Best Online Nutrition Programs of 2022

This page introduces 2022's top six online bachelor's in nutritional sciences programs. Compare programs below, and choose the best fit for your interests and goals.

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by Marisa Upson

Published on January 6, 2022 · Updated on April 25, 2022

Edited by Darlene Earnest
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A bachelor's in nutrition program teaches students how dietary choices affect the body and, ultimately, people's health and well-being.

Graduates can use this information to help vulnerable community members. They can also advocate for healthy food options in schools and organizations and counsel individuals and groups on nutritional needs related to their age and specific health conditions.

Most online bachelor's in nutrition programs take about four years to complete. However, asynchronous online learning platforms, which enable students to learn at their own pace, may offer accelerated options. This can lead to a degree in less time. Other programs offer dual degrees, which can lead to a bachelor's and master's in nutrition in five years.

Read on to learn about what an online bachelor's in nutrition program offers. See if it is the right choice for you.

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

For people passionate about helping others optimize their health through their choice of food, earning an online bachelor's in nutrition can lead to a rewarding career.

Today, more people and health professionals realize the link between what people eat and their physical health and emotional well-being. In addition, researchers link dietary choices to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and many other conditions.

Most online bachelor's in nutrition programs require about 120 credits and take four years of full-time study to complete. Programs include coursework in the nutritional components of food, public health, and food management.

While a master's in nutrition provides greater specialization, some bachelor's programs offer select concentrations, including the following:

Many programs require internships, labs, and hands-on learning experiences, which students may complete at healthcare facilities or food service operations in their area.

While most schools help students locate internships, some ask learners to find organizations for labs and other direct-experience requirements. Students considering careers as nutritionists or dietitians should also check the specific program to ensure it meets their state's requirements for licensure.

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Popular Online Bachelor's in Nutrition Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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

Human Nutrition

This course covers the nutrient requirements of the human body. Topics include vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients required to function properly. Students also explore metabolism from digestion to absorption and utilization.

Lifespan Nutrition

Students learn the environmental and physiological effects of nutritional requirements. This course explores the changing dietary needs from birth to senior years and how to recognize deficiencies and developing patterns.

Community Nutrition

This course covers community nutritional screening and assessment for vulnerable populations. Topics include planning community nutrition and food assistance programs, public policy, and the educational components of nutrition in community services.

Clinical Nutrition

This class prepares students to work in clinical settings in both managing programs and food service. Students learn about designing food programs as part of a treatment protocol and the effects of disease on the body's ability to break down nutrients.

Cultural Aspects of Food

Students develop an understanding of the cultural influences on diet and the different ethnic groups. Subjects include ingredients used in various locations around the world and how these affect a group's health.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Nutrition Program?

Most on-campus and online bachelor's in nutrition programs have similar admission requirements. Some programs require students to complete prerequisite classes in science courses such as chemistry, human anatomy, and human physiology. Students can gain these credits at the community college level or through AP courses taken in high school.

Application

Depending on a school's protocol, students may submit one application to the Common Application and it can go to multiple schools. Hundreds of colleges and universities use this online platform. Other schools require that you send your application directly to them, usually through the school's application portal or website. Colleges also accept paper applications via mail.

Test Scores

Most nutrition undergraduate programs require ACT or SAT scores. While all programs differ in requirements, an example of qualifying scores is an ACT composite score of 21 and an SAT score of 1060 or higher. Some programs waive this requirement based on a solid cumulative high school GPA. Others require higher scores for out-of-state students.

Letters of Recommendation

Some colleges and universities may require 2-3 letters of recommendation — one from a student's school counselor and one or two from academic sources like teachers. Students transferring from a community college usually require college-level recommendations. Make sure to ask for letters of recommendation in advance so that they arrive by the application deadline.

Essays

Essays or personal statements can offer colleges insight into an applicant's drive, career goals, life experiences, and writing abilities. Some schools ask for answers to specific questions, such as obstacles a student overcame and how the experience shaped them. Others require a general overview, allowing applicants to illustrate their unique and creative traits.

Official Transcripts

Students must submit official high school or GED transcripts. They may also need to submit transcripts from any previously attended colleges and universities. Required minimum GPAs typically range from 2.0-3.0. If transferring with an associate degree from a community college, students only need to submit college transcripts.

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

Career Outlook

There is a growing awareness of "food as medicine" and an understanding that dietary changes can help manage some leading diseases. So nutritionists are in strong demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 11% job growth for dietitians and nutritionists between 2020 and 2030.

These professionals earn a median annual salary of $63,090, as of May 2020. Some of the top industries employing nutritionists include outpatient care centers, government agencies, hospitals, and residential care facilities. Requirements vary by state, with many mandating a set number of supervised practice hours. Aspiring professionals may also have to pass an exam.

Graduates may choose to pursue careers in public health and as sports nutritionists, health coaches, and nutritional educators. In addition, many use this degree as a stepping stone to graduate programs that enable them to specialize in a particular field and earn the certified nutrition specialist credential or pursue a career as a registered dietitian.

