CORAL GABLES, Fla. (July 8, 2014)—Most Americans are keenly aware that a combination of daily exercise and proper nutrition is the only road to a healthier life. To help support this trend, the School of Education and Human Development (SOEHD) is launching a Master’s in Nutrition for Health and Human Performance to optimize personal health, maximize the quality of life, and foster peak athletic performance.
Formally launching in the fall of 2014, the master’s program has one comprehensive track that incorporates nutrition for health and human performance, including pertinent biochemistry, human biology, and exercise physiology. Arlette Perry, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Sciences, said that the master’s program took two years to put together and get approved. It came at the urging of many in SOEHD who saw the need for it.
“What makes this program unique is that it combines nutrition with exercise physiology,” said Perry. “We now know that these two are inextricably linked.”
The program should attract students who wish to become licensed nutritionists, medical doctors, physician assistants, wellness directors, physical therapists, and others in the health field. Students in the program are required to take courses that include: Nutrition and Health Issues across the Life Cycle, Clinical Aspects of Exercise Programming, and Cardiovascular Programming and Testing. Courses also will span a host of contemporary issues in nutrition, including medical nutritional therapy, integrative and functional medicine, and the use of supplements for human performance.
Students who wish to be certified as a Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (LD/N), as approved by the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Council, will be expected to complete 900 hours in clinical, community, and food service. Training locations will include sports performance and sports medicine and sports training facilities; athletic departments and teams; culinary and garden-to- classroom programs; rehabilitation, preventive and wellness centers; nonprofits and community-based programs.
“What sets us apart is we have an entire kinesiology and nutrition program that is applied and centered on complementary lifestyle components,” said Wesley Smith, director of the nutrition for health and human performance graduate degree program, and the physiology undergraduate program. “The program is designed to optimize health in clinical settings, as well as to focus on elements of nutritional biochemistry that help athletes perform their best while reducing vulnerability to injury and illness.”