Best Online Master's in Nutrition Programs

By the OnlineU team | Updated 1/12/2022

An online master's in nutrition provides in-depth knowledge about the science of food, especially how diet can enhance both individual and societal health and wellness. The following list ranks 25 accredited schools based on their 10-year return on investment for a master's in nutrition. Earning the degree can open up access to higher-paying positions as well as the ability to specialize. Furthermore, dietitians and nutritionists are in demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projecting faster-than-average job growth of 11% for dietitians and nutritionists through 2030.

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2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Master's in Nutrition Degrees

2021 Best Online Colleges Offering Master's Degrees in Nutrition Badge

The 25 schools below offer top online master’s degrees in nutrition based on return on investment (ROI). Sixteen of these schools have ROIs that exceed the national average of $440,700. We calculated ROI amounts by estimating accumulated earnings 10 years after graduation and factoring in student loans. Our ROI rankings consider both income and debt so students can assess how profitable a degree may be in the future. From this list, Central Michigan University takes the top spot with an ROI of $583,200 and has an annual tuition of $10,192.

ROI amounts are based on data reported by the U.S. Department of Education. Tuitions are manually researched in order to determine tuition amounts specific to online degrees. Read our methodology for more details.

RankSchool Annual Tuition Median Starting Salary Median Debt 10-year ROI
# 1 #1 Central Michigan University $10,192 $59,124 $20,500 $583,200
# 2 #2 Arizona State University $10,845 $56,641 $22,783 $554,700
# 3 #3 Immaculata University $10,650 $56,776 $43,180 $530,700
# 4 #4 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus $8,900 $52,107 $25,124 $505,200
# 5 #5 The Sage Colleges $14,100 $52,107 $30,571 $498,400
# 6 #6 Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus $16,011 $51,750 $33,872 $490,600
# 7 #7 Texas Woman's University $20,691 $50,515 $25,570 $488,200
# 8 #8 Utah State University $10,496 $48,432 $16,776 $477,700
# 9 #9 SUNY Oneonta $20,340 $48,600 $21,711 $473,300
# 10 #10 American University $32,616 $52,107 $51,250 $472,600
# 11 #11 University of Bridgeport $15,525 $50,231 $36,317 $471,900
# 12 #12 University of North Florida $14,391 $48,667 $27,625 $466,600
# 13 #13 Ball State University $12,234 $46,833 $20,500 $456,600
# 14 #14 Benedictine University $10,500 $48,823 $41,835 $450,500
# 15 #15 University of Kansas $10,440 $46,589 $25,000 $448,500
# 16 #16 Texas Tech University $13,518 $48,901 $23,312 $441,400
# 17 #17 Appalachian State University $17,910 $46,869 $37,009 $436,400
# 18 #18 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $35,387 $51,273 $87,691 $418,600
# 19 #19 University of Western States $15,720 $45,696 $45,558 $413,700
# 20 #20 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $10,620 $41,342 $14,596 $407,400
# 21 #21 Logan University $8,100 $44,971 $51,000 $399,500
# 22 #22 Northeastern University $17,365 $40,647 $34,995 $374,900
# 23 #23 Eastern Michigan University $13,590 $40,040 $41,000 $361,200
# 24 #24 New York Chiropractic College $13,212 $33,281 $26,562 $309,500
# 25 #25 Maryland University of Integrative Health $15,876 $35,060 $54,666 $292,900

Best Master's Degrees in Nutrition Rankings Details

#1

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant (MI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $583,200
  • Median Salary: $59,124
  • Annual Tuition: $10,192
  • Median Debt: $20,500

Central Michigan University (CMU) offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree with thesis, internship, and coursework options. This program requires 31-37 credits, with classes offered in six condensed eight-week terms per year. Students in all tracks learn about macronutrients, micronutrients, advanced nutritional assessment, research methods and biostatistics,... nutritional epidemiology, and more. Students completing internship and coursework options must complete a capstone course.

CMU students access online courses using the Blackboard system. Students who have completed a nutrition internship in the past seven years may be able to receive credit for the experience. Students have access to the school's financial aid offerings and the Scholarship Universe aggregator. CMU participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program to support military-affiliated students and offers tuition savings for military-affiliated students and their families. CMU also offers active-duty military service members and veterans the option to count military training and work experience as class credit.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications and supporting materials online, including three letters of recommendation and an essay about professional goals. Services available to online students include free Microsoft 365 software, free online cloud storage, math and writing assistance, and the online student ally system for peer support.

Cost per Credit: $637
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,485

#2

Arizona State University

Tempe (AZ) (and 4 others)
  • 10-Year ROI: $554,700
  • Median Salary: $56,641
  • Annual Tuition: $10,845
  • Median Debt: $22,783

Arizona State University (ASU) offers two options for graduate students in nutrition: Master of Science in Nutritional Science (Dietetics) and a Master of Science in Medical Nutrition. Both online programs require 30 credit hours for completion and are focused on practical application for those already working in the medical field. Students can expect to take classes such as Statistics... in Research, Pediatric Nutrition, Food and Nutrition Across the Lifespan, and Nutrigenomics.