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

Career Paths

Nutritionist

Nutritionists develop programs and counsel people on health and nutrition. Some work with specific groups, such as children or older adults. Others serve communities in nonprofit agencies and public health clinics. Each state varies in regulations and licensure requirements. The American Nutrition Association offers a general overview of state laws.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $63,090

Food Technologist

Food technologists typically analyze the nutritional components of food, develop safer and healthier processed foods, and come up with new products. As the trend toward more nutritious food options continues, graduates with a bachelor's in nutrition may be in growing demand in this field. Some food technologists work in manufacturing, while others pursue careers with government agencies.

Average Annual Salary (as of October 2021): $58,280

Nutrition Manager

Nutrition managers typically work for nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools, and individual clients. They oversee the day-to-day foodservice operations, including nutritional analysis, menu planning, purchasing, and budgeting. These professionals typically manage other staff members and may hire and train food preparers. Some positions require a master's degree.

Average Annual Salary (as November 2021): $51,410

Sports Nutritionist

Sports nutritionists work with amateur and professional athletes, helping them fine tune their diet to achieve maximum health, strength, and endurance. They develop meal plans based on the nutritional requirements for specific outcomes. The plans help ensure that athletes get an adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fat in their diets. This can help athletes excel in their field.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $63,090

Registered Dietitian

Registered dietitians typically work in hospitals, private practices, and long-term care facilities. They create customized nutrition programs based on a patient's health status. Graduates must complete a minimum of 1,200 hours of supervised practice. As of Jan. 1, 2024, they must hold a graduate degree before gaining eligibility to sit for the registration exam for dietitians.

Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $63,090

Nutrition Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Healthcare Administration Careers Public Health Careers Sports Medicine Careers

Continuing Education

Many students pursue advanced degrees after earning an online bachelor's in nutrition. While an undergraduate degree offers entry into numerous careers in nutrition, a graduate degree can allow students to further define their career path. Common master's degrees include nutrition, dietetics, and public health.

Those entering the field as educators also typically require a master's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. Nutrition educators work in many settings, including schools, hospitals, and nonprofit community organizations, teaching people to adopt a healthier diet.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Nutrition Program?

Cost

The tuition for online bachelor's in nutrition programs typically range from about $385-$660 per credit. However, costs can vary dramatically based on residency status and type of school. Public schools tend to have lower tuition rates, while private institutions charge more for both online and on-campus programs. Additionally, some online programs charge the same tuition no matter where a student lives.

Program Format

Most online bachelor's in nutrition programs offer flexible, asynchronous learning formats. This format allows students to study weekly assignments at their own pace and, in some instances, may allow for faster completion times. This differs from synchronous learning, which usually requires weekly virtual class sessions with instructors and classmates.

Location

While some programs require hands-on lab and internship experiences, distance learners can usually meet these requirements at a facility near where they live. However, some students choose a program nearby so they can take advantage of on-campus activities, such as free tutoring, workshops, and athletic events. Distance learners may be able to develop a sense of community through virtual online student groups.

Accreditation

The accrediting agency for nutrition programs that prepare students for positions as registered dietitians is the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. This accreditation indicates that the program meets the highest quality educational standards. Schools also earn accreditation, with regional accreditation viewed as the most prestigious.

Student Support

Prospective students should consider researching the support services offered for online programs. Some available resources may include tutoring, library access, academic coaching, and advising, as well as online access to career centers and seminars. Other important considerations include access to alumni mentors, support groups, coaches, and support locating internships.

2022 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Nutrition Programs

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1 Online College in Arizona

Arizona State University-Skysong

School Information
Location Scottsdale, Arizona
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 4%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 98% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per year
In State | $13,698
Out of State | $15,972

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No

ASU-Skysong offers an online bachelor of science in food and nutrition entrepreneurship program for current and aspiring food industry innovators. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes nutrition science coursework, along with business-oriented courses in food manufacturing, management, and marketing. Enrollees also take courses in agriculture and sustainability. 

This online bachelor's in nutritional sciences incorporates experiential learning at relevant local sites. Graduates may pursue careers as consultants, innovative managers, or entrepreneurs. Eligible applicants should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and ACT scores of 22-24 or SAT scores of 1120.

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#2 Online College in Arizona

University of Arizona

School Information
Location Tucson, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $525
Out of State | $525

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

U of A's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences runs a top-ranked online bachelor of science in nutritional science with curriculum tracks in nutrition or dietetics. Students take core courses in food science and safety, nutritional biology and chemistry, and nutrition assessment. 

Enrollees specializing in dietetics can apply for dietetic internships that help fulfill registered dietician requirements. Nutrition specialization graduates may pursue careers as nutrition advisors or educators. Bachelor's graduates may pursue advanced degrees and become nutrition researchers. Some online bachelor's in nutritional sciences graduates go into healthcare fields, such as nursing or dentistry.

