The Institute Of Human Nutrition

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MS Courses



Courses of Instruction

The academic year is divided into two terms of approximately fifteen weeks each. Each Master's and Ph.D. candidate is assigned an individual faculty adviser in order to provide maximum assistance in course selection, thesis topic determination and supervision, and career guidance. Before the beginning of each term, the student arranges a schedule in consultation with the adviser. In addition, each M.S. candidate is required to spend twelve weeks during the summer on a project approved by the director of the M.S. program; any alternate plan must be completed within one year.

In addition to the core courses, candidates may select graduate courses at the Institute as well as appropriate graduate-level courses from other departments at Columbia Univeristy. The University reserves the right to withdraw or modify the courses of instruction or to change the instructors as necessary. Not all courses or seminars are given every year. To ascertain which courses are being given, consult the Office of Student Affairs of the Institute.



  •   MS Thesis
  • Obesity: Etiology, Prevention and Treatment


Human Nutrition M6220   Topics in Public Health Nutrition (3 credits)

This course focuses on foods, including their particular nutrients, how to maintain food safety, and how the body responds to specific food components.  It also covers nutrition policies, dietary intake guidelines, and nutrition myths and how they develop.

Human Nutrition M6240   Essentials of Nutrition Counseling and Medical Nutrition Therapy (3 credits)

This course is designed to increase empathy and enhance knowledge of nutrition practices that are important for professionals who work in clinical and public health settings.   It covers the basic tenets of health literacy, psychodynamics, and cognitive behavioral and motivational interviewing, and the application of these to nutrition-related conditions. The evidence base for therapeutic recommendations and the psycho-social implications for the person and family subject to those recommendations are considered together so that students can develop an integrated approach to development of a dietary regimen.

Human Nutrition M6120    Introduction To Epidemiology For Nutritionists (3 credits)
Epidemiology is used to study the distribution and determinants of disease in human populations. Many of these determinants are nutritional. This course will introduce the students to the theory, methodology and terminology used in epidemiology, using examples related to nutrition and disease from the current scientific literature. 

Human Nutrition M8205  Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition,  Part I (Fall semester) (3 credits)

This course covers the aspects of carbohydrate, lipid, protein, and energy metabolism that are relevant to the understanding of human nutrition at a cellular, organ and system level. Emphasis is on understanding the integration of metabolic pathways and the principles of metabolic regulation. This course helps the student understand digestion, absorption, transport and metabolic functions of the macronutrients in human metabolism.

Human Nutrition M8206  Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition Part II (Spring semester) (3 credits)

(Prerequisite M8205 Part I - unless otherwise approved in writing by course director)

This course covers the roles of vitamins (fat and water-soluble) and minerals in human nutrition. The emphasis is on the understanding of vitamins and minerals in relation to human health. The course will help the student understand the sources, biochemistry and functions of vitamins and minerals, and the nutritional standards and guidelines for vitamin and mineral intake.

Human Nutrition M8200   Growth and Development (3 credits)
This course focuses on how nutrition affects (and is affected by) growth and development throughout the lifecycle, from conception to the elderly.  Attention is given to the special nutrient and metabolic needs of each developmental stage, as well as to the cognitive, psychosocial, and environmental factors that influence nutrient intake.

Human Nutrition M8207   Clinical Nutrition (3 credits)

This course covers the physiological aspects of clinical disorders, including symptoms, risk factors, biological pathology, and clinical management, as well as the role of nutrition in their prevention and treatment.

Human Nutrition M8210   Molecular Nutrition (3 credits)
This course deals with the molecular principles that underlie the regulation of gene expression in response to the nutritional status of the organism.

Human Nutrition M8201   Readings in Human Nutrition (Fall semester) (3 credits)

This course focuses on examining the current literature with an emphasis on topics not covered in other courses. The purpose is to develop in the student a critical approach to scientific information, using student presentations and discussion.

Human Nutrition M8201   Readings in Human Nutrition: Obesity (Spring semester) (3 credits)

This course examines current knowledge and controversies related to the regulation of body weight and  energy balance. It deals with the interactions between genes and the environment, psychosocial aspects of obesity, and the clinical implications of our current knowledge.

Human Nutrition M8220    U.S. and International Nutrition Policy and Programs (3 credits)
This course provides an introduction to nutrition-related public health programs and policies in the U.S. and internationally. The effects of food, nutrition and nutritional diseases on the health of various societies, and programs and policies that have been developed to improve global public health, will be discussed.

Human Nutrition M9000   Introduction to Biostatistics (1 credit)

This course aims to develop in the student an understanding of  the role of biostatistics the scientific literature and in research, and to develop the ability to perform simple statistical calculations using the program SAS.

Human Nutrition M9210   Special Studies (2 credits)

This course is designed to assist students in the development of the personal skills needed to become a professional nutrition scientist. It provides students with information needed to successfully select a research setting and Master’s Thesis project.  Students are assisted in evaluating different research opportunities to optimize the fit of the student to the Thesis project and mentor.  There is also a strong emphasis on enhancing the student’s professional development and  scientific presentation skills, both written and oral.

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Contact Us

630 West 168th Street
Presbyterian Hospital,
Suite 1512
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212 305-4808
Fax: 212 305-3079


Ph.D. Training Faculty

M.S. Faculty Research