Best Online Master’s in Nutrition 2021

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by TBS Staff Writers, Sherry, Christiansen

Updated September 19, 2022

reviewed by TBS Rankings Team
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Find your MS in Nutrition

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.

Featured Online Schools

The Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs

#1

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Information
Location Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Admission Rate 23%
Graduation Rate 91%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UNC-Chapel Hill offers a master of public health in nutrition (MPH) program that gives students the tools necessary to improve healthcare in communities. 

The curriculum focuses on the science of nutrition and emphasizes nutrition counseling, employing behavior change, and the impact of nutrition and dietary habits on people and communities. There are also courses on how nutrition affects a wide-range of health issues.

Students can choose from a full-time or part-time track, including a 42-credit accelerated program learners can complete in just 16 months.

Available Scholarships: Innovation Scholarships

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#2

The University of Texas at Austin

School Information
Location Austin, Texas
Admission Rate 32%
Graduation Rate 86%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Health promotion and disease prevention; biochemical and functional nutrition

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UT Austin offers a master's in nutritional science (MSNS) entirely online that can be completed in 12-24 months. The program includes 10 classes and 30 credit hours, including five core courses and five selected from one of two specialty tracks. 

The health promotion and disease prevention concentration includes courses, such as nutrition theories, nutritional science, nutrition and disease prevention, and nutrition through the lifecycle. The biochemical nutrition and functional nutrition track offers coursework in biochemical nutrition as medicine, nutrition and cancer, and current issues in nutritional science. 

Available Scholarships: Truitt Family Endowed Graduate Fellowship

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#3

Logan University

School Information
Location Chesterfield, Missouri
Admission Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 79% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Concentrations Available: Sports and fitness nutrition; nutrition wellness; health education and promotion; integrative nutrition and practice

Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

Logan in Chesterfield, Missouri, offers an online master of science in nutrition and human performance (MSNHP) degree. The MSNHP combines the study of nutrition research with clinical application. Students learn to assess the client's eating pattern and overall health condition, evaluate ‌nutritional deficiencies, and provide evidence-based nutrition guidance. 

The chiropractic, sports, sciences, and nutrition program is a dual-degree program for students interested in a sports career. This track includes professional experience in college athletics programs.

The MSNHP course does not qualify students to become registered dieticians, engage in a dietetic internship, or sit for the registration exam for dietitians.

Available Scholarships: Dr. Eugene Mikus Scholarship

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#4

University of Georgia

School Information
Location Athens, Georgia
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

UGA offers a master of science in foods and nutrition — community nutrition degree. Students complete 30 credit hours and a final capstone course. UGA allows up to six transfer credits toward degree completion.

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher. No GRE test scores are required.

Graduates may become certified Georgia school nutrition directors, extension and outreach professionals, and coordinators of school nutrition programs.

Available Scholarships: George Hugh Boyd Memorial Scholarship

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#5

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

School Information
Location Raleigh, North Carolina
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Concentrations Available: Human nutrition; feed science

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

The online master of nutrition non-thesis course at NC State requires 30 credit hours of coursework and six hours of an internship, practicum, or a related individual project. Students must select from one of three tracks, including: a master of nutrition (non-thesis), professional science master of nutrition-human nutrition emphasis, or professional science master of nutrition-feed science emphasis.

The core curriculum for the master of nutrition (non-thesis) track comprises graduate-level courses in nutrition and nutrition science. The professional science masters (PSM) designation requires a wide-range of applicable classes and work-study experiences with potential employers.

Available Scholarships: 2022-2023 Graduate School Diversity Enhancement Grant Program

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#6

Stony Brook University

School Information
Location Stony Brook, New York
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 76%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public

Concentrations Available: Advanced nutrition therapy and critical care; integrative nutrition therapy

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education 

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

Stony Brook University's Renaissance School of Medicine offers a master of science in nutrition/advanced certificate in nutrition degree. The entirely online master's in nutrition course requires 36 credits, as well as 15 additional credits for the fully online advanced certificate in nutrition segment of the program. 

This program does not meet the requirements for the registered dietician (RD) certification.

The advanced nutrition therapy and critical care concentration focuses on nutrition therapy for hospitalized, critically ill adults and children. The integrative nutrition therapy concentration emphasizes a curriculum on food and supplements for optimizing disease prevention and health maintenance. 

A DPD Verification statement is required for admission into both concentrations. The integrative nutrition therapy track also requires completion of a biochemistry course with a "B" grade or higher grade. 

Available Scholarships: Graduate Tuition Scholarship (GTS)

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#7

University of Houston

School Information
Location Houston, Texas
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

UH's Health and Human Performance department offers an online master of science in nutrition course. 

The 36-credit, non-thesis program prepares students for advanced practice in clinical nutrition, health and wellness, and health management. Students explore advanced assessment, evidence-based nutrition therapy, nutrition education, and nutrition and lifestyle for health and wellness. 

The online degree in nutrition meets the requirements for registered dietitians who have finished the required supervised practicum hours. Admission requirements include meeting one of the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in or accepted into a dietetic internship
  • Registered dietitian credentialing acquired in 2008 or later, and 1200 hours of supervised practicum
  • Bachelor's degree in nutrition, food science, or other health-related bachelor's level degree

Available Scholarships: Delphian Endowment Scholarship 

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#8

American University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 79%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 20% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Private

Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

American's master of science in nutrition education online degree integrates nutritional science with the educational aspect of behavior change for individuals and communities. Students can pursue an entirely online graduate certificate in nutrition education.

A student/faculty member mentorship program matches each individual student and an instructor to work on resume building and job searches. 

The fully online, 18-credit hour program focuses on methods of education, nutrition for the life cycle, health as it relates to nutrition, and public health. 

Available Scholarships: United Methodist Graduate Scholarship

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#9

Auburn University

School Information
Location Auburn, Alabama
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 79%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; the Alabama Commission on Higher Education

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

Alabama's Auburn University offers an online master of science in nutrition (non-thesis) program grounded in nutritional sciences. This program benefits learners with a nutrition background and those new to the field. Graduates are prepared for careers in business, health, or consulting. 

Asynchronous coursework allows students to work while completing online classes at their own pace. Students participate in group chat, online discussion boards, and extensive interaction with faculty and peers. 

Course completion requires 33 credit hours, including five credit hours of research (without a thesis requirement).

Available Scholarships: Outstanding Graduate Student Awards

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#10

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

School Information
Location Amherst, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Fast Facts

School Type: Public 

Accredited By: New England Commission on Higher Education and The Council on Education for Public Health

Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes 

The master of public health in nutrition degree at UMass Amherst focuses on science-based nutrition as it applies to public health. The curriculum emphasizes solving complicated nutrition-related health problems, working with aging clients and other vulnerable populations, and community-based problem-solving. 

Courses focus on health-related issues, such as obesity, malnutrition, and diet-related chronic disease. Students also learn about policy-making and public health research.

The fully online, 44-credit hour online master's in nutrition course can be completed in three years. 

Available Scholarships: Churchill Scholarship

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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.

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

Nutrition Careers

Nutritionists

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.

National Association of Nutrition Professionals
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.

Earning your Nutrition Degree

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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