The new, online graduate certificate in applied nutrition and culinary medicine is a 12-credit program designed for health and medical professionals. This graduate certificate spans three colleges at the University of Kentucky and is a collaborative endeavor to bring graduate-level nutrition education beyond classroom walls, to any health and medical professional that seeks to promote positive health outcomes using evidence-based nutrition information. Online courses are developed and taught by faculty instructors in the Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Health Sciences and Medicine.  

Core coursework explores the basic principles and underlying mechanisms of nutritional strategies for the healthy and diseased patient, as well as practical culinary approaches to bridge evidence-based nutrition recommendations with food selection, cooking and preparation. Elective courses offer supplemental skills to enhance any health professionals’ toolkit, such as applicable and current information on dietary supplements, social marketing for behavior change, and community programming. All courses utilize the latest research and are offered in an interactive, inclusive e-learning environment. Flexibility of this completely online program permits students to complete the program at their own pace. Certificate holders will be better equipped to support the nutrition education needs of their patients and clients, and to understand the role of registered dietitian nutritionists as part of a healthcare team. 

The Graduate Certificate

This graduate certificate is perfect for:  

  • Physicians 

  • Physician assistants  

  • Nurses 

  • Physical therapists 

  • Medical professionals in postgraduate training, including residents and fellows 

  • Any healthcare professional seeking knowledge to augment their practice with enhanced nutrition education  

  • Post-baccalaureate students exploring online programs and interested in graduate-level nutrition education  

Holders of the graduate certificate will be able to:

  1. Discuss the basic principles of select nutritional strategies for the healthy and diseased patient. 
  2. Describe the role of an inter-professional team for optimal treatment.  
  3. Explain the physiological mechanism(s) underlying chronic disease development related to nutrition status.  
  4. Describe the importance of cooking, food and nutrition to health and well-being, and for selected health conditions applying evidence-based nutrition recommendations.

How to Apply

Students seeking admission to this graduate certificate must have obtained a baccalaureate degree, prior to the start of the term for which s/he is admitted from a fully accredited U.S. institution of higher learning or from a recognized foreign institution.  

Additional admission requirements include:  

  • An overall grade point average of 3.00 on undergraduate courses  

  • An overall grade point average of 3.00 on all graduate work (as applicable)  

  • International applicants – The University of Kentucky requires a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 79 (Internet-based). For IELTS, a minimum mean band score of 6.5 is required.

  • Completion of two or more of the following: a basic nutrition, biochemistry, biology or physiology course, or consent of certificate director 

Apply Now

To apply to the online graduate certificate in applied nutrition and culinary medicine, follow the link below.

Click Here

Application Materials

Applicants will be required to provide:  

  • Provide a current resume/CV  

  •  Provide a letter of interest describing reasons they wish to pursue a certificate in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine. 

GRE scores are NOT required for admissions to the graduate certificate. 

Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the admissions committee. The student will then be notified of the decision and provided with further instructions for enrollment in courses.  

Application Deadlines

Please note that application deadlines are distinct for international students. 

Program Summary

FALL 2021

Application Dates: 07/23/2021

Start Dates: 08/23/2021


Application Dates: 12/6/2021

Start Dates: 01/10/2022


Credits Required: 12

Cost per Credit: $759.00

Costs and Financial Aid

The 2019-2020 academic year cost per credit hour for our online certificate students was $743.   

In order to qualify for federally subsidized student loans, one must be an official degree seeking student. This means that students enrolled in the graduate certificate in Applied Nutrition and Culinary Medicine are not eligible for federal loans.  

Many employers offer tuition payment and reimbursement programs and we encourage you to check with your place of employment. You can also visit the University of Kentucky’s Financial Aid Office webpage for information on Alternative Loans


Students will be billed by Student Account Services and any financial questions should be directed to that office. Note: UK will send your billing notifications to your official University of Kentucky email address (your link blue account) so be sure to regularly check it and/or forward it to your normal account.  

Course Descriptions

Students enrolled in the online graduate certificate will complete three required courses, one from each contributing college, and select two elective courses of their choice to meet the 12-credit hour minimum for certificate completion. 

Required Courses

CNU503 - Nutrition for Health Professionals (College of Health Sciences)

An interdisciplinary/inter-professional approach to applied and medical nutrition therapy and its role in primary, secondary, and tertiary health care delivery. Covers the fundamental principles and concepts of nutrition science as applied to the human life cycle. 

DHN599 - Introduction to Culinary Medicine (College of Agriculture, Food and Environment)

This course will introduce students to the field of culinary medicine, which involves using both evidence-based nutrition, medicine knowledge, and culinary skills to assist healthcare providers and nutrition professionals in supporting patients and their families in achieving and maintaining optimal health and wellness through diet. Students will learn key food preparation, food science principles, and how those can be translated into modifying recipes for optimal health, and provided as appropriate educational resources for patient care. Students will apply this knowledge to prepare healthy, flavorful and delicious snacks and meals that are appropriate for individuals with chronic health conditions such as food allergies, Celiac disease, gastrointestinal disorders, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and obesity. 

NS689 - Nutrition and Chronic Diseases (College of Medicine)

This course will focus on selected topics in nutritional sciences related to health and chronic diseases, e.g., autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. This course will explore the pathophysiology of chronic diseases influenced by nutrition and discuss mechanisms underlying nutritional approaches for prevention and intervention. 

Elective Courses (students will select two)

CNU501 - Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in Health and Disease Prevention

This course covers the classification, history and impact of nutraceuticals and functional foods on health and disease prevention. An objective is to inform students of diverse nutraceutical products used by the public, describe their mechanism of action, efficacy and safety profile. An example of nutraceuticals to be covered in the course include isoprenoids, isoflavones, flavanoids, carotenoids, lycopene, garlic, omega 3 fatty acids, sphingolipids, vitamin E and antioxidants, S-adnosyl-L-methionine, CLA, creatine, herbal products in foods and lipoic acid. 

CNU502 - Obesity: Cell to Community

This course will provide an overview of the obesity epidemic from an applied clinical as well as public health perspective. Topics to be covered include etiology, pathophysiology, evaluation, treatment, management, and prevention of obesity throughout the lifecycle. 

DHN603 - Advanced Community Program Development

This course focuses on the theory, practice, and evaluation of community programs to improve quality of life. Key concepts include the socio-ecological model, direct education combined with policy, systems, and environmental approaches, program evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based interventions. Some concepts, like logic models and social marketing, may appear to be simple and straightforward, but are actually quite complex. The course will employ a variety of teaching strategies; we will use experience and reflection to enhance the learning process. Discussions, projects, electronic communication and resources, and visual media will allow learners to interact with the content, instructor, and each other. Assignments are designed to help students learn how to effectively plan, develop, and evaluate community programs and strategies to promote healthy eating, active living, and a sustainable environment. 

DHN597 - Obesity and Food Insecurity Paradigm: From Cell to Society

This course will explore the pathophysiology of obesity, including genetic determinants, prenatal and early life influences, and epigenetics. Students will examine the influence of environmental, socio-economic, public policy, dietary and physical activity factors as they relate to overweight and obesity in the United States. Interventions to treat obesity, including pharmaceutical, surgical, lifestyle, and environmental options, will be discussed. 

NS/PHA550 - Drug & Nutrient Interactions

This course examines the intersecting aspects of pharmacology and nutritional sciences through exploration of: 
1) the mechanisms and effects of drug and nutrient interactions
2) the latest research related to genetic, microbial and temporal effects on drug action and nutritional status 
3) current findings and future directions in nutritional pharmacology