The Nutrition for Human Performance Certificate is a 14 credit hour program combining courses from HHS, DHN and KHP. The practice area of Nutrition for Human Performance continues to grow and has sparked interest among students pursuing undergraduate degrees in not only nutrition, but also kinesiology and health promotion and human health sciences (e.g., pre-medicine, prephysical therapy, pre-physician assistant studies). Nutrition for Human Performance focuses on the integration of nutrition and exercise to properly support physical activity, fitness, and athletic performance at all levels, from those just starting an exercise program, to elite athletes, and those recovering from injury. The Certificate in Nutrition for Human Performance also provides students with cross-disciplinary knowledge of the relationship between exercise physiology, nutrition, and overall wellness.
This certificate provides a unique opportunity to expand student knowledge in an area not traditionally, or adequately, addressed in each individual degree programs. For students in dietetics and human nutrition, the certificate would provide specialized knowledge that would immediately make graduates more competitive at securing a supervised internship and/or employment (e.g., as a Registered Dietitian Nutrition (RDN) interested in professional certification as a specialist in sports nutrition). For students in human health sciences, the certificate would provide basic knowledge to make them a more wellrounded candidate for professional school. For students in kinesiology and health promotion, the certificate would provide additional knowledge of the role of diet on health, wellness, and injury recovery.
At this time, it is not necessary to obtain a minor and, in fact, a minor is not offered at the University of Kentucky that addresses these needs. As well, there are no health-related interdisciplinary/crossdisciplinary certificate programs currently available to undergraduate students at UK and this certificate would be of interest to students in at least three colleges.
In addition, the HHS degree serves as a preprofessional undergraduate degree for students who aspire to careers in health care, such as dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, athletic training, and physical therapy. The program offers an interprofessional education with broad exposure to health care practices, policies and management. The Nutrition for Human Performance certificate enhances the value of the HHS degree by addressing a weakness found in many pre-health professions baccalaureate programs: absent to minimal nutrition and exercise education for healthcare professionals.
This certificate provides a unique opportunity to provide students with a better understanding and appreciation for how nutrition impacts athletic performance and the role of diet and exercise in disease prevention. Nationwide, this opportunity is not offered in most traditional pre-health profession programs (e.g., biology, chemistry) or only offered as separate entities with limited exposure (e.g., one class in kinesiology or basic nutrition).
The certificate program is available to any student in good academic standing (minimum GPA 3.0) that has an interest obtaining undergraduate knowledge of Nutrition for Human Performance and meets all prerequisites for the required courses (GPA minimum 3.0, must have completed a 100- or 200-level basic nutrition course (e.g., DHN 101 - HUMAN NUTRITION AND WELLNESS or DHN 212 - INTRODUCTORY NUTRITION), a 200-level physiology course (e.g., PGY 206) and be classified as a sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate student or post-baccalaureate student.
Students must earn a C or higher in each required certificate course to receive the certificate.
For more information contact:
Travis Thomas, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Certificate in Nutrition for Human Performance