Best Master’s in Dietetics Programs of 2022

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by Doug Wintemute

Published July 7, 2022

Edited by Colin Weickmann
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Dietetics is the study of nutrition's influence on human health. A master's in dietetics explores the leading science, research, and practices in this field. These advanced degrees also prepare graduates for the registered dietitian nutrition (RDN) credential and state licensure, which may be required to practice.

As of 2024, a master's in dietetics will be the minimum requirement for the RDN credential, per the Commission on Dietetic Registration. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 11% growth in the dietitian and nutritionist occupation between 2020 and 2030. These professionals also made median annual salaries of $61,650 in May 2021.

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When deciding on graduate school, prospective students should expect to complete between 30-45 credits over about two years. They might also expect some graduate school debt, though online schools can help reduce that by accommodating work schedules to lower the true program cost.

Here, we look at the best master's in dietetics programs and highlight the possible healthcare careers available to graduates.

Our Top Pick

University of Washington - Seattle, Washington

Why It's #1: Among all schools providing a master's in dietetics, the University of Washington (UW) boasts the highest graduation rate at 84%. Despite having one of the higher tuition rates, UW provides a considerable amount of financial aid. In fact, their tuition after aid is one of the lowest among all schools.

The school also offers some online learning options to make the training more flexible and accommodating.

Read Our Rankings Methodology

2022 Best Accredited Master's in Dietetics Programs

Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team

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#1

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

School Information
Location Seattle, Washington
Admission Rate 52%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Quarter

In State | $6,790

Out of State | $11,478

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

UW's master's in nutritional sciences prepares students for the RDN credential or a doctorate in nutritional sciences. The core program includes courses in nutrition and metabolism, food systems, and counseling for chronic disease. 

Students can also integrate supervised clinical and community experiences to qualify for the RDN credential. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#2

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $479.32

Out of State | $1,110.72

Credits to Graduate

32

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

FSU's master's in nutrition and food science offers concentrations in food science and nutrition science. While the standard program is a non-thesis track, a thesis track is available. Graduates who complete a dietetic internship can qualify for the RDN credential. 

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus GRE scores above the 50th percentile. Candidates who wish to take the dietetic internship must have completed a bachelor's in dietetics first.

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#3

CUNY Hunter College

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 35%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $470

Out of State | $855

Credits to Graduate

36

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Hunter's master's in nutrition positions graduates for the registered dietitian nutritionist credential. The program provides training in clinical research and practice and features core courses in biostatistics and nutrition research. Learners can also pursue a dietetics internship if they completed a bachelor's in dietetics. 

The training concludes with a capstone project or thesis. Students can develop a specialization by selecting focused electives. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus a minimum 3.3 GPA in all prerequisites.

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#4

Florida International University

School Information
Location Miami, Florida
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $455.64

Out of State | $1,001.69

Semester Hours to Graduate

37

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

FIU's master's in dietetics and nutrition features courses in nutrition and biochemistry, proteins, and functions of vitamins. Students can choose between research, thesis, or master's project options. The degree qualifies graduates to take the RDN credentialing exam. 

Degree-seekers looking for the RDN credential need a dietetic bachelor's and internship. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#5

California State University-Los Angeles

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Year

In State | $8,216

Out of State | Additional $396 per course unit

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Cal State LA's master's in nutritional science provides training for tackling advanced problems in nutritional science, nutritional counseling, and nutritional epidemiology. Degree-seekers can complete a comprehensive exam, a thesis, or a capstone project. 

For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA, plus strong GRE scores. Candidates without a bachelor's in dietetics may need to complete prerequisite courses.

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#6

Saint Louis University

School Information
Location Saint Louis, Missouri
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $1,130

Out of State | $1,130

Credits to Graduate

34-37

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

SLU's master's in nutrition and dietetics features concentrations in culinary entrepreneurship, medical nutrition, nutrition and physical performance, and pediatric nutrition. Learners can pursue a 1,200-hour dietetic internship, which qualifies them for a credentialing examination. 

Students can also enroll in a combined degree with a master's in public health. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and competitive GPAs.

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#7

Cox College

School Information
Location Springfield, Missouri
Admission Rate 39%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes 

Avg. Tuition Cost per Year

In State | $13,310-$13,915

Out of State | $13,310-$13,915

Credits to Graduate

45

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Cox College's 22-month master's in nutrition diagnostics and dietetics offers nutritional counseling education and a supervised internship. The training covers nutrition diagnostics and assessment, medical nutritional therapy, and critical thinking in nutrition. 

