Department of Nutrition

College of Health Sciences

222 Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2125
Department of Nutrition
Dr. Harris, Chairperson
Dr. Gilboy, Graduate Coordinator


Program of Study

The M.S. in Community Nutrition is a research-focused program for those seeking an advanced degree in community nutrition. The M.S. promotes nutritional health and disease prevention in communities with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. The curriculum (33 credits) is offered in an online format and includes courses representing nutrition science, applied nutrition, and research techniques. The program culminates with a capstone paper.

Communication with the Department

All inquiries and other communications regarding the M.S. in Community Nutrition should be addressed to the graduate coordinator, Dr. Mary Beth Gilboy. Students also may call for information at 610-738-2125, fax at 610-436-2860, or e-mail

Master's Program in Community Nutrition

Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Admission Requirements

 All applicants for the M.S. Degree in Community Nutrition must meet the following general requirements for admission:

1.  Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

2.  Minimum academic prerequisites for admission for those without an undergraduate nutrition degree include undergraduate introduction to nutrition, anatomy & physiology I and II, organic chemistry and biochemistry.  Applicants must also have an undergraduate statistics course.

3.  An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater is recommended for admission.

Application Requirements

West Chester University has an online application process. The M.S. in Community Nutrition will accept applications on a rolling basis for fall and spring admissions.  The following materials are required from all applicants for the M.S. in Community Nutrition:

1.  One official copy of your academic records (transcripts) from every college and university attended (except West Chester University).

2.  A written statement of your professional goals should be inserted into the online application.

3.  A copy of your resume.

4.  Two letters of recommendation , one from an academic reference and one from a professional reference are encouraged.

5.  In the online application, you will be asked about your academic and employment history.

All students in graduate programs are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs(s) may be listed below.


Jeffrey E. Harris (1983)

Chairperson, Nutrition

University of California, San Diego; D.H.Sc., M.P.H., Loma Linda University

Janet Lacey (2000)

B.S., Simmons College; M.S., M.Ed., University of Massachusetts; Dr.P.H., University of North Carolina

Associate Professors

Mary Beth Gilboy (2007)

B.S., Marywood University; M.P.H., University of North Carolina; Ph.D., Temple University

Gina Pazzaglia (2010)

B.S., Pennsylvania State University; M.S., Syracuse University; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Sandra Walz (1997)

B.S., M.S., North Dakota State University; Ph.D., Kansas State University

Assistant Professors

Joanne Christaldi (2013)

B.S., College of Saint Elizabeth; M.S., University of Delaware; Ph.D., University of Georgia

Patricia G. Davidson (2013)

B.S. Southern Illinois University; M.S., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; D.C.N., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Amir Golmohamadi (2016)

BS University of Tehran; MS Isfahan University of Technology; PhD University of Idaho

Kimberly Johnson (2016)

BS Cornell University; MS Syracuse University; PhD Syracuse University

Christine Karpinski (2010)

B.S., West Chester University; M.A., Immaculata University; PhD, Rutgers University

Lynn Monahan-Couch (2000)

B.S., University of California, Berkeley; M.P.H., West Chester University; D.C.N., University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Regina Subach (2016)

BS Immaculata University; MA Immaculata University; EdD Capella University

How to Read Course Descriptions


NTD 501. Nutrition Concepts and Controversies. 3 Credits.

This course examines food and nutrition concepts and controversies. Practical consumer-oriented nutrition principles that complement personal needs, preference, and lifestyles are discussed. Emphasis is placed on methods of evaluating nutrition-related literature and claims, and interpretation of data and scientific studies relevant to nutrition.
Typically offered in Summer.

NTD 502. Vegetarian Nutrition and Cuisine. 3 Credits.

This course is an evidence- based, interactive approach to the health-promoting aspects of vegetarianism and concerns about nutritional adequacy at all stages of the life cycle. Students will critically evaluate a number of vegetarian dietary approaches, with case studies, presentations, and meal plan reviews. Students will participate in plan-based recipe modifications and take part in cooking demonstrations/taste testing.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 502 requires a prerequisite of C or better in an introductory nutrition course.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

NTD 503. Human Nutrition. 3 Credits.

This course is an advanced study of macronutrient and selected micronutrient metabolism in humans and their impact on nutritional well-being. A thorough understanding of the metabolism of key nutrients will allow the student to use current, evidence-based research in critically evaluating nutrition public health messages and recommendations.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

NTD 504. Nutrition Education K-12. 3 Credits.

This 3-credit course provides an understanding of the optimal nutritional needs and nutrition education principles for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Topics include evidence based principles of healthy eating for children and adolescents, examination of food choices and barriers to healthy food, with an emphasis on behaviorally focused nutrition education relating to critical school nutrition issues. Course work completed in school settings requires that students provide documentation of active field clearances. See clearance policies and instructions at
Pre / Co requisites: None.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Summer.

