The Best Online Master of Nutrition Degree Programs

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Completing a master of science in nutrition online allows students to take on leadership positions in the health and wellness industry. Whether coming from a bachelor’s program in nutrition or an unrelated topic, this innovative degree helps graduates take up advanced roles after licensure. Topics covered include nutrition research methods, treating eating disorders, biostatistics, and epidemiology.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for dieticians and nutritionists will grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026, creating nearly 10,000 new positions. After graduation, students often move on to fascinating careers. Some pursue the field of exercise science, helping athletes and other individuals learn proper eating habits amidst a rigorous physical training regimen. Others tackle America’s growing obesity epidemic, directing community health programs, and providing meaningful research on health behaviors. Keep reading to learn what a master of science in nutrition online entails, the careers it prepares you for, and the courses commonly offered.

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We selected the degree programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.

The Best Online Master of Nutrition Degree Programs

1
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
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4

University of Georgia 

GA

About this school

Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia is one of the oldest public universities in the United States. The university, based in Athens, enrolls over 37,000 students through 17 schools and colleges. Online graduate students can choose from 17 programs, including an MS in foods and nutrition.

To earn the MS in foods and nutrition with a community nutrition concentration, students complete a minimum of 30 semester hours. They take all required coursework online and finish the program in as little as one year.

Learners complete 19 credits through core courses and 6-7 credits through electives. They satisfy a three-credit research requirement by choosing a course such as health promotion research methods or research methods in agricultural education. Students also take a required course in management of food service organizations.

Online learners benefit from a variety of student services. UGA's Division of Academic Enhancement offers remote tutoring across topics including math and writing. Writing tutors can help students with their theses, articles, application essays, and other assignments. Additionally, the Career Center provides webinars, a job search database, virtual career fairs, online networking events, and an online resume creator.

Prospective students need at least a 3.0 GPA. They must submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. The online master's degree in food science and nutrition prefers applicants with work or volunteer experience related to health, food science, or nutrition.

5

The University of Texas at Austin 

TX

About this school

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the university enrolls more than 51,000 students through 18 colleges and schools. Students can pursue 156 undergraduate degrees, 237 graduate programs, and well over 12,000 individual courses. Through its Extended Campus, UT Austin offers many online programs, including an MS in nutritional sciences.

UT Austin administers the MS in nutritional sciences in a cohort-based, fully online format. Classes last seven weeks, and students can choose to complete two or four courses during each 15-week semester. Learners study asynchronously, but they must complete weekly assignments and participate in regular discussions and activities. Students spend 20-28 hours per week on nutritional sciences coursework and typically finish the program in one year.

Nutritional sciences students take 30 credits and can choose from two concentrations: health promotion and disease prevention or biochemical and functional nutrition. All students take five core nutrition classes and five concentration courses. The health promotion track includes courses on obesity, nutritional behavior, and nutrition through the lifecycle; the biochemical nutrition specialization covers cancer, immunology, and nutrigenomics.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in a science-related field along with prior coursework in biochemistry, organic chemistry, physiology, and nutrition. They must possess at least a 3.0 GPA in upper-division undergraduate work and submit GRE or MCAT results.

6

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

IL

About this school

Established in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public research institution serving more than 47,000 students. Undergraduate and graduate learners can pursue degrees through 15 colleges that offer studies in media, law, social work, veterinary medicine, and health sciences. UI's College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences boasts an online MS in food science and human nutrition.

The MS in food science and human nutrition, a non-thesis degree, requires 32 credits of coursework and an oral examination. Students who take one course per semester complete the degree in around four years, but learners may earn the degree faster.

Students take three required courses and complete the remaining credits through electives. A core course in food chemistry discusses the chemical properties of food components including water, protein, carbohydrates, salts, and pigments. Through a core course on food and industrial microbiology, students examine the role of microorganisms in food preservation, fermentation, and illness. The curriculum also includes a required food processing course.

Applicants need a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and the food science department prefers students with a bachelor's degree related to physical, biological, agricultural, or engineering science. Prospective students also must complete prerequisite courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physics, and calculus. Applicants who hold less than three years of professional experience or below a 3.0 GPA must submit GRE scores.

7

Stony Brook University 

NY

About this school

Stony Brook University is a public institution based in New York. Founded in 1957, the school offers more than 200 undergraduate programs, over 40 doctoral programs, and more than 100 master's options. Distance learners can choose from 23 online degrees and certificates across areas like nursing, administration, and nutrition.

Students pursuing the master of science in nutrition online can choose a general track or focus their program through three concentrations. The advanced nutrition therapy and critical care specialization trains students to treat conditions in both adults and children. Students who concentrate in integrative nutrition therapy learn to optimize health and prevent disease through diet and supplementation. Learners in the sustainable food systems track explore how food systems, quality, and policy affect population health.

Along with three concentration courses, students take seven core nutrition courses. However, learners in the general track take extra core classes in nutrition management, nutrition trends, and maternal and child nutrition. All students take core classes dealing with research methods and applications. Students can choose from three culminating projects: a research paper, a continuous quality improvement project, or a practicum project.

Stony Brook prefers applicants with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation and an essay explaining how the master's in nutrition helps them achieve their goals. In addition, prospective students require prior coursework in physiology, statistics, and nutrition. The nutrition program accepts up to six transfer credits.

8

University of Utah 

UT

About this school

Founded in 1850, the University of Utah is a public institution based in Salt Lake City. The university serves over 31,000 students through 17 colleges and nearly 100 departments. Students can study a variety of disciplines including biomedical engineering, kinesiology, neurology, and nursing. Through UOnline, the university offers online degrees including an MS in nutrition and integrative physiology.

The master's in nutrition and integrative physiology with a nutrition concentration best suits students with an undergraduate degree in health sciences, nutrition, or dietetics. The program builds on undergraduate coursework and trains students in nutritional biochemistry, macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism, research methods, and nutrition communications. The curriculum comprises 21 credits of core courses and 18 credits of electives.

The U delivers the MS in nutrition through asynchronous and self-paced coursework. Students participate in online discussions, collaborate through group activities, and attend online office hours. Additionally, through peer reviews, learners read and comment on classmates' assignments. They may take exams online or at a local testing center. Full-time students complete the program in two years.

Distance learners benefit from many online resources and services. For instance, students can take advantage of online tutoring in subjects like anatomy, physiology, and biology. They can also access asynchronous and synchronous writing help. The school offers online library materials and technical support. Applicants require at least a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 credits of undergraduate study.

9

The University of Alabama 

AL

About this school

Established in 1820, the University of Alabama is the oldest public university in the state. The school, based in Tuscaloosa, enrolls close to 40,000 students through 13 schools and colleges with nearly 200 academic programs. Bama By Distance, UA's online education division, offers web-based nutrition degrees at both the bachelor's and master's levels.

The online MS in human nutrition, like many graduate nutrition degrees, prepares students to practice nutrition at a high level and to pursue a doctoral degree. Students can complete the entire program online through a 30-credit curriculum. They can begin coursework during the fall, spring, or summer term.

UA offers three tracks to learners completing the master of science in nutrition online. Students can pursue a community nutrition specialization to learn about epidemiology, child and adolescent nutrition, community needs assessment, and community health interventions. The clinical nutrition concentration explores nutrition requirements for the critically ill, nutrition for the elderly, and other topics. Students who opt for the generalist track choose extra electives in place of concentration courses.

Regardless of specialization, students take core courses in research methods and biostatistics. Additionally, all learners complete a capstone requirement through a thesis, a non-thesis research project, or a comprehensive exam. Applicants need at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA for admission. The program may consider applicants with a 3.0 GPA or higher in their last 60 credits of undergraduate study.

