UWM student in garden on UWM campus.

Are you passionate about nutrition and dietetics? Do you want to improve the health of individuals and communities? Turn your passion into your purpose with a Master’s in Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Our program prepares you to be a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) – with a deep understanding of public health nutrition, clinical nutrition and food systems management.

And you won’t have to wait until graduation to make an impact. Our program includes hands-on, experience-based training in Milwaukee’s diverse and vibrant communities.

We are now offering Fall and Spring admission for this program.

Scholarships are available for new and continuing students!

Program Type


Program Format

On Campus

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Nutrition and Public Health

Gianni Vaccaro found that the students she worked with at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee got really excited about salad. The youngsters often ate three meals a day at the club. Vaccaro said, “The 5-year-olds would get super stoked about vegetables.”

That experience led Vaccaro to get interested in Milwaukee’s food apartheid – areas of the city where fresh fruit and vegetables and other nutritious foods are harder to come by. She decided to do something about it, and started the non-profit Sauce Milwaukee.

Gianni Vaccaro riding her bike.
“It was eye opening to me that people very close to me didn’t eat at home while fresh food went into the garbage…I’m super passionate about health. I wanted to find a way to make plant-based foods more accessible,” Vaccaro said.

The MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program includes coursework and supervised experiential learning experiences that satisfy the ACEND’s® Future Education Model Accreditation Standards for Graduate Programs.

Our program prepares students for eligibility to take the credentialing examination to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Learn more about that process here.

This program also satisfies competencies for the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). 

Your pathway to a career in dietetics

Are you interested in a career in dietetics but not quite ready to apply for the Master’s of Public Health in Nutrition and Dietetics? Here is information on how you can prepare yourself to successfully apply and enroll.

Information for high school students and current UWM undergraduate students

You have some great options to help you prepare to apply to the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program after you complete your undergraduate degree. 

  • Option 1: You can major in Nutritional Sciences and customize your plan of study to include the suggested Pre-dietetics classes. Pre-dietetics is like “Pre-med” – a set of courses that are common prerequisites for graduate programs in dietetics. Most Pre-dietetics courses are already “baked in” to the Nutritional Sciences major.  
  • Option 2: You can major in any field of study at UWM while also completing Pre-dietetics pre-professional coursework. Great options include Public Health, Kinesiology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Health Care Informatics, Communication, Psychology, Sociology, Marketing, Urban Studies, Business, and more! 

Advisors in the Zilber College of Public Health can help you get started! 

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree who need to take more prerequisite coursework to be eligible to apply.

If you have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are interested in taking courses at UWM to satisfy MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics admission prerequisites, you can apply for admission to UWM as a non-degree/guest student. Information about financial aid options can be found at One Stop Student Financial Services. You can also complete prerequisite courses at other 4-year institutions including 2-year community colleges such as Milwaukee Area Technical College.  

Contact the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics Program Director for more details.  


MPH Nutrition and Dietetics (64 credits)

All students enrolled in the MPH program take a common set of core classes designed to give basic skills and knowledge of public health concepts. The core curriculum consists of at least 24-25 credit hours, including four credits for the Field Experience (3 credits) and Leadership in Public Health (1 credit) courses and a two-credit capstone seminar. In addition to the common core, students complete the required coursework in one of six specialization tracks (total program credits in parentheses): Biostatistics (46 credits), Community and Behavioral Health Promotion (48-49 credits), Environmental Health Sciences (45 credits), Epidemiology (49 credits), Public Health Policy (48 credits), or Nutrition and Dietetics (64 credits). Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in order to progress through the program.

Program Overview

The MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics concentration is designed as a 64-credit, 2-year, full-time program (including two 12-week summer sessions) that follows the UWM academic year calendar. Any potential applicants interested in an extended program option (3 years with three 12-week summer sessions) should contact the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics Program Director for more information.  

Program orientation 

Attendance at an in-person orientation is mandatory for all newly enrolled MPH students prior to the start of the fall semester. MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program students will have additional orientation expectations. A detailed orientation schedule will be provided to enrolled students.  