NTD 515. Public Health Nutrition. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a practice based approach to public health nutrition processes through readings, discussions and active participation. Topics include public health nutrition concepts, guidelines and key nutrition issues for particular populations. Students will be introduced to the needs of diverse and vulnerable populations and evidence-based nutrition programs.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

NTD 517. Nutrition Research Techniques. 3 Credits.

The course examines the research process, research designs, and statistical procedures as applied to nutrition. Students will use campus resources for conducting reviews of the scientific literature such as Endnote and Illiad.Statistical software such as SPSS and NVivo will be used to analyze data. Students will apply both parametric and nonparametric statistical tests. They will learn how to conduct a systematic review of scientific literature. An evidence-based approach to community nutrition will be emphasized. This course is a preparatory course for the MSCN Capstone course.
Pre / Co requisites: Open to MSCN students or permission of the Instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.

NTD 520. Perspectives on Obesity. 3 Credits.

This course is a rigorous, evidence-based exploration of the issue of obesity. Through process-oriented assignments and discussions students formulate their own perspectives on origins, prevention, and treatment of obesity.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 520 requires students to be in the MS in Community Nutrition or by approval of the instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Summer.

NTD 522. Nutrition - Health, Fitness and Performance. 3 Credits.

Study of nutrition as it relates to health, fitness and performance. Attention will be given to nutritional guidelines for optional health and physical performance.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 522 requires a prerequisite of C or better in an introductory nutrition course.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

NTD 581. Nutrition Workshop. 3 Credits.

Special workshops on contemporary nutrition, foods and food service related problems and issues. Topics announced at time of offering.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

NTD 600. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to maternal and child nutrition with primarily a domestic focus. Emphasis on understanding the role of research, policies, and programmatic issues on nutritional health for pregnant, lactating, infant children and adolescents. Students will gain an understanding of key issues within the social, educational, political and environmental influences and their impact on nutrition status within vulnerable maternal/child populations.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 600 requires a prerequisite of NTD 503 or permission of instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Spring.

NTD 601. Nutrition & Health in Aging. 3 Credits.

This course examines how good nutrition, physical activity, other lifestyle behaviors including mind/body medicine across the life span may reduce the risk for disease and promote healthy aging. Additional topics explore the barriers to good nutrition in later life and management of chronic conditions in the older years.
Distance education offering may be available.

NTD 610. Nutrition Assessment. 3 Credits.

The course provides students with practice and application of anthropometric, biochemical, and dietary methods for assessing nutritional status with a focus of public health application. Exercises include the measurement of body composition, use of food composition tables and classification of nutritional status.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 610 requires a prerequisite of NTD 503 or permission of instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall.

NTD 612. Nutrition and Human Behavior. 3 Credits.

This course will examine theoretical perspectives on nutrition, food and health-related behavior change. Students will study the key constructs from a variety of nutrition and health behavior theories and frameworks such as the Theory of Planned Behavior, the Health Belief Model, Social Cognitive Theory and the Transtheoretical Model. This course will provide the depth of knowledge for students to critically evaluate nutrition programs using the theories and frameworks. These theories and frameworks will be used to design and deliver community interventions and programs.
Pre / Co requisites: Open to MSCN students or permission of the Instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.

NTD 615. Nutrition and Disease an Evidence Based Approach. 3 Credits.

This course will provide the student with the skills to apply and combine the principles of nutrition, physiology, genetics, pathology, and pharmacology in the development of an evidence based approach to Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) for disease management. The lectures will expand the students understanding of disease risk, prevention, progression, management, epidemiology, and the role of MNT in such diseases, but not limited to, as gastrointestinal, endocrine, cardiovascular, cancer, and urological disorders, with a focus on current concepts and methods in clinical nutrition research.
Pre / Co requisites: Open to MSCN students or permission of the Instructor.
Distance education offering may be available.

NTD 625. Nutrition Policy and Programs. 3 Credits.

Introduction to program and policy approaches for improving nutritional status of populations. Rationale for nutrition policy introduced. Topics include legislative advocacy and analysis of current nutrition programs at local, state and federal levels.
Pre / Co requisites: NTD 625 requires a prerequisite of NTD 515.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Spring.

NTD 630. Capstone Course. 3 Credits.

This culminating capstone course provides MS students with an opportunity to synthesize, integrate, and apply the knowledge they have acquired from core required and elective courses. This involves the development of a relevant research question and thorough review and critical evaluation of the literature. Students will write a peer-reviewed journal formatted paper and conduct a professional presentation.