Best Online Nutritional Sciences Degree Programs of 2021

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August 27, 2021

Edited by Jordan Stewart-Rozema
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Earning an online bachelor's degree in nutrition science provides graduates with the opportunity to help others live healthier lives while also earning a reasonable salary. The majority of jobs require only a bachelor's degree, making these programs a great entry point into the field.

Prospective students considering this path but seeking additional information before taking the plunge can find all the information they need and more on this page. Learn about degree requirements, commonly offered courses, and available career options after graduation.

What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 5:

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Ranking compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

#1 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
#2 Arizona State University-Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
#3 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
#4 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
#5 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Programs

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The University of Alabama View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL

Based in Tuscaloosa, UA offers a bachelor of science in food and nutrition that prepares students to combine scientific knowledge with the ability to provide nutrition information and education to clients. The degree represents the first step toward becoming a registered dietician, with classes supporting the relationship between human health and food. The Bama by Distance online program also allows learning flexibility for full-time workers.

One of only a handful of distance-learning degrees in the U.S. accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, this program features required courses like community nutrition and nutrition counseling. The curriculum also includes science classes, such as introduction to chemistry and microbiology.

The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition
School Status: Public
Tuition: $375 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Currently waived due to COVID-19

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Arizona State University-Skysong View School Profile Scottsdale, AZ

ASU Online's bachelor's in food and nutrition entrepreneurship program prepares students to tackle food industry challenges such as inventory management, labeling, and e-commerce preparation. Program participants combine evidence-based science with human nutrition topics, while also adding business and research skills. Upon graduation, students may opt for industry careers or focus on building their own consulting practices. Graduates qualify for jobs like certified health education specialist, food scientist, restaurant manager, and community health worker.

The well-rounded curriculum covers many topics, such as nutrition management and leadership, management of food service systems, community and nutrition, and retail food operations. Located in Tempe, ASU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship
School Status: Public
Tuition: $571 per credit (in-state); $666 per credit (out-of-state)
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT (minimum 1120 for Arizona residents or 1180 for nonresidents) or ACT (minimum 22 for Arizona residents or 24 for nonresidents)

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Request more information about this program.

Kansas State University View School Profile Manhattan, KS

The bachelor's degree in nutrition and health offered through K-State Online prepares students to educate others about developing and maintaining healthy eating habits and behaviors. Graduates qualify for careers revolving around nutritional research, education, and community program development. The program also prepares students for advanced education, including physician assistant or nursing training or health information management preparation.

The program consists of general requirements and professional studies coursework. General requirement classes cover areas like communications, biological sciences, physical sciences, and humanities. The professional studies classes focus on basic nutrition, pharmacology in athletic training, administration of healthcare organizations, and clinical nutrition. Students may also customize the program to fit their career goals by adding courses covering personal wellness, allergies and intolerances, nutrition for athletes, and healthcare organization administration.

The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation to K-State.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Nutrition and Health Bachelor's Degree
School Status: Public
Tuition: $403 per credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.25 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT (1060 or higher) or ACT (21 or higher)

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

University of Arizona View School Profile Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona offers an online bachelor's in nutritional sciences that helps students examine the impact of nutrition and food on health and disease. Program topics focus on nutritional biology and metabolism, food science and safety, nutritional assessments, and therapeutic diets. Student participants specialize in either dietetics or nutrition.

The dietetics focus prepares learners for registered dietician careers. Courses include lifecycle nutrition, foundations in medical nutrition therapy, and community nutrition. The nutrition emphasis opens doors to food science and nutritional biochemistry careers or paves the way for advanced studies in the biological, nursing, and medical fields. Main courses include sports nutrition, diet genes and disease, and experiential learning in nutritional sciences.

This program is one of only a few accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. UofA is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences
School Status: Public
Tuition: $525 per credit
Credit Requirements: 129 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

Eastern Michigan University View School Profile Ypsilanti, MI

EMU's bachelor of science in dietetics focuses on teaching evidence-based skills and abilities. The experienced faculty brings field knowledge to instruction, providing students with the tools needed to apply theoretical ideas and knowledge to real-world issues. Program graduates obtain skills and understanding about food and principles of nutrition research, gaining the knowledge required to practice as entry-level dietitians in areas of clinical, community, and food-service dietetics.

In addition to general education requirements, the program's major class requirements cover topics like food and culture, integrative medicine, and community nutrition. Out-of-state online learners pay in-state tuition rates. EMU, located in Ypsilanti, is regionally accredited by Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Dietetics
School Status: Public
Tuition: $395 per credit
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: Currently waived due to COVID-19

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Program?

An online bachelor's degree in nutrition offers a great path to helping others for individuals interested in applying scientific knowledge to real-world problems affecting clients.

An online bachelor's degree in nutrition can lead to a career helping others by applying scientific knowledge to practical health problems. Because nutritionists often spend their days meeting with others and providing nutritional advice, they should enjoy spending time with different personality types.