Plan of Study

Year 1

PH 702Introduction to Biostatistics3
PH 705Principles of Public Health Policy and Administration3
PH 706Perspectives on Community and Behavioral Health3
NUTR 574GObesity and Weight Management3
PH 703Environmental Health Sciences3
PH 704Principles and Methods of Epidemiology3
NUTR 555GPublic Health Nutrition and Food Politics3
NUTR 701Nutrition Counseling3
NUTR 430GAdvanced Nutrition and Metabolism3
NUTR 702Advanced Nutrition Education3
NUTR 703Culinary Medicine for Nutrition & Dietetic Professionals3

Year 2

PH 708Health Systems and Population Health3
PH 733Overview of Qualitative Methods for Public Health1
PH 790Field Experience in Public Health3
PH 791Leadership in Public Health1
NUTR 721Medical Nutrition Therapy I4
PH 800Capstone in Public Health2
NUTR 704Current & Emergent Issues in Nutrition and Dietetics1
NUTR 722Medical Nutrition Therapy II4
NUTR 795Food Systems Management & Field Experience5
NUTR 796Medical Nutrition Therapy Field Experience5
NUTR 800Professional Preparation in Nutrition & Dietetics2
Total Credits64

Please refer to the UWM Academic Catalog for specific course titles, descriptions, and prerequisites for the courses required for the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program.

Supervised experiential learning

The MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program includes over 1,200 hours of supervised experiential learning (SEL). Over 50% of the SEL hours occur at approved placement sites in the Milwaukee area under the supervision of a preceptor; additional hours are accrued through alternate experiences (e.g., course projects, simulations). The majority of the SEL hours in a professional work setting are embedded into three required courses: PH 790 Field Experience in Public Health (240 SEL hours), NUTR 796 Food Systems Management and Field Experience (160 SEL hours), and NUTR 796 Medical Nutrition Therapy Field Experience (384 SEL hours).  

Students will have limited time and opportunity to work while enrolled in the Field Experience courses and should plan accordingly. 

MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics faculty and staff facilitate the placement of students with a preceptor(s) at approved supervised experiential learning sites. Although suggestions are welcomed, students will not be required to identify their own preceptors and/or supervised experiential learning sites. 

To be considered for admission, applicants must complete the required online application via the School of Public Health Application System (SOPHAS; not the UWM Panthera application). Applicants must meet the criteria for admission for all MPH students. The application opens via SOPHAS in August 16, 2023.

Fall 2024 Admission

  • Priority application deadline for Fall 2024 admission is December 1, 2023. Applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis beyond the priority deadline.
  • Final Application Deadline: June 1, 2024 (March 15th for International Students)
  • Applicants for Fall 2024 will be required to submit unofficial transcripts with any fall 2024 course grades (if applicable) to be sent directly to a ZCPH representative when they become available. This will allow the Admissions Committee to better evaluate each applicant’s eligibility for admission to the program.

Additional admission requirements for the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics concentration  

  1. Verification statement from a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) or completion of specific prerequisite coursework with no grade lower than C (UWM course equivalent):
    • Introduction to nutrition (BMS 232 OR NUTR 235)  
    • Introduction to food/food science with lab (NUTR 110)  
    • Life cycle nutrition (NUTR 245)  
    • General biology (lab recommended; BIO SCI 150)  
    • Microbiology (lab recommended; BIO SCI 101)  *
    • Anatomy & physiology (2 semesters with lab; BIO SCI 202 & BIO SCI 203)  
    • Chemistry sequence (minimum of 2 semesters) covering general chemistry with lab, organic chemistry (lab recommended), and biochemistry (preferred sequence: CHEM 102, CHEM 104, CHEM 341, & CHEM 501; OR CHEM 101 & CHEM 103)  
    • Introduction to psychology or sociology (PSYCH 101 OR SOCIOL 101)  *
    • Public speaking (COMMUN 103)  *
    • College algebra (MATH 105 OR MATH 108)  
    • Statistics (MTHSTAT 215 OR KIN 270)  
    • Medical terminology (HS 222)  *
    • Study of diverse populations/cultural diversity (many options available)  
    • Prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the past 10 years.  
    • If you do not meet all the prerequisite course requirements, you may still be eligible for admission. Review important information about prerequisite-related application requirements.

      *Applicants may request to complete up to two of these courses within the first academic year of the program. 

      Prerequisite coursework must have been completed within the past 10 years.  

