Why This Program?

Despite agreement that scaling up select nutrition interventions would have huge payoffs, evidence and training on how to do this remains weak. Implementing effective nutrition programs at scale requires a clear understanding of institutional and human capacities required to support tailored, evidence-based programming that generates measurable (and actually measured) results. Improvements in health and nutrition will not occur without major advances in the delivery and implementation of proven interventions at scale.

The course offerings in this certificate program are designed to meet the educational needs of those engaged in implementing nutrition-related programs around the world. The program builds the capacity of practitioners through specialized, graduate level training in program delivery science.

The Delivery Science in International Nutrition certificate is conferred jointly by the Tufts Friedman School and partner institution, United Nations University (UNU). The mission of the UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the UN, its Peoples and Member States. A part of that contribution is to develop educative opportunities for UN personnel and other related non-governmental organization (NGO) member organizations who work closely with the UN in various capacities. Tufts University, being an affiliated institution, is charged with helping to carry out this educative mission by developing and implementing educational programs, particularly in the area of nutrition and capacity building, for UNU’s staff and NGO employees worldwide.          

Download the Information Sheet



The Delivery Science for International Nutrition Certificate program consists of the following three courses:

  • Program Development and Delivery (Offered Fall Semester) This course provides presentations, readings, and exercises relating to the broad range of nutrition interventions utilized in global programs, including: growth monitoring and promotion; nutrition counseling and IEC; supplementary feedings and food-based income transfers; household food security and agricultural-based interventions; micronutrient activities; and breast-feeding.The course covers malnutrition causality, nutrition and structural adjustment, social funds, economic and food aid, active learning capacity and the nutrition transition. Students become versed in program design and appraisal techniques including dynamic models and program contraint assessments, and are responsible for major exercises relating to programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
  • Theories of Behavior Change and Positive Deviance (Offered Spring Semester) How do you achieve behavior change in challenging circumstances? This course explores that question, first by examining theories of behavior change commonly used in nutrition and public health and then with an in-depth introduction specifically to the Positive Deviance Approach. In the first half, several individual-based, social-based, organization-based and eco-social theories will be explored, with an emphasis on understanding of core theory concepts and issues in measurement. Building on this base, the second half will cover the concept, theory, history and application of PD. Students will develop their own problem statement and map out the steps required to apply the PD approach to their identified problem. By the end of this course, students will understand the steps involved in the PD process, acquire basic skills to complete step one of the PD process, and develop a proposal to design a PD inspired project plan. Interactive activities and assignments will teach students when to apply each of the behavior change methods.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (Offered Summer Semester) This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices of program monitoring and evaluation, as applied to food security and nutrition-related programs in developing countries.  The course content will be imparted through online lectures, case studies, interactive discussion, and assignments that prompt students to grapple with monitoring and evaluation challenges facing ongoing global efforts to combat malnutrition and food insecurity.  By the end of the semester, course participants will: be familiar with the strategies and techniques for monitoring and evaluating projects, particularly those related to nutrition and food security; be able to assess the adequacy of monitoring and evaluation proposals and program evaluations designed by others; be exposed to multiple domestic and international examples of monitoring and evaluation systems, both large and small; and gain experience in the design of monitoring and evaluation plans for real programs.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and as space permits. Please send any questions or concerns about the process to


Start Your Online Application Now!


There is no fee to apply.

Your full application to the program will include the following items:

  • Completion of the Online Application
  • Official academic transcripts (translated into English) sent directly from every university or institution from which you earned a degree
    • Transcript(s) should indicate completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a preferred grade point average of 3.0 (out of a 4.0 equivalent)
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Personal statement - please describe your reasons for applying and indicate how this course/certificate program will enhance your career or help you in the future 
  • International students must also submit TOEFL or IELTS scores (see below for more info)

Standardized test scores (i.e., GRE) and letters of recommendation are not required. There is no application fee, but a non-refundable $50 deposit is required upon your acceptance into the program to reserve your space. 

