Nutrition explores how various nutrients in food (such as vitamins, fats and minerals) impact the health of humans, animals, plants and other organisms. Students who enroll in collegiate nutrition programs take courses in food science, organic chemistry and other STEM subjects. They also learn about the importance of diet, or eating habits based on food availability and palatability. Many careers in nutrition -- including registered dietitians and nutritionists -- are attainable with a bachelor's degree. Graduates can further build their skill set and increase their career standing by earning a master's in nutrition online.

NUTRITIONISTS WORK IN A CUTTING-EDGE, FAST-GROWING FIELD. EXPERTS PROJECT JOBS IN NUTRITION TO GROW 15% THROUGH 2026.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A MASTER'S IN NUTRITION?

Professionals working through a master's in nutrition prepare for many careers, including dieticians and nutritionists, agriculture and food scientists, and exercise physiologists. Read more here..

HOW DO I GET A MASTER'S IN NUTRITION?

After being admitted, students must complete all curriculum requirements, which may include an internship or capstone project. For more information, students should contact their prospective schools. Read more here..

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A MASTER'S IN NUTRITION?

Most master's in nutrition consist of 30-40 credits, which takes full-time students about one to two years to complete. Read more here..

HOW MUCH IS A MASTER'S DEGREE IN NUTRITION?

Tuition costs vary among schools. For more accurate information, students should check with their prospective schools. Read more here..

WHAT CAN I DO WITH AN ONLINE NUTRITION DEGREE?

Master's in nutrition students prepare for careers such as dieticians and nutritionists, health educators, and community health workers. Read more here..

Online nutrition master's programs cater to established professionals or students with an undergraduate degree in a nutrition-related field. Internships and/or residencies are a key aspect of many nutrition master's programs; others may require a research-based thesis or capstone project. Some programs only accept applicants with one or two years of professional experience as a registered dietitian or nutritionist; programs with no work experience requirements usually prepare students to sit for state-issued licensure exams after graduation.

Learn more about what you can do with an online master's in nutrition and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN NUTRITION PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

The best online master's in nutrition programs build on the fundamentals of undergraduate studies by introducing more complex concepts and theories related to diet, nutrition, and health. Many programs also enable students to gain supervised, hands-on training through an internship, practicum course, or residency. Students with specific career goals can also pursue a degree specialization in areas like obesity and eating disorders, health education, or sports nutrition.

WILL AN ONLINE MASTER'S IN NUTRITION WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

Online master's in nutrition programs offer a flexible alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar learning. Most program platforms allow students to access course materials, submit written assignments, take exams, and communicate with their professors any time of day (or night) from the comfort of their home computer. Current technology also enables them to study while on the move using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Although students complete internships and other supervised courses onsite or near the physical campus, learners can usually work with school officials to arrange opportunities closer to home. This convenient format proves ideal for students who must balance their schoolwork with other commitments, such as employment or childcare.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MASTER'S IN NUTRITION?

Nutrition master's graduates leave school qualified for most entry-level jobs in their field, as well as some managerial positions normally reserved for candidates with an advanced degree. Those who earn a degree specialization often receive roles in their field of interest. Certain job titles, including registered dietitians and nutritionists, often require candidates to pass a licensure exam in the state where they plan to work. Graduates of online nutrition master's programs can sit for these exams if they have not done so prior to their enrollment.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER'S IN NUTRITION PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school's strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online colleges for nutrition in the United States. Those considering a master's in nutrition online should contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more about their specific requirements and offerings.

Rank School Cost Enrolled Online Description Toggle
1 Tufts University Medford, MA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 6%

Tufts University established their master of nutrition science and policy program in 2007 to attract health professionals passionate about nutrition. Students earning the master's in nutrition and policy online undertake an interdisciplinary curriculum covering subjects such as nutritional science, applied research skills, and global nutrition. Students take electives of their choice to broaden their interests.

This program requires 30 credit hours, including the core curriculum, two electives, and a research project or thesis. The curriculum emphasizes fundamental nutritional sciences, policy making, and research skills. Available courses include obesity and energy regulation, epidemiology for nutrition professionals, and global food and nutrition policy. Degrees can be completed in one to three years, depending on the pace students take. Though this program is primarily online, a residency in Boston each semester is a requirement.

Tufts blends online learning with on-campus instruction. Each semester, students meet with faculty in Boston for a week-long conference. This face-to-face time creates meaningful relationships between peers and faculty, and also allows students to receive professional advice and build connections.

Students who earn a master's in nutrition can pursue jobs as biochemists, nutrition-based economists, nutrition scientists or behaviorists, and experts in nutrition policy. Jobs are available in education, government, community-based food programs, the food industry, or public relations.

Students meet with faculty once a semester for one week for interactive courses, lectures, and seminars. Students can attend online streamed campus events and webinars, giving them an on-campus experience from their own homes.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Nutrition Science and Policy
Tuition: $5,136/course
Credit requirements: 30 credit hours
Program length: 1-2 years full-time; 2-3 years part-time

Delivery
Format: Hybrid

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (617) 636-3777
Email: nutritionadmissions@tufts.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

2 University of Western States Portland, OR Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 45%

The University of Western States was originally founded as a chiropractic college in 1904, and now offers a variety of degrees addressing health and wellness. The master of science in human nutrition and functional medicine is a collaborative degree that explores how human nutrition meets functional medicine.

This master's in nutritional science is entirely online, and typically takes students 6-9 quarters to complete. With 52 required credits, this program addresses disease directly rather than focusing on symptoms alone, and incorporates a holistic view of health and the biochemical makeup of each patient. Earning a master's in nutrition leads to several national certifications in the clinical nutrition field.

Classes are taught interactively through class forums. Students may take up to five years to complete the program. Students who have background in the healthcare field can have some or all of the prerequisites waived. Available courses include whole food nutrition and supplementation, gastrointestinal imbalances, and hormone and neurotransmitter regulation and imbalances.

Students must complete a capstone project before they graduate, and because not all classes are offered every semester, students should plan their schedule carefully. This clinically oriented program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, and a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students who have below a 2.75, however, should still apply and are considered on a case-by-case basis.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine
Tuition: $473/credit
Credit requirements: 52 credits
Program length: 5-9 quarters

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (503) 251-5765
Email: lmin@uws.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; LinkedIn

3 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 31%

North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers a master's in nutrition online program that is a Professional Science Masters (PSM) program, so includes a subset of courses focused on regulatory, communication, and management skills, with a majority of courses in core nutrition science and metabolism. As a non-thesis degree, the school places particular emphasis on the application of knowledge as well as field experience. Distance learners can choose a specialization within human nutrition, food, and bioprocessing sciences, or they can opt for a feed science concentration in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences specialization in feed milling.