      Not all prereqs need to be completed at the time of application. For further guidance on prerequisite completion, please request a transcript evaluation from the program director at lklos@uwm.edu.
  2. CV/resume (with concentration-specific expectations)  
    • Applicants should include sections for education, all work experience, internships, community service, leadership experience, research experience, and/or any other relevant experience(s) that would help the admissions committee evaluate the applicant. 
  3. Letters of recommendation (with concentration-specific expectations)  
    • Nutrition and Dietetics concentration applicants will be required to submit three letters of recommendation (with at least one from an academic source and one from a non-academic source) who can speak to your potential to contribute to the field of public health, nutrition, and dietetics.  
  4. Concentration-specific essay questions  
    • In addition to the essay questions required for all MPH applicants, applicants to the Nutrition and Dietetics concentration must also respond to the following (500 words or less): “Based on your personal background and life experiences, discuss how you can make a unique contribution to the field of public health, nutrition, and dietetics.”  
  5. Interview requirement  
    • Eligible applicants will be required to participate in an interview (approximately 20-30 minutes; virtual or in-person) with a member of the admissions committee. Some questions will be provided in advance. 

Standardized tests are not required.  

Students do not need to wait to be officially admitted to the program to apply for FAFSA. More information about financing your UWM education can be found at UWM’s One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services. Read more information about expected program costs and financial aid

Number of spots available per cohort  

The UWM MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program is permitted by ACEND® to enroll up to 20 students per cohort.   

Several cohort slots will be reserved for graduates of UWM’s Pre-dietetics and/or BS Nutritional Sciences program, and graduates of nutrition and dietetics post-secondary education programs in Milwaukee County (i.e., Mount Mary University, Milwaukee Area Technical College).  

The admissions committee will determine the number of reserved cohort slots for graduates of nutrition and dietetics post-secondary education programs in Milwaukee County (reserved cohort one: UWM graduates; reserved cohort two: Mount Mary University, Milwaukee Area Technical College graduates). Should an MATC graduate go on to matriculate from UWM’s BS Nutritional Sciences or Pre-dietetics with a different bachelor’s degree, they will be considered part of reserved cohort one. Qualified applicants who graduated from one of these institutions will be evaluated only against others from the same specified population pool. Should all reserved cohort slots be assigned/filled, any remaining qualified applicants will be considered as part of the general pool and evaluated accordingly.  

Credit for prior learning experiences 

Policies and procedures pertaining to “credit for non-course-based prior work” and on “credit transfer (completed coursework)” can be found in the Zilber Graduate Student Handbook.   

Completed coursework most likely to be eligible for credit transfer into the MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program are the MPH Common Core courses (exclusions: PH 790 Field Experience in Public Health, PH 791 Leadership in Public Health, and PH 800 Capstone in Public Health).   

Supervised practice experiences and/or experiential learning completed prior to the start of the program will not be considered towards meeting MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program requirements. All required SEL hours must be completed as part of the program. 

Background Check and Substance Screening

Students in the MPH – Nutrition and Dietetics program are required to participate in background checks and substance screenings prior to clinical placements. You can learn more about that process here.

If you are interested in a program that will prepare you to become a registered dietitian nutritionist, you have come to the right place. Learn about state licensure and the process of becoming a registered dietitian.

Career outlook

The job outlook is bright for future registered dietitian nutritionists! According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase 7% between 2021 and 2031.

This growth is fueled by an increasing recognition of the critical role that diet and nutrition-related factors play in the prevention and treatment of disease, and in optimizing health, well-being, and performance. Nutrition and dietetic professionals also examine how individuals and populations can navigate a complex food culture, accommodate diverse dietary needs and rich food traditions, and work to reduce health disparities and advance health equity.  

Nutrition and dietetics professionals often find employment in hospitals, government and non-profit agencies, schools, worksite wellness programs, and many other settings. 

Portrait of Lori Klos
  • Associate Professor, Nutritional Sciences Undergraduate Program Director, MPH-Nutrition & Dietetics Program Director
Portrait of Susan Kundrat
  • Clinical Professor Emeritus, Nutritional Sciences
Portrait of Lora Taylor De Oliveira
  • Clinical Associate Professor
Important Dates
2023-2024 Application Deadlines 

MPH Spring (NUTR, PHPA, CBHP, EHS):  October 1

MPH Fall priority deadline: December 1

MPH international deadline: March 15

MPH domestic deadline:  June 1
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s MPH-Nutrition and Dietetics program has been granted candidate status by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  

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More information about accreditation.