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Food, Nutrition and Population Health MPH

We are excited to announce the launch of our new ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship (DI) to prepare Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs)!

Visit the BPH Dietetic Internship page for more information.

The UC Berkeley Food, Nutrition and Population Health Program trains future leaders in food and nutrition practice, policy and research to identify emerging nutrition and food-systems challenges and solutions and evaluate their impact. We aim to address historical and current inequities in nutrition and food systems, with an emphasis on systems-level change. Acknowledging the climate crisis, we look for ways to enhance resiliency in food systems and move towards greater food sovereignty.

The program is structured to provide students with the skills needed to: contribute to the scientific understanding of public health nutrition challenges; create healthy and equitable food systems; identify and advocate for effective food and nutrition policies; plan, implement, and evaluate programs; and conduct implementation research to improve nutrition and health for communities and populations. We seek to train people who want to lead at the local, state, national, and global levels in improving food systems, nutrition and health.


We offer a two-year MPH, 11-month MPH, and a 4+1 MPH. The two-year, full-time MPH graduate students are expected to complete at least 48 units of coursework over four academic semesters and one summer. Students must complete both school-wide required courses as well as FNPH required courses. All two-year MPH students complete a public health practice experience for a minimum of 12 weeks over the summer between their first and second years in the program. Internship sites are chosen from a wide range of public health organizations and research institutions and are selected based on the student’s objectives for professional development and the needs of the organization. Many sites are local, but students may also intern in other parts of the country or the world.

The 11-month MPH program with a concentration in Food, Nutrition and Population Health is offered to professional Registered Dietitians (RDs) who have at least 2 years of work experience as an RD. It is also open to qualified health professionals such as physicians and nurses. The 11-month program focuses specifically on developing skills in nutrition epidemiology and research. It is an intensive, full-time course of study running from July to May. The program requires completion of 7 units of coursework in Summer Session, and at least 16–18 units of coursework in the fall and spring semesters. Total unit requirement is 42 units.

A 4+1 MPH program in Food, Nutrition and Population Health is offered to UC Berkeley Public Health Undergraduate Majors & Alumni only. Please see the 4+1 FNPH program page for more information.

Our in-residence programs are full-time programs only. For a part-time program option, please see the 27-month online MPH program’s Food, Nutrition and Population Health Concentration.

Our curriculum offers unique experiences for food, nutrition and population health students:

  • The Graduate Certificate in Food Systems prepares students to think critically about the multi-level, multi-system factors that affect food production, distribution, and consumption locally, nationally, and globally.
  • The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Training Program provides future MCH Nutrition leaders with the skills to identify, monitor, evaluate and implement public health nutrition programs. Although funding through the training program is reserved for students who have, or are eligible for, the Registered Dietitian certification, other experiences and opportunities throughout the year sponsored by the MCH Nutrition Training Program are open to all students.
  • The MPH in FNPH does not prepare students to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN or RD credential). If you are interested in becoming an RD, please see the 21-month Master of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics (MNSD) program offered in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, which provides the required coursework and supervised practice hours for RD credentialing examination eligibility.

New Dietetic Internship Accepting Applications for Fall 2024

Berkeley Public Health is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) to offer a Dietetic Internship (DI) to prepare Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). For more information, visit the BPH DI webpage or email

UC Berkeley has two different dietetics programs. The DI program at Berkeley Public Health has a heavy emphasis in public health nutrition (outpatient dietetics, public policy, research, and food systems) and interns will be concurrently completing an MPH in Food, Nutrition and Population Health at the School of Public Health. The Master of Nutritional Sciences & Dietetics Graduate Program offered in the Nutritional Sciences & Toxicology Department provides candidates professional dietetics training with a focus on clinical nutrition and the underlying biological basis of human health and disease, through advanced dietetic coursework, supervised internship practice, and an immersive research experience. We have plans for ongoing collaboration that will allow both programs to thrive on the UCB campus and in the Bay Area.

Program Page: Berkeley Public Health Dietetic Internship

Partner Organizations

Our partnerships offer our students unique opportunities to enhance their academic coursework by seeking out hands-on learning experiences through jobs and internships, workshops, talks, and events, as well as fellowships and funding.

The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) seeks to empower new leaders with capacities to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems. Our students have held jobs, received fellowships to work with sustainable food systems organizations, attended events and forums, and have helped inform the BFI’s work by participating in the BFI Graduate Council.

The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) brings together a wide range of experts who develop and conduct research on nutrition, food insecurity, physical activity, wellness, and the prevention of obesity, diabetes and other related health problems. NPI holds monthly brown bag seminars and frequently hires our students as research assistants or interns.


Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree, preferably one that includes coursework in food and nutrition sciences, human biology, biochemistry, and/or physiology. These courses are strongly recommended before beginning graduate work in public health nutrition at UC Berkeley.

Coursework in other social sciences, including psychology, behavioral science, or economics strengthen an application. Successful applicants also should have excellent written and oral communication. Candidates should have at least 1 to 2 years of paid or volunteer public health or nutrition-related work experience to strengthen and support their academic experience.

Applicants who have not taken the basic recommended courses are encouraged to take the courses they are missing before applying to the Food, Nutrition and Population Health program, either through UC Extension (see Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Health Professions Program courses) or from another college or university with equivalent offerings.

Characteristics of Strong Applicants:

  • Excellent grades from nationally or internationally recognized undergraduate institutions.
  • Coursework in food and nutrition sciences and the sciences underlying human nutrition (e.g., biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physiology).
  • Communication skills—demonstrated in the Statement of Purpose—that reflect an understanding of what public health is and why you want to specialize in food, nutrition, and population health.
  • Critical thinking ability with an analytical approach to solving current issues in nutrition and public health.
  • Cultural competence and demonstrated knowledge of and interest in other cultures and languages.
  • Relevant work experience in public health nutrition or related fields.
  • Letters of recommendation that attest to the applicant’s qualities in the areas mentioned above.
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to making a contribution to the public’s health as reflected in your Statement of Purpose.
  • GRE scores are optional for the fall 2023 admissions cycle. We recommend submitting a GRE if you have no other evidence of quantitative, verbal, or analytical abilities in your application.
  • Be a professional Registered Dietitian (RD) with at least 2 years of experience as an RD in order to apply for the 11-month MPH.


The MPH in Food, Nutrition and Population Health prepares students for work in state or local government or nonprofit health agencies, or other community, policy development or research organizations that deal with health and nutrition policy and program design, implementation, and evaluation. FNPH graduates have held positions at a variety of organizations, including: California Food Policy Advocates, USDA, Policy Link, Prevention Institute, Nutrition Policy Institute, UCSF, Berkeley Media Studies Group, American Heart Association, University of California Cooperative Extension, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, and Public Health Advocates.


Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree that ideally includes coursework in food and nutrition sciences, human biology, biochemistry, and/or physiology. Coursework in other social sciences, including psychology, behavioral science, or economics can strengthen your application. If you have not completed any of this coursework during your undergraduate degree, we strongly encourage you to take the courses you are missing before applying to the Food, Nutrition and Population Health program for a stronger application.

FNPH Program News and Media

School News
July 1, 2024