The 20 Best Online Master’s in Nutrition

In a world where food, food allergies and nutrition are constantly debated, many people are turning to nutritionists to help them find the right foods to help them feel better. Be will nourish and live longer. So many food issues such as obesity, diabetes, celiac disease, nut and dairy allergies, as well as a great deal of concern over GMOs; make decisions over food harder than ever. Nutrition experts such as dietitians, nutritionists, sports nutritionists, and health coaches, are in demand and that demand is ever growing.

Depending on your location and level of education, a nutritionist or dietician can anticipate making anything from $35,000 to $80,000 annually, with $53,000 being the national average. Non-salaried positions often start at about $27.00 an hour.As recently as five years ago, degree programs for nutritionists were difficult to find in many states. That is changing rapidly. Below you will find our top picks for Masters degree programs in nutrition in the country.

Nutrition graduate programs are evaluated on several criteria; cost effectiveness, the professor to student ratio for better access and learning, schedule flexibility with online learning, program length, and to a certain extent, the prestige of the institution as far as it will enable greater earning potential. Also taken into consideration was the variety of programs offered specifically for the field of Nutrition Studies. Some schools on the list have a vast array of career paths to pursue, while others had strong programs but career options were limited. Still, others fit more of a niche career path in natural foods; an emphasis on nutrition that will continue to grow as more and more food sensitivities are discovered.​

New York Chiropractic College offers a Masters program in Nutrition. It is called the Masters of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition and is an online course that costs about $18,740 a year. It has a 36 credit requirement and usually takes two full years to complete. This particular program focuses on how nutrition affects the human body on a cellular level. Students will study the ways in which nutrition can facilitate disease prevention. This online only Masters program appears to be a robust program with the added convenience of being accessible from anywhere and prepares students for testing on a national level.

You can learn more about the program here

The University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology offers an MPH in Public Health Nutrition. 

A Registered Dietician must complete the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics–accredited Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics.This degree program utilizes University of Washington Medical Center and the Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center for research and teaching. Opportunities to study in the School of Public Health, the Clinical Research Center are provided to students who wish to take part in public health programs such as community education projects, nutritional research, and counseling. Program participants are trained in the nutritional sciences and dietetic practice through a variety of experiences, including clinical, classroom and community programs.

You can learn more about the program here​. 

The College of Saint Elizabeth in New Jersey offers a Masters in Nutrition program that is flexible, and has slightly fewer requirements than other programs. It allows students with varying degrees of experience to register for the program best suited to their educational needs. Because the online program is open to Registered Dieticians/Nutritionists, it allows professionals already in their field an opportunity to continue their education in a way that fits the schedule of a busy, working adult.

This program has a requirement of 30 credits, with several being core courses. Also required is a capstone project which can be completed as a written thesis, a portfolio or even a research project. Tuition is $ 1,001 per credit hour, plus room and board if living on campus, making this one of the pricier schools.

You can learn more about the program here

Central Michigan University offers a cost effective, online Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics program. This program requires one of three options: coursework, a thesis or an internship. While it is not required that students be registered dietitians; that is the one requirement for the internship program. While most students can complete the program in a two-year period, it is possible to take just one or two courses at a time. Most graduates can expect employment in a non-clinical setting.

While the schedule is flexible, there are required weekly, online sessions that utilize the awarding winning Blackboard classroom system. Attendees must be prepared to use a computer and headphones for these sessions.

You can learn more about the program here

The Division of Nutritional Sciences at Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a prestigious facility established in 1968. It's graduate programs allow a student to develop an interdisciplinary approach to nutrition, based on their particular interests. With twelve departments and six colleges working in conjunction, the program trains 21st Century nutritionists to understand and evaluate complex nutritional needs. Research emphasisincludes molecular and biochemical nutrition, toxicology, nutrition education, community nutrition, consumer acceptance, and food safety. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

Tuft’s University in Boston offers a truly unique educational experience when pursuing a graduate degree in nutrition. Based in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, this program offers seven different graduate degrees. Food and the Environment, Nutrition Communication, Humanitarian Assistance specialties are unique in that research occurs not only in the United States, but all across the globe. There is also another masters program that allows professionals to combine work and school with an online program in conjunction with short residencies.

You can learn more about the program here

Bastyr University, located in California and Washington states in accredited by the National Dietetic Association. This university has a holistic focus on coursework. Graduate programs offer multidisciplinary curriculum in science-based natural medicine. Concentrations or coursework are available in nutrition for wellness, exercise science, nutrition, and dietetics. Tuition for a graduate degree requiring 44 credits. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

Logan University in Chesterfield, Missouri offers a very affordable, online Master of Science in Nutrition and Human Performance. This coursework is completed in three, 15 week sessions year round, allowing for completion of the program in 2.5 years. The main focus of the program is to teach students how to combine nutrition with the performance of the human body.

The course is taught utilizing both Blackboard and Canvas to allow students to work as time permits, but also while reading and responding to classmates and instructors throughout the course. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

The University of Georgia is located in Athens. Through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, students are able to obtain any level of degree in Nutrition, from Bachelors, Master, and Doctoral. Graduate students can define a degree program that enables them to study abroad in places like London, China and Australia, learn about grant writing, research, academia, and teaching. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

Bowling Green State University in NW Ohio offers both Masters and Certificate programs. While being one of the most cost-effective programs in the country. This program boasts the main campus as well as online accessibility. Students will learn not only individual nutrition but also nutrition counseling for communities. Family and Community Nutrition, Micronutrients Through the Life Span, and Macronutrients for Human Nutrition are all required courses. BGSU also offers a certificate program which only requires four courses in Advanced Nutrition studies.

