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Nutrition Science Department

Discover Your Passion

Our exciting programs offer more than just the basics – we train highly competent registered dieticians and leaders in nutrition research that will change the diet and nutrition landscape. Let us show you how.

Nutrition Sciences Department

The Department of Nutrition Sciences at Drexel University is paving the way for future researchers and registered dietitians. Our Bacehelors of Science, Masters and PhD programs prepare students to work in a variety of careers that span the gamut from community work and clinical practice to cutting edge research.

This is a particularly exciting time for nutritionists since so many individuals are taking responsibility for maintaining and enhancing their health. We are committed to the discovery of new information about the relationships between diet, physical activity, health and disease and the application of such knowledge to individuals, communities and entire populations.

In September 2011, the Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel Recreation Center and University Wellness collaboratively formed the Drexel Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance (CINP), with the mission of providing evidence-based nutrition advice to the Drexel Community and the greater Philadelphia area. The Center offers year-long internships for selected undergraduate and graduate students from the Department of Nutrition Sciences. This provides exceptional hands-on experience that prepares students for application to practice programs, employment opportunities and graduate programs.


The following programs are offered through the Department of Nutrition Sciences. Please contact us or plan to visit us if we can provide further information about opportunities in this important discipline that bridges the basic and applied sciences.

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Foods
An important component of healthcare, dietetics involves helping people meet their nutritional needs through diet counseling and nutrition support.

Master of Science in Human Nutrition
If you have a desire to promote optimal wellness for people of all ages through better nutrition and become a registered dietitian, this may be of interest to you.

PhD in Nutrition Sciences
An innovative PhD program that positions graduates as unique PhD-educated nutritionists.

Minor in Nutrition and Foods

Human Lactation Consultant Program
The Drexel University Nutrition Sciences Human Lactation Consultant Program is designed to provide an opportunity for individuals to prepare to become Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).

The Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP)
An ACEND approved program allowing students who have graduated from a DPD program to complete the 1,200 hours of supervised practice necessary to complete the path to registration.