10

University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

NE

About this school

Founded in 1869, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a public research institution serving approximately 25,000 students through 10 colleges and dozens of academic departments. In terms of distance offerings, learners can choose from many blended and fully online options across the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Online graduate students can pursue an MS in nutrition and health sciences with a dietetics specialization. UNL offers the MS in dietetics through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a consortium of public universities that delivers online degrees.

Nutrition students must complete 36 total credits and may transfer in up to 15 graduate-level credits from another university. Nine credits come from required courses in statistics, research methods, and current issues. The current issues in dietetics course explores how contemporary economic, social, political, legal, and ecological circumstances affect dietetics practice. In the research methods class, students learn to review articles, conduct research in an ethical manner, and communicate their findings.

Aside from core courses, students may complete 27 credits that best match their career goals and interests. Electives may cover topics like grant writing, herbal supplements, or diabetes. All students take a final exam in their final semester.

The MS in dietetics accepts registered dietitians and students who have met the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' academic and supervised practice requirements. Students may also apply with a didactic program in dietetics verification statement. Additionally, applicants need to submit GRE scores.

12

University of Massachusetts-Amherst 

MA

About this school

Founded in 1863, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public university that educates over 30,000 students. Learners can choose from over 100 undergraduate degrees, 77 master's programs, and 48 doctoral options across nine schools and colleges. Distance students can take advantage of more than 100 online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

UMass Amherst's School of Public Health and Health Sciences offers an MS in nutrition that students can complete entirely online. The program boasts a non-thesis, part-time format, and students can earn their degrees in two years. They study asynchronously and take 1-3 courses per term.

The nutrition curriculum comprises 33 total credits from nutrition classes, public health courses, electives, and a capstone requirement. Through five core nutrition classes, students explore topics like nutrition research methods, vitamins and minerals, public health nutrition, and metabolism. Two required public health courses discuss biostatistics and epidemiology. Learners complete the remaining credit requirements through four electives and a capstone writing seminar.

Applicants need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, but most successful applicants hold at least a 3.0 GPA. Prospective students also must submit a resume, personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. The nutrition program expects students to have completed prior coursework in biology, physiology, organic chemistry, general chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition.

13

Texas Tech University 

TX

About this school

Based in Lubbock, Texas Tech University is a public institution that offers over 300 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Texas Tech's over 38,000 students take classes through 12 colleges and schools, along with an online education division. Online learners can pursue 33 master's programs, including an MS in nutrition and dietetics.

Texas Tech's master's in nutrition emphasizes practical skills and knowledge and prepares students to apply research in the field. As part of their core coursework, students take two clinical applications courses. One course teaches students to apply current research on carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids to treat illness and promote health. The other course explores how vitamins and minerals play a role in disease prevention and health promotion.

In addition to core classes, students take electives. One interesting course, bariatric nutrition, covers nutritional concerns after bariatric weight management surgeries. Other electives discuss areas like sports nutrition, gastrointestinal diseases, and geriatric nutrition. The program includes some practice-focused electives, such as a class that explores obesity management for the clinical practitioner.

Texas Tech's MS in nutrition and dietetics accepts registered nutritionists, students completing a dietetic internship, and students with a didactic program in dietetics verification statement. The nutritional sciences department prefers applicants who possess at least a 3.0 GPA, and students must submit GRE scores, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

14

Colorado State University-Fort Collins 

CO

About this school

Colorado State University, based in Fort Collins, is a public research institution that offers over 250 programs through eight colleges. Graduate learners can pursue close to 40 online master's programs, including an MS in food science and nutrition from the College of Health and Human Sciences.

CSU delivers the entire MS in food science and nutrition curriculum online. Students complete 37 credits from required courses, electives, and a research component. Learners take six core courses that discuss topics like micronutrients, issues in dietetics, and nutrigenetics. Core coursework also includes a research methods class and a course on quantitative data analysis.

Students earn 15 credits through electives and six credits through a comprehensive research paper. For the research project, students work with an adviser to conduct research and present their findings.

Online students at CSU gain access to many university services and resources. Learners can take advantage of the school's writing center, which offers online consultations for students who need help in all disciplines. The writing center also offers online tools to help students create bibliographies, work on drafts, produce outlines, and build blogs. Through the career center, distance learners can schedule online meetings to discuss resumes, cover letters, job search strategies, and interview tips.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution along with a 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework. The program only accepts students who hold the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' registered dietitian credential.

15

West Chester University of Pennsylvania 

PA

About this school

Based in Chester County, West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a public university in operation since 1871. The school enrolls over 17,000 students, making it the largest member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Learners can pursue 118 undergraduate programs, 103 master's degrees, and four doctoral options.

WCU's online MS in community nutrition emphasizes disease prevention and nutritional health in vulnerable populations. The program comprises 33 credits from nutrition science classes, applied nutrition courses, electives, and a capstone.

The three required nutrition science classes cover general nutrition topics, while the six-course applied nutrition sequence explores more advanced subjects. Through applied nutrition classes, students examine topics like child nutrition, nutrition policy, and public health nutrition. Some unique elective options include vegetarian cuisine and nutrition controversies.

Distance students benefit from online resources such as library materials. While conducting research, students can search online databases, request print materials to be delivered, and chat with a librarian. Additionally, learners can contact the IT Help Desk and receive assistance from academic advisers.

Applicants must submit official transcripts, a statement of professional goals, and two letters of recommendation. WCU prefers one letter from an academic reference and one letter from a professional reference. The school recommends a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Learners who earned an undergraduate degree in a field other than nutrition must complete prerequisite courses in nutrition, anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and statistics.

16

East Carolina University 

NC

About this school

Based in Greenville, North Carolina, East Carolina University is a public institution that serves nearly 29,000 students. One of the largest universities in the state, ECU offers 84 bachelor's degrees, 71 master's degrees, and many doctoral and certificate options. Distance learners can pursue 120 online degrees across disciplines like health, technology, education, and business.

ECU's MS in nutrition requires 33 semester hours, and students can choose a thesis or a non-thesis track. Learners can complete the non-thesis track entirely online, while students in the thesis track may need to report to campus for some requirements.

Regardless of track, students complete three core courses. A class on nutrition, physiology, and metabolism explores nutrition at the cellular level and discusses the function of organs, tissues, and systems. Through a core biostatistics course, students learn to apply statistical techniques to health sciences. In the research methods class, learners examine research methodologies and develop an original research proposal.

Non-thesis students take six credits of research-focused courses and may elect to take a class on management in dietetics. Thesis students complete 10 credits through the research requirement, six of which come from their thesis. Learners earn the remaining semester hours through electives.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in nutrition or prior coursework in biology, physiology, chemistry, algebra, and nutrition. They must submit GRE scores, official transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Applicants need a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

17

Mississippi State University 

MS

About this school

Founded in 1878 as an agricultural and mechanical college, Mississippi State University is a public university based in Starkville. The school enrolls more than 20,000 students and boasts over 175 programs that lead to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. MSU's Center for Distance Education administers over 40 online degrees.

Graduate students can pursue an MS in food science, nutrition, and health promotion with a concentration in food science and technology, nutrition, or health promotion. Online learners can opt for the health promotion concentration, which readies students for work as health promotion specialists, health scientists, and public health educators.

The master's degree requires 33 total credits and features thesis and non-thesis tracks. Students in both tracks take five core courses, including two courses that examine health promotion programs. In one course, students learn to design and administer health promotion initiatives, while in the other students explore techniques for implementing and evaluating health promotion programs.

Learners take 9-12 credits through a research methods component, depending on whether they pursue the thesis or non-thesis track. They also complete 6-9 credits through electives such as nutritional biochemistry of foods, career skills in food science, and current issues in school health.

The program requires a 2.75 GPA for students applying to the health promotion concentration. However, the department prefers at least a 3.0 GPA. Additionally, applicants need to submit GRE scores.

