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.

Choosing a Program

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.

Accredited Online Master's in Nutrition Programs

Rank School Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Tufts University

Medford, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 93%

Tufts University offers a master of nutrition science and policy online. The program addresses the global nature of modern nutrition and healthcare through a combination of biochemical studies and nutrition coursework. The hybrid program combines online classes with week-long visits to the school's Boston campus each semester. These residencies foster networking and collaborative discourse through intensive educational sessions. Students typically complete the 30-credit program in 12 months over the course of three terms.

Because of the program's focus and accelerated pace, students must have a strong science background. Prerequisites include introductory education in nutrition science, general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and human biology or physiology. Undergraduate students planning to apply to this program should ensure Tufts recognizes their prerequisite coursework.

Applicants must submit a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. Students can begin coursework in the fall, spring, or summer. Online learners gain access to academic advisers, technical support, and career counseling. Graduates often pursue careers working at nonprofit organizations, government agencies, hospitals and outpatient care centers, and clinical research facilities. Others continue their education by pursuing doctoral programs in the field.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Nutrition Science and Policy
Tuition: $5,394/course
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

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

2

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Raleigh, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

NC State offers a fully online master of nutrition that focuses on human and animal nutritional health and ethical food processing. Students can pursue an area of emphasis in feed science or human nutrition, food, and bioprocessing. Full-time learners typically complete the 36 required credits in 1.5-2 years.

The feed science emphasis covers ethical and expedient agricultural feed supply, including research on viable agricultural byproducts and collaborative resources to supply industrial food chains. The human nutrition, food, and bioprocessing emphasis explores food bioprocessing in large-scale, ethical food management settings. This track prepares students for careers in the food industry, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The curriculum includes 21-24 credits of science courses, 15-16 of which comprise nutrition science classes. Students also complete 12-15 credits of professional skills development, including communication and management coursework and an internship experience.

The required internship comprises six credits, and students can complete this experience with a university-associated company; the student's employer; or another approved organization, such as a government agency or nonprofit.

Applicants must hold a BS in a related science field, earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Online students pay the same tuition rates as on-campus students, and in-state learners receive discounted tuition rates.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Nutrition
Available Concentrations: Human nutrition, food, and bioprocessing; feed science
Tuition: $453/credit in-state; $1,261/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (919) 513-2257
Email: nutrition_program@ncsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

3

American University

Washington, DC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 79%

Based in the District of Columbia, American University offers a master of science in nutrition online. The school's MS in nutrition education addresses modern nutritional issues in the U.S. and teaches students to educate communities about habits and behaviors that foster good nutrition. Learners prepare to advocate for better nutritional options at the state and national levels by combating food deserts, label inconsistencies, pesticides, and obesity.

AU's fully online program covers topics related to the nutritional health of various populations. Learners prepare to design education programs for specific audiences, such as K-12 students or elderly individuals. Students improve their communication skills and learn about the power structures behind food access and the institutional protections that can help improve nutritional behaviors.

To prepare for fieldwork, each student pairs with a mentoring professor who provides individual counseling and job search assistance. In addition to required coursework, the university delivers webinars on current events and issues in nutritional health, such as federal nutrition policy and food access. Distance learners can attend optional on-campus events to interact with peers and build their professional networks. The program prepares students to sit for the certified nutrition specialist credential offered by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition Education
Tuition: $1,708/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 20 months

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (855) 725-7614
Email: healthstudies@american.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

4

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 72%

Stony Brook offers a master of science in nutrition online. The program offers specializations in advanced nutrition therapy and critical care, integrative nutrition therapy, and sustainable food systems and health.

This fully online program consists of 36 credits that build on previous medical and scientific training. Core coursework explores topics including metabolic regulation, research methods, and statistical analysis. Because many students in the program serve as practicing medical professionals, learners typically complete the program in 2-3 years.

The curriculum includes upper-level nutrition surveys and coursework in research and metadata analysis. Students also gain advanced communication and leadership skills. Depending on their concentration, students may take classes in global food systems, food policy, and evidence-based analysis and nutritional therapies.

Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and a personal statement detailing their career goals. Prerequisite coursework includes nine total credits in physiology, statistics, and nutrition. Applicants must have completed prerequisites with a minimum C+ grade. The program accepts up to six transfer credits on a case-by-case basis.