Students complete their coursework through Canvas, a centralized learning management system that allows them to access syllabi, course work, grades, and participate in discussion forums with fellow classmates. For those studying nutrition, multiple scholarships are available. Those pursuing the nutritional science degree can also transfer up to 12 credit hours from another accredited program with the approval of the program director. ASU’s ongoing partnerships with the medical community provide students access to networking opportunities with Mayo Clinic, Banner Health, HonorHealth, Dignity Health, and more.

Prospective students can apply online. The nutritional science M.S. offers multiple start dates each year. Online students can take advantage of online tutoring, professional development services, online library access, free online storage, disability resources, and 24/7 technical support.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 10,843

#3

Immaculata University

Immaculata (PA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $530,700
  • Median Salary: $56,776
  • Annual Tuition: $10,650
  • Median Debt: $43,180

Immaculata University (IU) offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition Education and Counseling degree that can be completed on either a full- or part-time basis. This 30-credit program instructs students in human development, interpersonal relations, nutrition in the life cycle, health counseling, principles of nutrition education, and more. The program culminates in a capstone... course prior to graduation. Immaculata University is a Catholic institution that welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds.

Students at IU access courses through the Moodle learning management system. IU’s financial aid office can assist with applications for grants, loans, and scholarships. Military-affiliated students at IU have access to support specifically at the graduate level, as well as military-specific tuition assistance. The Career and Professional Development office provides students with resources and information for gaining employment after graduation, along with contacts in the alumni network.

Interested applicants can submit their application and required documentation through the school's website. Online students at IU have access to a faculty advisor, academic planning, writing and math assistance, online library resources, and more.

Cost per Credit: $710
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 164

#4

Bowling Green State University-Main Campus

Bowling Green (OH)
  • 10-Year ROI: $505,200
  • Median Salary: $52,107
  • Annual Tuition: $8,900
  • Median Debt: $25,124

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) offers an online Master’s of Food and Nutrition degree. This degree program requires 39-40 credits and can be completed in two years on a full-time basis, or up to six years on a part-time basis. Courses cover clinical nutrition, micronutrients, macronutrients, weight management, public health, psychology, microbiology, and more. Aspects of... the program can be tailored to the student's career goals. The degree culminates in a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam.

Students at BGSU access their online coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Online students have access to the school's financial aid office for help with grants, loans, and scholarships. Military specialists at BGSU are available to work with military-affiliated students. Students also have access to the school's Career Services office for help with future career planning.

Interested applicants can apply and submit any related materials online — these include college transcripts and GRE scores. Services available to distance learners include academic advising and peer tutoring.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 820

#5

The Sage Colleges

Troy (NY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $498,400
  • Median Salary: $52,107
  • Annual Tuition: $14,100
  • Median Debt: $30,571

The Sage Colleges offer an online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree and a combined Master of Science in Applied Nutrition/Dietetic Internship program. The M.S. emphasizes how to evaluate nutrition research, assess program effectiveness, and implement critical thinking and analytical skills. Students can choose to study on a full-time or part-time basis. The program is... 30 credits long for students with a bachelor's degree in nutrition and 33 credits for all others. The core curriculum includes classes in nutrition programs and interventions, weight management, and research methods. Students also complete a self-directed thesis project. The combined internship program consists of 45 credits: 24 in core internship courses and 21 credits to complete the degree. Registered dietitians can transfer up to 9 credits into this program.

The program is fully online for students with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, but students entering the program with a bachelor’s degree in a different field must complete some undergraduate nutrition courses in person. The career planning office offers consultations along with online resources like Handshake, where students can search for job postings and alumni connections.

To apply, students submit an online application, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a short essay about their career goals. Resources for online students include online tutoring and library access.

Cost per Credit: $705
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 266

#6

Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus

Indiana (PA) (and 2 others)
  • 10-Year ROI: $490,600
  • Median Salary: $51,750
  • Annual Tuition: $16,011
  • Median Debt: $33,872

Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) offers an online Master of Science in Food and Nutrition degree, with options including a general degree or a concentration in administration or education. All program tracks can be completed in a total of 16 months, and all give students the option to write a thesis. The core curriculum covers research methods, macronutrients, micronutrients,... and the importance of vitamins, proteins, and water.

IUP delivers online courses through the D2L or Moodle learning management systems. Online students can access the financial aid office for help with loans, grants, and scholarships. Military-affiliated students have access to the Military and Veterans Resource Center. The IUP Career and Professional Development Center gives assistance with resume preparation, job searching, and alumni connections.

Interested applicants can submit their applications online along with undergraduate transcripts, a statement of academic goals, and two letters of recommendation. Students in this program have access to academic advising services, IT support, an online writing center, disability services, and more.

Cost per Credit: $593
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 364

#7

Texas Woman's University

Denton (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $488,200
  • Median Salary: $50,515
  • Annual Tuition: $20,691
  • Median Debt: $25,570

Texas Woman's University (TWU) offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition program that requires 30 credits and can be completed in less than a year. Students are provided with instruction in areas including human nutrition in disease, metabolism, eating behaviors and disorders, functional foods, advanced nutritional care, medical nutrition therapy in pediatrics, food safety,... nutrition and exercise, and more. Students have the option to complete a thesis or internship.