The dietetics internship includes a total of 1,216 hours of supervised practice. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants also need a verification statement to qualify for the dietetic internship, which may require additional courses.

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#8

University of Missouri-Columbia

School Information
Location Columbia, Missouri
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 32% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes 

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $435.30

Out of State | $1,191.90

Credits to Graduate

120 undergraduate and 30 graduate

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Mizzou's master's in dietetics is part of a five-year bachelor's-to-master's program. Students complete three years of prerequisites, two years in dietetics, and the required supervised practice to qualify for the RDN exam. 

In the final year of their training, students complete courses in endocrinology, health informatics ethics, and medical nutrition therapy. For admission, prospective students need a high school diploma or bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#9

University of North Florida

School Information
Location Jacksonville, Florida
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

100% Online and On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit

In State | $523.25

Out of State | $523.25

Semester Hours to Graduate

35

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

UNF's master's in nutrition and dietetics offers professional studies in dietetics and dietetics internship concentrations. The dietetics internship concentration features 1,200 supervised practice hours and qualifies graduates for the RDN credential. The professional studies concentration offers a thesis or nutrition project option.

For admission, prospective students need an accredited bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related discipline and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#10

San Jose State University

School Information
Location San Jose, California
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

On-Campus | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Tuition Cost per Year

In State | $9,333

Out of State | Additional $396 per course unit

Credits to Graduate

30

Program Information

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

SJSU's master's in nutritional science provides training in nutrition and food science, biostatistics in research, and issues in nutrition. The program features a thesis option or a nutrition project option. Students may develop a specialization with 9-12 focused electives. 

Graduates can qualify for the registered dietitian nutritionist exam and credential. For admission, prospective students need a bachelor's degree in a nutritional science discipline and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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Popular Online Dietetics Programs

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

How We Rank Schools

Each year, the BestColleges Ranking Team evaluates hundreds of programs to produce our annual Best Master's in Dietetics ranking. In 2022, the team sourced the most recent data available from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. We identified 46 schools that qualify for our ranking list based on the following criteria.

To ensure the accuracy and quality of our final ranked list, the ranking team reviewed each qualifying school to ensure it met the criteria for our ranking, and then applied our proprietary ranking methodology to identify the best schools offering this program in the nation. Each school is ranked based on a formula measuring academic factors (60%) and affordability (40%).

The BestColleges Ranking Team is made up of contributors from our data science and product management teams. These contributors operate independently from the editorial team. All BestColleges school rankings are produced by the ranking team and are free of editorial influence. Read our Editorial Policy and Standards to learn more.

Top Three Benefits of a Dietetics Degree

Qualifies graduates for RDN examination

According to the Commission on Dietetic Registration, a master's in dietetics with an eligible internship qualifies graduates to take the RDN designation examination. By 2024, this will be the minimum requirement.

Flexible work environments

Dietitians and nutritionists can work in several settings, including outpatient care centers, hospitals, nursing care centers, and government agencies.

Attractive projected growth and salary potential

The BLS projects 11% growth for dietitians and nutritionists between 2020 and 2030, faster than the projected growth rate for all occupations. The median annual salary of $61,650 in May 2021 also exceeds the median annual wage for all occupations by over $15,000.

What Can I Expect From a Master's in Dietetics Program?

A master's in dietetics explores micro and macronutrients in detail, plus the practice and benefits of therapeutic nutrition. Students learn how to assess patients and develop nutritional plans to help them meet their health goals.

Most schools award MS degrees in dietetics or nutrition. Although, MA degrees and MPH degrees may also be available with small differences in the degree and elective requirements.

Whenpreparing for graduate school, prospective students must consider their postgraduate goals. Applicants pursuing the RDN credential likely need a program with a graduate fieldwork component. They might also get to choose a concentration, such as a professional practice or food science, which can influence their career direction.

Check Out The Student's Guide to College Planning

Program Snapshot
Average Graduate Degree Tuition Cost

Public Institution: $12,410

Private Institution: $26,597

Length 2 years
Credits 30
Program Tracks Master of science (MS), master of arts (MA), master of public health
Example Concentrations
  • Food science
  • Culinary entrepreneurship
  • Professional practice
  • Medical nutrition
  • Pediatric nutrition
Example Courses
  • Biostatistics
  • Vitamin functions
  • Metabolism
  • Food systems

What Programs Are Similar to Dietetics?

What Are the Admission Requirements?

While the admission requirements differ by school and program, prospective students often need a bachelor's degree at a minimum. Many schools require applicants to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and nutrition-related prerequisite courses as well.