Nutrition Sciences Faculty

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News & Events



Nancy Gerber, PhD, director of the PhD Program in Creative Arts Therapies, and Victoria Scotti, PhD candidate, presented their paper entitled "An Arts-Based Research Exploration of Intersubjective Landscapes: Veiling and Unveiling" at the European Consortium of Arts Therapies Educators (ECArTE) Conference in Palermo, Sicily (September 16-19, 2015). 
A November 12 press release from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) announced the NEA Military Healing Arts Partnership supports the integrated health care model, in which creative arts therapists collaborate closely with a diverse team of health care professionals (such as physicians, neurologists, nurses, psychologists, physical therapists, and others) to share information and advance patient healing. A research collaboration – led by Girija Kaimal, EdD, assistant professor, PhD Program in Creative Arts Therapies; Joke Bradt, PhD, associate professor; research coordinator, Adele Gonzaga; and graduate research assistants, Kate Myers-Coffman and Bronwen Landless – was mentioned.
Assistant clinical professor, Beth Desaretz Chiatti, PhD, presented her poster “Health Care Beliefs and Practices of Ethiopian Immigrants in an Urban U.S. Community” at the Drexel Africa Poster Fair and Reception on Thursday, October 22.
Michele Rattigan, MA, clinical assistant professor of the Graduate Art Therapy and Counseling program, and Girija Kaimal, PhD, assistant professor in the Creative Arts Therapies PhD program, presented a workshop on November 8th in New York City at the Expressive Therapies Summit.  Their didactic presentation, “Creativity, Community, and Self-Care” was well-attended by professionals from creative arts therapies, counseling, and social work seeking to introduce self-care practices and wellness models into their places of employment.  
Yasmine Awais, MAAT, interim director of Art Therapy & Counseling presented the closing keynote entitled “Embracing Difference: Culture and the Therapeutic Relationship in Art Therapy” for the Illinois Art Therapy Association’s 35th annual conference, The Contemporary Landscape of Art Therapy. Over 150 attendees were present at this conference held at the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago, IL. 
Seth Laucks ‘15,  a music therapist at St. Ignatius Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and alumnus of the Music Therapy & Counseling program, is profiled in a short film, “Restorative Rhythms” by Dr. Dave Reiss. The award-winning video, which also features Music Therapy program director Flossie Ierardi, MM, and Music Therapy faculty member Paul Nolan, PhD, describes the powerful positive effects of music and music therapy.
This fall, the Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling program welcomed Satwika Rahapsari of Indonesia, who is here studying Dance/Movement Therapy & Counseling on a Fulbright scholarship. 
All three MS Human Nutrition students who applied for a dietetic internship were matched. They are: Meredith Binder (University of Houston), Danielle Ingerman (Sodexo) and Tara Pellechia (Sodexo).
Several students form the College of Nursing and Health Professions presented at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (MARC-ACSM) Conference, including Abigail Duffine Gilman ‘12 (PhD candidate in Nutrition Sciences), Brianna Higgins and Emily Werner (both MS students in Nutrition Sciences) and Christen Mendonca and Jillian Hawkins (both PhD students in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences).
Marcus Scarfo and Spencer Killian, both second-year students in the Master of Arts in Art Therapy & Counseling program recently received awards for their achievements in the program. Scarfo was the 2015 recipient of the Ronald E. Hays and Nancy Scheller Hays Art Therapy Endowment Fund Award, which supports students in the Art Therapy Master’s program. Killian received the Jungian Art Therapy Award, sponsored by Dr. Betty Hartzell, who teaches Jungian Psychology for Art Therapists. This award recognizes a student who has completed the course (currently offered in the Spring Quarter of the first year of the MA program) and has integrated these concepts and theory in their personal and/or clinical life.  
All 27 students in the Adult Gero Acute Care NP cohort for 2014-15 achieved a 100% pass rate for their national certification. 
The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner 2014-15 cohort have all completed their national boards at a 100% pass rate. 
Samira Islam, a student in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program, was awarded a prestigious Administrative Fellowship at Geisinger Health System.  The Fellowship – of which there are few of a similar nature nationally – “is designed to be a two-year leadership experience with the opportunity to apply specific graduate study principles in the practical work setting of a fully integrated health care delivery system.” 


With all of the celebrations before, during and after the holidays, many people find themselves ringing in the New Year off with a few extra pounds. In fact, some people can gain anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds! 

Here are some easy tips from Stella Volpe, PhD, chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, to help you minimize or even prevent holiday weight gain.

1) When at holiday gatherings, do not stand near the food. Take some food items on a small plate, and walk away from the tables to enjoy talking with friends and family.

2) Have a piece of fruit, like an apple, with a glass of water, prior to heading out to a dinner or party.

3) Enjoy the food you do eat, just eat less of it. Decrease portion sizes.

4) If possible, have food at a "buffet" table or counter, so you need to get up to get seconds.

5) Keep up your exercise routine! If you exercise regularly, maintain your routine. 

Happy holidays!



It’s the most wonderful time of the year or so the holiday song goes; thus, these wonderful updates from the College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Two of the 2014-15 Nurse Practitioner cohorts have accomplished remarkable results on their national exams. The cohort for Adult Geriatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioners achieved a 100% pass rate on the national certification exam and the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners earned a 100% pass rate as well. 
Continuing to illustrate the incredible preparation of CNHP students, the first three graduates of our Human Lactation Consultant certificate program have all earned the credential “International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC)."
Finally, all three Master of Science in Human Nutrition students who applied for dietetic internships were matched, and will pursue the next phase of their education at the University of Houston (one student) and Sodexo (two students).
In light of these wonderful achievements, it is fitting to acknowledge and thank the College’s remarkable faculty who mentored these students along the way.  Special thanks to the staff assisting all.
I am grateful for another wonderful year and extend my best to all students, alumni faculty and staff for happy holidays.  Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!
Gloria F. Donnelly, PhD, RN, FAAN, FCCP
Dean and Professor 
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