18

Iowa State University 

IA

About this school

Based in Ames, Iowa State University is a public institution that serves around 35,000 students through 10 schools and colleges. The university offers 30 web-based graduate degrees, including an online master's degree in nutrition and exercise science.

Students earn the 36-credit master's in dietetics through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a group of public universities that jointly offer fully online graduate programs. They study asynchronously and take courses with dietetics instructors from many participating universities.

The dietetics curriculum comprises nine credits from core courses, 21 credits from electives, and six credits from a research component. Three core courses study statistics, research methods, and current issues in dietetics. Elective options explore advanced nutrition topics such as medical nutrition therapy, obesity across the lifespan, and pediatric clinical nutrition. Some electives focus on professional development and discuss areas like entrepreneurship, grant writing, or healthcare administration.

Students earn six credits through a creative component that includes a written project and an oral examination. For the creative component, students may produce a comprehensive literature review, write a grant application, or develop an education program.

For admission to the program, students must hold the registered dietitian credential or qualify for registration. Applicants also need a 3.0 GPA in all their undergraduate work or in their last 60 credits of study. Iowa State prefers applicants with at least two years of work experience in nutrition or dietetics.

19

Andrews University 

MI

About this school

Based in Berrien Springs, Michigan, Andrews is a private institution affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The university serves over 3,000 students through six colleges and schools and a seminary. Learners can choose from around 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 22 online graduate options.

The school's online MPH with a concentration in nutrition and wellness prepares graduates to prevent disease and promote health in communities. Students take six core public health courses that cover topics like epidemiology, biostatistics, and health administration. Through five concentration classes, students can explore areas like vegetarian nutrition, grant writing, and spirituality in healthcare.

Learners also complete eight credits through a research component that includes a health research methods class, research seminar, and capstone project. Other culminating requirements include a field practicum, written comprehensive exam, and professional portfolio.

Students earn their MPH in nutrition by completing a total of 42 credits. Individuals may work through classes asynchronously or synchronously. Full-time participants can finish the program in 1.5 years, while part-time learners typically graduate in 2.5 years.

Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA to gain full admission into the program. Prospective students must submit three letters of recommendation, a professional resume, and a 500-word statement of purpose.

20

Auburn University 

AL

About this school

Auburn is a public school based in Alabama. The university serves nearly 30,000 students through its 15 colleges and schools. Auburn Online boasts many distance programs at the certificate, bachelor's, and master's levels. The school's college of human sciences offers several graduate programs, including brewing science, nutrition, and hospitality management.

Students pursuing a master of science in nutrition online at Auburn take 33 credits and can choose from four concentrations. Learners specializing in community nutrition study topics like workforce education and youth program development, while students who focus on nutrition science take classes on biomedical engineering and food regulations. The program also offers concentrations in sports nutrition and clinical nutrition. Along with core and concentration classes, students complete five credits of nonthesis research.

Students can earn this MS in nutrition entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus classes. Auburn delivers online courses in an asynchronous format through lecture videos, PowerPoint presentations, and discussion boards. Online classes are support by Canvas and students typically earn their master's degree in 1-1.5 years.

Students need at least a 2.75 GPA, although successful applicants usually possess a 3.0 or better. Applicants should also have completed undergraduate coursework in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. Prospective master's students must submit GRE scores, three letters of recommendation, a resume, and a statement of purpose. Admitted students may transfer in up to six graduate-level credits.

21

Canisius College 

NY

About this school

Canisius is a private Jesuit college based in Buffalo, New York. The school boasts 34 master's and certificate programs and over 100 undergraduate majors and minors. Distance learners can choose from 13 online programs, including a master's in applied nutrition.

Canisius offers two concentrations in its online master's in applied nutrition program. Students can pursue the obesity and eating disorders track to learn more about the causes, risks, and preventative measures associated with common eating disorders. Learners explore how social circumstances and family issues can affect eating habits and diet. They also study how lifestyle changes can prevent conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The concentration discusses eating disorders and obesity in both children and adults.

Alternatively, students can pursue an online master's degree in nutrition with a fitness and sports nutrition specialization. Participants examine the positive effects of exercise and learn how to prescribe therapeutic exercises for various populations. A course on fitness psychology teaches students about motivation and stress management, preparing them to advise athletes.

In addition to 12 concentration-related credits, learners complete 21 core credits that cover subjects such as medical nutrition therapy, research methods, and clinical health behavior change. Students also earn three credits through a master's project. They can begin the program during the fall, spring, or summer and graduate in as little as one year.

22

Central Michigan University 

MI

About this school

Founded in 1892, CMU is a public institution based in Mount Pleasant. The school enrolls over 18,000 students on its main campus and more than 9,000 through its online programs and regional locations. CMU oversees over 300 academic programs, including more than 30 online options.

Students pursuing an online MS in nutrition and dietetics can choose from three tracks: thesis, internship, and coursework options. The thesis option comprises 31 credits, including six electives credits and six credits dedicated to thesis research. The 37-credit internship option includes in-person experience in food service administration in a clinical setting. During this internship, students learn about budgeting, employee management, and leadership for food service and distribution organizations. Alternatively, learners can opt for a 33-credit, coursework-only option.

All tracks include a written capstone project and an oral examination. Regardless of their track, all students take core coursework in topics like macronutrients, micronutrients, nutritional assessment, and nutritional epidemiology. CMU delivers all MS in nutrition coursework online through synchronous classes. Students typically complete the program in 2.5 years.

Applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA over their final 60 credits of undergraduate study. They must also submit three letters of recommendation and a 2-3-page essay describing their qualifications and professional goals. Applicants should hold prerequisite knowledge in nutrition, anatomy, organic chemistry, microbiology, and biochemistry.

23

University of North Florida 

FL

About this school

UNF is a public institution based in Jacksonville. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through several colleges, including health, business, arts and sciences, technology, education, and human services. Students can also choose from 14 distance learning programs, such as an MS in nutrition and dietetics.

Learners pursuing a master of science in nutrition online choose from four concentrations: professional studies in dietetics, nutritional sciences, global health, and health informatics.

Students who opt for the dietetics concentration complete coursework on advanced topics in nutrition and sociocultural influences on diet. The global health specialization explores areas like global healthcare, nutrition in refugee populations, and public health. Students focusing on healthcare informatics learn about data analytics, information technology, and health organizations. Finally, learners in the nutritional sciences concentration must complete a thesis.

Each concentration includes 15 credits of required courses and electives. All students also complete 20 credits of core courses that cover clinical nutrition, metabolism, epidemiology, and nutrition education. Learners may elect to complete independent research or a field experience in dietetics.

Applicants interested in the professional studies in dietetics concentration need a food and nutrition bachelor's degree that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Applicants to the other tracks need a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related area. All applicants should have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA over their final 60 undergraduate credits.

24

Adelphi University 

NY

About this school

Adelphi University is a private institution that operates a main campus in Garden City, New York. The school also offers programming at education centers in other parts of the state and online. Founded in 1896, the university serves nearly 8,000 students through eight schools and colleges. Learners can choose from over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs, including 12 online options.

Students at Adelphi can earn a master of science in nutrition online through the Moodle learning management system. Learners watch recorded lectures, participate in discussion forums, and view occasional live components. Students take one seven-week course at a time and typically finish the program in six semesters.

Learners can graduate without ever attending campus, although the program offers an optional in-person networking fieldtrip. Students who cannot participate in this trip can network online and take advantage of recorded activities.

The program includes 12 courses, which students take in a prescribed order. Through a class on nutrition in the lifecycle, learners explore the role of diet in growth and development. A course on nutrition education and communication prepares graduates to counsel groups and individuals on their eating habits. Additionally, students take two courses that deal with recent advances in micronutrients and macronutrients, studying current nutrition research.

25

Abilene Christian University 

TX

About this school

ACU is a private institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The school, based in central Texas, offers 77 bachelor's programs, 30 master's programs, and three doctoral options. ACU's approximately 5,000 students can pursue degrees across biblical studies, business administration, nursing, information technology, and many other fields.