Students at TWU access courses through the Canvas learning management system. Students are automatically considered for loans and grants through TWU's financial aid office when they apply for a FAFSA, but they should still search for relevant scholarships. TWU has been named a military-friendly school for the past 10 years. Online students also have access to TWU's Career Connections Center, which offers virtual career counseling.

Graduate students are encouraged to apply and submit any necessary documents online. Services for online students at TWU include career counseling, library resources, disability services, and more.

Cost per Credit: $690
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: SACS COC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,677

#8

Utah State University

Logan (UT)
  • 10-Year ROI: $477,700
  • Median Salary: $48,432
  • Annual Tuition: $10,496
  • Median Debt: $16,776

Utah State University (USU) offers an online Master of Dietetics Administration degree that instructs students in nutrition program administration, advanced management in dietetics, current issues in dietetics, leadership, nutrition science, and more. Students typically take this 18-credit program typically on a part-time basis over three semesters. For consideration, applicants... must either be registered dieticians or have completed a USU Distance Dietetics Internship in the previous six years.

USU students use the Canvas learning management system to access course materials. USU accepts transfer credits, and online students have access to the financial aid office for assistance with loans, grants, and scholarships. Military-affiliated students have access to the Veterans Resource Office. The school's Career Services office provides virtual services and career coaching appointments.

Applicants can complete their applications and submit related materials online. Online students have access to student success webinars, academic support, career services, student clubs/organizations, disability services, online library resources, IT support, online tutoring, an online writing center, and more. Online students who are based in Utah can also access study spaces, testing services, and other resources at the USU campus closest to them.

Cost per Credit: $500
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: NWCCU
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,099

#9

SUNY Oneonta

Oneonta (NY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $473,300
  • Median Salary: $48,600
  • Annual Tuition: $20,340
  • Median Debt: $21,711

SUNY Oneonta offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree. This full-time, three-semester program instructs students in applied health statistics, nutrition-focused physical assessment, advanced nutrition therapy, current issues in dietetics, nutrition in the community, and more. Throughout the course of the program, students complete 1,220 hours of supervised... experiential learning. Upon successful completion of the program, students are prepared to sit for the Registration Exam for Dietitians.

Students access online courses through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses may have both synchronous and asynchronous components. SUNY Oneonta provides merit- and need-based scholarships to eligible graduate students. Some transfer credits may be accepted for prior experience. Military-affiliated students have access to the school's Veterans Benefits Certifying Official (VCO) to assist with tuition assistance, academic counseling, and more. Graduates become part of the wide-reaching SUNY alumni network.

Interested applicants must apply by mail; the admissions office will accept an initial PDF of the application packet but only if it’s followed by a hard copy. Services available to online students at SUNY Oneonta include academic advising, career planning, and more.

Cost per Credit: $565
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 321

#10

American University

Washington D.C.
  • 10-Year ROI: $472,600
  • Median Salary: $52,107
  • Annual Tuition: $32,616
  • Median Debt: $51,250

American University offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition Education degree that pairs nutrition science with behavior change theories, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to be effective teachers. The can be completed in 20 months and requires 24 credits of core courses, with six credits of electives. Coursework covers nutrition epidemiology and research... methods, lifecycle nutrition, behavior change in health promotion, and sports nutrition. The program seeks to prepare students for certification as nutritionists after graduation.

Courses are conducted asynchronously using Blackboard. Coursework includes assignments from instructors and discussion boards for participation. Students have the option to transfer up to six hours of graduate work that applies directly to the degree. American provides a merit-based scholarship especially for students in this program, and also claims that 93% of its graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

To apply, prospective students submit an online application. Resources for online students include library services, tutoring services, technical support, and a writing lab.

Cost per Credit: $1,812
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,295

#11

University of Bridgeport

Bridgeport (CT)
  • 10-Year ROI: $471,900
  • Median Salary: $50,231
  • Annual Tuition: $15,525
  • Median Debt: $36,317

The University of Bridgeport offers students an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree. This full-time degree program requires six terms of study, with two courses taken each term. Most students complete the program in 28 months. Students must take a unique capstone course, entitled The Virtual Clinic, which provides 255 hours of supervised experience credit that can be used... toward a Certified Nutrition Specialist credential from the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists. Students take a comprehensive exam three to four months after completing all coursework.

Students at Bridgeport access their courses through the Canvas learning management system. Courses may include synchronous and asynchronous aspects. Online students have access to Bridgeport's Student Financial Services office. The university participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart in recognition of its support of military students and their families. Online students also have access to career development services to help them plan a career path and prepare for job interviews.

Applicants can submit their applications and any related documentation online. Services for online students at Bridgeport include academic advising, IT support, e-tutoring, and more.

Cost per Credit: $675
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: NECHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 480

#12

University of North Florida

Jacksonville (FL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $466,600
  • Median Salary: $48,667
  • Annual Tuition: $14,391
  • Median Debt: $27,625

The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics online program at the University of North Florida (UNF) offers a choice of four concentrations: dietetics professional studies, global health, health care informatics, and nutritional sciences. The program seeks to create professionals who can apply advanced nutrition practices in clinical or community-based settings. At least 35... credits are required for program completion, including core courses, major courses, and individual requirements for each concentration. The concentrations require a field experience or independent research project, along with a capstone or thesis course.