The university uses a rolling admission process, and students can begin coursework in the summer, fall, or spring. The program does not meet the requirements for registered dietitians or nutritionists in New York; these credentials require an additional 800-1,600 hours of supervised professional experience.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Available Concentrations: Advanced nutrition therapy and critical care; integrative nutrition therapy; sustainable food systems and health
Tuition: $462/credit in-state; $555/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (631) 444-9204
Email: Leah.Holbrook@stonybrookmedicine.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

5

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 92%

The master of science in nutrition, healthspan, and longevity at the University of Southern California requires 46 units, which most students complete in 2-3 years. The curriculum comprises 28 core units, 12 units of supervised practice (1,200 logged clinical hours), and six independent research units.

The six research units comprise an independent project that culminates in a conference poster presentation and/or a scholarly publication. This project helps students transition into the professional arena by helping them develop application materials and gain resume-building experience.

Although coursework is available entirely online, students must attend a five-day professionalization course at USC in the January of their first year. The program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and prepares students to sit for national dietetic and nutrition exams.

Applicants must submit a personal statement and two letters of recommendation. Students must also hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Because the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology offers this degree, applicants must also submit a supplementary gerontology application form.

Prerequisites include coursework in general and organic chemistry, biochemistry, cellular biology, physiology, and microbiology. Online graduate students at USC pay the same tuition rates as on-campus learners. USC provides recipients of Direct Loans and Direct Graduate PLUS Loans with mandatory exit loan counseling.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity
Tuition: $1,863/credit
Credit Requirements: 46 credits
Program Length: 3 years

Delivery
Format: Online with a 5-day, on-campus orientation
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: 40 hours with a registered dietitian

Contact
Phone: (213) 740-5156
Email: ldsgero@usc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

6

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 67%

The University of Utah offers a master of science in nutrition and integrative physiology with an emphasis in nutrition for students who have a bachelor's degree in dietetics, nutrition, or a related field. The curriculum comprises 38 credits and covers topics including micro- and macronutrients, age-dependent metabolisms, eating disorders, and weight management.

The University of Utah maintains metabolism research cores to further the study of metabolic impairments and drug therapies. Online students learn from metabolism specialists and have opportunities to contribute to research initiatives. Students can customize their degree through coursework in areas such as nutrition education, research, and sports health.

Applicants should hold registered dietitian certification from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or have completed prerequisite coursework in biology, general and organic chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, and introductory and advanced nutrition. Learners interested in focusing on sports health should have also completed coursework in exercise physiology.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate major coursework and must submit a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. The university encourages but does not require applicants to submit GRE scores. The University of Utah recommends students maintain membership with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology
Tuition: $3,230/term in-state; $11,403/term out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (801) 581-5916
Email: nutrition@health.utah.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

7

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Madison, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 87%

The online master of science in clinical nutrition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison requires 30 credits and teaches learners leadership and research skills. Coursework covers nutrition education and clinical practice, and students take classes on topics including metabolism and genetic/genomic influences. They also complete clinical courses on pediatric care and individualized counseling.

Students gain professional skills in areas including written and oral communication to effectively convey information to patients and institutions. The curriculum also addresses legal and ethical concerns related to modern nutritional therapies. Elective options help students gain skills in problem-solving, leadership, financial management, and professional negotiation, which graduates often apply to independent work and positions within large organizations.

Students typically complete the program in two years, although those who hold a certificate in clinical nutrition can graduate faster. All online learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of their state of residency.

The university accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit a statement explaining why they want to pursue graduate studies and three letters of recommendation. Prospective students should submit their application at least six weeks before they plan to begin the program. UW is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
Tuition: $800/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (608) 263-1613
Email: mlschuchardt@wisc.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

8

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

UI delivers its MS in food science and human nutrition in a fully online, synchronous format. This non-thesis program requires live class sessions -- typically in the evenings -- during which students interact with their professors and cohort. The online master's degree in food science and nutrition comprises 32 credits, including core classes in food chemistry, food processing, and food and industrial microbiology. The program allows students to focus their studies on areas such as fermentation and distillation, enzymology, or health and fitness.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's in biology, physiology, agriculture, engineering, or a related field, earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, and a CV.

Online learners may qualify for dietetic internships at the university. Students who graduate the program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher qualify to sit for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics registered dietitian and nutritionist exams. Graduates often pursue careers in food processing and biotechnology, clinical nutrition, food safety and security, and nutrition and disease interactions.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Food Science
Tuition: $686/credit
Credit Requirements: 32 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (217) 244-4498
Email: fshn-general@illinois.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

9

University of Georgia

Athens, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 85%

The University of Georgia's online master of science in foods and nutrition, with an emphasis on community nutrition, requires 30 credits. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months. Coursework covers topics including childhood and adolescent nutritional development, lifespan nutrition, food safety, and a final capstone project.