ACU offers nearly 20 online graduate programs, including an MS in nutrition. Students pursuing this nutrition degree complete 36 credits over the course of 1-2 years. Participants work through the curriculum as part of a cohort and take one or two seven-week classes at a time.

Unlike many other master's in nutrition programs, ACU's degree emphasizes community and poverty. Students examine the nutritional consequences of poverty in developing countries and the United States, discussing the ways that governments and nonprofit organizations can better address economic inequality.

In total, students take 27 credits of core requirements. A class in nutritional genomics teaches students to analyze genetic test results and prescribe individualized diet plans. Additionally, students complete a six-credit dietetic internship. Learners also choose three electives, such as classes related to diabetes, school nutrition, and eating disorders. Applicants need a minimum 3.2 undergraduate GPA to gain admission.

26

The Sage Colleges 

NY

About this school

The Sage Colleges is a private institution that serves 3,000 students. Founded in 1916, the school offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs, nine of which can be completed entirely online.

Online graduate students can pursue an MS in applied nutrition. Students looking to become registered dietitians can also opt to complete a dietetic internship while earning their master's degree. This internship program includes a 1,280-hour practicum experience.

The online master's in applied nutrition is a 30-credit program suitable for students who possess a bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. Learners who do not possess a degree in a nutrition-related field can enroll in a hybrid MS in nutrition and dietetics program, which includes some in-person coursework at the college's campus in Troy, New York.

Full-time learners can earn their online MS in as little as 1.5 years, while part-time students finish the curriculum at their own pace. Students take core courses on topics like weight management, epidemiology, and nutrition research. The program also includes a core course on leadership that explores approaches to professional development, communication, and negotiation. The program also requires a nine-credit research component, which includes a research methods course and a year-long capstone project. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

27

University of Rhode Island 

RI

About this school

The University of Rhode Island is a public research institute that serves over 18,000 students. The school offers more than 90 bachelor's degrees, 70 graduate programs, and 20 certificate and nondegree options. Learners can pursue six online graduate programs, including an MS in dietetics. Students can earn this dietetics degree in as few as 14 months through a fully online curriculum. Participants take classes in seven-week sessions and do not need to complete a thesis.

The program comprises 11 courses, totaling 36 credits, and covers four main focus areas: research, clinical, management, and community. Through four research courses, students survey current dietetics literature, study research methods, and learn about research ethics. They also identify an original research question, develop a hypothesis, and produce a research proposal. By the end of the research sequence, students complete a research paper and present their findings with a poster.

Learners also take four courses on clinical topics. An introductory course provides an overview of medical terminology and the care process. Through advanced classes, students learn to prescribe medical nutrition therapy to patients with conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and renal disease. Through two management courses, students explore the administration of food service operations and hospital dietary departments. A community-related course rounds out the curriculum and discusses health promotion strategies in diverse populations.

Aspiring students must be accepted to a Sodexo dietetic internship program or employed as a Sodexo RDN to apply. However, students need not submit GRE scores.

28

Washington State University 

WA

About this school

Established in 1890, Washington State University is a public research institution based in Pullman. WSU's on-campus students can choose from nearly 100 undergraduate majors, 80 master's degrees, 64 doctoral options, and several professional programs. Online learners can pursue 12 undergraduate degrees and nine graduate programs.

WSU offers an online MS in agriculture with a food science and management concentration. The program teaches future agricultural professionals the key elements of agricultural science. Students take six credits of core courses in agricultural research and statistical research methods.

Learners complete the rest of the 30-credit curriculum through concentration courses and a research requirement. The concentration is split into two parts; students take 11 credits dealing with food science and six credits of management classes. Food science classes cover areas like fermentation, sustainability toxicology, and food quality management. Through management coursework, students can explore topics like project management, leadership, and economics for agricultural decision-making.

WSU's Global Campus offers free career counseling to help students explore career paths and meet their professional goals. Additionally, distance learners can take advantage of online library access and request free delivery of library books. The university also provides online tutoring in subjects like writing, statistics, and biology.

For admission into this program, applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in a related area, such as biology, chemistry, or food science.

29

University of Arizona 

AZ

About this school

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona is a public institution based in Tucson. The school educates nearly 45,000 students through 130 bachelor's programs, 143 master's programs, 93 doctoral options, and several specialist and professional degrees. Arizona Online -- the school's distance education division -- boasts over 100 fully online degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and certificate levels.

The school's college of agricultural and life sciences offers a professional science master's in applied nutrition for registered dietitians, healthcare professionals, and students looking to advance their knowledge in the field. Participants complete 30 units and can graduate in 18 months.

Through a seven-course core curriculum, students explore topics like metabolism, medical nutrition therapy, body composition, and nutrigenomics. They also take courses in statistical methods and research methods.

The professional science master's program also incorporates six units from a graduate-level practicum, which serves as a capstone project. For the practicum, learners spend 270 hours working with a partner organization. In addition, students select two PLUS courses, which build professional skills. They can choose professional development classes that align with their career goals and interests.

Applicants should hold a bachelor's degree in nutrition earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. However, UA does consider applicants with other undergraduate degrees if students have completed prerequisite courses in biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and disease. All online students pay the same tuition rate, no matter their residency status.

30

Eastern Michigan University 

MI

About this school

Founded in 1849 as a teacher's college, Eastern Michigan University is a public institution based in Ypsilanti. The school educates over 21,000 students pursuing more than 200 undergraduate programs and over 150 graduate options. Learners can also enroll in 12 online graduate programs, including an MS in human nutrition.

The school's MS in human nutrition comprises 30-36 credits. The program features three core classes covering research design, advanced topics in nutrition, and community-based nutrition services. Students can customize their degree by selecting elective options covering subjects like vitamins and minerals, sports nutrition, and phytonutrients.

Learners can choose from three culminating experiences. They may earn six credits by completing a thesis or a nonthesis research project. The third option involves a research writing class; through this course, students learn about biomedical research writing and complete assignments, including a newsletter article and a short manuscript.

Applicants need a minimum 2.7 undergraduate GPA or a 3.0 over the last half of their bachelor's studies. Students must submit two letters of recommendation and a personal statement describing why they are applying to the program. Applicants should have completed prerequisite coursework in subjects including nutrition, biochemistry, statistics, anatomy, and physiology. Out-of-state students pay in-state tuition rates for all online courses.

31

University of Kansas 

KS

About this school

Based in Lawrence, KU is a flagship public university serving over 28,000 students. Established in 1865, the school boasts more than 400 programs at the graduate, undergraduate, and certificate levels. Distance learners can choose from many online and hybrid options in fields that include journalism, education, health professions, and nursing.

KU participates in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance to deliver an online master's in dietetics and nutrition. The alliance, which operates as a consortium of public universities, offers a fully online, 36-credit nutrition program.

Coursework consists of three main components: core courses, research courses, and electives. Learners take five core classes (15 credits total) that explore statistics, human nutrition, and research methods. They may also choose between two advanced nutrition courses; one class covers macronutrients, while the other examines nutrigenomics, lipid metabolism, and nutrigenetics.

Through 18 credits of electives, students explore specialized areas of the nutrition field. One course -- grant and scientific writing for the professional -- prepares students to find funding, manage grants, and create written documents. Students must also satisfy a three-credit research requirement. This can be done by completing a thesis or taking a course on special problems in dietetics and nutrition.

Admission into this online master's in nutrition requires credentials from the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Additionally, students must hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Learners may transfer up to six relevant graduate-level credits into the program.

32

University of Saint Joseph 

CT

About this school

Founded in 1932, USJ is a Catholic institution based in West Hartford, Connecticut. The school boasts over 25 undergraduate majors and many master's, professional, and doctoral programs. Online graduate students can choose from master's programs in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, and nutrition.

