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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 Bachelor of Science, master's 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 Nutrition & Performance (CNP), 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.

Center for Nutrition & Performance (CNP)
Drexel's Center for Nutrition & Performance provides students a hands-on learning experience through the development and implementation of nutrition education programs for members of the Drexel community.


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.





Nutrition Sciences Faculty

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News & Events



Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, wearing blue scrubs holding stethoscope.

“I’ve always wanted to help people and to have an impact in the health care system,” shares Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23.

With a passion for inclusive health care, Ramos is preparing for a future career as a physician assistant (PA) by pursuing her bachelor’s in health sciences at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. In addition, she is pursuing a minor in medical Spanish and nutrition, and Ramos has trained as an EMT and critical care technician. She aspires to work as an emergency room PA and intends to serve as an advocate for non-English-speaking patients and patients from underserved populations.

Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, outside with mountains in the background.“I want to advocate for my people,” Ramos attests. “A lot of underserved populations come through the ER, and the quality of their care can vary. We need people who can translate, people who care, people who will go out of their way to assist patients in high stakes situations.”

In addition to her advocacy for inclusive care, Ramos is a community-driven student leader on Drexel’s campus. She is the co-founder of Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas, a student group that is creating safe spaces and learning communities on campus about indigenous cultures. The group is open to Indigenous students as well as allies. Together, they are advocating for greater inclusion and representation on campus.

“I remember when Sky Harper, the president of Drexel Indigenous Students, reached out to me and told me that he had an idea to start a group for Native Americans on campus to increase their voice and representation on campus,” Ramos shares. “Immediately, I knew this was the right thing to do. Together, we decided to expand the group to Indigenous students, since many Latinx students, like myself, have Indigenous roots blended into our identities.”

Raquel Ramos, BS health sciences ’23, representing Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas wearing a mask.Since their founding in March 2021, Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas has led several on-campus events, including mental health check-ins, and collaborated with Drexel leadership to incorporate land acknowledgements into university events. Thanks to her persistent efforts, Drexel’s University Commencement ceremony in June 2022 included a land acknowledgement for the first time, a major achievement for Ramos and Drexel Indigenous students.

“Land acknowledgements are very important to us,” Ramos explains. “We need to recognize that the land on which we stand was stolen from Indigenous communities. We need to acknowledge this history and the reality of this situation. A quote I heard once that resonates for me is: ‘it was not our fault, but it is our responsibility.’”

This fall, Ramos says Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas will remain active on campus and the group is in process of planning more cultural events throughout the school year. As Ramos completes her studies at Drexel and prepares to graduate at the end of the fall 2022 quarter, she says that she will apply everything she has learned at Drexel and in community with others in her career.

“I want to be a genuine support system for my future patients,” Ramos concludes. “I want to be there for them when they are at their most vulnerable and advocate for knowing and caring for the whole person, not just their symptoms.”

Written by Izzy López


The new academic home of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel's Health Sciences Building.An open house on August 25, 2022 welcomed the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) faculty and staff to their new academic home, Drexel's Health Sciences Building. Attendees had the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of nursing and health profession labs and classrooms hearing about how these advanced spaces will augment the academic experience for all students. “We educate leaders for the future, we discover and create new knowledge, and we practice our individual disciplines in order to make the world a better place. Seeing you all here today reminds me of our greater purpose as a college to assure health, service and wellness for everyone, locally, nationally and globally,” announced Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhD.

Before Provost Paul Jensen welcomed CNHP employees to University City, Gitlin gave the history of the land on which the building sits and the people connected to it. Jensen spoke about the importance of connecting many of the University’s health-related disciplines within the Health Sciences Building. He commented how excited the University is to have CNHP on main campus and espoused the benefits this 12-story, academic space offers the College of Nursing and Health Professions, and next year, the College of Medicine and School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies.Dean Laura N. Gitlin, PhD addressing attendees from the College of Nursing and Health Professions during an open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.

CNHP’s interim dean, Ann Branchini, PhD, who holds a doctorate in nursing with a focus on leadership, took a few minutes to address attendees. Excited to step into this new home, Branchini is eager to get to work supporting students, faculty and professional staff. “This is a critical time in the history of CNHP, and I am excited about the opportunity we share to forge our identity and secure the future of our programs and our students on this campus,” Branchini articulated.