All applications are reviewed by the Friedman School Graduate Certificate Program Admissions Committee. The Admissions Committee takes into consideration all coursework, grades, experience and reasons for taking the program.

If you need to send materials to the Friedman School, please send to the following address:

Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Office of Admissions
150 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA 02111

*Students who would like to register for just a single class without committing to an entire program should contact the Program Director at

Admissions Deadlines

Applications for Spring 2015 admission into the Friedman School Graduate Certificate Program will be reviewed on a rolling basis through December 15, 2014, or as space permits.

*Applications for Fall 2015 admission into the Friedman School Graduate Certificate Program will be reviewed on a rolling basis through July 1, 2015, or as space permits.  

*Update: August 1, 2015 is the new Priority Deadline for applications for Fall 2015 programs.  Applications will be accepted after that time as space allows.

TOEFL/IELTS Requirements

International students who earned their degree from a university in a country where English is not the primary language must submit either official TOEFL or IELTS scores
directly to the Friedman School as a part of the Online Application.

  • TOEFL minimum score is 600 (paper based), 250 (computer based), 100 (internet based)
  • IELTS minimum score is 6.5

Tuition & Payment Options

  • Tuition for courses offered during the 2014-15 academic year (i.e. the Fall
    2014, Spring 2015, and Summer 2015 semesters) is $2420 per course. The
    total tuition for all three required courses within a certificate
    program is $7260.

Please note that the Friedman School Graduate Certificate Programs are not eligible for Title IV Federal
Student Aid. The program does qualify for private student loans from lending institutions, and a Tuition Payment Plan is available through our Bursar’s office. Under the Tuition Payment Plan you may budget all or a portion of your semester tuition over five monthly installments prior to your enrollment. For example, for the fall semester, you make payments from May 1st through September 1st, and for
the spring semester, you make payments from October 1st through February 1st. The Tuition Payment Plan has a small enrollment fee, but no interest charges. Please contact Student Financial Services at Tufts for more information on billing and payments including payment plans.

Tufts University currently does not accept credit card payments for tuition.

We encourage students who are working professionals to contact their employer’s human resources (HR) department for their policies and procedures regarding tuition benefits.


Program Faculty

Image of Online Graduate Certificate Faculty MemberSara C. Folta, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the John Hancock Research Center on Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity Prevention at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. She has a research interest in intervention strategies to promote positive behavior change in the areas of physical activity and nutrition. She has conducted behavioral research with both children and older adults. Recent research has included the evaluation of an exercise and nutrition program for older adults in assisted living and senior housing facilities, and a dissemination study of the StrongWomen – Healthy Hearts program, a new StrongWomen program to reduce risk of heart disease in mid-life and older women. She received a BA in biology from Middlebury College; an MS in cell and molecular biology from the University of Vermont; and a PhD in nutrition from Tufts University.


Image of Online Graduate Certificate Faculty Memeber Randa Wilkinson received her MS and is currently an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition and Food Policy. She is the Director of Training at the Positive Deviance Initiative housed at Health Resources in Action. 

She began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer working with mothers and malnourished children in Mauritania, West Africa.  She has lived in Europe, Asia and Africa: in France for 17 years and Indonesia for eight years.  While in Indonesia, Randa had firsthand experience implementing programs using the Positive Deviance Approach in the context of childhood malnutrition and goiter. Her work included building the capacity of government health staff to use positive deviance in their work and programming. She was instrumental in developing a network of practitioners among NGOs and government.  Randa was nutrition technical advisor for the USAID funded Maternal and Newborn project in Indonesia.  Her work in clinical training, advocacy and community education on early initiation of breastfeeding included developing training manuals with a video that has been incorporated into the Indonesian national clinical training program for physicians and midwives. The video is also part of  the WHO protocol for home based deliveries;

Current projects include truancy and school performance in Pennsylvania, social isolation among people with mental health diagnosis, school dropout rates of adolescent males of color in New York City and anemia among adolescent girls in Bandung, Indonesia.