This online master's in nutrition consists of 36 credit hours of core courses, elective courses, and professional science course work, in which students create a portfolio of professional experiences involving current and prospective employers. All tracks culminate in six credits of a practicum, internship, or related independent project. NC State offers many notable classes, including biochemistry of gene expression, maternal and infant nutrition, vitamin metabolism, energy metabolism, regulation of metabolism, and agricultural waste management.

As a hybrid program, this degree can include a mix of on-campus and online coursework, or be taken entirely online or entirely entiron-campus. Students access online courses through the university’s Wolfware system that features Moodle and Mediasite content delivery. Depending on the class, some content may be delivered synchronously, while other classes will be administered asynchronously. Distance learners benefit from access to virtual program coordinators, enrollment counselors, academic advisers, and technical help.

Applicants must hold a bachelor of science degree and must have completed coursework in organic chemistry and biology. Additionally, they must earn a minimum GPA of 3.0 and should score at or above the 30th percentile on the GRE. Admitted students can start in fall, spring, or summer semesters. Accepted transfer students can typically transfer up to 12 hours from an accredited school for coursework with a grade of "B" or better. In-state tuition is $432 per credit hour, while out-of-state tuition is $1,148 per credit hour. The school encourages students to apply for scholarships, financial aid, and grants. NC State awards aid on both a basis of needs and academic merit.


Program Overview
Department: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Program Name: Master of Nutrition
Available concentrations: Master of Nutrition-Human Nutrition Emphasis or Master of Nutrition-Feed Science Emphasis
Accrediting body: SACSCC
Tuition: $431.88/credit, in-state; $1,147.88/credit, out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: BS in a science-related area, including courses in biology and organic chemistry
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Field education requirements: Practicum or internship

Program Length
Program options: Full-time or part-time
Program length: 1.5 to 2 years for full-time students
Program start dates: Fall, spring, and summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall, June 1; spring, Nov. 1; and summer session 1, March 1 and session 2, May 1
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Department phone: (919) 515-2968
Department email: nutrition_program@ncsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4 University of Georgia Athens, GA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 11%

The University of Georgia was founded in 1785, making it the first state-supported university in the nation and the first public land grant institution in Georgia. UGA offers a master's in community nutrition online that educates students on how to extend their nutritional knowledge through service, community outreach, school nutrition, and the food industry.

This degree prepares students for careers in the science industry, community work, clinical work, or government. A master's in nutrition emphasizes program planning, developing policy, counseling, and writing skills. Courses cover topics such as nutritional health and aging, nutrition and obesity across the lifespan, and child and adolescent nutrition. This program does not require a thesis.

UGA's program is taught entirely online and is flexible for working professionals. Students earn a master's in nutrition after completing 30 credit hours, and this typically takes one year for full-time students and several years for part-time students. Students can use their coursework towards obtaining their Georgia School Nutrition Director’s certification requirements.

To apply, students should have a bachelor's from an accredited institution, submit GRE scores, and have a minimum GPA of a 3.0. Though this is not required, distance learners are encouraged to have either worked or volunteered in a field related to food science, nutrition, or health before applying.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Community Nutrition
Available concentrations: Aging and nutrition; bone health; clinical and translational nutrition; community and public health nutrition; cooperative extension; dietetic internship; food safety; functional foods and phytochemicals; genetics and metabolism; gut microbiome; maternal, infant, and childhood nutrition; nutrition, physical activity, exercise, and sport; obesity and obesity-related disorders; school nutrition and school nutrition director certification program
Tuition: $629 per credit, in-state and out-of-state
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Preferred

Contact
Phone: (706) 542-9920
Email: dholcomb@uga.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 25%

Through its Department of Family, Population, and Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University offers an online nutrition master's degree program designed for working professionals and post-baccalaureate students.

The school's 36-credit master's in nutrition online degree is offered in conjunction with the 15-credit advanced certificate in nutrition, however, this program does not lead to certification as a Registered Dietician or nutritionist. Students interested in becoming a Registered Dietician must apply for the separate Dietetic Internship Program. In order to graduate, students must complete a culminating project during their final semester, either a research paper or continuous quality improvement research project. Most students complete this program in two years and learners who opt for two summer sessions can earn their degree in 13 months. Those who aim to graduate quickly must start in the fall semester. Two classes are offered per term.

With a curriculum that prepares graduates for careers in clinical settings, distance learners in this online master's in nutrition program study pharmaceuticals, coaching and recent issues and trends in nutrition. Notable classes include nutrition management and leadership, macronutrients and metabolic regulation, food policy, and health outcomes in the United States. The school delivers its online coursework via Blackboard. Distance students have access to online support services, including academic advising and technical assistance.

Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores, however, they most hold a bachelor of arts degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, prerequisites include physiology (lab is not required), statistics, and survey of nutrition concepts. Applicants who have an undergraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics will not be required to take the survey of nutrition concepts course. Admitted students can begin the program in fall, spring, or summer session. Students may transfer up to six credits of previously earned graduate work (no more than five years old). In-state tuition is $453 per credit and out-of-state tuition is $925 per credit. The school encourages students to apply for financial aid.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Family, Population & Preventive Medicine
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Accrediting body: MSCHE
Tuition: $5,435.00/12 credits, in-state; $11,105.00/12 credits, out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree; undergraduate coursework in physiology and statistics. Applicants without an undergraduate degree in nutrition/dietetics require Survey of Nutrition Concepts course.
Credit requirements: 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, and summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall, July 1; spring, November 1; and summer, April 7
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA

Contact
Department phone: (631) 638-2132
Department email: sharon.schmidt@stonybrookmedicine.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 6%

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a master's in clinical nutrition that is built around core nutrition biochemistry, professional skills, electives to broaden scope, and clinical nutrition. This program is geared toward people with clinical nutrition backgrounds, such as registered dietitian nutritionists, medical doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, who want to advance their practice in the area of clinical nutrition.

This master's in nutrition program has an emphasis in clinical nutrition. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to translate research; recognize and formulate responses to evolving developments in clinical nutrition practice, policy, and research; and lead and manage professional teams to design nutrition related services.

