Best Online Master's in Nutrition 2021

Best Online Master's in Nutrition 2021

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Online nutrition master's programs prepare students for leadership positions in the health and wellness industry.

Dieticians and nutritionists promote healthy foods and eating habits, and in the United States, there is a growing demand for their expertise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that these positions will grow approximately 8% between 2019 and 2029.

A career in nutrition also pays well. According to the BLS, dieticians and nutritionists earn a median annual salary of $61,270. Top earners work in outpatient care centers, hospitals, government, and residential care facilities.

While a combination of undergraduate education and supervised training is sufficient to pursue licensure and entry-level employment, many professionals in this field hold advanced degrees. If you're interested in pursuing a master's degree in the field, our list of the top 15 online nutrition master's programs is a great place to begin your research. Here, you can learn more about the curriculum and career prospects students will encounter at top schools in the field.

Top 10 Online Master's in Nutrition Programs 2020

#1 University of Georgia Athens, GA
#2 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
#3 Auburn University Auburn, AL
#4 American University Washington, DC
#5 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#6 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
#7 Arizona State University Scottsdale, AZ
#8 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
#9 University of Nebraska – Lincoln Lincoln, NE
#10 East Carolina University Greenville, NC

The Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs

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American University 

Washington, DC Apply Now

About this school

A private university established in 1893, AU offers 170 different degree programs, including an online master of science in nutrition and education. Students enrolled in the program may obtain the certified nutrition specialist credential.

Students learn the skills needed to pursue careers in public health departments, nonprofit organizations, school systems, food companies, and nutrition counseling and consulting. Course topics include lifecycle nutrition, nutrition education methods, health in the school environment, and strategies in weight control.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution. The school also recommends that students possess a 3.0 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.

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Texas Tech University 

Lubbock, TX Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1923, Texas Tech offers many flexible programs for the 40,000 students that attend annually, including an online master of science in nutrition and dietetics.

Students may choose from three concentrations, including nutrition and healthy weight, nutrition and sports, or nutrition in the lifecycle. The 33-credit non-thesis program especially benefits dietetic interns or those who hold registered dietician credentials.

The flexible program allows students to take classes while completing an internship or pursuing their careers. Potential careers include nutrition support, obesity management, and maternal health.

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West Chester University of Pennsylvania 

West Chester, PA Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1871, WCU offers a research-focused master of science in community nutrition for individuals interested in promoting evidence-based nutrition, health, and disease prevention in their communities. The faculty includes instructors with knowledge of public health, public policy, sports nutrition, diabetes, and statistics.

Core courses include human nutrition, nutrition assessment, maternal and child nutrition, and nutrition and health in aging. Elective course topics include nutrition concepts and controversies, public health and epidemiology, and a life span approach to public health. The curriculum concludes with a 3-credit capstone course.

Interested applicants must provide a professional goals statement, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and maintain a 3.0 GPA from their undergraduate studies.

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Arizona State University 

Scottsdale, AZ Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1885, ASU enrolls nearly 75,000 students annually. ASU offers both an online master of science in medical nutrition and a master of science in nutritional science (dietetics). Applicants must possess a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission.

The medical nutrition program focuses on the intersection between nutrition and the healthcare system. Course topics include food and nutrition across the lifespan and medical nutrition in the care and prevention of disease.

The dietetics program helps registered dietitians learn how to conduct advanced nutrition research and become leaders in their field. Students can customize their degree by choosing from various electives, including evidence-based nutrition, pediatric nutrition, nutrition policies, and obesity prevention.

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Stony Brook University 

Stony Brook, NY Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1957, Stony Brook offers a 36-credit online master of science in nutrition. The program also offers an advanced certificate in nutrition option for an additional 15 credits. Concentration options include advanced nutrition therapy, and critical care and integrative nutrition therapy.

Course topics include contemporary issues in the global food system, macronutrients and functional nutrition, and evidence-based concepts in integrative nutrition.

The school recommends applicants possess a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0. Additional application requirements include submitting letters of recommendation and a focused essay on nutrition career goals.

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University of Nebraska – Lincoln 

Lincoln, NE Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1869, UNL boasts a student body of more than 26,000 students. The school offers a master of science in nutrition and health sciences with a specialization in dietetics online. Applicants must hold a current license as a registered dietitian.