UGA also offers the program in a non-thesis track, which is ideal for students who plan to pursue careers in community outreach. The curriculum explores topics like bone health, gut microbial health, sport and physical activity, and functional foods and phytochemicals. Online learners can take electives in areas such as sports nutrition, research design and delivery, workplace leadership, and school nutrition program management.

UGA requires minimum GRE scores of 150 on the verbal section, 150 on the quantitative section, and 3.5 on the analytical section. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume or CV. Transfer students can apply up to six approved graduate-level credits toward the degree.

Distance learners gain access to academic advisers, a student veterans resource center, tutoring assistance, and a career center. Graduates of the MS in foods and nutrition program qualify to pursue school nutrition director certification from UGA, which qualifies holders for nutritional healthcare positions at K-12 and postsecondary institutions.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition, Community Nutrition
Tuition: $629/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 GPA
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (706) 452-7943
Email: online@uga.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

10

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 83%

Students pursuing the online master of science in nutritional sciences at UT Austin can specialize in health promotion and disease prevention or biochemical and functional nutrition. Ideal for current professionals in healthcare, wellness, and community outreach, the program emphasizes lifestyle and behavioral studies and explores the intersection between nutrition and disease.

The program includes core coursework in macro- and micronutrients, molecular nutritional sciences, and experimental design and statistics. The health promotion specialization covers lifecycle nutritional changes, obesity, and disease prevention. Biochemical students focus on nutrition and cancer, immunology, and nutrigenomics.

The program gives preference to applicants with experience in nutrition or a related field. Applicants should hold a bachelor's in nutrition, healthcare, or the sciences. Students without relevant professional or academic experience must have completed prerequisite coursework in nutrition, cell biology, vertebrate physiology, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Applicants must submit letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a personal statement detailing their professional experiences and goals.

All online learners pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Students can earn the MS in nutritional sciences in just one year. Though the MS does not qualify graduates to sit for the registered dietitian exam, UT Austin offers two sister programs to prepare students to earn certification: a didactic program in dietetics and a coordinated program in dietetics. Both programs require supervised clinical practice.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutritional Science
Available Concentrations: Health promotion and disease prevention; biochemical and functional nutrition
Tuition: $750/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1 year

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (512) 471-0165
Email: online-nutrition@austin.utexas.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

11

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

UNL offers an online master's in nutrition and health sciences with specialization options in dietetics, community nutrition, and nutrition and exercise. The program requires 30-36 credits and is available in thesis and non-thesis tracks. To graduate, students complete an oral exam during their final term or within 24 months of completing coursework.

The 30-credit thesis track is ideal for students who aspire to work in research or academia. Thesis students complete nine core credits in statistics, research methods, and current issues. The remaining credits comprise specialization courses, such as public health nutrition, physical activity and aging, diabetes, and nutritional therapies. UNL is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, meaning learners earning their online master's may take courses through multiple institutions. This partnership provides UNL students with a variety of course options and specializations.

Applicants to this two-year program must be registered dietitians or meet the academic and clinical practice requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. UNL accepts applications on a rolling basis; however, students who apply at least six months before the fall term receive priority. Transfer students can apply up to 15 approved credits toward their master's degree.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences
Available Concentrations: Dietetics
Tuition: $580/credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: Registered dietitian credential

Contact
Phone: (402) 472-2913
Email: diane.nelson@unl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

12

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Fort Collins, CO Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 69%

CSU's online master of science in food science and nutrition is designed for registered dietitians. The 37-credit program teaches students communication and research skills, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue high-level positions and increase their earning potential. Many graduates also go on to pursue doctoral studies.

CSU is a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, and online students can take coursework through eight participating dietetic programs. Learners explore maternal and pediatric nutrition, probiotic health, and disease management. Students also conduct research during courses like quantitative data analysis, and they gain written and oral communication skills they can apply to independent practice and leadership positions.

Applicants must hold a registered dietitian credential and a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students must also submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional resume.

