Paleo Courses and Colleges

Paleo Courses and Colleges | The Paleo Diet

Dear Dr. Cordain

I write to you for a little advice and hope that you are able to assist me..

This year I discovered the simple logic and effectiveness of the Palaeolithic diet, with benefits for me personally that have been excellent. This led me to continue researching the subject and I eventually signed up to a course here in the UK, seeking to qualify as a Diet & Nutrition advisor, as I realised my passion for the subject extended beyond my own health.

My question then, is directed to what avenue of education, course, college or university you might be able to recommend that incorporates the principles on which the Palaeolithic diet is based. Essentially I’m looking for the grounding needed to practice this approach effectively with future clients, once I have completed my studies. I intend to apportion several years to learn my trade and would consider anything as long as it provided a comprehensive basis from which to work, this includes studying in the US.

Thank you for your time,
Kind regards


Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Dear Roberto,

Many thanks for your interest in The Paleo Diet.  To my knowledge, nowhere in the world is there either a graduate or undergraduate University or College level program that prepares students specifically  for professional careers in “Paleolithic Nutrition”.  Most major Universities with Anthropology Departments offer courses in human evolution, but these classes typically touch minimally  upon ancestral human diets and their implications for health and disease in contemporary people.  Most major Universities with Nutrition Departments offer courses in human nutrition and diet and disease, but virtually none of these classes even mention the evolutionary basis for optimal human nutrition.

In the U.S.  the most common degree related program leading to a career in professional nutritional counseling is the registered dietician (RD) program.  However, as you can see from this blog (// from Paleo friendly RDs that the RD program is strictly old school and teaches mainstream USDA Food Plate dogma.  There is hope if you stick it out and continue to educate yourself independently as you pursue your degree.

I can tell you that the time is ripe for just such a program to emerge somewhere here in the U.S. or in the UK at a progressive, eclectic University or College which emphasizes Anthropology, Evolution, Biochemistry and Epidemiology as complementary and underlying disciplines  for the study of human nutrition. I taught one graduate level course in Evolutionary Nutrition (Evolutionary Basis for Health and Nutrition) and has taught one undergraduate level course (Evolutionary Basis for Optimal Human Nutrition ) in the area as well. You may download the course syllabi below:

HES 545 Evolutionary Basis for Health and Fitness

IU 193 – H01 Evolutionary Basis for Optimal Human Nutrition

Best wishes,

Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus


Updated Information regarding this blog post (11/25/2012):

Here is the syallabus for two of Dr. Cordain’s courses:

Download Now: 193 Syllabus Spring 2010

Download Now: Syllabus Spring 2011


Below is an additional correspondence between Dr. Cordain and a Paleo Diet Fan:

Dear Dr. Loren Cordain,

My name is Saurus E Arneson and I am a registered nurse on the Fort Peck Reservation in Wolf Point, MT.  I have been following the Paleo lifestyle for over a year, although my lifestyle growing up was very similar.  I am very much a research ‘junky’ and am constantly trying to find ways to improve my education and my lifestyle and then in turn trying to help others in that manner.  In our little area of the world, we are ravaged with diabetes and very poor nutrition choices, among many other metabolic linked diseases.  I have looked deeply into getting certification in nutrition based courses to improve in my ability to work with the local populations, such as Integrative Nutrition, but have not started as of yet.  I would definantly be interested in any courses that you have to offer or possible certification/degree programs.  I stumbled across a response you posted to a question concerning Paleo Courses/Colleges on  You have responded to several replies for the individuals to contact you at this email address.  Hopefully this reaches you.

Thanks for your time and I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyed in happiness and health.



Dr. Cordain’s Response:

Dear Saurus,

Good to hear from you and many thanks for your support of the Paleo Diet.  I have corresponded with a number of native American groups (and Canadian tribes also) over the years who had interest in the Paleo Diet to improve the health and well being of their people by returning them to a diet that more closely resembles their ancestors’ nutritional fare before the coming of the “white man’s” culture.  In native American people, obesity, type 2 diabetes and diet related illnesses now run rampant both on and off Indian reservations.  These conditions were unknown in most of these people as recently as 150-200 years ago or less.  Many tribal elders are aware of the therapeutic health effects of their traditional foods (bison, elk, deer, antelope, salmon, fish, pine nuts, seeds, wild roots, berries, and many other edible indigenous foods).  However, part of the problem, as you have mentioned is in educating the younger generation about the healthful effects of their culture’s traditional foods.  I have taught an entry level (100 level course for freshmen) Paleo Diet course at CSU for many years and which could easily be taught by registered nurses or dietiticians.  A course like this should be required on many American Indian Reservations which suffer disproportionately from obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diseases of insulin resistance.


Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus


About Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor EmeritusDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of six popular bestselling books including The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

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“26” Comments

  1. I tried a 30 day trial and you keep charging me and taking the money out of my account, when I call the number I am always put on hold and I leave the requested information yet no one calls me back. I do not want the paleo course anymore and please stop taking the money out of my account. Is this some kind of fraud?

  2. hi Dr. Cordain
    I am great admirer and practitioner of Paleo life style and your great work ! It has changed my life and health!
    as i am fitness, BB coach, I would be so happy to get one certificate in Paleo nutrition!
    will You please send me one syllabi if there is courses at the moment?
    best regards

  3. I am very interested in your courses. So tired of seeing the way doctors treat patients with medications. I’ve been Paleo for a few years and would love to help others. If you could send me your course syllabi it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  4. A friend of mine has been talking to me about Paleo, I’m an executive chef and I’m wanting to learn as much as possible about Paleolithic nutrition can you send me the course Syllabi.

  5. Dr. Cordain:

    Hello, and Happy New Year!
    I too would love to take your course if you choose to set one up.
    I have your book and I enjoy making my family, and friends healthier down here on the South!

    Thank you,

  6. Pingback: Paleo Coconut Macaroons Recipes

  7. I’m a personal trainer here in the uk and would love to enrol on a paleo course so i can advise my clients about it. Please can you send me your syllabus? Many thanks.

  8. Hi Dr Cordain,

    I am alos looking for a Paleo friendly nutrition course in Australia and NO WHERE do they accept this concept although the general public are having incredible health results from following your books. could you also send me a copy of your Syllabus? please – my husband and i are very keen to help others through your nutrition advice and our free community fitness program. It is a shame that true nutrition is kept such a secret and Drs understand the paleo concept as foreign here but can not deny the result in their patients.


  9. Dr. Cordain,
    One more thing I forgot to mention.. How can I sign up for this course? Is it possible to do online? Are there any requirements?
    Thank You

  10. The Paleo Diet will never be fully accepted by SCIENCE until we change the way we look at it. Too many idiots listen and repeat dogma on the interwebz.

    Many assumptions we have assume that because THEY did it, it's better. This is a good starting point, but not a matter of fact.

    This article is about college. College teaches facts (or what is thought as facts through science). At Oregon State University I learned about the bell shaped curve. It suggests how averages work in populations.

    1.You can look at the bell shaped curve to understand that while most people have issues with dairy and seeds, NOT ALL PEOPLE HAVE ISSUES WITH DIGESTION! Few people on the left side will be deathly allergic, many people in the middle will be so-so, however people on the right side would have no issues.

    2. Foods like potatoes have anti nutrients, but that doesn't mean we can't deactivate them! The anti nutrients in potatoes are easily deactivated by heat. So when heated, what is the point of avoiding beans Paleo nazis?

    3, Avoid saturated fats. REALLY. REALLY??? This sounds like the SAD diet. Healthy saturates are essential.

    I love the Paleo Diet, but there is WAY TOO MUCH DOGMA OUT THERE. This is why at this point, I don't believe the diet will become mainstream yet.

    The good news is the the Paleo diet is still evolving. More and more foods are being allowed like potatoes and VIRGIN COCONUT OIL that aren't "paleo" however still offer a functional purpose to our health.

    I really hope the diet catches on!

    • P.S.

      My point is that at this point the diet simply is not credible (unfortunately). We need to get away from "because it's Paleo" and start thinking about the function of the food and how it will benefit us!

      Represent us well DR!

  11. Dr. Cordain, I too would really enjoy the course syllabi mentioned above and I wasn't able to find your CSU email address.. Our integrative studies at the Interfaith Renewal Center would be so greatly enhanced with the knowledge you have gleaned. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us. As a heart patient myself, your diet quite literally saved my life.

    Warm Regards,

    Dr. Dietz

  12. Dear Ms. Cordain,

    I hope an undergrad and/or grad program focusing on Paleolithic Nutrition evolves sooner rather than later!
    In the meantime, I am definitely interested in a link to your course syllabi.

    Thanks and best regards,


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