The school's master of science in nutrition online program consists of 30 credits (10 classes). Students complete a three-credit research methods class that introduces various types of research and explores study design. The program also requires participants to complete a three-credit independent study project under faculty supervision.

Learners complete the rest of the curriculum through electives. Students select six electives that deal with nutrition-related topics, such as childhood nutrition, supplementation, and health coaching, as well as two electives from another discipline.

USJ delivers online courses through Blackboard. Most courses feature recorded lectures, class notes, and readings. Students can review class materials at any time. Classes follow a traditional semester schedule with specific start and end dates. Learners typically earn their MS in nutrition in 2-3 years.

Prospective nutrition students need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. They must submit two professional letters of recommendation and a letter of intent describing their interest in the nutrition program. Applicants without a BS in nutrition must earn at least a "B" in prerequisite courses in basic nutrition, biochemistry, and physiology.

33

Framingham State University 

MA

About this school

Located about 20 miles west of Boston, FSU is a public institution serving close to 6,000 students through dozens of bachelor's and master's programs. The university also offers several online and hybrid options, including an M.Ed. in nutrition education.

The school's M.Ed. with a concentration in nutrition education, specialization in nutrition education specialist track is well suited for a variety of professionals, including health educators, school counselors, physical education teachers, and school nutrition directors.

The curriculum contains three education courses, four nutrition courses, and three electives. Through education classes, students learn to conduct educational research and design nutrition education programs. They also explore learning and human development. Nutrition courses cover topics including nutrition in schools, public health nutrition, and computers in nutrition education.

FSU administers online courses asynchronously through Blackboard. While most online courses do not include synchronous components, some professors may incorporate occasional scheduled sessions. Learners can earn their M.Ed. in nutrition education entirely online.

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as education, nursing, food and nutrition, or hospitality. Prospective students also need a minimum 3.0 GPA for full admission, although FSU considers applicants with a GPA of at least 2.8 who agree to complete two prerequisite courses. Applicants should also hold at least one year of professional experience.

34

University of Bridgeport 

CT

About this school

Located in southwestern Connecticut, UB is a private institution that was founded in 1927. The university's approximately 5,400 students can select from dozens of programs across three colleges. UB's nutrition institute, housed within its college of health sciences, offers an online MS in nutrition.

Students pursuing this nutrition degree take at least 41 credits (12 courses). The curriculum includes basic coursework on vitamins and minerals, metabolic disease, and nutrition assessment. Additionally, the program covers more advanced topics, including botanical medicine, evidence-based nutrition, and functional medicine nutrition.

Students earn four credits through a virtual clinic that serves as a capstone course. They build clinical management skills and learn to analyze clinical tests, design treatment plans, and conduct nutritional assessments. The course also requires students to produce videos and write detailed analyses based on case studies. By completing the virtual clinic, students earn 255 hours of experience, which can be applied toward the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists' certified nutrition specialist credential.

Learners complete this master of science in nutrition online through the Canvas learning management system. Students who take two classes per term can finish the program after 28 consecutive months of study. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher along with prior coursework in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and basic nutrition.

35

University of New England 

ME

About this school

As the largest educator of health professionals in Maine, UNE ranks among the top 100 regional northern universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 list of Best Colleges. Programs are offered online and in-person at campuses in Biddeford and Portland, Maine, and, for those interested in international learning, at UNE's campus in Tangier, Morocco.

UNE's master of science in applied nutrition degree prepares learners for leadership roles in the nutrition field, emphasizing evidence-based practices to support healthy outcomes. The university's master of science in nutrition online program allows distance learners to customize a course plan based on specific career goals. Students enroll in six core courses, picking a capstone and five electives to complete the degree.

Distance learners can also select a specific focus areas, such as obesity and health promotion; nutrition and disease prevention; or business, social media, and entrepreneurship. Students can complete the 36-credit program entirely online, finishing the master of science in nutrition online in only two years.

UNE does not require a GRE to apply for admission. Applicants must hold both a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The university recommends completed coursework in nutrition, biology, or statistics before the program. Applicants must submit a resume, a 500-1,000 word essay on personal development and future goals, and official transcripts.

36

University of Alabama at Birmingham 

AL

About this school

Founded in 1969 as one of three universities within the University of Alabama System, UAB is the only public, four-year university in Alabama's largest metropolitan area and the largest single employer in the state. Located in the most populous city in Alabama, this urban university features a nationally recognized academic health center.

UAB offers three tracks for its master of science in nutrition sciences degree: a clinical track with prior learning, a lifestyle management and disease prevention track, and a dietitian education track. Students can complete all three tracks entirely online. With the prior learning track, UAB accepts nutrition or dietetic supervised practice hours as credits toward the degree. To qualify, students need 1,200 hours of supervised practice, and they must hold an undergraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics. Distance learners can complete UAB's clinical track in three semesters.

The lifestyle management track prepares learners to develop nutrition and health programs, and full-time students can complete the non-thesis program in 4-6 semesters. UAB's master of science in nutrition online requires 36 credit hours. Students enrolled in this track may apply to UAB's dietitian education graduate certificate program. An accelerated track, the dietitian education program prepares learners to sit for the registered dietitian nutritionist exam in only five semesters. This track requires in-person or remote practicums.

37

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley 

TX

About this school

Created by the Texas legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in the state, UTRGV offers programs at campuses and research sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley and online. Located in one of the fastest growing areas in the United States, UTRGV is on track to become one of the largest Hispanic-serving institutions in the country.

This comprehensive academic institution offers an online master of science in health sciences degree with a nutrition concentration. UTRGV's program remains the only accelerated, online master's degree in health sciences and nutrition in Texas. The curriculum includes coursework in health maintenance, diseases associated with nutrition, and prevention of obesity. Distance learners can complete the 36-credit program in just 12 months. Each course lasts only seven weeks, with topics such as:

  • Health Computer Information Systems
  • Introduction to the Healthcare System and Quality Improvement
  • Healthcare Policy, Organization and Financing
  • Research in Health Sciences
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare

Applicants must hold an undergraduate 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale and a bachelor's degree in health science, business, or a related field from an accredited institution. Prospective students also need at least three credits of undergraduate coursework in physiology or anatomy, and they must submit official transcripts from all previous colleges or universities, a letter of intent, and two academic or professional references.

38

Benedictine University 

IL

About this school

A Catholic university, BenU provides an education grounded in Benedictine values. Founded by St. Procopius Abbey monks in 1887, this private university is nestled on a 108-acre wooded campus in Lisle, Illinois, about 25 miles west from downtown Chicago. BenU also offers classes at a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona, and at several sites throughout Illinois. U.S. News & World Report ranks BenU among its 2019 Best Colleges, naming the school 221st in national universities.

BenU offers a fully online master of arts in nutrition and wellness program, one of the only MA degrees of its kind in the United States. This 52-quarter credit degree uses a cohort model to help learners develop professional connections. Students move through coursework together and complete the degree in two years.

This program offers two certificates: a health research planning certificate and a certificate of the distance learner's choice. Learners may pursue certification in nutrition entrepreneurship, community nutrition engagement, or health education and promotion. Each certificate requires an additional 16 credits. The health education and promotion certificate prepares degree candidates to take the National Commission for Health Education's certified health education specialist exam. BenU's MA program also requires a capstone course, which involves an in-depth examination of a subject with a literature review.

39

University of Central Missouri 

MO

About this school

Founded in 1871, UCM offers more than 150 programs of study and 37 graduate degrees at the university's campuses in Warrensburg and Lee's Summit, Missouri, and online. The school ranks among the top regional universities in the midwest and among leading public schools.