Students take nine credits of core coursework followed by 21-24 credits of electives. Course topics include clinical aspects of nutrition support, micronutrients in human nutrition, nutritional aspects of oncology, and nutrition epidemiology. The program concludes with 3-6 credits of independent study in dietetics.

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East Carolina University 

Greenville, NC Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1907, ECU hosts around 28,000 students annually. ECU offers a master of science in nutrition for registered dietitians seeking to advance their careers. The program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks. Both tracks also require a research and professional practice component.

Core courses include human nutrition in physiology and metabolism, biostatistics for health professionals, and methods in nutrition research.

Applicants must complete 32 credits of nutrition prerequisites before applying to the program. Students holding a registered dietitian credential or who possess a 3.5 cumulative GPA do not need to submit GRE scores.

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Central Michigan University 

Mount Pleasant, MI Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1892, CMU enrolls around 27,000 students annually. CMU offers a master of science in nutrition and dietetics. The program focuses on quantitative and methodological research strategies for scientific and clinical dietetic nutritional studies.

CMU students choose from a thesis or non-thesis option based on their professional and academic areas of interest. The thesis route involves coursework in macro and micronutrients, nutritional assessments and epidemiology, and research methods. The non-thesis program offers similar coursework and requires an internship.

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission.

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Samford University 

Birmingham, AL Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1841, Samford offers an online master of science in nutrition. Concentrations include clinical nutrition or general nutrition with a required capstone and research project.

The program prepares students for career opportunities in nutrition education, healthcare, dietetics, leadership, community, and research programs. Coursework examines advanced knowledge of nutrition sciences, analytical and research skills, and policies.

Flexible online enrollment includes full- or part-time options. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, submit a GRE score, and possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission.

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Kansas State University 

Manhattan, KS Apply Now

About this school

K-State Online offers a master's degree in nutrition, dietetics, and sensory sciences. The 30-credit program offers customizable courses and curriculum for all concentration areas, including sensory analysis and consumer behavior, nutrition and exercise sciences, nutritional sciences, public health nutrition, and nutrition education and communication.

Course topics include the fundamental methods of biostatistics, an introduction to statistical methods for the sciences, and the regression and analysis of variance. The program prepares individuals for professions in clinical nutrition, exercise science, or obesity management.

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Colorado State University – Fort Collins 

Fort Collins, CO Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1879, CSU offers an online master of science in food science and nutrition. The 37-credit program offers registered dietitians an opportunity to advance their careers.

Students can discover and learn to create effective nutrition and food programs for individuals and organizations. Electives include nutrition and human performance, international nutrition and world hunger, pediatric clinical nutrition, and nutritional aspects of oncology.

Applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission. The school does not require standardized test scores.

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Bowling Green State University 

Bowling Green, OH Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1910, BGSU offers an online master of food and nutrition. The program's 40 credits include 15 credits of core coursework in micronutrients, macronutrients, clinical and community nutrition, and phytochemicals.

Students must also complete nine credits of courses in their area of interest, nine credits in research and statistics, and 6-7 credits as part of a culminating experience with a thesis, exam, or master's project.

Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree in food, nutrition, or similar science-based fields. Students must also possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission.

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End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Nutrition Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What Is an Online Master's in Nutrition Degree?

Completing a nutrition master's online helps students develop advanced skills in applied research, nutrition consulting, and dietetics. Nutrition programs frequently offer concentration and elective options designed to fit specific career goals, including tracks in clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, or eating disorders. Students may also receive opportunities to develop professional skills like grant writing and healthcare administration.

Nutrition master's programs attract students interested in several fields, including community health, food science, and sports nutrition. Learners are often entry-level or midcareer professionals looking to advance to leadership positions.

These programs strive to prepare students to meet the country's growing demand for nutrition professionals. Graduates can pursue employment in clinical, educational, research, and community health settings.

Choosing an Online Program

Online programs offer flexibility to students with full-time jobs, families, and other obligations. To determine which online program best fits your unique needs and goals, consider factors like school size, cost, curriculum, and availability of resources for online students. Read on for more college selection tips.

How to Choose Your Major What to Look for in an Online College

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

Specific courses in a master's in nutrition online vary depending on specific program goals, including whether students are preparing for careers in clinical nutrition, nutrition education, or research. Courses often cover theory, research, and practice in specialized areas like the prevention of chronic diseases, food services management, and nutrition counseling.