Coursework is completed online through Canvas. Classes are primarily asynchronous, but assignments have set due dates and some courses may require synchronous virtual learning. If a class requires a virtual meeting, the course schedule will make this clear. UNF accepts state tuition waivers to cover the cost of tuition and fees for state employees, veterans, senior citizens, and more categories.

To apply, students submit an online application, undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, and a letter of intent. A variety of resources are available for online students, such as academic advising, technical support, and tutoring.

Cost per Credit: $800
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: SACS COC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 754

#13

Ball State University

Muncie (IN)
  • 10-Year ROI: $456,600
  • Median Salary: $46,833
  • Annual Tuition: $12,234
  • Median Debt: $20,500

Ball State University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is a 36-credit program with both thesis and non-thesis options. Students in the program learn about epidemiology, statistical methods, vitamins and minerals, macronutrients, nutrition for exercise and sport, food policy, renal nutrition, pediatric and geriatric nutrition, and more. Students can choose full-... and part-time tracks and may take just one class at a time if they prefer. Students opting to write a thesis will take two more research classes and two fewer electives than non-thesis students.

Students at Ball State access their online courses using the Canvas learning management system. Courses are asynchronous. Up to nine graduate transfer credits may be accepted toward program requirements. Online students have access to the school's financial aid office, and Indiana residents demonstrating financial need may qualify for Adult Student Grants. Military-affiliated students have access to the school's Veterans Affairs staff.

Interested applicants can submit their applications and undergraduate transcripts online. Prospective students must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.0 for their bachelor’s degree. Services available to online students at Ball State include online student orientation, peer mentoring, career planning services, academic support services, IT support, and more.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 4,320

#14

Benedictine University

Lisle (IL)
  • 10-Year ROI: $450,500
  • Median Salary: $48,823
  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Median Debt: $41,835

Benedectine University offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness (thesis or non-thesis track) and Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (internship and professional practice experience). Students can complete the nutrition and wellness degree in two and a half years (taking one class at a time), and nutrition and dietetics students can finish in two years... if they take two courses at a time instead of one. Nutrition and wellness students learn about health risk assessment, motivation, nutrition in sports and fitness, and more. The nutrition and dietetics program is intended for dietetic interns, and coursework covers health and wellness research planning, entrepreneurship, professional practice in dietetics, and more. Although Benedectine University is a Catholic institution, students of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome.

Students at Benedectine use the D2L learning management system. Online students have access to the office of financial aid. Benedectine University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and may accept military training and experience as course credit. Students have access to career development services.

Applicants can submit their applications and required information online. Distance learners have access to academic advising, IT support, student success mentors, and more.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,150

#15

University of Kansas

Lawrence (KS)
  • 10-Year ROI: $448,500
  • Median Salary: $46,589
  • Annual Tuition: $10,440
  • Median Debt: $25,000

The University of Kansas (UK) offers an online Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition degree with both a thesis and non-thesis option. The program is offered by Great Plains IDEA, a consortium of eight universities that offer joint online programs. This 36-credit program can be completed in two years, but the pacing is flexible. The curriculum includes courses in principles... of statistics, methods of research, macronutrients, micronutrients, food writing for professionals, healthcare administration, nutrition and aging, and more.

Students who choose the non-thesis option can complete the degree completely online, but students thesis-track students need to travel to the UK campus to defend their thesis.

Students at UK access their online courses through the Blackboard learning management system. Students may transfer up to six graduate-level credits into the program. Students can work with the financial aid office at U of K for help financing their education. Qualifying military training may also count for course credit.

Prospective students can submit their applications online, along with undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, and a background check release form. Online students at UK have access to the Center for Online and Distance Learning, IT services, online writing help, library services, tutoring, and more.

Cost per Credit: $580
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,382

#16

Texas Tech University

Lubbock (TX)
  • 10-Year ROI: $441,400
  • Median Salary: $48,901
  • Annual Tuition: $13,518
  • Median Debt: $23,312

The online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics at Texas Tech University offers concentrations in nutrition and healthy weight, nutrition and sports, and nutrition in the life cycle. The 33-credit hour online program combines major-specific coursework with electives and has no thesis requirement. The program is structured specifically for registered dietitians or nutritionists... who are looking for a flexible way to advance their education. Courses cover biostatistics in nutrition, pediatric nutrition, diabetes and nutrition management, motivating health behavior, and more.

Students complete their coursework through Blackboard, a centralized learning management system that allows them to access syllabi, coursework, and grades and participate in discussions with classmates. Students can pursue scholarships provided by the Department of Nutrition Sciences especially for students in this program.

Applications for this program are accepted online. Applications are due in late April for the summer semester, in mid-July for the fall semester, and in mid-November for the spring semester. Among others, resources for online students include access to the digital library, career and writing center, online tutoring, and 24/7 technical support.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: SACS COC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,811

#17

Appalachian State University

Boone (NC)
  • 10-Year ROI: $436,400
  • Median Salary: $46,869
  • Annual Tuition: $17,910
  • Median Debt: $37,009

Appalachian State University (ASU) offers students an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree with an optional public health nutrition concentration. This 39-credit program is offered on both a full- and part-time basis. Full-time students can expect to complete the program in two years. Students take courses in the role of nutrition in overall health, how nutrition and public... health intersect, and diet and obesity, plus a capstone course. Students not taking the public health nutrition concentration can choose to write a thesis.

