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Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

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Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

medicine.wsu.edu/nutrition-and-exercise-physiology-degree-program/
665 N. Riverpoint Blvd. #306
509-358-7811

Chair and Professor, G. Duncan; Associate Professors, H. Haverkamp, P. Monsivais; Assistant Professors, O. Amram, L. Miller, M. Perrigue; Clinical Associate Professors, J. Beary, S. Kynast-Gales; Clinical Assistant Professors, A. Davis, S. Niehuser; Instructor, J. Larsen.

The Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology (NEP) offers the only academic program in the state of Washington, and one of few across the nation, that integrates instruction and research in both human nutrition and exercise physiology. The department is also unique in that it is housed within the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, facilitating seamless integration with medical education to ensure that future physicians are well grounded in the importance of nutrition and exercise as preventative and therapeutic medicine.

The Bachelor of Science in NEP is a unique, interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in the health sciences that focuses on the effects of nutrition and exercise on the health of individuals. Supporting prerequisite coursework, detailed in the Program of Study (below), provides a broad knowledge base in human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, chemistry, biochemistry, and microbiology; however, the primary focus of the upper division major is on applied nutrition and exercise physiology. The program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences (CoAES).

The degree offers an integrative curricular approach in which students gain a unique perspective on how and why the human body responds to various nutritional and exercise stimuli through didactic and experiential assessment of molecular, genetic, clinical, social/psychological, and environmental factors. Students gain experiential learning through laboratories and a senior practicum, followed by a semester-long internship. 

At the completion of their undergraduate BS program, students will be expected to demonstrate effective written, oral, and visual communication skills in a variety of settings and environments for target audiences; apply knowledge of physical, chemical, and biological sciences to nutrition and exercise sciences; apply knowledge of behavioral and social sciences to nutrition and activity habits of diverse populations; demonstrate the ability to use, interpret, evaluate, and apply research principles to nutrition and physical activity interventions; demonstrate the application of nutrition recommendations and activity programming for the prevention and management of chronic disease; demonstrate their understanding of the role of healthcare systems and public policy in the maintenance and achievement of health; demonstrate critical thinking skills gained throughout the NEP curriculum by utilizing problem-solving activities and assignments; perform nutrition and exercise programming and work effectively as a team member in a variety of settings such as acute care, rehabilitation facilities, and community health facilities; be well informed regarding the characteristics of various health and fitness settings and factors that impact their operation such as policies, regulatory agencies, reimbursement/funding, and legislative issues; and model professional skills and behaviors, including social responsibility, ethical practice, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Graduates will be prepared for successful and rewarding careers and job opportunities, including: cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation clinical programs; community health centers; university and worksite wellness programs; exercise and health promotion; and commercial fitness centers, among others. Graduates will be qualified to test for Health Fitness and Specialty Certifications through the American College of Sports Medicine.  In addition, graduates may seek admission to graduate programs in nutrition and exercise physiology and other health sciences programs.

Applications are required for entry into the final two years of the BS NEP. To be a qualified applicant, WSU general education requirements, and a specific set of BS NEP prerequisites must be complete. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, as well as a 3.0 average in all the BS NEP prerequisite courses. No grade less than a C will be accepted in the BS NEP prerequisites. WSU students based in Pullman are best served by working with an academic advisor in the Health Professions Student Center, https://healthprofessions.wsu.edu/, or 509-335-4549. Students from colleges or universities other than WSU Pullman will need to contact the Academic Coordinator in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology to determine appropriate prerequisites: nep@wsu.edu; 509-358-7811.

The non-thesis Master of Science Coordinated Program in Dietetics, Nutrition, and Exercise Physiology (CPD NEP), is a coordinated program in dietetics with an exercise emphasis.  The CPD NEP is a professional masters degree and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Successful completion of this MS program prepares students to test for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential.

The department also offers an MS NEP thesis option and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in NEP degrees. These research tracks offer unique opportunities to pursue research interests in nutrition and exercise physiology, applied to clinical, community, and population-level settings.

The research interests of the faculty include nutrition education, clinical nutrition therapy, sociocultural factors that influence dietary and activity behaviors, clinical and applied exercise physiology and nutrition, health benefits of new crop varietals, environmental and policy-level influences on diet and activity, and gene by environment interactions.

Applications for admission to the graduate programs must include: Official GRE scores, official transcripts for all college-level work, three letters of recommendation, resume, and a purpose statement discussing career goals and research interests.  For students whose native language is not English, TOEFL scores above 100 (Internet based) are required.



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