The program is taught entirely online and requires students to complete 30 credits with no on-campus visits required. The 30 credits focus on the fundamentals of nutritional biochemistry, clinical nutrition, and professional skills. Notable courses include Personalized Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics, and Metagenomics, Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Health, and Advanced Critical Care. The online classroom format delivers information through lectures, online and live discussions, case studies, and group presentations.

Students can begin the program in the summer, fall, or spring semesters. For full-time students, it can take as little as one year and for part-time students, students complete their degree at whatever pace works best for them.

This program requires a bachelor's degree, the completion of prerequisite classes, a 3.0 minimum GPA, and the submission of a TOEFL score if necessary. NO GRE is required.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
Tuition: $800/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: Varies

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (608) 261-1397
Email: mlschuchardt@wisc.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7 Maryland University of Integrative Health Laurel, MD Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 87%

Maryland University of Integrative Health integrates physiology with the environment, and explores how society and culture interact with health. This holistic program offers a master's in nutritional science that links food with agriculture, processing, and sustainability.

Students can earn their master's in nutrition in just two years, and they can become certified nutrition specialists following graduation. This program covers topics including biochemical assessment, how to apply nutrition theory, and behavioral change. Students have labs, coaching sessions, and focused case studies to help further their education.

Students choose from the following concentrations: human clinical nutrition, community nutrition education, or herbal medicine. The human clinical nutrition concentration is good for students who want to seek a private nutrition practice and work directly with clients. This concentration focuses on case studies and hones skills needed in clinical settings.

The community nutrition education concentration is geared toward students who want to go into education programs, particularly in underserved communities. This concentration promotes farm to school programs through nutritional seminars. The herbal medicine concentration is open for those who want to go into the field of natural and intersectional combination of herbs and nutrition. Through training in a clinical setting or conducting research, this program equips students to counsel their clients in both the ways of food nutrition and how to combine herbal products with supplements.

Courses are available in foundations in organic chemistry, nutritional biochemistry, and principles and practices of health behavior and self-care. This program requires no residency and no test scores. All that is required is a bachelor's degree and a 2.5 overall GPA.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health
Available concentrations: Human clinical nutrition, community nutrition education, herbal medicine
Tuition: $842/credit
Credit requirements: 50-58 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (410) 888-9048
Email: nutrition@muih.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 25%

The University of Southern California offers a master of science in nutrition, healthspan, and longevity for students who desire hands-on education from professionals from all around the world.

Online courses consist of lectures, interactive exercises, assignments, and integrated subject matter. Courses available in this program include advanced therapeutic nutrition with lab, communicating nutrition and health, and nutrition, genes, longevity, and diseases. These courses are accessible at any time, any day and let students pace themselves according to their own schedules. This 46-credit master's in nutrition program takes two years to complete as a full-time student. Courses are taken over four semesters and one summer semester.

All distance learners must complete a capstone project and present it at either a local, state, or national dietetics conference, or in a peer-reviewed publication. Earning a master's in nutrition online opens up employment opportunities in hospitals, healthcare facilities, private practice, and education.

While most of the program can be completed online, students must come to campus for a five-day professionalization seminar orientation in January during their first year. To apply, students must complete all standard prerequisites and demonstrate 40 hours of paid or volunteer work experience with a registered dietitian.

Additionally, this program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, though there is no university-wide minimum GPA requirement. GRE or GMAT scores are encouraged, but not required.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity
Available concentrations: N/A
Tuition: $1,666/unit
Credit requirements: 46 units
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE or GMAT

Contact
Phone: (213) 740-1728
Email: sararobi@usc.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 18%

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was made a land grant institution in 1868. The university currently focuses on community education and service learning and offers a master of science in food science and human nutrition that encompases these initiatives.

Within this program, students research safe food, strong communities, and sustainable uses of natural resources. Additionally, this program emphasizes research on accessible and affordable food. Illinois offers concentrations in food science or human nutrition and allows students to take a thesis or non-thesis track. The concentrations allow students to study specialized subjects such as fermentation and food, different conditions and their effects on microbes, and the study of bacteria behavior.

This degree takes an average of four years to complete if students take one course per semester, which is recommended. Master's in nutrition programs open up careers in academia, governmental agencies, and the food industry. Areas of study within this program focus on clinical nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, community nutrition, and nutritional toxicology.

This program requires a bachelor's degree, though it does not need to be in an area related to nutritional science. A 3.0 minimum GPA is required along with GRE scores. A final oral exam is given after 32 hours of coursework is completed.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition
Available concentrations: Food science, human nutrition
Tuition: $7,850/semester
Credit requirements: 32 credit hours
Program length: 16 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (217) 244-6788
Email: fshn-general@illinois.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10 Logan University Chesterfield, MO Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 31%

Logan University offers a master of science in nutrition and human performance that focuses on clinical research, nutrition deficiencies, food allergies, and nutrition. This master's in nutrition is heavy in research, focusing on areas such as nutritional biochemistry, health, and wellness.

Those earning their master's in nutrition degrees can pursue careers in public health, nutrition, or education. Concentrations within this program include sports and fitness nutrition, nutritional wellness, and health education and promotion.

Sports and fitness nutrition focuses on the nutritional well-being and the physical performance of athletes. The nutritional wellness concentration looks at food systems and their sustainability, health promotion, and nutrition epidemiology. The concentration in health education and promotion focuses on health education through media, public health, and technology.

This program is taught entirely online and offers courses in areas such as health education theories and media, technology, and public health. Distance learners must also complete a capstone. Graduates can assess and compile nutrition plans and manage wellness programs in corporations, or work in clinical settings where they analyse and diagnose health performance and nutrition issues.

This program requires no GRE scores but does require a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. A 2.5 minimum GPA is a requirement, but lower GPAs may be accepted.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance
Available concentrations: Sports and fitness nutrition, nutritional wellness, health education and promotion
Tuition: $450/credit hour
Credit requirements: 36-39 credit hours
Program length: 5 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.5 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 782-3344
Email: admissions@logan.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 2%

The University of Texas at Austin offers a master of science in nutritional sciences online for students who already have jobs in wellness, nutrition, and health fields but want to expand their qualifications.

Available courses within this program include how diet influences the microbiomes, the influence of diet on our genetic makeup, and balancing energy and weight gain to produce healthy, nutritional diets.

This program is for registered dietitians or other health professionals. Additionally, this program may appeal to teachers, administrators, or policymakers; it may also benefit professionals within the pharmaceutical field focusing on chemical balances and interactions.

Courses are taught in a cohort format. Within this 30-credit program, two concentrations are available: including health promotion and disease prevention, and biochemical and functional nutrition. Students complete five core nutrition classes followed by five classes within their concentration.