Offered through UCM's School of Nutrition, Kinesiology, and Psychological Sciences, the online master of science in nutrition degree focuses on counseling techniques and applying nutrition principles in clinical settings. The program offers two tracks: sport or clinical nutrition. As a hybrid program, the sport nutrition option delivers content both online and in-person. Meanwhile, students can complete the clinical nutrition option entirely online. Both options require 30-33 credits, depending on whether the learner chooses a thesis or non-thesis program. The thesis requires a special investigation into an approved physical education problem.

Admission to UCM's master of science in nutrition online requires a prior undergraduate degree in a relevant major. Applicants must also possess GRE scores and an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preferred GRE scores include a 153 in verbal reasoning, 155 in quantitative reasoning, and an analytical writing score of 4.0. UCM may grant conditional admittance to students with an accumulated undergraduate GPA of 2.75-3.00. UCM accepts up to nine transfer credits towards the master's degree.

40

Pennsylvania State University-World Campus 

PA

About this school

Founded in 1855 as one of the nation's first colleges of agricultural science, Penn State is the largest university in Pennsylvania with 24 campuses and the state's only land-grant university. In 1998 the university launched the World Campus, and today delivers more than 150 entirely online programs to more than 12,000 students. The school is ranked 20th by U.S. News & World Report among public universities and 59th overall nationally in the 2019 Best Colleges' list.

Penn State's online master of professional studies in nutritional sciences program requires 30-39 credits, and distance learners can complete the program in two years by enrolling in two courses per semester. Designed for registered dietitian nutritionists and learners with a degree in a nutrition-related field, Penn State's master's degree in nutrition develops leaders in the field. The master's of science in nutrition online also requires a capstone project in which students identify an issue and implement an evidence-based solution.

Students can complete the master's degree with or without an experiential track. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, this track requires an in-residence component for three semesters. Learners must also complete 39 credits, including 30 graduate degree credits and nine additional credits. The experiential track may lead to a registered dietitian nutritionist credential. Graduates receive a verification statement, which makes them eligible to sit for the registered dietitian nutritionist exam. This track may also require supervised, off-campus field experiences, practicums, or internships.

41

North Dakota State University 

ND

About this school

A land-grant research university, NDSU specializes in innovative and technology-driven research, spending more than $153 million annually. The university's main campus is located in Fargo, North Dakota, with several extension and research locations throughout the state.

NDSU offers an online master of science in health, nutrition, and exercise science degree with a leadership in physical education and sport option. Designed specifically for sport coaches, physical educators, and other leaders in the sports field, this master's degree helps professionals excel as leaders in sport settings. Distance learners complete courses asynchronously, with the curriculum delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. Learners can complete the master's degree in two years, including summer courses.

This online master's degree in nutrition and exercise science does not require a specific course sequence, but each distance learner works with an assigned graduate adviser to create an individualized program. Before being accepted into the program, non-degree students can take up to 10 credits, which allows learners to try out classes before committing to the program.

NDSU limits enrollment in this degree to 32 students. The university requires applicants to hold an undergraduate degree in the field of kinesiology. Applicants must also possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. NDSU may grant conditional acceptance to degree candidates with a GPA below 3.0. With conditional acceptance, students must complete six graduate credit hours with a B grade or higher before full admittance.

42

New York Institute of Technology 

NY

About this school

Founded in 1955, this private university enrolls more than 9,000 students at campuses throughout the world, including New York, Arizona; Vancouver, the United Arab Emirates, and China. NYIT offers 90 programs in 50 fields of study and boasts small class sizes with a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Additionally, more than 95% of NYIT students find employment or pursue graduate school within six months of graduation.

A clinically focused and entirely online graduate program, NYIT's master of science in clinical nutrition degree integrates biomedical and nutrition therapy to prepare learners for a career in public health, research, or clinical practice. This master's degree requires 36 total credits, and distance learners complete asynchronous courses using Blackboard's online learning tools. NYIT's program fulfills the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists' academic requirements for a certified nutrition specialist credential. Learners must also complete an exam and 1,000 hours of work in the nutrition field for the credential.

In order to apply to NYIT's graduate program, learners must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university, demonstrating a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 2.85. NYIT may require GRE scores and an interview for admission; the university offers phone interviews for students residing outside New York. Learners may also need to complete science prerequisites before admission. NYIT accepts up to six transfer credits towards a graduate degree.

43

North Carolina Central University 

NC

About this school

Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a community-engaged university, NCCU stresses the importance of public service by requiring students to complete community service before graduation. NCCU's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Ally Resource Center also provides an inclusive space for students who identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, an ally, or advocate. Located in Durham, North Carolina, the university is only the second historically black college and university to open an LGBTQ+ center in the United States.

As part of the master of science in family and consumer science degree, NCCU offers an online nutritional sciences concentration. Learners can choose from three, 33 credit tracks based on their background. The first track is ideal for students or health professionals interested in nutritional science. The second track is designed for registered dietitians, nutritionists, and dietetic interns, and awards six internship credits for 1,200 hours of previous supervised practice.

As part of the nutritional sciences-dietetic internship program (NS-DIP) track, degree candidates complete 15 graduate credits and six internship credits. This track involves a separate application process. All three tracks require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a written and oral exam, and internship credits to complete. NCCU exempts learners in the NS-DIP track from the oral exam.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a personal statement, and at least two letters of recommendation. The university does not require GRE scores for admission.

44

Bowling Green State University 

OH

About this school

Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, about 30 minutes south of Toledo, BGSU's 1,338-acre campus features a park-like setting with 119 buildings. Named among top public schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Best Colleges, this more than 100-year-old university boasts a high employment and grad school acceptance rate for recent graduates. Approximately 97% of BGSU's learners receive employment, start a business, or enter graduate school within six months of graduation.

BGSU's 39-40 credit master of food and nutrition degree is designed for learners with a bachelor's degree in nutrition, food, or a related field. Students in this online master's degree in food science and nutrition complete coursework, research, and a selected minor closely aligned with the their career path. Degree candidates must also choose from a thesis, master's project, or comprehensive exam.

To complete the degree entirely online, most distance learners take a comprehensive exam; students who choose a thesis or master's project must visit the campus for a one-day presentation. BGSU's online programs last only seven weeks, giving degree candidates the opportunity to focus on only one or two classes at a time. The university offers six start dates for the online master's degree in food science and nutrition throughout the year.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an an accredited institution and complete courses in nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy. Admission requirements also include GRE scores, two official transcripts from all colleges and universities, and three recommendation letters.

45

College of Saint Elizabeth 

NJ

About this school

Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, today CSE carries on its tradition of concern for the poor through leadership development and promoting women in society. This private Catholic liberal arts college operates on a 200-acre campus in Morristown, New Jersey, located less than an hour train ride from New York City.

CSE's entirely online master of science in nutrition program focuses on evidence-based applications, new research, and using entrepreneurial skills. Degree candidates can choose a concentration in community nutrition and wellness or entrepreneurial nutrition practice. CSE's master's of science in nutrition online requires 30 credits. The curriculum includes courses in professional communications, advanced nutrition and metabolism, and current topics in prevention nutrition.

To fulfill program requirements, learners may choose to complete a master's thesis, action research, or an academic portfolio. CSE's master's degree in nutrition does not provide eligibility for the national registration exam or a verification statement for a dietetic internship.

To apply for CSE's master's program in nutrition, students must hold a bachelor's degree in food, nutrition, or dietetics from an accredited college or university. For applicants with a bachelor's degree in another field, the college may require undergraduate prerequisite courses. Applicants must also hold a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and submit a personal statement, official transcripts, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. CSE accepts up to nine transfer credits towards a graduate degree.

46

South Dakota State University 

SD

About this school

South Dakota's largest and most comprehensive higher education institution, SDSU offers nearly 200 academic programs on campus in Brookings and online through the school's Office of Continuing and Distance Education. A land-grant university founded in 1881, SDSU ranks among the top public schools in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Best Colleges.