Online students receive access to a variety of resources, including advising, veteran services, career center assistance, and technical support. Distance learners can also access a student resolution center to receive mentorship and support during interpersonal issues and appeal processes.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition
Tuition: $580/credit
Credit Requirements: 37 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: Registered dietitian credential

Contact
Phone: (970) 491-3663
Email: fshninfo@colostate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

13

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

East Carolina University offers a master of science in nutrition online with both thesis and non-thesis tracks. The program focuses on advanced topics in nutrition and dietetics. One of 120 online programs at ECU, the nutrition program integrates science-based medical courses relevant to nutritional studies.

The MS in nutrition program requires core courses in biostatistics and health professionalism, human nutrition in physiology and metabolism, and methods in nutrition research. Students can customize the degree to their professional goals by choosing from electives such as management in dietetics. Learners can complete all coursework online, with the exception of three internship practicum classes for thesis students. The non-thesis track is entirely online and requires students to complete a final research project under the direction of a graduate adviser.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, and admitted students with a bachelor's degree in a field unrelated to nutrition must complete the nutrition foundation requirement at ECU. The 32-credit foundation program covers topics including biology, human physiology, organic chemistry, and lifecycle nutrition. ECU only offers the foundation program on campus. Applicants must submit GRE scores, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and an application fee. ECU accepts up to nine transfer credits from accredited institutions.

Due to state authorizations, ECU does not accept distance students who reside in Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland, or Ohio. ECU holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Tuition: $233/credit in-state; $877/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, asynchronous, or both

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (252) 744-1034
Email: nutr@ecu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

14

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

The online master of science in nutrition and dietetics at Texas Technical University helps registered dietitians advance professionally. The non-thesis track requires 12 credits of core coursework and 21 elective credits. In their final term, students must pass exams in three core courses: introduction to nutritional research; vitamins and minerals; and carbs, proteins, and lipids. Distance students take the proctored exams at a local testing site.

The nutrition and dietetics curriculum covers topics including maternal nutrition, geriatric health, and eating disorders. Students explore how biostatistics impacts modern nutritional studies, and they learn about metabolism inhibitors and dietary disorders, sports nutrition, and disease identification and management. Students earning the master of science in nutrition online complete case studies and solve problems independently to hone analytical skills.

Texas Tech prefers applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA in a bachelor's program related to nutrition or healthcare services. Applicants must submit GRE scores, proof of registered dietitian certification or didactic program in dietetics verification, unofficial transcripts, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

This online master's in exercise and nutrition caters only to students who hold registered dietitian certification or who qualify for didactic program in dietetics certification -- pending a dietetic internship. Online students enjoy access to campus resources, including a graduate center, a writing center, career services, and student advising. Texas Tech holds accreditation from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Tuition: $495/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: Registered dietitian or nutritionist credential

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

15

Iowa State University

Ames, IA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 73%

ISU offers an online master of family and consumer science with a specialization in dietetics. The program requires 36 credits, which most students complete in 1-2 years. The curriculum comprises 15 core credits and 21 elective credits, including two creative electives during which students complete a final thesis. Core coursework covers statistics, research methods, and current issues in the field. Elective options include phytochemicals, nutritional entrepreneurship, and pediatric and maternal care.

Applicants must either hold or meet requirements for registered dietitian certification from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Admitted students who do not hold the certification must pass the qualifying exam by the end of their first term. Students who do hold the certification must find employment as a dietitian within their first two terms to qualify for upper-level classes. ISU prefers applicants with at least two years of relevant work experience.

ISU accepts up to 14 graduate-level transfer credits earned with grades of "B" or better from accredited institutions. The online master's degree in dietetics at ISU is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of 20 midwestern institutions offering online programs. ISU students may complete distance courses through other member schools.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Family and Consumer Sciences in Dietetics
Tuition: $517/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Work Experience: 2 years in nutrition or a related field; registered dietitian credential

Contact
Phone: (515) 294-7800
Email: gpideainfo@iastate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

16

Auburn University

Auburn, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

Based in Alabama, Auburn University offers a master of science in nutrition online. The non-thesis option requires 33 credit hours and offers specialization options in nutrition science, clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, and community nutrition.

Sports nutrition students explore advanced anatomical systems and their relationships to nutrition and nutritional therapies. Community nutrition students examine workforce education, youth program development, and ethics for leaders. Auburn delivers all coursework asynchronously through the Canvas platform, and students typically complete the degree in 1.5-2 years. Learners can also pursue the degree through a combination of online and on-campus classes.