Core classes cover topics such as molecular nutritional sciences, experimental design, and statistics. The accelerated track is encouraged for students who want to fast-track their degree. Classes can be completed in a little over a year, with an extra semester in the summer. Thesis options are available but are not required.

For admission, the school requires a bachelor's in a related field or completion of certain prerequisites. A 3.0 minimum GPA and GRE scores are additional requirements.


Program Overview
Program name: Online Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences
Available concentrations: Health promotion and disease prevention, biochemical and functional nutrition
Tuition: $750/credit hour
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (512) 471-0165
Email: headvising@austin.utexas.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12 American University Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 20%

American University offers a Master of Science in Nutrition Education, a 100% online program that combines nutrition science and educational strategies to transform behavior at the individual, community, and population level. This program is one of only a few nutrition programs nationwide that is focused on education.

The content in the program is delivered using both theoretical and practical methodology, giving students hands-on experience as well as a solid foundation in nutrition science, preparing them for impactful roles in nutrition. Courses include the study of lifecycle nutrition, changing health behavior, nutrition education methods and program design, nutrition epidemiology & much more.

Online students have access to a variety of on-campus support resources such as the career center, library, and the writing center. A faculty-student mentorship program is also available which provides assistance with resume writing, networking, and job searching. Additional student services include peer events, industry webinars, podcasts and conferences.

A prior nutrition degree is not required to pursue the online MS in Nutrition Education program, making this an excellent option for career changers. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Three start terms are offered throughout the year in fall, summer, and spring and the entire program can be completed in just 20 months.

The program can also serve as a stepping stone to the Certified Nutrition Specialist credential if a student completes or has already completed additional coursework outside of this program in clinical nutrition, biology, chemistry, biochemistry and anatomy & physiology.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition Education
Tuition: $1,642/credit
Credit requirements: 30 credits
Program length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (855) 725-7614
Email: admissions@programs.online.american.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science North Chicago, IL Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 6%

Rosalind Franklin offers an online master's degree in nutrition through its College of Health Professions. The MS in clinical nutrition focuses on integrating wellness concepts and healthcare industry innovations into a traditional dietetics curriculum. Through hands-on clinical experience and research, students build leadership and health education teaching skills at the graduate level. Coursework includes a teaching experience, independent study project, and portfolio evaluation. Over the course of the program, students build a portfolio in five competency areas: nutrition and health promotion knowledge, education, critical thinking and research evaluation, professional communication, and leadership.

Courses are delivered through D2L Brightspace. Master’s in nutrition online students are supported by faculty and instructors trained specifically in online learning. They also have access to an exclusive student portal, HelixNet, designed just for medicine and science students. Students who enroll in two classes per quarter may complete the program on a fast-track in two years. The school provides part-time students with up to five years to finish their degree.

The program has four start dates, which occur in August, November, February, and May. To apply, prospective students should hold a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related scientific field from an accredited institution. This online master’s in nutrition also requires that applicants have clinical experience in the aforementioned areas. Additionally, students must have earned a minimum GPA of at least 2.75 for the last two years of undergraduate study. No pre-graduate standardized testing is required, but applicants who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents should submit TOEFL scores. Finally, the school requires one letter of recommendation (although the school prefers two).

Rosalind Franklin's application deadlines are approximately one month prior to the desired start term. Students accepted into (or currently completing) a dietetics internship may be eligible to receive a scholarship and waive the tuition deposit for online programs through the College of Health Professions.


Program Overview
Department: College of Health Professions
Program Name: Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $589.00/credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree; undergraduate coursework in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and physiology
Credit requirements: 48 credits

Program Length
Program options: Part-time
Program length: 2 to 5 years (accelerated option available)
Program start dates: Fall, winter, spring, and summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Fall, July 17; winter, October 17; spring, January 30; & summer, May 1
GPA: Minimum 2.75 GPA in the last 2 years of study
Work experience: Professional experience in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field highly recommended

Contact
Department phone: (847) 578-3000
Department email: online.info@rosalindfranklin.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14 Northeastern University Boston, MA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 10%

Founded in 1898 in Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern ranks among the top global and educational research institutions. The university's master of science in applied nutrition focuses on clinical education and offers concentrations in business and entrepreneurship in nutrition, nutrition education, obesity and nutritional health, and nutrition and fitness.

This master of nutrition online at Northeastern favors students who hold a bachelor’s degree in health science, dietetics, or a similar field. Graduates possess a strong foundation in fundamental nutrition, disease prevention, health, metabolism, and clinical research. Students also develop practical skills in the implementation of healthy habits and behaviors to prevent disease.

Recognized for its hands-on curriculum, Northeastern's practicum provides students the opportunity to work with RDs, fitness experts, and health professionals. Core courses emphasize career training in topics including health promotion/disease prevention, food and society, and applied research in nutrition.

The master of science in applied nutrition online allows students the flexibility to continue to work while completing the degree. Most students can complete the master’s online in two years or less. Applicants must meet the following prerequisites for admission: two chemistry courses, two biology courses, anatomy & physiology I & II, and general nutrition, or an equivalent course.

Northeastern does not charge an application fee or require GRE or GMAT scores. Applicants submit a professional resume, statement of purpose, undergraduate transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. Admitted students can choose from multiple start dates to begin the master's program online.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Available concentrations: Business and entrepreneurship in nutrition, nutrition education, nutrition and fitness, obesity and nutritional health
Tuition: $671/credit hour
Credit requirements: 45 quarter hours
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Contact
Phone: (877) 668-7727
Email: cpsadmissions@northeastern.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

15 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 37%

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University offers a master's in nutrition online program designed to combine biomedical sciences and human behavior. Offered via the Great Plains IDEA initiative, the master's in nutrition online degree comprises 37 credit hours, including required core work and and elective courses.

Students can opt for a thesis or non-thesis track, both of which culminate in a final research project. Notable classes include micronutrients, nutrition and human performance, nutritional aspects of oncology, and grant writing, and the curriculum focuses on preparing students for management roles in the dietetics profession. Each class is one semester in length.

Courses are individually designed by experienced faculty, so some may be offered synchronously while others are asynchronous in format. Depending on the course, coursework is delivered via Canvas, Blackboard, or Distance2Learn. Online content may include lectures, readings, assignments, and group projects. Distance learners benefit from access to enrollment counseling and academic advising, as well as supplemental web-based learning materials through the virtual classroom, adult learner and veteran services, career services, the writing center, tutoring, and the library.