ASU delivers online courses through the AsULearn system powered by Moodle. Classes have both synchronous and asynchronous components. Online students can access ASU’s financial aid options, which include scholarships and grants. Active-duty military members, veterans, and dependents may qualify for in-state tuition rates. Online students can use TrailNet (graduate student professional, personal, and academic development resources) and maintain access to ASU's large alumni network after graduation.

Applicants can submit their applications and any required documentation online. Enrollees can access community wellness resources, online library services, writing center tutoring, career development, and support from the App State Online Office.

Cost per Credit: $896
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: SACS COC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 580

#18

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill (NC)
  • 10-Year ROI: $418,600
  • Median Salary: $51,273
  • Annual Tuition: $35,387
  • Median Debt: $87,691

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) offers an online Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Master of Public Health/Registered Dietician degrees. These programs can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Students must complete 42 credits to graduate, including 15 credits of M.P.H. core classes covering data analysis and public health solutions. The nutrition... program requires another 15 credits dedicated to the concentration and nine credits for electives. The combined degree program requires another 24 credits in nutrition coursework. Students in both programs have a three-credit practicum and a clinical work experience requirement, which takes place in person in a student’s local community. The M.P.H./RD program aims to prepare students for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) exam.

Courses mix synchronous and asynchronous elements, such as live virtual classes and self-paced online coursework. UNC students gain access to LinkedIn Premium Career to receive personalized career support.

To apply, students submit an online application, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and transcripts. M.P.H./RD applicants must provide proof of eight specific prerequisite courses. Resources for online students include academic support, technical support, and more.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: SACS COC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,204

#19

University of Western States

Portland (OR)
  • 10-Year ROI: $413,700
  • Median Salary: $45,696
  • Annual Tuition: $15,720
  • Median Debt: $45,558

The University of Western States (UWS) offers an online Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine degree, which includes coursework in the principles of functional medicine, evidence-based nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, gastrointestinal imbalances, and sports nutrition. UWS offers flexible pacing, and the program can be completed in six to nine quarters.... Students are required to complete a capstone course in their final semester of study.

Students at UWS access their online courses through the webCampus learning management system. This program offers live lectures, but students can also watch recordings later. Students engage with reading material, talk with peers on discussion boards, and can schedule one-on-one video chats with instructors if necessary. UWS accepts transfer credits earned in the previous seven years. Online students have access to the office of financial aid. UWS participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, supporting military-affiliated students. Students have access to UWS alumni support services after graduation.

The program offers two start dates each year. Applicants can submit their applications and any required materials online. Students taking classes online at UWS have access to online writing tutoring services, academic coaching, disability services, and more.

Cost per Credit: $524
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: NWCCU
Graduate Online Enrollment: 539

#20

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln (NE)
  • 10-Year ROI: $407,400
  • Median Salary: $41,342
  • Annual Tuition: $10,620
  • Median Debt: $14,596

The University of Nebraska - Lincoln offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences - Dietetics degree. This 36-credit program instructs students in areas including life-stage nutrition, clinical nutrition, principles of human nutrition, nutrition and wellness, micronutrients, nutritional aspects of oncology, and physical activity assessment. Students are required... to complete a formal oral examination at the culmination of their studies.

Students at the University of Nebraska access their online courses through the Canvas learning management system. This program is asynchronous. The University of Nebraska participates in the Great Plains IDEA program, in which several universities come together to offer online courses to military students so they can learn from professors across multiple institutions even as they transfer or deploy. This M.S. is part of Great Plains IDEA. Students also have access to the financial aid office, which can provide Tuition Assistance Program Grants to graduate students in financial need.

Applicants can submit their applications and any related materials online. Students who take classes online have access to library resources, career services, mental health resources, and more.

Cost per Credit: $590
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,400

#21

Logan University

Chesterfield (MO)
  • 10-Year ROI: $399,500
  • Median Salary: $44,971
  • Annual Tuition: $8,100
  • Median Debt: $51,000

Logan University offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance degree, with concentration options including sports and fitness nutrition, integrative nutrition and practice, health education and promotion, registered dietitian, and nutritional wellness. Students are instructed in areas including lifestyle guidance, food allergies, evidence-based nutrition,... athletic performance optimization, and more. The program is offered on both a full- and part-time basis. Logan offers three 15-week semesters per year. Some students are able to finish their degree in four semesters, but the program allows students to take up to five years to complete their degree. Students have the option of completing an internship, thesis, or professional course to fulfill graduation requirements.

Students at Logan access courses using the Canvas learning management system. Online students have access to Logan's Office of Financial Aid to learn more about scholarships and tuition payment options. Logan University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for military-affiliated students.

Applicants can submit their applications and any required materials online. Online students at Logan have access to online library resources, IT support, free counseling services, online peer tutoring, and more.

Cost per Credit: $450
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 544

#22

Northeastern University

Burlington (MA)
  • 10-Year ROI: $374,900
  • Median Salary: $40,647
  • Annual Tuition: $17,365
  • Median Debt: $34,995

Northeastern University offers an online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition with four possible concentrations: business and entrepreneurship in nutrition, nutrition and fitness, nutrition education, and obesity and nutritional health. This part-time program takes students 12-18 months to complete. Coursework covers the adoption of healthy behaviors, using nutrition to prevent... disease, understanding factors that influence nutritional choices, nutritional research methods, and more.