Auburn charges distance learners the same affordable per-credit tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Graduate students can transfer in up to six credit hours from an accredited institution. Auburn University requires all exams to be proctored; distance learners can coordinate with local universities, community colleges, and public libraries. Students who do not hold a bachelor's in a related field need prerequisite coursework in introductory inorganic and organic chemistry, general anatomy, biology, and physiology.

Applicants must submit an online application, official transcripts, GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a CV or resume, and a processing fee. Strong applicants need a minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA. Auburn accepts applications on a rolling basis, and students can begin coursework in the fall, spring, or summer.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Available Concentrations: Nutrition science; clinical nutrition; sports nutrition; community nutrition
Tuition: $533/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (334) 844-3790
Email: chshelp@auburn.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

17

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 53%

UAB students earning the online master of science in nutrition sciences can pursue a clinical track or a lifestyle management and disease prevention track. Students in the clinical track need an undergraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics and 1,200 supervised clinical hours, which qualify the student to sit for the registered dietitian credential.

Students do not need to meet certification requirements to pursue the lifestyle management and disease prevention track. Lifestyle management students can earn certification while pursuing their master's through UAB's dietitian education graduate certificate program. The certificate program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Both tracks require 36 credits, with similar core curricula that cover statistics and applied research in nutrition sciences. Clinical students enjoy elective options in nutrition counseling and body composition and energy metabolism. Lifestyle management students take electives such as patient assessment, nutritional biochemistry, and survival Spanish for health professionals. The clinical track requires 6-9 credit hours of on-campus clinical training. Lifestyle management students working through the dietitian education certificate complete 20 credit hours of on-campus coursework.

The university's healthcare department prioritizes research in cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Distance learners can complete research and volunteer experiences on campus. Students in either track can take supplemental coursework to obtain certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences
Available Concentrations: Lifestyle management and disease prevention
Tuition: $549/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (205) 934-3006
Email: nutrition@uab.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

18

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 62%

OSU offers a 36-credit master of science in nutritional sciences with a focus on dietetics. The fully online program caters only to registered dietitians, dietitian nutritionists, and students who meet eligibility requirements for either certification.

The MS in dietetics requires nine core credits in statistics, research methods, and environmental scanning and analysis. Students also complete six credits in micro- and macronutrient studies and a three-credit capstone, which includes a comprehensive exam, a research paper, and a final presentation. Successful completion of the capstone component requires faculty approval. Elective options include grant writing, financial management, global nutritional studies, and immunology.

Applicants must submit an online form, an application fee, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and a professional goal statement. International students for whom English is a second language must provide Test of English as a Foreign Language scores; OSU requires a minimum 213 on the computer-based test or at least a 550 on the paper-based exam.

The university delivers coursework for the MS in dietetics through the Brightspace learning management system. OSU is a member of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Online graduate students enjoy access to student resources including a math learning success center, a writing center, and career services.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences
Available Concentrations: Dietetics
Tuition: $580/credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE
Work Experience: Registered dietician credential

Contact
Phone: (405) 744-5041
Email: nsci@okstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

19

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 68%

Based in Tuscaloosa, UA offers a master of science in nutrition online with generalist, community, and clinical tracks. The MS in human nutrition program prepares students for roles in various medical and professional fields.

Coursework covers introductory research methods and biostatistics, and the program requires a final capstone project. Students in the community track focus on issues including epidemiology, community nutrition, and chronic illnesses. Clinical students explore age-specific topics, such as infant and geriatric nutrition. The generalist track combines community and clinical coursework. Depending on their specialization, students take 2-5 electives on topics such as health behaviors, advanced nutrition counseling, and leadership.

Applicants do not need to submit GRE scores; however, UA encourages applicants with an undergraduate GPA below 3.4 to submit standardized test scores. Applicants submit an application fee, a personal statement, a resume, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation -- at least two of which must come from previous professors.

UA charges an affordable, per-credit hour tuition rate. Students with a bachelor's in an unrelated field can pursue registered dietician certification while earning their MS in human nutrition. To pursue UA's didactic program in dietetics certification statement, learners must boast prerequisite coursework in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, and microbiology with a minimum 3.5 GPA. After earning this verification through UA, candidates must complete a supervised practice program to qualify for the registered dietician exam.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Human Nutrition
Available Concentrations: Generalist; community; clinical
Tuition: $394/credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (205) 348-6150
Email: nutritionbydistance@ches.ua.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

20

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Located in Starkville, Mississippi State University offers a fully online MS in food science, nutrition, and health promotion. The program offers specializations in food science and technology, nutrition, and health promotion.