The school does not require GRE scores. However, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must be a Registered Dietitian. Accepted graduate students may begin coursework in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. Tuition is $565 per credit regardless of residency. Students who are enrolled in at least five credits per semester are eligible to apply for financial aid, including scholarships but note that students enrolled solely in online courses may have limited access to these resources. CSU offers military discounts and veterans benefits.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Program Name: Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $565.00/credit

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree; Registered Dietitian licensure
Credit requirements: 37 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2+ years, depending on intensity of study and prior coursework
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Feb. 1
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA
Work experience: Registered Dietitian

Contact
Department phone: (970) 491-7462
Department email: mary.harris@colostate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 34%

An original land-grant school under the federal government, Mississippi State opened in 1878 as an agricultural and mechanical college. Today, the university captures the atmosphere of a worldly higher education community within the city of Starkville. Located 125 miles northeast of the city of Jackson, Mississippi State emphasizes cultural campus activities including local theater and music.

Mississippi State offers a master of science in food science, nutrition, & health promotion with a concentration in health promotion. Graduates qualify for careers in health facilities, schools, hospitals, companies, government, and in the military. The program focuses on preventing obesity, chronic disease, and other health issues related to or treated by nutrition.

Mississippi State ranks among the top providers of food safety education. The university hosts USDA-ARS, driving research for the Center for Food Safety and Post Harvest Technology, and provides research into the study of food crops native to Mississippi.

This master’s in nutrition online program prepares students for the certified health education specialist test. An extension and outreach component provides students with hands-on field experience in their local community, designed to improve nutrition and health through organizations such as HACCP, Food Defense, Food Security, and ServSafe.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and undergraduate transcripts specifying overall GPA. This master’s program accepts applications year-round, and students can start the program at the beginning of any semester.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Food Science, Nutrition, & Health Promotion
Available concentrations: Health promotion
Tuition: $342/credit
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (662) 325-9092
Email: mjimerson@distance.msstate.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 12%

One of the oldest colleges west of the Mississippi, the state proudly claims the University of Utah as its flagship institution. The University of Utah offers an online master of science in nutrition & integrative physiology with an emphasis in nutrition.

The master’s in nutrition online program serves students with an undergraduate background in dietetics or health sciences. The program focuses on advanced training and education in biochemistry, macro and micronutrient metabolism, and field research.

Attending an online program at the University of Utah allows working students to balance their job responsibilities with their course schedule. Students complete 38 credits to earn the degree—20 credits of core courses and 18 credits of elective courses. Students may customize their area of concentration with the guidance of a program advisor. The program is not “coordinated” so it does not quality students for RDN certification, though many registered dietitians pursue the master’s degree to increase their knowledge and build specialty skills.

Prerequisites for the master’s program follow guidelines set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, including anatomy or physiology, and two courses in nutrition and one course in each of the following: biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology. Applicants seeking a fitness or sports concentration must complete an additional course in exercise physiology.

Applicants must submit an online application, a statement of purpose, a resume, three letters of recommendation, undergraduate transcripts, and GRE scores (optional but recommended). Students must hold a GPA of at least 3.0 an undergraduate degree in a health-related field.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition & Integrative Physiology with an Emphasis in Nutrition
Available concentrations: Eating disorders; nutrition for fitness, sport, and pediatric nutrition
Tuition: $10,272/year in-state; $24,541/year out-of-state
Credit requirements: 38 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE encouraged, not required

Contact
Phone: (801) 581-6730
Email: carisse.winegar@hsc.utah.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18 Saybrook University Oakland, CA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 8%

Founded by psychologists, Saybrook University continues today its 40-year history of providing renowned psychology programs. While the school maintains campuses in Seattle, Washington, and Oakland, California, Saybrook University claims rank as one of the first universities to offer a blended online degree.

Saybrook University offers a master of science in integrative and functional nutrition in a hybrid/blended format, alongside its on-campus counterpart, offered at the Seattle location. The online nutrition master's degree program provides training in biological and nutritional sciences, clinical assessment, and personalized therapies. A signature of Saybrook University, this program emphasizes methods of searching for the underlying cause of disease for both mental and physical ailments, addressing health from a holistic perspective. Students master integrative nutrition and learn to customize therapies for each patient.

Saybrook students complete courses including integrative and functional nutrition, advanced nutritional biochemistry, and therapeutic diet and menu planning. The curriculum for this master's degree prepares graduates for certified nutrition specialist (CNS) and certified clinical nutritionist (CCN) registration exams.

Students can take 21 months to two years to complete the master's degree in nutrition. The hybrid program requires attendance at two residential conferences per year, providing online students the opportunity to communicate with instructors in person and attend workshops and lectures on campus. Each student works with mentoring faculty to tailor course curriculum to meet individual career goals.

Applicants can submit applications online, and may begin the program in January or August. Saybrook does not require GRE scores, and instead wholly considers the applicant’s undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements for admission.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Integrative and Functional Nutrition
Tuition: $1,100/credit
Credit requirements: 41 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: Not required

Contact
Phone: (888) 308-0032
Email: admissions@saybrook.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 41%

Opened in Lubbock in 1925, Texas Technological University expanded from a small campus of only 914 students into its current incarnation as a top-ranking public research institution. Students in the master of science in nutrition and dietetics online learn from experienced nutritionists and dieticians at the top of their field. This master’s program accepts registered dietitians/nutritionists and students entering or completing their dietetic internship.

This master's degree in nutrition online delivers a flexible curriculum to students working full time in a health-related occupation. Students must complete 33 credit hours in core and elective courses to earn the degree. The practice-based program allows students to build skills in a career specialty through targeted electives in maternal health, geriatrics, eating disorders, and general nutrition.

Students in the master of nutrition program learn to apply practical skills in primary areas of health-related nutrition, including obesity, diabetes, pediatrics, and nutrition, exercise, and sport. Students explore topics such as carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, biostatistics in nutrition, and pediatric nutrition, culminating in a required exit exam.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA, transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, GRE results (no minimum score required), and proof of RD certification (CDR card) or acceptance into or current enrollment in a diet internship program. Students may submit applications through the TTU online portal.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Tuition: $320/credit hour
Credit requirements: 33 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (806) 834-8271
Email: ashley.wenzel@ttu.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 32%

Established in 1890 as an agricultural and mechanical college, Oklahoma State University managed to provide higher education to resident students without any classrooms or books of its own. Today, OSU's main campus in Stillwater, known as "America’s healthiest campus," not only seamlessly integrates health and wellness programs into its campus culture, but also features the master of science in nutritional sciences with an option in dietetics online.

