138 Cordelia Camp Bldg
69 East University Way
Cullowhee, NC 28723
828.227.7397 tel
800.928.4968 toll-free tel
828.227.7115 fax


Sports Nutrition and Performance

Certificate Program

Register Online

The Online Professional Certificate in Sports Nutrition and Performance has been designed to meet the growing demand for Registered Dietitians, DTRs, personal trainers, athletic trainers, allied health/medical and fitness professionals, and the general public who want to learn about developing individualized sports nutrition programs for clients, patients, or for personal improvement. This Web-based Certificate program provides an in-depth examination of contemporary nutritional topics such as advanced sports nutrition, vitamin/protein supplementation, functional food implementation, antioxidants, and meal plan analysis for optimal performance.

The Commission on Dietetic Registration(CDR),the credentialing agency for the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has approved the Certificate in Nutrition program for 40 Continuing Professional Education Units (CPEUs) or 10 (CPEUs) per course for both the Registered Dietitian (RDs) and Dietetic Technician-Registered (DTRs).

Who Should Attend

This unique program has been established for allied health, medical, and fitness professionals, personal trainers, and Registered Dietitians seeking advanced nutrition education, re-certification, re-licensure, or career advancement.  Individuals from the public and consumers interested in seeking to stay current in nutritional program design, health, and performance would benefit from this program as well. 

Program Requirements

To earn the certificate you are required to complete all four core courses.  The four core courses are offered in an OPEN ENROLLMENT FORMAT, meaning you can register AT ANY TIME, and once logged in, you are provided 8 full weeks of unlimited access for each individual course you registered for with no penalty for finishing early.  Typically the program can be completed in as little as 10 weeks, but you must complete the requirements within two-years.

Workplace Advantages and Benefits

  • On-Going guidance, instruction, and interaction from instructors/faculty members that hold either a Master's or Ph.D Degree in Nutrition or a nutrition related field and/or are licensed Registered Dietitians.
  • College courses provide CECs or CEUs for personal trainers and allied health/medical professionals seeking re-certification, re-licensure, or career advancement.   
  • A professional certificate from an accredited institution.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts.

Award of the Certificate:

  • Completion of Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness, andSports four core courses within a period of two years
  • Completion and receipt of a passing grade (C- or above) in all courses:  which includes quizzes, exams, written/research projects, and class assignments

Why Online Learning?

  • Learning occurs in a user-friendly environment and is accessible to participants with little or no computer experience.
  • Online courses give you the knowledge and tools you need to stay ahead in today’s rapidly changing professional marketplace.
  • Online education allows students to access their courses from anywhere there is an Internet connection even if you are traveling for business or on vacation.
  • Flexibility: Students can attend class in the comfort and convenience of their own home, office, library, or internet café and complete assignments after breakfast, during lunch, late at night, while on vacation or any time that is convenient for the student.  
  • Cost-effective: expenses related to facilities, travel, and non-productive time is reduced.

Continuing Education Credits

For a complete list of the organizations and associations that have approved this program for continuing education, CLICK HERE


For an online demo, contact Dimitri Onyskow, Director of Academic Relations.


For program information contact:
Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RD, CDE
Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RD, CDE is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian and holds a Masters degree in Nutrition Education.  Melissa has the Certificate of training for Childhood and Adolescent and Weight Management.  She has over 10 years of diverse experience in nutrition management, nutrition counseling, clinical trials, teaching, media and writing and currently serves as Co-President elect of the Los Angeles District of the California Dietetic Association.  She provides a unique approach to health and wellness across the entire lifespan.  For the past seven years, Melissa has provided on-line education at universities to health professionals and the general public. She provides community lectures on children and adult nutrition and enjoys motivating her audience through encouraging small steps to healthier lifestyle changes while creating a fun approach to living.



Jane Burrell Uzcategui, MS, RD
Jane Burrell Uzcategui M.S., RD, is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition.  She has had extensive experience as a Didactic Program Director at the collegiate level where she was responsible for the placement of dietetic students in clinical and community nutrition rotations.  In addition, as a Certified Nutrition Support Dietitian for 10 years, she taught Medical Nutrition Therapy to medical and surgical residents in teaching hospital settings.  Jane’s experience as a distance runner has prompted her specialization in sports nutrition to teach to students about the role of nutrition in maximizing performance and altering body composition.


Certificate Course Descriptions

Course 1: Nutrition and You: Functional Foods..........$249
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 2: Weight Management and Nutrition in the Lifecycle..........$249
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 3: Introduction to Sports Nutrition and Performance..........$249
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 4: Public Nutrition and Wellness Education..........$249
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.

Student Testimonials
Read below for what our past students have to say about the Online Certificate in Nutrition for Optimal Health, Wellness, and Sports.

“Because of powerpoint presentations, voice audios, and ability to have questions answered whether or not I participated in coffee house forums, this course provided the atmosphere of a traditional setting.  It adequately met my needs as a student”    Andrea I. Georgia, Nutrition and You:  Functional Foods

“I absolutely loved the Weight Management class. The coarse content was informative and up to date and the teacher is an expert in this field. You also get quick responses to all your questions and can manage it even with a fulltime work schedule. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to enhance their knowledge of Nutrition and Weight Management”. Lisa G. California, Weight Management and Nutrition in the Lifecycle

“The course exceeded my expectations. I appreciated the up-to-date academic references, broad spectrum of topics, and ideas from the instructor's personal life on how to improve diet.    Surprisingly I learned more online than I had expected.  The instructor calls attention to specific students' work and by the middle of the course the personalities come out.  The instructor's passion and enthusiasm for the subject matter are exuded in the lectures, slides, and emails.    I need flexibility with my schedule so this is perfect.  The lecture and slide combo provides the touch and feel of a class and the slides contain references if I want to dig deeper.  Excellent!”    Clare N. Louisiana, Nutrition and You:  Functional Foods


Copyright by Western Carolina University      •      Cullowhee, NC 28723      •      828.227.7211      •      Contact WCU
Maintained by the Office of Web Services      •      Directions      •      Campus Map      •      Emergency Information      •      Text-Only

Office of Web Services