Food science coursework emphasizes the scientific analysis of food production and covers topics including biochemistry, animal and dairy sciences, and microbiology. The nutrition specialization requires a dietetic internship at MSU or a regional cooperating institution. The internship component qualifies students to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam.

Aspiring public health advisers and educators often pursue the health promotion specialization, which prepares students for positions in school healthcare, local and state government, and workplace safety instruction and legislation. Health promotion graduates qualify to sit for the CDR exam. Regardless of specialization, students complete a six-credit thesis project.

MSU delivers coursework for the online master's degree in food science and nutrition through Canvas. Distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of state residency. Applicants need a minimum 2.75 GPA, though MSU prefers applicants with at least a 3.0 GPA. Students who do not meet GPA requirements may receive admission with a one-year probation period. Applicants must submit GRE scores, and students for whom English is a second language must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language results.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion
Available Concentrations: Health promotion
Tuition: $500/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (662) 325-3200
Email: info@fsnhp.msstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

21

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Central Michigan University offers a master of science in nutrition and dietetics online that students can complete in an accelerated format. The flexible program comprises classes that last 8-16 weeks and proves ideal for busy students with personal or professional responsibilities. The MS offers a thesis track, an internship track, and a coursework-only option, which require 31, 37, and 33 credits, respectively. All students must pass an oral exam on general subject matter.

The program caters to students who hold or meet the requirements for registered dietitian certification or didactic program in dietetics verification. However, the program accepts students with no previous experience in the field, provided they have completed prerequisite coursework in subjects like chemistry and anatomy. Applicants without a background in nutrition must submit a 2- to 3-page personal statement explaining their professional aspirations.

CMU accepts up to 15 graduate-level transfer credits. The university offers online resources including writing help and math assistance. All exams for distance learners must be proctored; CMU maintains a list of eligible proctors at community locations, including libraries, military testing centers, and colleges and universities. This program does not qualify students to sit for registered dietitian certification.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Tuition: $596/credit
Credit Requirements: 31-37 credits
Program Length: 2.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (989) 774-2613
Email: ehs@cmich.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

22

Andrews University

Berrien Springs, MI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 55%

Andrews University, based in Berrien Springs, Michigan, offers a master of public health in nutrition and wellness. The program emphasizes community and administration to prepare students for careers in health and safety management and health informatics. Graduates often pursue positions in government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Most students complete the 42-credit program in 2.5 years. The curriculum includes 17 credits of public health courses, 15 credits in nutrition and wellness classes, eight credits of research, and a two-credit practicum. Coursework covers topics including epidemiology, health behaviors, and community administration. Students also explore disease prevention, program planning, and independent research methods.

Andrews' offering is the only public health program focused on nutrition and wellness to receive accreditation from the Commission on Education for Public Health. The MPH in nutrition and wellness does not qualify students for registered dietician certification. However, Andrews offers a related dietetics program, and many faculty members teach courses for both programs.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must submit official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a 500-word statement of purpose. Applicants must have completed at least two nutrition courses and at least one course in biology, physiology, or anatomy.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Wellness
Tuition: $553/credit
Credit Requirements: 42 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (269) 471-3370
Email: publichealth@andrews.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

23

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

The master of science in nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida offers specializations in dietetics, healthcare informatics, nutritional sciences, and global health. MS in nutrition and dietetics students can pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. However, the nutritional sciences specialization requires the thesis track.

Students complete 35 credit hours, including six credits of core coursework in topics including introductory epidemiology and nutrition and dietetics research. The program includes 14 credit hours of major requirements, including nutrition and education, methods of assessment, and a dietetics seminar. Dietetics students can take a course on socio-cultural influences, nutritional sciences learners may complete a class on the management of information technology, and global health students can choose to explore healthcare topics while studying abroad.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, a letter of intent, and a supplemental nutrition program application. UNF requires minimum GRE scores of 153 and 144 on the verbal and quantitative portions, respectively. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and either a BA from a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) or verification from an ACEND training program. Applicants who do not meet this requirement must have completed supplemental prerequisites.