College of Nursing and Health Professions Interim Dean Ann Branchini, PhD holding a microphone during an open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.With the support of university leadership, and Gitlin as its determined champion, the Health Sciences Building can offer opportunities for interdisciplinary education in a facility that affords students, faculty and professional staff the best possible environment for continued development and growth. Over 1,450 tradespeople participated in the building with over 11K cubic yards of concrete, 5K light fixtures, 600 wood door frames and so much more—everything remained on track, despite a global pandemic, because of the dedication of many teams. Gitlin recognized three individuals who were exceptional in their management: Mary Gallagher Gordon, PhD, vice dean of CNHP’s Strategic Operations and Academic Services, Terri Schmitt, director of Planning, and Nancy Trainer, associate vice president and university architect. “Our trio of mighty leaders has led through immeasurable uncertainty, going far above and beyond their job descriptions to make sure this space is exemplary for the Drexel community,” Gitlin stated.

Terri Schmitt and Mary Gallagher Gordon, PhD holding their recognition awards during the College of Nursing and Health Professions open house in the new Drexel Health Science Building.At the end of the event, Gitlin invited everyone there to take the self-guided walking tour previewing classrooms and labs where faculty and staff greeted groups and shared unique details of the spaces. The eight stops along the tour included a 300-person classroom where international speakers, distinguished lecture series and events that honor students, staff and faculty will be hosted; clinical spaces; Creative Arts Therapies teaching spaces; and a virtual reality classroom, a state-of-the-art room where CNHP students will learn and practice skills in a safe, immersive and realistic environments.

Distinctive lab spaces—SIM, Clinical Skills, Digital Anatomy and Imaging and Gross Anatomy labs—rounded out the tour. All are outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment and technology to enhance students’ hands-on educational experience. “The Health Sciences Building will support us in ushering in transformational opportunities for education and community engagement. This is the structure – but it is all about you and what you do – this beautiful new building is designed to enhance your purpose and everyday excellence,” concluded Gitlin.

Written by Roberta S. Perry



Smiling Black female with shoulder-length dark hair wearing a dark sweater with sun embroidery on the frontSona Diallo is simultaneously finishing up a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and foods and certification as a lactation consultant and completing her first year as a graduate student in the Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. Diallo is taking advantage of the BS/MS Bridge program offered by Drexel University’s College of Nutrition and Health Professions (CNHP).

Diallo started her college career at Community College of Philadelphia intending to go to Temple’s medical school then into family medicine. However, while taking the prerequisite nutrition course her path changed completely. “I fell in love with nutrition right off the bat,” Diallo beamed. “I was like, wait, people can actually get paid to talk to people about this?” Her professor, a registered dietitian, told her that indeed nutrition is a terrific career, and that Drexel had a great program. “While I did my research, it dawned on me that dieticians are health care providers who specialize in how food is broken down in the body and can heal, not just comfort.” Diallo loved the idea of how influential food is on all our systems. She also noticed how few people in nutrition sciences look like her and wanted to change that.

Young Black woman with long shoulder-length hair wearing a blue dress standing in the corridor of a ball parkDiallo called all her classes enjoyable and would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. She appreciates the small classes since it gives her an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with her professors like to one that she has with Professor Susan McGinley. “She is one of the most impactful teachers I've had in my entire life,” said Diallo. “I had my first class with her, and she really got to know me, my culture and my background. I thought if this is how all my courses will be, I am absolutely in the right place!” She remarked that one of the strengths of CNHP’s Nutrition Department is its size. "We will have the same professors first year, second year and third year which is the greatest thing about the nutrition department. Our professors track our growth throughout our time here.” Diallo knows that she can go to any of her professors, especially McGinley, whenever she wants to understand something more clearly, ask questions and share ideas.

Diallo is tackling areas where she sees a need for vast improvement—food insecurity, opening career doors for people of color and nutritional health of mothers and children. Wanting to go into pediatric nutrition, when looking at ways to affect kids’ general well-being, starting with mothers made a lot of sense to her. After hearing Susan Fuchs, MS, the director of the Human Lactation Program, give a lecture in one of her classes, Diallo recognized an interesting opportunity—do both at the same time. She could explain to women who recently gave birth how to properly feed their babies whether they choose to breast- or bottle-feed while cleverly finding ways to give nutrition lessons that will benefit mom while talking about the ups and downs of lactation. “It’s the earliest time to shape a child’s habits and behaviors,” described Diallo. “If I can influence someone to do something positive, that means a lot.” That’s the heart of an innovator.

Young Black woman with long braids and lavender shirt kneeling in the corner of a room with light blue walls adorned with basketsThrough courses, professors, rotations and peers, Diallo is developing into a knowledgeable healthcare provider with an ability to check her biases at the door and approach every situation with cultural competency. That is underscored in every class she takes. “I must be able to communicate with people who have different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds than mine.” To be the clinician each person needs, she meets them where they are and builds trust and rapport. Diallo says openness is key. “Being open to learning, being open to new experiences and being open to change is what helps me grow.”

Written by Roberta S. Perry

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