To earn the online nutrition master's at OSU, students complete 36 credit hours in topics including micronutrients in human nutrition, functional foods for chronic disease prevention, and research methods in nutritional sciences. This master’s program in nutrition accepts students with RD certification or RD-eligible status. Graduates of this program do not qualify to become registered dietitians. This program suits students seeking to advance their practice or improve specialty skills.

Students in the master’s in nutritional sciences at OSU complete courses such as micronutrients in human nutrition, functional foods for chronic disease prevention, and research methods in nutritional sciences.

Prospective students with RD or RDN credentials who meet the academic requirements to sit for the national exam may apply. Students with a didactic program in dietetics (DPD) verification statement may also qualify but should check with admissions before applying. Applicants must submit GRE scores and transcripts with a minimum 3.0 GPA for admissions consideration.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics
Tuition: $474/credit in-state; $580/credit out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE
Work experience: Registered Dietitian credential or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist credential

Contact
Phone: (405) 744-4582
Email: susan.malec@okstate.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; LinkedIn

21 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 31%

University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers an online master's in nutrition designed for registered dieticians. With a specialization in dietetics and a curriculum that's focused on attaining evidence-based skills, graduates are prepared for advanced nutrition and health sciences professions in community health organizations, wellness consulting groups, and private practices.

UNL's master's degree in nutrition online is offered via the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA) initiative. The degree consists of 36 credit hours, nine of which are core courses and 21 are electives. Enrolled students can opt for a thesis track or a non-thesis track with a final six-credit paper or project. The curriculum consists of several interesting clinically-oriented classes, such as macronutrients, functional foods, health care administration, phytochemicals, nutritional immunology, food service management, and obesity across the lifespan. Distance learners can expect coursework in statistics and dietetic research methods. Both tracks culminate in a final comprehensive oral exam.

Depending on the specific course, online content is delivered via Canvas, Blackboard, or Distance2Learn. As each class is designed by an individual professor, some may be offered synchronously while others are asynchronous in format. Online students have access to the virtual learning librarian, 24/7 online tutorials, academic advisers, technical support, a campus coordinator, and a distance education coordinator.

All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and must be a Registered Dietitian (or must eligible to sit for the registration exam). Additionally, applicants must submit GRE scores. Admitted students can transfer up to 18 credits towards their degree. Tuition is $565 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school encourages students to apply for graduate assistantships and financial aid.


Program Overview
Department: Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences
Program Name: Master of Science with Dietetics specialization
Accrediting body: HLC
Tuition: $325.50/credit, in-state; $609.00/credit, out-of-state

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
Credit requirements: 30 to 36 credits

Program Length
Program options: Full-time
Program length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, spring, and summer

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: Rolling
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Department phone: (402) 472-3666
Department email: diane.nelson@unl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 9%

Loma Linda’s online master’s in nutrition programs are offered through its School of Allied Health Professions. This MS in nutrition and dietetics is designed for candidates with a bachelor’s degree who are looking to become registered dietitians. Loma Linda also offers a master’s in nutrition care management for students who are already registered dieticians and who seek leadership positions within their professional field. In addition, the school also administers a master of public health in public health nutrition.

The entire curriculum for the nutrition and dietetics and nutrition care management master’s programs is available online, save for an initial two-day orientation at the Loma Linda campus in Loma Linda, California. The nutrition and dietetics program requires completion of a practicum experience, while the nutrition care management does not. Both programs culminate in either registration-eligible status to sit for the registration exam or a publishable capstone experience. Students must earn a "C" or higher in all coursework in order to complete the program. Courses are delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Online student support resources include academic advising, tech support, and electronic library access.

Applications to the master’s in nutrition online programs are accepted between November 1 and March 31. The school encourages applicants to apply early due to program popularity and requires applicants to hold an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, but students do not need to submit pre-graduate examination scores. All applicants must complete a phone interview during the admissions process. Tuition rates are the same rate for both California and out-of-state residents.

The School of Allied Health Professions is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.


Program Overview
Department: School of Allied Health Professions
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Accrediting body: ACEND
Tuition: $29,088, year 1; $35,232, year 2; $22,754, year 3

Delivery
Format: Online

Program Requirements
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree; undergraduate coursework in chemistry, microbiology, human anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and algebra

Program Length
Program options:Full-time
Program length: 3 years for students without Registered Dietitian credential; accelerated program available for Registered Dietitians
Program start dates: Fall

Admission Requirements
Application deadline: March 31
GPA: Minimum 3.0 GPA
Work experience: Registered Dietitian credential for accelerated program

Contact
Department phone: (909) 558-4593
Department email: nutrition@llu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 48%

Founded as a seminary in 1820, The University of Alabama-Birmingham today counts itself among the nation's leading research program providers, offering several online degrees through regional campuses. UA offers two master’s degrees in the field of nutrition online. Students can select a master of science in nutrition sciences, clinical track - prior learning option, or master of science in nutrition sciences - lifestyle management and disease prevention.

The master’s in nutrition online at the University of Alabama offers a variety of blended program options. Students may complete the program entirely online or in blended format, featuring both online and on-campus coursework.

The master of science in nutrition sciences, clinical track - prior learning option allows students to apply practice hours toward degree completion. The non-thesis clinical track requires 30 credits to earn the degree. Students may attend full time or part time. Full-time students can complete the program in just three semesters.

The master of science in nutrition sciences - lifestyle management and disease prevention (LMDP) can also be completed online. This master’s program explores nutrition for disease prevention and how to apply it to daily life and exercise. Students must complete 36 credit hours to earn the degree; the program does not require a thesis. Full-time students can complete the program in four semesters. This master's degree does not prepare students for RD certification. Applicants must complete prerequisites in biology, organic chemistry, physiology, microbiology, and introductory nutrition.

Applicants to either program must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation. The clinical track requires 1200 supervised practice hours, and must be verified by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Nutrition Science
Available concentrations: Lifestyle management and disease prevention; clinical track
Tuition: $555/credit hour in-state; $1,272/credit hour out-of-state
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 4 semesters

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (205) 934-3006
Email: tharman@uab.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24 Iowa State University Ames, IA Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 26%

Founded in 1858 as a land-grant university program commissioned by Abraham Lincoln, Iowa State continues to advocate higher education opportunities for students, nationwide. A partnership with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance allows Iowa State to offer a broad selection of courses and degree programs online. Based in the city of Ames, the university offers an online master of family and consumer sciences with dietetics specialization.