Students enjoy access to UNF research centers, including the Center for Nutrition and Food Security, the Center for Aging Research, and the Healthcare Administration Leadership Institute.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Available Concentrations: Dietetics professional studies; global health; healthcare informatics; nutritional sciences
Tuition: $494/credit in-state, $1,044/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 35 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: GRE

Contact
Phone: (904) 620-1442
Email: onlinenutrition@unf.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

24

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, MA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 77%

UMass Amherst offers a master of science in nutrition online program designed for dietetic and nutritional experts. The joint degree from the public health and health sciences departments is available in a non-thesis track. The part-time, fully online program proves ideal for current professionals in the field and for students with a strong background in nutritional health.

The program culminates with a final experience project based on the student's interests. Learners complete an advanced writing seminar to gain communication skills in preparation of the final project. Most students finish the 33-credit program in 2-4 years.

UMass Amherst delivers online classes asynchronously, so students can complete coursework at their convenience. The fully online program includes no residency requirements. Distance learners take 1-3 courses per term. Students follow a prescribed course sequence and can begin the program in the fall or spring. All distance learners pay the same affordable per-credit tuition rate, regardless of state residency.

Applicants must have completed prerequisite coursework in five of seven areas: nutrition, biology, microbiology, physiology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. Students typically complete this coursework during a bachelor's program in nutrition program or a related degree. UMass offers courses in many of the prerequisite subjects on campus.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Tuition: $615/credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.75 minimum

Contact
Phone: (413) 545-4530
Email: phonline@schoolph.umass.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

25

Texas Woman's University

Denton, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 36%

Full-time TWU students can earn the master of science in nutrition online in only 18 months. The thesis track requires 30 credit hours, including six credits of independent research and composition. The non-thesis track comprises 36 credits and culminates with a final capstone examination course.

The MS in nutrition requires core courses in nutrition and human metabolism and in human nutrition and disease, along with a seminar in nutrition. Students choose electives that align with their career goals. For example, a student planning to pursue a career in school nutrition can take classes on eating behaviors and eating disorders, while a learner interested in late-life care can take electives in nutrition and gerontology.

Learners can receive 6-9 credit hours for an internship. Online students can apply for on-campus internships at the Denton and Houston campuses. Graduates with internship experience qualify to sit for the national registration exam for dietitians.

Applicants to the science-focused program need to complete 9-12 credit hours in organic chemistry and biochemistry, 3-4 credits in human anatomy and physiology, and 9-12 credits in nutrition. Applicants must submit an online application and official transcripts. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA and GRE scores of at least 143 and 141 on the verbal and quantitative sections, respectively.


Program Overview
Program Name: Master of Science in Nutrition
Tuition: $276/credit in-state; $698/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 1.5 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum

Contact
Phone: (713) 794-2000
Email: nutrfdsci@twu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter


Interview with Ellen M. Levine

Ellen Levine

Ellen Levine

Founder of The Wholesome Path, LLC

Ellen Levine, MS, RD, founder of The Wholesome Path, LLC, has been serving in the wellness community for over 15 years. Ellen earned a bachelor of science in exercise physiology from Montclair State University with a second bachelor's and a master of science in nutrition from The College of St. Elizabeth, where she also completed the dietetic internship and sports nutrition certification.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in nutrition? Did this field always interest you?

Nutrition is a field that I have been interested in since my early teens. At the time, I had very unhealthy eating habits and lived a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, I was overweight and unhappy. I needed help and reached out to my physical education teacher, who gave me direction with physical activity.

As far as learning how to eat differently -- this was more challenging. I bought magazines and books and felt confused about all the often conflicting information about weight loss. Regardless, this began my journey toward a new, healthier lifestyle and a passion for both nutrition and fitness!

When I was looking at colleges and considering majors, I did truly know what I wanted to do, and I had mentioned nutrition to my guidance counselor. In high school, I did not work to my full potential and my grades reflected this, so she kindly discouraged me from this career path, feeling that it would be too difficult for me.

The first two years of college I went back and forth between majors, and I also got serious about my studies. I settled on majoring in exercise physiology and graduated cum laude, which gave me the confidence and belief that I would be able to get a master's of nutrition. It would also be the perfect marriage of degrees.

Within one year of completing my undergraduate degree, I began my master's, and from the first class I took I was 100% confident that this was the right path for me. With the guidance of some incredible professors, I quickly decided [that] after I completed the master's program I would do a dietetic internship to become a registered dietitian.

What would you say are some of the most crucial skills you gained in your master's program? How do those skills apply directly to your day-to-day work?

The skills I learned in my master's program were many and it is hard to narrow them down to a few. There was a strong focus on the practical application. We had various projects that required working and organizing public health events. This helped me get out of my comfort zone and have firsthand experience reaching out to different towns and organizations. It also taught me the importance of professional networking.