Students access courses through the Canvas learning management network. Students who graduated from a Northeastern bachelor’s degree program are automatically considered for the Double Husky Scholarship, which grants a 25% tuition discount. Northeastern participates in several programs to support military-affiliated students and their families, including the Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation, the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and the Yellow Ribbon Program. Upon graduation, students gain access to a wide alumni network.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but it's important for applicants to check the school's website regularly to learn about priority consideration deadlines. Applicants can submit their applications and any required materials online. Students taking classes online at Northeastern have access to library services, remote career coaching, and more.

Cost per Credit: $755
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: NECHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 183

#23

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti (MI)
  • 10-Year ROI: $361,200
  • Median Salary: $40,040
  • Annual Tuition: $13,590
  • Median Debt: $41,000

Eastern Michigan University (EMU) offers several online master’s degree options for students interested in nutrition: a Master of Science in Dietetics with choice of three culminating experiences or a Master of Science in Human Nutrition with the same choice of capstone options. Both programs feature courses on nutrition therapy, food and culture, and vitamins and minerals, but... the dietetics degree is designed for students who intend to take the Registration Examination for Dieticians. This program requires 72-75 credits depending on a student’s choice to write a thesis, take a three-class non-thesis research sequence, or complete a course in biomedical research writing. The human nutrition degree is 30-36 credits long and features the same choice of thesis, non-thesis research, or research writing.

EMU delivers online courses through Canvas, where students can review assignments and lectures and interact with classmates in forums. Program enrollees can pursue scholarships specifically for graduate students, including the University Scholarship that awards academic merit.

Prospective students fill out an online application and can send their college transcripts by email or mail. Human nutrition applicants also submit a personal statement and two letters of recommendation. Admitted students can access the Disability Resource Center for any necessary accommodations, an academic advisor, and virtual library resources.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: HLC
Graduate Online Enrollment: 691

#24

New York Chiropractic College

Seneca Falls (NY)
  • 10-Year ROI: $309,500
  • Median Salary: $33,281
  • Annual Tuition: $13,212
  • Median Debt: $26,562

New York Chiropractic College offers an online Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition degree. Students take core classes on science-based approaches to nutrition, whole foods, and nutrition counseling, and they choose from electives in sports nutrition, behavior change, or other specialized areas. This program has two tracks that take either 16 or 24 months to complete... depending on the student’s course load per semester. All 36 credits can be completed online, but students must have completed at least nine credits of biological science study during their undergraduate degree.

Students take courses using the Brightspace learning management system. This application allows them to view course materials, watch lectures, and submit assignments on their own schedules, but they must meet assignment deadlines. NYCC’s Center for Career Development and Professional Success can help enrollees prepare for licensure exams to improve their career prospects.

Interested applicants can apply at any time for any semester, but the school recommends submitting application materials about six to nine months before the desired start date. Applicants must submit a personal statement and transcripts, and then the school will schedule an admissions interview.

Cost per Credit: $734
School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 227

#25

Maryland University of Integrative Health

Laurel (MD)
  • 10-Year ROI: $292,900
  • Median Salary: $35,060
  • Annual Tuition: $15,876
  • Median Debt: $54,666

The Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) offers an online Master of Arts in Integrative Health Studies and a Master of Science in Nutrition of Integrative Health with an optional concentration in community nutritional education, herbal medicine, or human clinical nutrition. The M.A. takes five trimesters to complete at six credits per term, and the M.S. requires 50-58... credits and takes 6-11 trimesters (up to three years) to complete. Both programs include courses on integrative care models and a variety of electives, and students complete a capstone course where they focus on incorporating integrative health practices into their professional practice.

MUIH delivers courses using the Canvas system, where students can review the syllabus, learning materials, and assignments. They work at their own pace but submit weekly assignments on a schedule and engage with instructors and other students asynchronously using discussion forums. MUIH provides scholarships based on need and diversity of background — applicants write an essay about their educational goals and financial needs.

Students can apply at any time. The M.A. program starts in the fall, but students can start the M.S. program in the fall, winter, or spring. Online students can access support services that include technical help, academic advising, success support, tutoring, and library resources.

School Type: Non-Profit
Accreditation: MSCHE
Graduate Online Enrollment: 622

Online Master's in Nutrition Program Overview

An online master's in nutrition equips students with a holistic understanding of how food affects well-being, including through different biological, social, and economic processes. Students learn how to develop healthy food systems and how factors — such as age, gender, and income — influence nutritional health. They take coursework in areas such as physiology, biochemistry, and food production while developing hands-on experience through a practicum, which involves spending 150-240 hours observing and working with a licensed nutritionist. Students pursuing a master's in the field of nutrition can specialize in specific niches of food science, including public health, foodservice administration, and environmental nutrition.



Students take coursework in areas such as physiology, biochemistry, and food production while developing hands-on experience through a practicum, which involves spending 150-240 hours observing and working with a licensed nutritionist.

