student the opportunity to engage in a detailed study of a specific nutrition topic, concept or problem of their choice. Topics are chosen by the student and require permission of the instructor and program director.

Grantsmanship (3 credits)

Practical application for identifying funding sources, and developing a proposal covering program need, program objectives, a management and quality assurance plan, preliminary work, evaluation, budget, and a plan for funding support..

Practicum (6 credits)

Practicum I (3 credits)*

Nutrition fieldwork in hospitals, schools, laboratories, and community-based organizations designed to provide opportunities to apply knowledge and skills gained from the classroom education to professional practice. This first part of the two- part Practicum series allows students to plan programing and interventions that will be carried out and measured in Practicum II. This experience requires students to provide an ongoing formative evaluation of their Program though its developmental stages.

Practicum II (3 credits)*

Nutrition fieldwork in hospitals, schools, laboratories, and community-based organizations designed to provide opportunities to apply knowledge and skills gained from the classroom education to professional practice.  This capstone Practicum experience requires students to implement a program developed in Practicum I. The experience will culminate with a comprehensive summative evaluation of the program design and comprehensive plan for initial implementation.


Thesis I (3 Credits)*

Thesis I will initiate the development of a research proposal that will have direct relevance and application to the Health and Nutrition of the target population. At the completion of Thesis I, students will be a comprehensive research proposal, inclusive of summative literature review analysis and methodological plan for the study’s implementation among the population of interest. This proposal will then be submitted to the institutional review board (IRB) as needed and upon approval, implemented in Thesis II

Thesis II (3 Credits)*

Thesis II continues the developmental process of the Thesis I research project. Thesis II requires students to implement the research project identified and supported through Thesis I.  At the completion of Thesis II there will be a comprehensive summative analysis and evaluation of the data, and a discussion of the application of the study’s findings to the population of interest.

Culminating Project: Maintenance of Candidacy (1 Credit)

The Continuation of the culminating Practicum or Thesis until completion of manuscript.