Other assignments included creating individual nutrition programs for people with specific health goals and challenges, teaching me how to work with different personalities and different conditions. Finally, I was required to do many presentations. Public speaking and specifically improving my public speaking was an invaluable skill that my master's program required. These three tools I utilize daily.

I am constantly making new professional connections and acting as a bridge to connect fellow professionals who can benefit from each other. Working daily with different clients certainly does not allow for a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition counseling! Therefore, having learned that every person uniquely hears, learns, and is motivated individually allowed for me to easily adapt when I started working with patients and clients. Public speaking is an area that I continue to refine and improve upon, because as I gain more experience my audiences are of a higher caliber with greater expectations.

Did you complete a clinical experience or practicum as part of your master's program? If so, how did that inform your subsequent career choices?

This was not a part of my master's program. We had to complete a graduate thesis or evidence-based analysis project as the culmination of our master's program. However, completing the dietetic internship lead me to believe that, although the importance of understanding the clinical aspects of nutrition is imperative and is still a part of my day-to-day work, I knew I did not want this to be my focus. I learned that I prefer education and empowering others to change their lives through healthy living, like I did.

Why did you choose to go into private practice?

Private practice gives me the ability to work with people who truly want to change. They generally come to me willing to follow my direction and are looking for what I can offer. This also gives me the flexibility to take on other projects, like teaching classes both at the collegiate level and for other organizations, schools, etc.

Which issues do you prefer to work on with clients, and why?

The two main issues I prefer to work on with clients are weight loss and optimizing performance for athletes. These two areas are most rewarding. I believe weight loss is [about] so much more than looking better. It is about naturally decreasing and, at times, eliminating risk factors for numerous chronic degenerative conditions. Clients who experience weight loss success feel better physically, which improves all aspects of their lives.

Working with athletes is a passion, since I am a lifelong athlete and I understand what drives them. Athletes are often very knowledgeable on how they need to train, but are confused about what and when they should be eating regarding their training and how to optimize their performance.

Overall, what are some of the greatest challenges you face in your day-to-day work?

It is of utmost importance that clients do not become dependent upon me. An example of this is not knowing what to eat unless they ask me. I am happy to give people recipes and ideas, but when they want me to write a plan to follow every day with exact foods and amounts, I discourage this because it is not realistic that those foods in those exact amounts will always be available to them. My goal is to help clients find new favorite foods that are versatile, healthy, and enjoyable!

This means we need to break many preconceived notions about what is good and bad. These are words I never use when describing any foods because all foods have their places in a healthy eating plan. Another challenge that I encounter are clients who are unwilling to cook. When they are completely unwilling to cook anything at home it becomes difficult -- not impossible -- to reach the goals we have set. In this situation, the conversation then focuses more on why they won't cook. Then we work on changing their perceptions and beliefs about food shopping, cooking, and preparing meals.

What advice would you give to students considering earning a master's in nutrition?

For those considering a master's of nutrition, I would tell them to look at 2-5 programs and compare what is required for each program, with the pros and cons of each. GMAT is not required in many programs. This may be a determining factor for students. It is important to determine (or at least have an idea of) what the long-term goal is, because different programs have different foci or concentrations, such as clinical, business, or education.

If the student knows they want to become a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist, then it's best to choose a program that is a combined master's and dietetic internship. This is an incredible field to be a part of and I am happy every day that as a dietitian I am able to help many people. That being said, the programs are competitive and require hard work and dedication, like anything worthwhile in life!


What Else Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Nutrition Program?

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 for Online Master's in Nutrition Degrees

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.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Nutrition Graduates

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%

PROFESSIONAL AND RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

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.

Financing Your Online Master's in Nutrition

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.

Related Content

Rankings Archive

Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs of 2018
Ranking School Location
1 Tufts University Medford, MA
2 University of Western States Portland, OR
3 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
4 University of Georgia Athens, GA
5 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
6 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI
7 Maryland University of Integrative Health Laurel, MD
8 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
9 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
10 Logan University Chesterfield, MO
11 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
12 American University Washington, DC
13 Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science North Chicago, IL
14 Northeastern University Boston, MA
15 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Fort Collins, CO
16 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
17 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
18 Saybrook University Oakland, CA
19 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
20 Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK
21 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE
22 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
23 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
24 Iowa State University Ames, IA
25 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
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