An online master's in nutrition generally requires 30-36 credit hours and takes two years of full-time study to complete. Many schools offer accelerated and/or part-time programs, where students can finish in just one year or work at a slower pace, taking a couple of courses per semester. While distance programs in this discipline are typically offered asynchronously — allowing students to learn entirely at their own pace — some online nutrition degrees are based on a hybrid format, requiring on-campus attendance for part of the school year.

Online Master's in Nutrition Admission Requirements

Applicants need a bachelor's degree and typically must meet a minimum GPA requirement to enroll in a nutrition master's program. Many of these programs also have specific coursework prerequisites, with students often having to demonstrate a B grade or better in undergraduate chemistry, biology, and human physiology. Additionally, while some programs no longer require students to take the GRE, some still call for scores in at least the 50th percentile.

Interested in learning about similar degrees? Learn more about online master's degrees in nursing, public health, and healthcare administration.

Common Master's in Nutrition Courses

Pursuing a master's in nutrition online involves gaining valuable research skills while studying various aspects of the food system. Coursework is heavily focused on concepts in the biological sciences, including metabolic processes, micro and macronutrients, and epidemiology. Other courses focus on the societal aspects of nutrition, teaching students about food production, how consumables are marketed, and how people make dietary choices based on the information they receive. The following are common courses in a nutrition master's program.

Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism

Students taking this class learn about the biological processes through which nutrients are absorbed into the body. In addition to gaining an understanding of the nutritional value in chemical compounds, such as carbohydrates and fats, they also learn about the dangers different kinds of toxins pose to the human body.

Cultural Nutrition and Nutritional Ecology

Students enroll in this elective to better understand how social norms affect nutrition. Topics covered include the political and economic drivers of food availability in the U.S., religious beliefs about diet, and the impact of culture on community nutrition.

Food and Society

Often taking a historical perspective, this course examines the relationship between food and society, politics around food provision, and the economic impacts of food insecurity. Students also learn about lifestyle movements, such as vegetarianism and veganism.

Nutrition and Aging

This class examines how age affects nutritional health. Students learn about changes in dietary requirements as individuals grow older as well as common threats posed by certain minerals and chemicals in older populations' food.

Research Methods in Nutrition

Faculty teach the tools and techniques researchers use to answer questions in nutritional science. In addition to teaching qualitative and quantitative methods, they also instruct classes on how to use data analysis software and interpret research findings in this field.

How Much Does an Online Masters in Nutrition Cost?

In general, online degrees are more affordable than attending in-person programs because students don't have to pay for transport, on-campus housing, or relocation. Some schools even charge distance learners in-state tuition rates, which are generally lower. However, the annual tuition of an online master's in nutrition can range significantly. The cheapest nutrition degree on our list costs $8,100, while the most expensive program has annual fees of $35,387. Online students can pursue financial aid opportunities to help reduce their tuition costs.


The cheapest nutrition degree on our list costs $8,100, while the most expensive program has annual fees of $35,387.


Is an Online Master's in Nutrition Worth It?

The worth of any degree varies based on an individual's career goals, personal circumstances, and financial position. In general, however, investing in a post-baccalaureate education credential may lead to increased future earnings. A master's in nutrition may also result in a rewarding career for those interested in improving individual or communal health through food science. The following is a list of the possible pros and cons of earning a master's degree in nutrition.

Potential Advantages

If you are interested in becoming a dietician, you will benefit in the long run. Beginning in 2024, a graduate degree will be required to become a Registered Dietician, according to the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Given the increasing importance of nutritional health, this versatile degree can prepare you for careers in multiple sectors, including government, business, education, and non-profit.

Pursuing a master's in nutrition online offers you the chance to gain an affordable graduate degree at your own pace. If you're unable to relocate or you have an otherwise busy schedule, this flexible learning format may help you meet your educational goals.

Potential Drawbacks

While an important step in becoming a professional dietician, a master's in nutrition alone may not qualify you to work in this field. With many states requiring practicing nutritionists to be certified, you may have to invest additional time and resources in the licensure process — especially if you hope to become a Registered Dietician. If you are pursuing the degree to become a professional dietician, the additional requirements needed for certification may make the degree less desirable.

An online degree requires self-discipline and motivation to finish, so it may not be ideal if you require structured learning. A remote learning format may also limit your ability to network with professors and peers.

Careers for Master's in Nutrition Graduates

A master's in nutrition fosters transferable skills and valuable knowledge, which means graduates have several career options, such as those listed below. While a master's in nutrition and dietetics is not required for these roles, it can help expand your career opportunities in the field. It is important to note that, unlike nutritionists, most professional dieticians need state licensure. For example, this is the case for Registered Dieticians or Certified Nutrition Specialists.

Registered Dieticians
Median Annual Salary: $63,090
Job Growth Rate: 11%

Registered Dieticians are certified professionals that assess nutritional needs and devise programs for health promotion. They work in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, to help individuals improve their eating habits and manage common diseases with specialized diets. Their job can also include contributing to nutritional research.

Agricultural and Food Scientists
Median Annual Salary: $68,830
Job Growth Rate: 9%

Agricultural and Food Scientists research how to boost the nutritional value of seeds, fruits, and vegetables. They also conduct experiments to find new sources of sustenance, improve food longevity, and make it safe to consume.