Online bachelor's in nutrition science programs typically require four years of full-time study and include coursework, labs, and semester-long internships. While these programs are less likely to offer specializations than master's programs, students may find schools that provide options, such as sports medicine, clinical dietetics, and child and adolescent nutrition.

Many schools now allow students to complete nutrition science degrees online, making it easier to meet academic requirements while managing personal and professional responsibilities. Students can often find fully online programs but should note that internships may require in-person work. Most colleges work with degree-seekers to find a suitable location near their place of residence.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Program?

Courses in online nutrition science programs vary, but nearly all programs emphasize theoretical knowledge and practical skills. They also prepare graduates to offer nutritional services to clients across the lifespan from various social and cultural backgrounds. Below, we look at five common nutrition science courses.

Essentials of Nutrition

Usually taken in the first semester, this course provides a foundational understanding of nutritional studies. Students learn about evidence-based tools and resources to use when working with clients. They also discover how nutrition can help with health maintenance and disease prevention.

Food and Culture Studies

Combining studies in psychology, this course looks at how cultural, societal, and socioeconomic factors affect our views and habits around food. Students also consider how foods provide a glimpse into multicultural traditions.

Nutrition Education

This course provides the training needed to educate others about nutrition concepts and habits. Students learn about instructional strategies and assessment metrics that they can use with both individual clients and groups.

Nutrition Across the Lifespan

The nutritional needs of toddlers vary dramatically from the needs of teenagers and senior citizens. As such, nutritionists must understand how diets change across the lifespan. This course teaches professionals to help children grow healthily and help adults successfully manage their weight.

Clinical Nutrition

This course brings together studies in biochemistry, nutrition, pathology, and physiology to address questions around issues, such as starvation and obesity, gastrointestinal diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses. Students learn how to work with clients from varied backgrounds to develop specialized diets.

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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Degree?

Earning an online bachelor's degree in nutrition science allows graduates to take on meaningful work as nutritionists and dieticians. While advanced clinical positions and research roles require advanced degrees, there are many lucrative roles for bachelor's degree-holders.

The BLS projects 8% job growth for dieticians and nutritionists between 2019 and 2029, leading to 5,900 new positions added to an existing 74,200 roles.

See where a bachelor's in nutrition science degree can take you. Learn more about nutrition careers.

true Sports Nutrition

Sports nutrition professionals work with student and professional athletes alike to develop specialized nutrition plans. Athletes need healthy food options that meet requirements around carbohydrates, protein, fat, and electrolytes to keep them at the top of their game. Sports nutritionists help athletes meet these needs.

Clinical Dietetics

As clinical dietetic professionals, bachelor's in nutrition graduates work in both inpatient and outpatient care facilities to assess patient needs, create nutrition programs, and evaluate their effectiveness. They may work in eating disorder clinics, long-term care facilities, and hospitals.

Food Safety and Development

Using their knowledge of the health characteristics of food, nutritionists and dieticians can find work in food development. They can provide oversight and research for new food products, consulting on how to make these items more nutritionally robust. They can also ensure that food products are handled in safe ways that do not compromise freshness.

Nutrition Education

Nutrition educators find work in many different sectors and settings, including in public and private organizations, colleges and universities, and homecare locations. They use their knowledge of nutrition principles to promote health and weight maintenance, teach others how to select healthy food options, and develop nutrition education programs.

Health Coaching

Whether working for a gym, spa, wellness center, or in private practice, health coaches provide accountability and motivation to help their clients reach their health goals. While some health coaches may focus on factors, such as fitness, those with nutrition degrees can focus on food choices.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Programs

Is an online bachelor's in nutritional sciences worth it?

An online nutrition sciences bachelor's degree provides the required credentials to become a nutritionist after meeting state requirements for licensure or certification. If you want to help others make healthy choices, this degree offers a great path to the field.

Are nutritionists in high demand?

Yes. The BLS projects 8% job growth for nutritionists between 2019 and 2029, far faster than the national average for all occupations. This growth should lead to the creation of nearly 6,000 new positions across the country.

How much does an online bachelor's in nutritional sciences cost?

Cost varies dramatically by program, with private schools typically charging more than public institutions. Many programs charge around $300-$500 per credit.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in nutritional sciences?

According to the BLS, nutritionists and dietitians earned a median annual wage of $63,090 in 2020. Nutritionists and dietitians working in outpatient care centers made a median salary of $69,660 that year, while those employed by nursing and residential care facilities earn $60,330.

How do you become a registered dietician?

After completing your bachelor's in nutrition science, you must meet requirements set forth by your state's board for nutritionists and dieticians. While many states require these professionals to hold licensure, others require state registration or certification if you plan to use official job titles like dietician or nutritionist.

How long does it take to become a nutritionist online?

Most online bachelor's degrees in nutritional science take four years to complete for full-time students. These programs include both general education and major-specific coursework. Part-time programs usually take six years to finish, while accelerated programs make it possible to graduate in approximately three years.

This guide addresses how students should determine and manage online course expectations while balancing work and life obligations. Explore the complex issue of academic freedom, and understand how it impacts what and how subjects are taught in today's college classrooms. Understanding the hows and whys of healthy eating can help set you up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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