Designed for credentialed, practicing dietetic professionals, the university's master of science in dietetics degree helps learners design and lead effective food and nutrition programs. SDSU's 36-credit master's degree in dietetics requires includes coursework such as:

  • Research Methods in Dietetics
  • Current Trends in Dietetics Practices
  • Vitamins and Minerals in Human Nutrition
  • Statistical Methods II

Degree candidates can complete a thesis, a research paper, or coursework only. The thesis requires extensive interactions between the learner and professor; while this may involve in-person meetings, SDSU offers sections of this course online. In order to complete the program, students must deliver an oral defense before a supervisory committee. To apply, prospective students must receive a verification statement from an Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics' accredited or coordinated dietetics program. SDSU's master's degree in dietetics does not prepare graduates to become registered dietitians.

Admission requirements include official transcripts and medically signed proof of two immunizations. Applicants currently completing a degree may submit unofficial transcripts. Candidates do not need GRE scores to apply to this program.

47

Utah State University 

UT

About this school

A public research university nestled in the northern Utah mountains, USU is the nation's leading student-centered, land-grant and space-grant university. Located in Logan, Utah, USU lies within a two-hour drive of 10 major ski resorts, several of which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics. Students can also visit six national parks, including Yellowstone, within a half-day's drive from the university.

USU's master of dietetics administration degree provides registered dietitians with in-depth training in management and leadership. Students can select from two options, each with two tracks: a practicum project or research project. Tailored for students who completed the USU distance dietetics internship within the past six years, the practicum project track requires 18 credits of coursework and a practicum project. Distance learners can complete this track in three semesters without ever visiting the university.

The research project track requires 41 credits of coursework, a research project, and at least one visit to the USU campus for a research project defense meeting. USU's dietetics internship awards 26 of this track's required 41 credits, allowing distance learners the opportunity to complete the program sooner. To apply to the program, prospective students must also successfully pass the registered dietitian exam.

USU's second option for the master's degree requires more credits. Distance learners complete at least 33 credits for the practicum project track and 30 credits for the research track.

48

University of Southern Mississippi 

MS

About this school

A dual-campus institution, USM offers programs online and in-person at two separate campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, Mississippi.

USM offers a fully online master of science in nutrition and food systems degree. This program allows learners enrolled in a dietetic internship to fulfill degree requirements concurrently with supervised practice, giving degree candidates the chance to gain professional experience in the field while completing studies. Students may complete the master's program without any campus visits.

This online nutrition degree requires coursework, a dietetic internship, a capstone research project, and written and oral exams. USM also waives out-of-state fees for all online classes, reducing tuition for distance learners. Students who complete the dietetic practice emphasis fulfill supervised practice essentials as required by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

In order to apply for this master's degree in nutrition, students must also apply for dietetic internships directly connected with the USM program. Applicants submit three letters of recommendation from the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application System, transcripts from all previous colleges and universities, GRE scores, and immunization records. USM requires applicants to have a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credits of coursework and a 2.7 GPA in previous science courses.

49

Indiana University of Pennsylvania 

PA

About this school

A research-based, student-centered university, IUP offers a highly personalized learning environment in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a small town located less than 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh. Founded in 1875, IUP's campus comprises 354 acres and 65 major buildings. A few miles away leads to a 280-acre outdoor recreational park owned and operated by IUP's Student Cooperative Association.

Distance learners can complete the university's entirely online master of science in food and nutrition degree in just 16 months, including summers. Students choose from two career-specific tracks: administration or education. IUP's master's of science in nutrition online requires 36 credits, and learners can choose a non-thesis option or complete a thesis to advance knowledge in a specific research area.

Students may elect to complete two master's degrees at IUP simultaneously, giving them two degrees in less time and with only 54 combined credits. With a dual degree, IUP shares up to 50% of the credits with the other program. The credits must come from required courses or electives in both degrees.

To apply for IUP's master's program in nutrition, candidates must hold an undergraduate GPA of 3.0. The university does not require GRE scores. Admission requirements include official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a resume. IUP accepts up to six credits of graduate coursework towards a degree. Students must earn a grade B or higher in transfer credit courses.

50

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania 

PA

About this school

A public university located in Mansfield, Pennsylvania, MU is a proud part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, a state agency which oversees 14 colleges and universities. MU is also listed 38th among top public schools in the country according to U.S. News & World Report's 2019 Best Colleges.

The university provides a completely online master of science in nutrition degree specifically designed for working professionals. Students who take two courses per semester can complete the flexible program in just two years, including summers. Learners can finish the degree in four years by taking one course per semester. MU's master's of science in nutrition online requires 33-36 semester hours and a capstone project or thesis. Notable classes include:

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Entrepreneurial Nutrition
  • Nutrient Metabolism for Professionals
  • Pathophysiology and Nutrition Therapy
  • The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Supplements and Functional Foods

For program eligibility, candidates must earn a minimum 3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale. MU accepts applicants with a lower GPA, but they must successfully complete six graduate credits before full admission. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation: one professional and one academic. Candidates with a bachelor's degree in a field other than nutrition must complete specific prerequisite courses before beginning the online nutrition degree. MU accepts up to six graduate-level transfer credits, providing the learner earned a grade B or higher in the course.

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End of list, bravo!

What is the Difference between a Dietician and a Nutritionist?

Dieticians occupy a similar role as nutritionists, with career opportunities in a wide variety of areas. While nutritionists require varying levels of education, dieticians require specific licensure, and must pass specific qualification tests, in order to practice as dieticians. While nutritionists focus on nutrition and its application in a broad sense (which may include dietary planning and recommendations), dieticians approach nutritional issues specifically through focusing on diet. Nutritionists apply their expertise to consumers, athletes, and even animals.

What is a Master’s in Nutrition?

A master’ in nutrition allows you to become a nutritionist. Nutritionists serve a variety of people, including private clients, masses of school children, nursing home patients, and underserved communities. Nutritionists assess the nutritional and health needs of people they serve, and design and implement nutritional plans and initiatives to ensure good health through proper nutrition. Sometimes this involves specific dietary management to combat chronic conditions in individuals, sometimes it involves the implementation of large–scale programs to combat malnutrition in a population, and sometimes it involves basic meal planning for residents of a live–in care facility or boarding school.

When comparing master of science in nutrition online programs, students will note some similarities with most programs: most take 1–2 years to complete, require an internship, and mandate that students research and write a thesis prior to graduation. These programs offer a detailed look at topics studied at the undergraduate level, while also giving degree seekers the option to specialize their knowledge in a concentration area. Graduates go on to work in clinical, programmatic, educational, and research roles, often in managerial or leadership positions.

Master’s Degree in Sport Nutrition

Some Master in Nutrition Programs allow students to specialize in Sport Nutrition, an ideal area of focus for students who wish to work in athletics. Through a Sports Nutrition specialization, students prepare for nutritionist careers working with athletes at various levels to ensure peak performance through nutrition and diet.

Master in Holistic Nutrition Degree

Some Master in Nutrition degree programs incorporate a holistic medicine approach, positioning conscious nutritional and dietary choices as complimentary or alternative to medical care. Students who pursue this specialization can pursue careers in private practices as holistic nutritionists, promoting the use of organic foods and nutritional remedies for the preservation of good health, as well as treatments for a variety of ailments.

Animal Nutrition Degree

Not all Master in Nutrition programs focus exclusively on humans. Some programs allow students to specialize in animal nutrition. Whether pursuing a career as an animal nutritionist and serving livestock farming operations, formulating pet foods for a large corporation, or combining animal nutrition studies with veterinary sciences, specializing in animal nutrition allows students to professionally focus on the nutritional needs of animals in a wide variety of settings.

Online Master’s in Nutrition Programs

After deciding to pursue a master of science in nutrition online, many students want to better understand exactly what distance learning entails. Even though learners do not visit campus multiple times a week and physically attend class, their schedules are similar. Virtual learners complete homework assignments, watch lectures, take exams, and interact with their teachers and students, but do so from any location in the world with a secure and strong internet connection.