Nutrition Curriculum

  • Biostatistics: Students in this course learn to apply statistical methods to health sciences. Typically designed for students with a minimal mathematical background, this course covers concepts of experimental design, quantitative data analysis, and statistical inferences. Students also learn about elementary probability and simple linear regression.
  • Lifecycle Nutrition: This course allows students to explore the changing nutritional needs of different age groups. Topics include the role of nutrition in growth, mental and physical development, and specific transitions such as puberty and pregnancy.
  • Nutrition Policy: This course introduces students to policy approaches used to improve public health and nutrition. Topics include legislative advocacy, rationale for nutrition policies, and other current issues in the political environment. Students examine and analyze current nutrition programs at the local, state, and federal levels.

Nutrition Careers


Median Salary: $61,270 Projected Job Growth: 8%

Nutritionists educate patients and clients on how to promote health and manage disease through diet. Nutritionists may work in clinical settings or community settings, creating customized nutrition programs for individual patients and specific groups of people. Common tasks include assessing client health needs, counseling clients on nutrition issues, and documenting client progress.

Nutritionists typically need at least a bachelor's degree and several hundred hours of supervised training, usually in the form of an internship. States generally require licensure to practice. nutritionists may also pursue the Registered Dietician Nutritionist certificate.

Food Scientists

Median Salary: $65,160 Projected Job Growth: 6%

Food scientists use chemistry and biology to analyze nutritional content, discover new food sources, and research the health and safety of processed foods. Food scientists also enforce government regulations in food processing.

Food scientists need a bachelor's degree in a field such as agricultural science, biology, or chemistry. Many professionals choose to pursue advanced degrees in applied topics like nutrition and dietetics.

Healthcare Administrators

Median Salary: $100,980 Projected Job Growth: 32%

Healthcare administrators plan, direct, and coordinate services offered in medical and health facilities. They may manage an entire facility, a specific department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians. Common tasks include preparing and monitoring budgets, developing goals and objectives, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations.

At minimum, healthcare administrators must hold a bachelor's degree, but some employers prefer candidates with advanced degrees. Relevant experience in an administrative or clinical role is generally required.

Nutrition Professional Organizations

Like all scientific fields, nutrition is constantly evolving, requiring extensive funding, strong advocacy, and effective communication between researchers and practitioners. The professional organizations listed below serve current and aspiring nutrition professionals by providing continuing education, access to peer-reviewed journals, and career support.

College students can often join these organizations at a reduced membership rate.

  • American Society for Nutrition The NANP is the only professional business association dedicated to the holistic nutrition industry. The NANP develops educational standards for holistic nutrition, natural chef training, and dietary supplement education programs. Membership benefits include forum access, a free online directory listing, and first access to new jobs posted by the NANP career center.
  • American Society for Nutrition The ASN strives to create a healthier world through evidence-based nutrition information and practice. Members receive access to online discussion communities, four scholarly journals, and continuing education opportunities.
  • American Nutrition Association The ANA is a professional organization committed to advancing personalized nutrition through education, certification, advocacy, and connection. The ANA offers the Certified Nutrition Specialist certificate, free monthly webinars, and online directories of nutrition programs and practitioners. Members receive access to training program discounts, an online job board, and a mentorship program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a master's in nutrition program?

Completing a master of nutrition online typically takes 1-3 years, depending on credit requirements, individual student pacing, and internship requirements.

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

Nutrition master's programs prepare graduates for advanced opportunities in a variety of industries including dietetics, food science, and public health.

How much do you make as a nutritionist?

According to the BLS, dieticians and nutritionists earn a median annual salary of $61,270. Individual salary potential varies by experience, employer, and geographic location.

What is a nutritionist?

Nutritionists are expert professionals who provide advice regarding food, nutrition, and human health. Nutritionists may specialize in areas like sports nutrition or public health.

What is a master's in nutrition?

A master's in nutrition focuses on addressing modern nutritional issues. This degree prepares graduates to counsel and educate others about nutrition and health.

What is the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist?

All dieticians are licensed, board-certified experts. Depending on state regulations, nutritionists may or may not need to meet specific education and licensure requirements.

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