Finding a graduate program in nutritional psychology is rare. However, there are a few options available for those seeking to do their graduate work in nutritional psychology and related fields.
General Program Information
Graduate work in nutritional counseling will require, on average, between two to three years of coursework. This works out to between 30 and 40 hours of additional credits after you have completed your bachelor's program. However, if there are residency requirements, you may need to take up to 120 hours' worth of credits, with the majority of those credits coming from your residency. Courses you can anticipate taking are spread out across your prerequisites, core courses, and your exit examination. During your time in the nutritional psychology program, you can expect to take courses such as the following:
Nutritional Psychology - An Introduction
This course is designed to acquaint you with the basics of nutritional psychology. These basics included a better understanding of how food can impact emotions and behaviors. You will also learn more about sub-clinical physiological states that result from the common American diet.
Health Promotion and Wellness
You will most likely have to take a course such as this one, which is designed to provide an overview of the basics of health and wellness. During the course, you will learn how health promotion programs are developed. You will also learn how to manage these programs and assess how successful they are.
Nutritional Psychology Tools:
This course is designed to better acquaint you with how the Western diet can create a higher risk of depression and anxiety. As you progress through the course, you will learn more about how these moods can be managed with the appropriate foods and diet. You will also learn more about tools that can be used to assess a person's diet, which can inform changes that improve that person's mood.
Obesity: Theory and Practice
During your time in this course, you will learn more about how obesity develops within individuals and across populations. The course is designed to examine how obesity is spreading globally and slowly becoming a pandemic. This study will also include an examination of various factors, both internal and environmental, that contribute to obesity.
The Gut-Brain Axis
Your time in this course focuses on how the nervous system governs the gastrointestinal system. Since the brain and gastrointestinal system are constantly communicating, you become more familiar with how this occurs and the various outcomes of that communication. You will also learn more about gastrointestinal problems and how they impact overall health.
Admission Requirements for a Nutritional Psychology Graduate Program
Although the requirements for admission to a graduate program in nutritional psychology can vary from school to school, you'll often be required to obtain letters of recommendation. It will also be important to provide transcripts from universities you have attended. These transcripts help to validate your previous GPA scores. Applicants will often have to meet a minimal GPA of between 3.0 to 4.0 in order to attend. Also, you may need to have a certain minimum GPA in specific types of classes, such as science coursework.
The standards for entering a graduate program can be high, but the outcomes are often rewarding. A graduate degree or certificate in nutritional psychology will prepare you for a future career in the medical field. Although the material provided here gives a general overview of what the nutritional psychology program entails, remember to inquire with the university you are applying to if you want more specifics.