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#3 Online College in Indiana

Purdue University Global

School Information
Location West Lafayette, Indiana
Graduation Rate 27%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 99% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Program Cost
In State | $50,400
Out of State | $66,780

Credits to Graduate
180 (120 semester credits)

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No

Purdue Global's online bachelor of science in nutrition prepares students for industry-related certification exams. This program includes an original capstone project, and some participants complete an optional internship. Purdue Global offers an accelerated bachelor's-to-master's option for students interested in graduate-level study. 

This online bachelor's in nutritional sciences program requires four years of full-time enrollment for completion. Coursework requires 15-18 hours per week. Purdue Global offers start times throughout the year.

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#4 Online College in Alabama

The University of Alabama

School Information
Location Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $385
Out of State | $385

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics 

UA Online's highly ranked online bachelor of science in food and nutrition comprises 44 general education credits, 20 science-course credits, and 59 major-focused credits. This nutrition degree satisfies the Didactic Program in Dietetics educational requirements needed to become a registered dietician.

UA's online bachelor's in nutritional sciences program accepts applicants year-round. Transfer students with more than 24 credits from other schools need a 2.0 minimum GPA. Students who finished high school in the last four years must submit ACT/SAT scores.

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#5 Online College in Michigan

Eastern Michigan University

School Information
Location Ypsilanti, Michigan
Admission Rate 74%
Graduation Rate 46%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 50% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $580 plus fees
Out of State | $580 plus fees

Credits to Graduate
58 credits for BS transfer students

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

EMU's School of Health Sciences offers an online coordinated program in dietetics that includes a bachelor of science and a master of science degree. Concentrated on entrepreneurship, this dual degree program serves learners who have already completed general education requirements.

Enrollees complete 58 BS credits and 72-75 master's credits and requires about four years to finish. Participants complete 1,200 hours of supervised practice. Distance learners must secure their own supervised practice sites. Graduates qualify for the registered dietician credential.

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#6 Online College in Kansas

Kansas State University

School Information
Location Manhattan, Kansas
Admission Rate 95%
Graduation Rate 65%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $450
Out of State | $450

Credits to Graduate
120

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | No
Program Accreditation | Dietetics programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Nutrition and health program not accredited

K-State offers an online bachelor's program in nutrition and health. Some K-State students choose related programs in dietetics or food science. Bachelor's students complete 45-47 general education credits, 30-31 professional studies credits, and 42-45 electives courses. K-State's nutrition and health course offerings include topics, such as athlete nutrition, clinical nutrition, and personal wellness.

K-State's dietetics program satisfies the registered dietician nutritionist credential, but the nutrition and health program does not. Nutrition and health graduates may pursue careers in nutrition education, public health, or healthcare.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Nutrition Programs

Is a bachelor's in nutrition worth it? true

For students interested in helping others achieve optimum health through their dietary choices, an online bachelor's degree in nutrition can lead to a rewarding career. Graduates educate communities and individuals about the nutritional components of food and how they affect the human body.

Students can also use this degree as a stepping stone to a graduate degree in numerous fields, including nutrition, public health, and community service.

What can I do with a bachelor's in nutrition? true

A bachelor's in nutrition can open the door to numerous opportunities in various fields. Graduates may work in the government or nonprofit sectors in public health or community services. Many work in hospitals, schools, and long-term care facilities, developing meal programs and offering nutritional advice.

Some offer nutritional counseling to specific groups, such as children, older adults, or those experiencing chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease. Graduates pursue careers as sports nutritionists, food technologists, personal nutritionists, corporate wellness consultants, and holistic nutritionists, to name a few.

Are nutrition majors in demand? true

The BLS projects 11% employment growth for nutritionists and dietitians between 2020 and 2030, faster than the average 8% growth for all occupations. This results in about 5.900 projected job openings every year, on average, over the decade.

Because of the growing interest in preventative care and the role food and nutrition play, increasing demand for nutrition majors is expected. An aging population looking to remain healthy contributes to this strong demand as well. Also, more health professionals are seeking nutritional guidance for their patients with chronic illnesses.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in nutrition?

Salaries vary dramatically based on the position, level of experience, and location. The BLS reports that nutritionists and dietitians earn a median annual wage of $63,090, as of May 2020. The top 10% boast annual earnings of more than $90,000. PayScale reports that, on average, individuals with a bachelor's in nutrition earn a yearly salary of $59,000, as of November 2021.

Graduates may also pursue roles in the food industry. According to PayScale, food auditors, who ensure food safety standards, earn an average yearly salary of $58,670, as of November 2021. Food technologists make an average annual wage of $58,280, as of October 2021.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in nutrition?

According to the BLS, nutritionists who work for the federal government earn an annual mean wage of $77,580, while those in outpatient care centers earn $70,650. Comparatively, nutritionists working in special food services earn a yearly mean salary of $65,210.

Location also plays a role in salary level, with nutritionists in California boasting the highest mean wage of $81,070.

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