This 36-credit online master's in nutrition prepares students to advance their career as a registered dietitian and potentially pursue a Ph.D. The program trains students to conduct research and review current information on food, the food service industry, and nutrition. Students learn biomedical science and human behavior integrating skills in various specialized areas of nutrition, as well as study current food nutrition science and overall wellness. Graduates possess an understanding the role of a dietitian in regards to public policy and within the healthcare system.

Students enrolled in the master of family and consumer sciences with dietetics specialization online take courses including nutrition education in the community, obesity across the lifespan, and pediatric clinical nutrition. Each student must fulfill a creative component, comprising six credits, including a written paper and an oral exam. Students propose a topic to a committee for approval before launching the project. Learners must earn at least a B grade on the creative component to graduate.

Applicants must hold RD licensure or RD eligibility, and pass the RD exam during the first semester of attendance at Iowa State. Applicants must hold current employment as dietitians or start working as a dietitian during the first two semesters. The program prefers applicants with two years of work experience and a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with Dietetics specialization
Tuition: $497/credit
Credit requirements: 36 credits
Program length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work experience: 2 or more years of nutrition/dietetic work experience and Registered
Dietitian credential

Contact
Phone: (515) 294-5385
Email: hsde@iastate.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Enrolled Online: 38%

Founded in Tuscaloosa in 1820, U of A planted its roots just two years after Alabama received statehood in the U.S. The now world-renowned U of A offers a master of science in human nutrition online.

The 30-credit online nutrition master's degree suits students looking to advance their career through the study of dietetics, or pursue a Ph.D. This master’s program prepares students to lead research initiatives in the field, and keeps nutritionists abreast of the latest innovations in food and nutrition to apply to their practice.

Students can adjust their track of study based on career objectives. The program consists primarily of degree-seekers working as registered dietitians, interning, or with RD eligibility. Students may choose from specialized tracks in clinical nutrition, community nutrition, and generalist nutrition. Students complete courses in topics including life cycle nutrition, nutrition support for the critically ill, and childhood obesity. Students enrolled in the master of science in nutrition program also complete core coursework in research and biostatistics, and conclude with a required capstone course.

Applicants do not need an RD license for admission, though most states require certification for practicing dietitians. This master’s degree program does not prepare students to take the registration dietitian exam or for a dietetic internship; applicants seeking RD eligibility and exam preparation should consider U of A's on-campus program. Candidates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in all undergraduate work.


Program Overview
Program name: Master of Science in Human Nutrition
Available concentrations: Clinical nutrition, community nutrition, generalist
Tuition: $375/credit hour
Credit requirements: 30 credits

Delivery
Format: Online

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (800) 467-0227
Email: nutrtitionbydistance@ches.ua.edu
Social media accounts: Facebook; Twitter

An online nutrition master's program provides students with specific and technical knowledge regarding how food and nutrients affect health, wellness, and disease prevention. Most programs require 30 to 40 credit hours that students complete in one to two years of full-time study. Some programs and specializations may require a capstone component such as a thesis or supervised internship. Specific courses and concentrations vary by institution and program.

Concentrations Offered for an Online Master's Degree in Nutrition

The following table shows a few popular specializations available for masters in nutrition students and the careers they can lead to.

Concentration Description Careers This Concentration Prepares For
Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) A didactic program in dietetics concentration provides students with the knowledge and skills to prevent health problems through recommending dietary modification or restrictions. Most of these types of programs also prepare students for the Registered Dietician Examination. Dietician
Applied Nutrition Applied nutrition is a field of study that focuses on preparing students for leadership roles and utilizing their knowledge of nutrition in order to expand and integrate nutritional practices with other areas of expertise. This specialization may be particularly useful for those who want to use nutritional knowledge outside of the academic or practicing community. Leadership roles and non-academic or non-practicing positions
Administration A specialization in administration provides students with the knowledge and skills to maintain and supervise a business or organization. Such positions may be found in the government, in health-related businesses, and the nonprofit sector. Management or leadership positions

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Nutrition

An online master's degree in nutrition usually requires a combination of core science courses, policy and management courses, and more specialized electives. The list below includes a few examples of the types of courses you might encounter:

  • Principles of Biochemistry: Biochemistry investigates the chemical processes related to living organisms. A basic understanding of the interactions between biomolecules and the chemical structures of different organisms lays the foundation for learning more about the nutritional value of plants and animals.
  • Food Laws and Regulation: This course provides an overview of the history of food regulation, current federal and state laws regarding food production, how laws and regulations affect food processing and distribution, and how these laws are enacted and reinforced.
  • Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism: Students gain an understanding of the digestion, absorption, storage, and metabolization of nutrients and apply their knowledge to the idea of nutritional requirements and the establishment of daily dietary intake standards.
  • Exercise Nutrition: This course covers how physical activity affects metabolism and how certain nutrients and dietary patterns can aid in physical performance. A course like this may be particularly relevant for students with an interest in physical education or sports nutrition.
  • Feed and Ingredient Quality Assurance: This course teaches students the foundational principles of feed and ingredient quality assurance, including the development of quality assurance programs, specific quality assurance procedures related to feed manufacturing, approved supplier lists, and ingredient requirements and standards.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master's in Nutrition?

A master's in nutrition requires an average of 30 or 40 credit hours and usually takes full-time students one to two years to complete. However, the time to program completion may vary depending on a variety of factors, including whether the student takes courses part time or full time, what type of capstone is needed for graduation, and elective requirements. Being a part-time student often requires a longer degree program. Capstones might include a thesis, internship, or other type of independent research or applied project. Some schools may ask students to work a certain number of hours as an intern or spend a given amount of time conducting research for a thesis, which could increase the overall length of the program.

Online programs are usually delivered in one of two different formats: individually paced or cohort. Individual or asynchronous learning allows students to access materials whenever they like and to move through the subject matter at their own pace. Alternatively, cohort learning might include more group-oriented activities -- like discussion groups, real-time lectures, or group projects -- that allow students to foster professional relationships and networks with their peers.