Part of your graduate school preparation should include making a college application resume and drafting grad school essays. Schools may also require GRE scores, which you can boost with GRE prep.

Explore Our Graduate Admissions Guide

How Do I Pay for a Master's Degree in Dietetics?

What Can I Do With This Degree?

Graduates with a master's degree in dietetics usually take on dietitian and nutrition jobs, but they might also pursue other health-related careers. The dietitian and nutritionist occupations boast growth and salary projections that rival some of the top master's degree jobs.

To qualify for dietitian and nutritionist roles, professionals may need the RDN credential. This requires extensive supervised clinical experience and passing an exam from the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Popular Dietetics Careers
Career Median Annual Salary (May 2021)
Dietitian and Nutritionist $61,650
Medical and Health Services Manager $101,340
Health Education Specialist $48,860
Social and Community Services Manager $74,000
Epidemiologist $78,830

Dietetics Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Dietetics Licensing and Certification

Every state has its own requirements for dietitians and nutritionists, but RDN designation may be required for employment. To qualify for the exam, candidates must complete a bachelor's degree in dietetics and an internship. As of 2024, the minimum education requirement is a master's degree.

Other certificates, certifications, and licenses may be required to practice under certain titles depending on the state. For example, professionals can pursue a certified nutrition specialist credential from the American Nutrition Association.

Should I Get a Master's in Dietetics Online?

The decision between online or on-campus studies can impact how and when you study and how you make your college choice. Determine the value of an online degree by weighing the pros and cons between these two study types.

Online vs. On-Campus Degrees

On-Campus Pros

  • Access to on-campus resources and support services
  • In-person social interaction and networking
  • Hands-on learning
  • Classroom learning environment with fewer distractions
  • Extracurricular clubs and activities

On-Campus Cons

  • May be more expensive than online programs
  • Set class times with less flexibility
  • Time/money commuting

Online Pros

  • Flexibility to learn on your schedule
  • Learn from anywhere
  • Network with people around the world
  • Save time/money on commuting
  • May be more affordable than on-campus programs
  • Access to online tutoring and career services

Online Cons

  • Requires more self-discipline
  • Not all programs are available online
  • More technical requirements
  • Potential social isolation and loneliness

How to Choose an Online Degree Program

Frequently Asked Questions About Dietetics Programs

Is a master's in dietetics worth it?

Yes. A master's in dietetics provides graduates with advanced training and skills in nutrition sciences. They learn how to help people improve their health outcomes through their food and diet. It is also the minimum requirement for the leading dietitian and nutrition credential as of 2024.

For working professionals considering a master's degree, the value of online training might help justify the cost and time investment. Online programs offer fewer travel and scheduling limitations. Students may be able to keep working while they pursue an advanced degree.

What can I do with a master's in dietetics?

With a master's in dietetics, graduates can access dietician and nutritionist positions in most states. This may require additional credentials, such as licensure or certifications, but master's degree-holders with the appropriate practical experience should qualify.

Master's graduates also possess the leadership skills to pursue management roles in medical or community services organizations. Depending on their degree type and specialized training, graduates may even enter the public health field.

Are dietetics graduates in demand?

Yes. Our understanding of food's influence on our health and well-being continues to expand and drive the need for more specialists in this field. As a result, the BLS projects the addition of nearly 8,000 new dietitians and nutritionists between 2020 and 2030. It also projects nearly 6,000 annual openings in the field on average to replace standard turnover.

Other accessible careers are in high demand as well, such as health education specialists. The BLS projects 17% growth in this field between 2020 and 2030 -- an addition of over 21,000 new positions during that time.

How much money can I make with a master's in dietetics?

The available salaries for professionals with a master's in dietetics depend on many factors. The median annual salary for dietitians and nutritionists was $61,650 in May 2021, as per the BLS. However, the top 10% in the field made more than $93,640.

Industry plays a major role as well, with outpatient care clinics paying median annual salaries of $74,640. Government, hospitals, and nursing care facilities all paid similar wages. In May 2021, professionals in these industries earned median annual salaries of $61,830, $61,820, and $60,840, respectively.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a master's in dietetics?

The highest-paying job available to graduates with a master's in dietetics is a medical and health services manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $101,340 in May 2021, more than twice the median annual salary for all occupations.

The wages within the field vary depending on the industry and organization. For example, the top 10% of managers made over $205,620. Managers in hospitals made $119,450, those in the government made $117,000, and those in physician's offices made $98,230.

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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