Exercise Physiologists
Median Annual Salary: $50,280
Job Growth Rate: 13%

Exercise Physiologists work with patients to improve their fitness. Though they primarily develop exercise regimes, professionals with a background in nutrition may also design diets for their clients that improve heart health and reduce stress. Exercise physiologists can also work with licensed physicians to administer wellness plans.

Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers
Median Annual Salary: $48,140
Job Growth Rate: 17%

Health Education Specialists and Community Health Workers can work with individual clients, businesses, or communities to promote well-being. They assess wellness needs, collect medical information, and develop plans to improve health. These professionals may also provide information and resources about health practices, such as how to maintain a balanced diet.

Writers and Authors
Median Annual Salary: $67,120
Job Growth Rate: 9%

Writers and Authors with a background in nutrition typically research and present information on related topics, such as healthy eating, in the form of blogs, news articles, or books. This may involve interviewing nutrition professionals, covering health trends, or evaluating dietary needs. Some may also specialize in writing about the social and political aspects of modern food systems.

Which Accreditation is Best for Nutrition Degrees?

Accreditation is a process where schools and individual degree programs are evaluated for educational quality. Organizations operating at the national and regional levels assess higher education institutions based on a variety of factors, such as faculty and curricula, while professional bodies determine whether specific degree programs meet academic standards in a particular field. The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics is an industry-recognized agency that accredits master's in nutrition programs Programmatic accreditation helps provide educational excellence in this discipline, and it is also a requirement to sit for the exam to become a registered dietician nutritionist after graduation.



Programmatic accreditation helps provide educational excellence in this discipline, and it is also a requirement to sit for the exam to become a registered dietician nutritionist after graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Master's in Nutrition Degrees

What Degree Is Best for a Nutritionist?

A bachelor's degree is typically sufficient to apply for most entry-level nutrition and dietician jobs. However, with employers increasingly expecting applicants to have graduate credentials, a master's in nutrition and dietetics may be the most appropriate degree for those interested in taking on professional roles, such as a Registered Dietician.

Can You Become a Certified Nutritionist Online?

Many nutrition programs offer online courses that fulfill part of the state licensure or certification requirements. However, individuals must also complete in-person practical hours and pass board exams to gain this credential, so becoming a certified nutritionist exclusively online isn't possible.

Is It Hard to Earn an Online Masters in Nutrition?

A master's program in nutrition can be challenging because students must take an interdisciplinary approach to food science, deepening their knowledge in biology, sociology, and economics, to name a few. Additionally, aspiring nutritionists must complete a number of practical hours as part of their master's degree.


EXPERT INSIGHT


Meet Professional Nutritionist Kathleen Putnam

Kathleen Putnam

Kathleen Putnam has been a professional nutritionist for 20 years, and she has extensive experience in many facets of the nutrition field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and dietetics from Oregon State University and a Master of Science in nutrition from Bastyr University. For the past 10 years, she has been at a private practice, NutritionWorks Seattle, where she counsels individuals and groups. When she is not meeting with her clients, she teaches nutrition courses at Shoreline Community College.

Why did you decide to become a nutritionist?

I was first attracted to this field because I have always been interested in my own personal nutrition. I was also drawn to the teaching aspect of nutrition as well as the constant learning. This is a dynamic subject, and the data is constantly changing. I knew I would enjoy learning and growing along with the field.

Are there common misconceptions about your profession?

Yes, people commonly think that nutritionists will be judgmental and condescending and that we will dictate what they can and cannot eat. But we don't force changes on people. We are here to help people understand why changing their habits is so difficult. Nutritionists are knowledgeable about human behavior and development, and we don't want to set people up for failure. An eating plan is only successful if it works for the individual person. We help people to make healthy choices in our modern culture while considering people's budgets, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Nutritionists are facilitators.

What is a typical day like for you?

Most days, I meet with four or five clients at my practice, Seattle NutritionWorks. Some days I also conduct a one-hour group session. When I am not meeting with clients, I update charts, communicate with therapists and physicians about clients, blog, and answer questions on my website. I make time each week to communicate and network with other professionals in the nutrition field. I also teach nutrition courses at local colleges. I currently teach two five-credit classes, although most quarters I only teach one class at a time.

What advice, or words of caution, would you give to a student who is considering studying to become a nutritionist?

If you are considering studying to become a nutritionist, you should first be aware of the time and education commitment. Often, students don't realize that a bachelor's degree in nutrition is not enough. Most nutritionist jobs will require you to be a registered dietitian. In order to become a registered dietitian, you will need to complete a yearlong internship after college, and then you will need to pass the national licensing exam. In all, it is a minimum commitment of five years, and you should understand the requirements ahead of time.

In addition to recognizing the level of commitment, I would also recommend that you research the profession and educate yourself about the salary range as well as the salary range of related fields.

Above all else, don't be discouraged by things that you hear or read; if it is your passion, you can have success. You will have plenty of opportunities, especially internationally, and your opportunities will probably increase as time goes on. If you love what you do and you have a passion for nutrition, you can make money in the field. You might have to supplement your income through teaching or writing, and you might have to be creative to get your foot in the door and gain experience. But if you want to work as a nutritionist, you will find success. There is room for you!

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