Master's in Nutrition Certifications and Licenses

Most states in the U.S. require either licensure or certification in order to become a practicing nutritionist or dietician. Here are the two most common types of certification:

  • Registered Dietitian (RD): An individual earns licensure as a registered dietician by completing the curriculum requirements set out by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), interning for 1,200 hours with a healthcare facility through an accredited dietetics program, and passing the national AND exam. For those who want to obtain RD licensure, programs that offer a didactic program in dietetics specialization prepare students for the required internship and certification exam.
  • Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS): In order to obtain the certified nutrition specialist credential, an individual needs to hold a master's or doctorate in nutrition from an accredited university, participate in a supervised internship for 1,000 hours with a healthcare facility, pass the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists Exam, and participate in continuing education training every five years to maintain certification.

Accreditation is a form of quality assurance for a university's education. Regional and national agencies evaluate institutions of higher education according to a set of standards and grant accreditation to schools that meet those standards. In general, regional accreditation is more prestigious, and courses from regionally accredited institutions transfer more easily. Six regional accrediting organizations reside in the U.S., each in charge of a certain geographic region. When choosing an online program, students should look for the corresponding regional accrediting agency for the location of the university as well as any national accrediting agencies in that particular field or discipline. For nutrition, one of the most well known field-specific accrediting agencies is the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

In addition to the accrediting agencies themselves, other organizations also play a role in the accreditation process. The Department of Education (ED) oversees the accreditation system and conducts a review of accrediting agencies in order to ensure that they enforce educational standards. Likewise, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) certifies the quality of accrediting agencies, including regional, national, faith-based, and field-specific accrediting organizations. Both the ED and CHEA provide databases of accredited institutions and programs.

Master's in Nutrition Salary

Graduates of a master's in nutrition program may choose a variety of different career paths, work in those positions or companies for varying amounts of time, and move to different regions across the nation or world -- all of which can affect an individual's median annual salary. A dietician and nutritionist working in California, for example, makes nearly $5,000 more annually than someone with the same title in Connecticut. The table below features data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the top paying states for dietitians and nutritionists and their corresponding annual mean salaries.

Top 5 Paying U.S. States for Dietitians and Nutritionists
State Annual Mean Salary
California $72,130
Alaska $68,310
Oregon $67,820
New Jersey $67,800
Connecticut $67,270

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master's in Nutrition Careers

Graduates of a master's in nutrition enjoy several possible career paths. The list below includes some of the common positions that individuals holding a master's in nutrition pursue. Most of these career paths involve working with healthcare organizations or institutions, but many also grant opportunities for private practice.

Dietitians and Nutritionists: Dietitians and nutritionists apply knowledge of the nutrients in food in order to promote healthy living and manage disease. They might create dietary meal plans or recommendations for their clients to help manage the symptoms of a chronic condition or reach a specific health-related goal.

Health Educators and Community Health Workers: Health educators and community health workers focus on imparting knowledge and scientific research with the goal of improving public health issues in a particular community. Some employers might require the certified health education specialist credential.

Agricultural and Food Scientists: Agricultural and food scientists conduct research on agricultural crops and products to improve the efficiency of food production and the safety of foods produced. They require at least a bachelor's degree, but those seeking to work in laboratories or academia need to obtain an advanced degree.

Exercise Physiologists: Exercise physiologists may provide physical therapy or otherwise help patients manage chronic illness and improve their health through fitness and exercise regimens. Exercise physiologists require at least a bachelor's degree and might either be self-employed or work for healthcare institutions.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth
Dietitians and Nutritionists $59,410 15%
Health Educators and Community Health Workers $45,360 16%
Agricultural and Food Scientists $62,910 7%
Exercise Physiologists $49,090 13%

Making professional connections and staying informed about the latest nutrition research is crucial to success in the healthcare field. Professional and research organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you can find some of the most prominent organizations concerned with diet and nutrition. These organizations host networking events, provide online training, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as students complete degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Founded in 1917, the Academy is an advocacy-driven organization that represents more than 100,000 dietitians, technicians, and other professionals in nutrition and dietetics. The website features a wealth of health-related resources aimed at specific demographics like women, children, and the elderly.
  • National Organization of Blacks in Dietetics and Nutrition: NOBIDAN is a networking organization that promotes careers in health and nutrition for African-American men and women. Members gain access to a wide range of benefits, including the NOBIDAN mentorship program, student scholarships, free webinars, and an online newsletter.
  • World Hunger Education Service: Established in 1976 to educate the public about the magnitude and causes of hunger and malnutrition, WHES helps facilitate communication between those working to identify solutions to the world hunger crisis. This includes a commitment to finding and supporting sustainable solutions.
  • American Society for Nutrition: Since 1928, the American Society for Nutrition has promoted excellence in nutrition research and practice. Their mission includes supporting members in fostering quality education, upholding ethical standards in research, facilitating fellowship among nutritionists, and educating the public on issues of nutrition.
  • American College of Nutrition: Established in 1959, the American College of Nutrition treats advanced nutrition science as an integral part of preventing and treating disease. Committed to advancing science without compromise, ACN does not accept funding from for-profit corporations. Their core mission is to support research and provide practical guidance to clinicians.

Despite the relative affordability of master's in nutrition online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but plenty of overlooked financing options can help reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the FAFSA is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you can find for campus-based learning, though this was not always the case. Learn about the changes in online learning and the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We've curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Students who pursue online degrees qualify for scholarships, grants, and other financial aid unavailable to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Learn more about these financial opportunities for web-based learners.

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Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs of 2017
Rank School Location
1 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
2 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
3 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
4 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
5 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
6 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
7 Framingham State University Framingham, MA
8 North Dakota State University-Main Campus Fargo, ND
9 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
10 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
11 Auburn University Auburn University, AL
12 Benedictine University Lisle, IL
13 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
14 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science North Chicago, IL
15 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
16 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Bowling Green, OH
17 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX
18 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
19 The Sage Colleges Troy, NY
20 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
21 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
22 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
23 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
24 University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT
25 New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury, NY
Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs of 2016
Rank School Location
1 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
2 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
3 Logan University Chesterfield, MO
4 New York Chiropractic College Seneca Falls, NY
5 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
6 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
7 Auburn University Auburn University, AL
8 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
9 The Sage Colleges Troy, NY
10 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
11 Adelphia University Garden City, NY
12 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX
13 College of Saint Elizabeth Morristown, NJ
14 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
15 New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury, NY
Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs of 2015
Rank Name Location
1 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
2 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
3 Canisius College Buffalo, NY
4 The Sage Colleges Troy, NY
5 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
6 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
7 Texas Woman's University Denton, TX
8 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
9 New York Institute of Technology Old Westbury, NY
10 University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT
11 Logan University Chesterfield, MO
12 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
13 New York Chiropractic College Seneca Falls, NY