When looking at prospective programs, individuals with work and family obligations should note whether the school offers the program in a synchronous or asynchronous format. Students needing more flexibility should opt for the latter, as this allows them to watch pre–recorded lectures rather than logging in at specific times for live meetings.

Students excelling in these programs possess both the discipline to complete their work even without visiting campus and the drive to learn while managing other life responsibilities.

The Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Nutrition

Interested students should ensure that a master of science in nutrition online helps them meet their career goals. Graduates at the bachelor’s level find work in many exciting roles, including positions as registered dieticians, nutritionists, wellness consultants, and nutrition services managers.

Many individuals go their entire careers without pursuing education beyond a bachelor’s; those seeking more senior–level roles often advance to a master’s program. These degrees allow graduates to attain supervisory positions and work in specialty roles as oncology dieticians, regulatory affairs specialists, or public health nutritionists.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Nutrition?

Graduates of master of science in nutrition online programs can select from many career paths, depending on their area of interest and expertise. The majority work standard 40–hour workweeks, although those in hospitals or facilities may work outside the traditional 9–5 schedule.

Certified Nutrition Specialist
One of the highest certifications awarded in the field of nutrition, a Certified Nutrition Specialist must have an advance degree in nutrition from a fully accredited university, 1,000 hours from a supervised internship in the field, and have passed the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists certification exam. Certification allows individuals to pursue some of the highest paying jobs in the nutritional sciences
Clinical Nutrition Manager
These individuals work in medical and care facilities to create nutritional programs that meet the unique needs of patients. They assess patient needs, modify plans, and liaise with chefs to ensure all dietary requirements receive attention. Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $54,000
  • Mid-Career: $66,000
  • Experienced: $73,000
  • Late Career: $73,000
Director of Food and Nutrition Services
These professionals work in a variety of settings to ensure clients can access nutritional menus that meet internal, local, and federal requirements. Directors must maintain a staff of workers, order food, and keep up with regulations. Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $49,000
  • Mid-Career: $60,000
  • Experienced: $64,000
  • Late Career: $73,000
Food Scientist
Food scientists develop products by testing new methods, developing new products, and working to ensure each new item meets regulatory and nutritional standards. They also conduct experiments during the research and development phase. Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $54,000
  • Mid-Career: $66,000
  • Experienced: $75,000
  • Late Career: $80,000
Healthcare Administrator
Using their business skills, healthcare administrators work to manage portions of the company such as staffing, finances, and human resources. Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $50,000
  • Mid-Career: $63,000
  • Experienced: $71,000
  • Late Career: $87,000
Regulatory Compliance Manager
Working both the clinical and legal sides of the food industry, individuals in these roles ensure that all food products meet both internal and external guidelines for safety, nutrition, and cleanliness. Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $72,000
  • Mid-Career: $80,000
  • Experienced: $93,000
  • Late Career: $110,000

Source: Payscale

Choosing an Online Nutrition Graduate Degree Program

With so many master of science in nutrition online programs now available, students should make sure to find a program that fits their needs. In–state schools typically offer a more affordable option, as learners can take advantage of resident tuition. Students wanting to study out of state can seek out a program that offers substantial scholarships or grants to offset additional costs. Some factors to consider include:

Program Cost
With the cost of degrees rising annually, finding an affordable degree is an important step for most students. In addition to looking at in–state options, consider schools further afield that offer in–state rates to distance learners. Check out the Best Schools’ guide on online colleges by state for more details.
Transfer Policies
An educational path takes many twists and turns. Because of this, students need to ensure that any institution they attend offers classes that transfer easily to other schools.
School Size and Type
While some learners enjoy taking part in large classes and hearing many different opinions, others prefer the intimacy of a smaller class. Private schools tend to offer the latter and public schools the former, so keep this in mind when picking a program.
Program Length
Most master of science in nutrition online programs take 1–2 years to complete on a full–time basis. Those needing part–time options can expect to spend 2–3 years enrolled.
On–campus Requirements
The vast majority of online master’s in nutrition programs do not maintain on–campus requirements. Students who attend an online program near their home may decide to visit campus and take advantage of university resources.
Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements
Learners typically choose from thesis and non–thesis options. A thesis requires more focus on research, while a non–thesis project allows students to explore a area of the field and apply new knowledge.

Accreditation for Online Nutrition Master’s Degrees

Before committing to any master of science in nutrition online, degree seekers should ensure the program holds proper accreditation. There are two types of accreditation in higher education: institutional and programmatic. The former exists in regional and national forms. While regional accreditation may sound like the lesser of these two options, it represents the more rigorous path for colleges. Students should prioritize colleges with regional accreditation.

Students should also try to find a degree that receives programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Doing so will assist with transferring credits, receiving licensure, and competing for jobs.

The U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation oversee accrediting agencies to ensure that they maintain high standards. Learners looking for a comprehensive, searchable list of approved programs can review the department’s Database of Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master in Nutrition Degree Program?

The length of a master of science in nutrition online can vary significantly based on individual school and program. Some departments offer accelerated programs that help learners graduate in just over a year. Others only offer part–time options for working professionals that last three years. Standard programs last approximately two years.

Factors affecting this time include completing internship requirements either over a longer period of time due to work constraints or spending additional time on thesis requirements. Part–time learners should know that, while the cost of tuition remains the same regardless of speed, they need to pay additional semester–based rates for the extra time it takes to graduate.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Nutrition Program

Pediatric Nutrition
This specialty course examines the unique needs of children, moving from the newborn stage to adolescence. Special topics include breastfeeding, bottle feeding, how nutrition affects puberty, nutritional deficiencies, biological processes of the young and how nutrition encourages them, and specific nutritional guidelines.
Managing Diabetes
Students in this class take a close look at how nutrition directly affects Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes before exploring current treatment modalities and potential complications. The course emphasizes teaching clients and patients how to eat nutrient–dense foods that help them live longer, fuller lives.
Communication Skills in Nutrition
Effective communication regarding sensitive topics with clients of diverse backgrounds proves an essential component for individuals working in nutrition. This course reviews skills related to conducting needs assessments, evaluations, and the effective management of cases.
Eating Disorders
This class provides an advanced look at the spectrum of eating disorders, with special emphasis on epidemiological and pathophysiological components. Students learn about both prevention and treatment methods for individual disorders, gaining skills for both inpatient and outpatient modalities.
Sports Nutrition
A required class for individuals planning to work with athletes and other active clients, coursework focuses on how nutrients can help or harm athletic training, performance, and physical recovery. Students both learn about the roles of micronutrients and water in wellness and review current trends and issues in this sub–discipline.

Nutrition and Dietetics Membership Associations

Professional nutrition organizations provide students, newly minted graduates, and industry veterans alike with benefits that help further their careers through networking opportunities, research publications, career support, job postings, annual events, regional meetings, continuing education training, and advocacy.

American Nutrition Association
The ANA offers members the opportunity to take part in regional and national events, search for open jobs, look for nutritionist schools, take advantage of training programs, and review the association’s Nutrition Digest newsletter.
School Nutrition Association
Dedicated to championing the work of school nutritionists across the U.S., SNA provides regularly scheduled meetings and events, webinars, research studies, certificates and credentials, and an interactive virtual learning center.
National Association of Nutritional Professionals
NANP provides members many benefits upon joining, including access to board certification in holistic nutrition, an annual conference, continuing education programs, and discounts on services within the industry.
American Society for Nutrition
Since 1928, ASN has provided members access to in–house trade publications, an annual conference, continuing education, training workshops, and a list of active jobs throughout the U.S.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
AND maintains an active roster of more than 100,000 credentialed nutritionists and dieticians. Each of these members can take advantage of access to cutting edge research, career support, rotating activities, and opportunities to develop leadership skills.

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