This program is designed for personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and other health and wellness professionals looking for a credible curriculum to gain expertise in advising their clients on nutrition. This online certificate program provides an in-depth examination of advanced sports nutrition, vitamin/protein supplementation, functional food implementation, antioxidants, and meal-plan analysis for optimal performance. The certificate will enhance your resume and demonstrate to clients that you're a qualified professional.

The courses are approved for CECs for registered dieticians (RD) and dietetic technician-registered (DTR) professionals through the American Council of Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). The program is also ideal for health enthusiasts wanting to learn more about nutrition and healthy eating.

Instructor Melissa Halas-Liang is a nationally recognized nutrition educator, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, and wellness expert.

Two Certificate Options

If completing either certificate, we recommend the courses be taken in order listed below.

  1. Nutrition for Optimal Health and Wellness Certificate (Can be completed in 15 weeks.)
    Successfully complete the following three online courses:
    • Nutrition and You: Functional Foods
    • Weight Management and Nutrition in the Lifecycle
    • Public Nutrition and Wellness Education
  2. Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness, and Sports Certificate (Can be completed in 20 weeks.)
    Successfully complete the three courses above plus Introduction to Sports Nutrition and Performance.

Enrolling in the Program
Enroll in the program at any time, even before registering for a course. It’s free, and offers many benefits:

  • Secure your curriculum (should the requirements change in the future).
  • See upcoming courses when you log into your student account.
  • Track your progress.

Enrolling in a program doesn’t mean you’re registered for courses. You still must register and pay for each course you wish to take.


For more information call (619) 594-0845 or email

Nutrition for Optimal Health Information Packet


2018 Fall2019 Spring2019 Summer
2018 Spring
NU 0001 Nutrition and You: Functional Foods

Heard about the health benefits of cocoa for cardiovascular health? What do garlic, tomato sauce, and tofu have in common? Which spices and herbs need to be consumed in your daily diet? In this course you will learn what functional foods to eat for increased performance in sports, training, and daily life.

Course Date(s)
December 4 - May 6
2018 Spring
NU 0002 Weight Management and Nutrition in the Lifecycle

Applying the principles of good nutrition starts at day 1, whether working with clients or designing the optimal personalized eating program. This course teaches students the principles behind helping a client in any stage of their life to set and achieve peak performance while working in conjunction with a registered dietitian in a team approach. Discover what specific nutrients need to be increased in your diet for peak performance and at different stages of your life. Learn how to personalize your own meal plan and those of your clients.

Course Date(s)
December 4 - May 6
2018 Spring
NU 0003 Introduction to Sports Nutrition and Performance

Learn what to eat before, during, and after competition, design optimal meal plans for athletes, and be able to identify the best sport supplements such as protein powders/bars, creatine, and sport drinks. Learn to provide the best fuel for your body and how proper nutrition can provide optimal muscle development, recovery, and sports performance.

Course Date(s)
December 4 - May 6
2018 Spring
NU 0004 Public Nutrition and Wellness Education

This course delves more deeply into nutrition, performance, and optimal wellness. Master the tools needed to provide educated answers on nutrition and overall well-being. Learn how to navigate through the media's mixed messages on sports nutrition, supplementation, diets, and effectively interpret nutrition news, and understand critical information on the science behind vitamins/proteins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Course Date(s)
December 4 - May 6

Students must complete each five-week course within eight weeks from the date they are emailed their login information. As such, we suggest completing one course before registering for another.

SDSU Research Foundation Program

San Diego Workforce Partnership - Creating Workforce SolutionsThe College of Extended Studies is a State-approved provider for the Federal Workforce Investment Act for this program.