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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

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



Vicki Schwartz, DCN, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, was quoted in a November 13 article for The Philadelphia Inquirer about paleo diets. She speaks directly to the positive aspects of the paleo approach (the removal of processed foods), as well as the problematic: “It is extremely difficult to meet calcium needs with vegetables,” she said. Dr. Schwartz was also featured in a Deseret News article, “The growing popularity of gluten-free food: Will it last?”

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Abby Duffine Gillman, a project manager in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, co-authored a post on the “Healthy Kids” blog on Nov. 13 about their research on the Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Healthy Futures Initiative. The project aims to reduce obesity in children in Philadelphia schools. Link to story

Maggie O’Neil, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, discusses the impact of being overweight for obese children in this recent Move Forward Radio episode. She also discusses specific programs designed to get them active, moving, and healthy. She also addresses the dangers of becoming overweight adults and the associate risks, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression.

Stella Volpe, PhD, a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences in the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and Nyree Dardarian, RD a faculty member in the college and director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a “Sports Doc” blog post on Nov. 14 about vitamin D deficiency and its effect on athletic performance. Link to story

The opening of the College’s new clinical site, Parkway Health and Wellness, was featured in a Philadelphia Business Journal article on November 4.

Nyree Dardarian, an instructor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and Director of the Center for Integrated Nutrition & Performance, was quoted in a Prevention article in December about reading nutrition labels.


Melanie Carminati, Health Sciences ’11, DPT ’14, was profiled in an article, “This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Pilates” from the Huntington, New York newspaper, Record. Ms. Caminati is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at East Northport Physical Therapy, a physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic and training center in East Northport, New York.

Lynn C. Dunning Kaleita, MS, Nutrition Education, ’79 was recognized as the “2014 Adjunct Professor of the Year for Health Education” by Palm Beach State College.

Sherry Goodill PhD, ADTR, LPC HU ’80, MCAT, was featured in the article, “Drexel's New Clinic Explores the Role of the Arts in Health Care” on Dr. Goodill, the chair of the Drexel University Department of Creative Arts Therapy program, was quoted saying that part of a healthy society includes the arts, and part of an individual life well-lived includes the arts.

Shaun Logan, DPT ’10, was hired as a personal trainer at Philly Personal Training. Previously, Dr. Logan worked in South Jersey at privately owned sports and orthopedic physical therapy clinics.

Elaine Mustacchio, RN MSN, CRRN ‘09 received the “Nurse Manager Award” from the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN). Ms. Mustacchio is the nurse manager at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and she has been an active ARN member for over 20 years.


Deeptha Sukumar, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, conducted a two-day event on August 12 and 13, 2014,  titled “Nutrition and Bone Workshop,” at PSG College of Arts and Science (PSGCAS) in Coimbatore, India.

Sukumar interacted with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, as well as with faculty from the Departments of Nutrition and Biotechnology. Over 200 participants attended this two-day workshop where she discussed the role of nutrition in bone health, provided an update on current research on calcium and vitamin D, and conducted hands-on training sessions on nutrition assessment and dietary counseling for bone health. She also visited collaborators at PSGCAS to discuss ongoing recruitment for a clinical research study in which Sukumar is a co-investigator, and met with several research staff to oversee the recruitment process. 

Dr. SukumarDuring her trip to India, Sukumar was also an invited speaker at the School of Food Science, MOP Vaishnav College in Chennai, India. She spoke about the role of food technology in addressing malnutrition outcomes and novel food product development to address malnutrition. Over 300 students and faculty attended the seminar.

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