Nutritional science is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on dietary issues and health concerns. Students who pursue a bachelor's in nutritional sciences explore biology and chemistry and learn how food and medicine affect the human body. They also delve into social science, learning to analyze the factors related to eating habits and diet choices.
Nutritional scientists and dietitians are in high demand, particularly with hospitals and outpatient care centers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that nutritionist and dietitian positions will grow 11% from 2018 to 2028, which translates to 8,000 new jobs. In addition to general practice, nutritional scientists can specialize their training to work with specific patient groups, like the elderly, diabetics, individuals with allergies, and clients with eating disorders.
2019’s Best Accredited Online Nutritional Sciences Programs
Due to the plethora of online colleges, finding the right degree to fit your career goals can prove challenging. This guide helps you discover the best option for you by providing detailed rankings of the best online bachelor's in nutritional sciences programs based on factors like cost, accessibility, and student outcomes. The rankings also considers student resources (like personalized academic counseling and online tutoring) and career services (including internship placement and job search assistance).
To earn a bachelor's, nutritional sciences students typically must complete at least 120 credits, which generally takes 2-4 years depending on program structure. The rankings detail how each school administers online classes and what kind of degree plan you can expect. If a program peaks your interest, contact an admission specialist at the school for more details.
The University of Alabama
|Tuscaloosa, AL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
The University of Alabama's online bachelor of science in food and nutrition is one of just four online nutrition degrees in the U.S. with an endorsement from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). UA's nutrition program comprises 120 credit hours, with 56 credit hours in the major and 20 credit hours of supplemental science classes. Students graduate with comprehensive nutrition knowledge and a clear path toward becoming registered dietitians.
Required nutrition courses initially focus on building foundational knowledge then advance to specialized topics, like medical nutrition therapy, food service program administration, and experimental food science. Students also undertake a required professional independent study course as the program draws to a close, allowing learners to advance their practical knowledge and skills in areas of individual interest.
Based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, UA administers its online programs through its Bama by Distance platform. UA consistently earns rankings that place it in the top 10 public universities in the United States. UA charges all online students the same tuition rates regardless of their in- or out-of-state status.
University of Arizona
|Tucson, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
The University of Arizona's bachelor of science in nutritional science program ranks as another one of the country's four online nutrition degrees with ACEND accreditation. While enrolled in UA's bachelor of science in nutritional science, students can choose between two concentration options.
The nutrition concentration focuses on the convergence of food chemistry, biochemistry, cellular biology, and medical science. Students build advanced knowledge of food safety, food science, the biology of nutrition, human metabolism, nutritional assessments, and the planning and supervision of therapeutic and medical diets. The dietetics option puts students on a direct path toward earning certifications as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians.
Students enjoy fixed, affordable tuition costs that make no distinction between in- and out-of-state residency status. Learners also operate on a pay-per-credit system, enabling them to proceed through the course material at their own pace. These features make UA's online nutrition program ideal for working professionals who want to upgrade their academic credentials and students who work during the day to help finance their educational goals.
The University of Arizona student body also benefits from the school's strong corporate partnerships, which create excellent internship, work
study, and practical training opportunities while supplying a path to future careers. The school also leads all public Arizona higher education institutions in alumni earning potential.
Kansas State University
|Manhattan, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 70%||
Kansas State University offers two undergraduate online nutrition degree options through its renowned Global Campus platform. First, students can earn a bachelor's in nutrition and health, which ranks among the most affordable programs of its kind in the United States.
Learners undertake 120 credit hours of coursework, covering food science, nutritional assessment, nutrition and public health, and clinical nutrition. The program design supports career opportunities as physician's assistants, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and occupational therapy, providing a strong academic background for further studies in nursing or medicine.
Students can also pursue an online bachelor's degree in nutrition and dietetics, which focuses more specifically on the relationships between diet and human health. The program meets the lofty academic requirements specified by ACEND and supports the direct progression of graduates to internships required to qualify for registered dietitian nutritionist certification.
Located in Manhattan, Kansas, K-State's online learning technologies and Global Campus have earned widespread recognition as a national leader in technology-based education. All Global Campus programs offer low, fixed tuition rates that apply to all students regardless of their geographic location.
K-State also welcomes students from other schools through its generous transfer credit system. Incoming learners can transfer previously completed post-secondary coursework from institutions, including four-year, degree-granting colleges and universities and technical and community colleges. Learners must complete 30 total credit hours in residence at K-State in order to qualify for graduation.
Arizona State University – Skysong
|Scottsdale, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 14%||
Arizona State University Online features a top-rated online bachelor of science in nutrition program that helps students build toward careers in food service management, food production, food marketing, and nutrition-related journalism. Delivered through 40 classes that each run just over seven weeks, this 120-credit hour nutrition bachelor's degree online offers three specialization tracks.
Students can pursue a concentration in food and nutrition management, which focuses on institutional and commercial food service operations and widely used food delivery methods. Another specialization path covers food studies, focusing on key principles of food production and food marketing. Finally, learners can emphasize nutrition communication and develop advanced skills for relaying important food-related facts and information to healthcare professionals and general consumers.
Unlike many other online nutrition programs, ASU's BS in nutrition program takes a career-minded approach to commercialized aspects of the food industry. It represents a strong option for students seeking to build skills in high demand in the private sector beyond the typical confines of the healthcare industry.
ASU's online bachelor's programs in nutrition are offered through the College of Health Solutions and the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. These administrative subdivisions count as key drivers of ASU's renowned reputation for innovation, with the College of Health Solutions spending $9 million per year on research projects as of 2016.
For additional information on earning your bachelor's in nutritional sciences, consult this complete degree page. The guide covers general course offerings, concentration options, and admission criteria. You can also gain insight into relevant professional certificates and licenses.
You can learn more about the careers available to nutritional sciences majors by accessing this in-depth guide. The page details job options by degree level, salary and employment statistics, and professional development resources.