UMassOnline Launches Nation's First Fully Online Master of Public Health in Nutrition

UMassOnline Launches Nation's First Fully Online Master of Public Health in Nutrition

New Degree Fosters Global Collaboration in Vital Public Health Issues

SHREWSBURY, MA - Nov. 1, 2007 -Building on its reputation of breaking new ground in distance education, UMassOnline today announces the launch of the nation's first fully online Master of Public Health in Nutrition degree program. The MPH program, offered through the Amherst campus, marks another significant milestone by offering programs that are in demand and meet the needs of adult learners. Applications for the inaugural class, slated for fall 2008, are currently being accepted.

"The Amherst campus has done outstanding work in pioneering such a vitally important program to the online learning audience," said David Gray, CEO, UMassOnline. "Offering the MPH in Nutrition program online will enable adult learners around the globe to collaborate and effect positive change in public health."

The online MPH in Nutrition program prepares students to tackle today's intensifying societal problems of obesity, malnutrition, and food insecurity. The program is in response to widespread demand for professionals trained in an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses both nutrition science and public health perspectives, according to Dr. Nancy Cohen, interim dean of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences.

The program's online format, which has no residency requirement, enables professionals from anywhere in the world to collaborate in virtual classrooms and earn their fully accredited master's degree from UMass Amherst, without interrupting their careers.

"To train people worldwide in public health and nutrition, to interact with colleagues doing fascinating work around the globe, is extremely exciting," says Cohen. "I foresee some very important discussions and projects emerging from this program."

The online MPH in Nutrition is a natural outgrowth of the school's existing on-campus MPH in Nutrition and online MPH in Public Health Practice.  The new program consists of roughly half public health courses and half nutrition courses.

"The MPH component offers students program planning skills and teaches them to assess communities' most pressing needs," says Cohen. "They'll learn to apply public health skills to nutritional issues and to use their scientific knowledge and background to inform public health issues."

The program targets working professionals, including those with doctoral and MD degrees, registered dietitians, health educators, WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) nutrition educators, and others who wish to increase their impact on societal health issues. Candidates studying part time can expect to earn their master's degree in three years.

Cohen expects that students who haven't yet tried online learning will be pleasantly surprised at its effectiveness. "Both UMass Amherst and the Department of Nutrition have a long history of online teaching, and our courses are highly interactive. You really feel you're part of a group." 

For more information or to apply to the Online MPH in Nutrition, please click here.

Date: 11/01/07

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