You can learn more about the program here

Andrews University is a Seventh Day Adventist institution in Michigan. It can offer degree programs through The Department of Public Health, Nutrition & Wellness. The focus of these degree programs is Nutrition and the effect it has on the human body regarding life span, health, wellness and quality of life. Courses include studies in the life cycle, organic chemistry, biology, and metabolic processes. A core curriculum including elective courses is also required. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

The University of Kansas offers a Master of Science in Dietetics. This program boasts a high graduation rate of 60% as well as being one of the lower cost options in getting a Masters degree. Primarily for Registered Dieticians, this program looks to promote career opportunities to those already working in the field. Because this program is offered by Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, a variety of universities offer classes. The thesis option has a requirement of six credit hours committed to writing a formal thesis on a research project. The non-thesis degree stipulates two additional elective classes and finally, oral and written examinations. The length of time needed to complete this program is approximately three years.

You can learn more about this program here

Auburn University has a very accessible Masters degree program. When you combine affordability with an excellent graduation rate at over 70% and the fact that it is an online program with requirements that are less vigorous (a 2.75 undergrad GPA), this degree program is a great option for those who are passionate about nutrition and health and want to further their career. The Master of Nutrition program is a non-thesis program with a requirement of 33 credit hours, based on a semester platform. The coursework is delivered through Canvas Instructure and exams are either taken at home or are proctored nearby.

You can learn more about this program here

A degree from Johns Hopkins Center for Human Nutrition carries the prestige of a graduate degree from a recognized leading institution in the areas of international and domestic nutrition. With a focus on public health, Johns Hopkins has fifteen full-time faculty members and a wide array of professionals across the globe, conducting studies on food policies, obesity, determining the value of food programs in at-risk communities, as well as maternal/infant nutrition. The faculty and collaborators are in operation in over 20 different countries, offering students opportunities to study all over the world.

You can learn more about the program here​. 

The University of Delaware’s tuition for Master of Science in Human Nutrition programs is $1,720.00 per credit hour. The Nutrition Science programs are conferred through the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition. The program takes into account a wide range of nutritional issues from aging, to obesity, and health with a focus on wellness. It also looks closely at maternal/infant nutrition and overall disease prevention through nutrition. Students can elect a thesis or non-thesis options.

You can learn more about the program here

Canisius College’s School of Education in Buffalo, New York offers an online Masters program in Applied Nutrition. While a bit on the pricier side, they do have a high graduation rate. This degree program has specializations in either Obesity and Eating Disorders or Fitness and Sports Nutrition. This program is geared toward working professionals and is able to be completed in as little as one year. The program is planned in 8-week terms and totals 33 credit hours. All courses are completed through an online portal where students and professors can discuss, turn in required coursework and comprehensive exams. Each course is tailored by the professor, so they are limited to only 12 students, allowing each student the opportunity to work closely with the professor and fellow students. 

You can learn about the program here​. 

Colorado State offers three programs that will deliver a Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition. The three program options are as follows: Nutritional Science, Community Nutrition, and Food Science. As a bonus, Colorado offers an internship with the Peace Corps that allows students to spend 27 months doing fieldwork in another country. This is a fantastic program for a grad student who is looking for a little bit of adventure while furthering their education. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

Purdue University in Indiana has programs that lead to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, both of which require a Bachelors degree in Nutrition. All participants must enter the program through Purdue’s Interdepartmental Nutrition Program (INP). On average, the amount of time required to complete a doctorate is three years post-masters or 5 years post undergraduate degree. With an incredible faculty to student ration of about 1:2.5, Purdue can promise a very personal and purposeful program designed around one of several emphasis groups, including Public Health and Education, Human and Clinical Nutrition, Animal Health, Growth and Development, Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition. 

You can learn more about the program here

North Carolina State University offers some attributes that put it in the top 10 on this list. As a highly affordable option, NCSUR also offers a very high graduation rate at almost 75%. The Masters of Nutrition requires a total of 36 credit hours but is a non-thesis program. Instead, six credit hours are needed in a direct practicum or internship. Emphasis options include the following: bioprocessing, human nutrition, food or food science. NC State uses several platforms, including Blackboard, Moodle, and Wolfware Classic to manage coursework. 

You can learn more about the program here​. 

Our top of the list is Texas Woman’s University. While a controversial choice, as it is a gender specific school, research shows that most graduate degree applicants in the field of nutrition are women. Because most salaries in this field are in the $50,000 a year range, we felt that an affordable education that could be tailored to the student’s current career and lifestyle would be most beneficial. Tuition for a graduate degree at Texas Women’s University is extremely affordable and is the lowest tuition on our list. Their online option is geared toward professionals who wish to obtain a Master of Science in Nutrition.

This degree has a high requirement load, but it can be completed in two years. However, it allows up to six years for completion. Students will gain knowledge in macro and micro food composition and how nutrition impacts health. There is an examination requirement, as well as a capstone seminar. This university offers the online courses through Blackboard, a very user-friendly platform.

You can learn more about the program here