Nutrition science deals with understanding the way that nutrients, all the way down to the micro-level, interact with the human and animal body. Human communities have been interested in the question of nutrition since well before the modern era. In fact, one of the first examples of human concern with the connection between diet and health or disease comes from the Babylonian Empire around 2500 BCE!
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Today, in light of the rapidly advancing technologies and healthcare practices, nutritionists are especially keen to explore and seek to educate people on the role that nutrients from food and drink play in growth, maintenance, reproduction, and health and disease, so that individuals and communities can make informed decisions about what to eat, what to avoid, and how best to encourage thriving and healthy communities. As you can see, nutrition science deals with a large aspect of human life and culture, which means that individuals who seek out advanced study in the area of nutrition are actually opening a door to a wide array of options for meaningful work.
Because of the rapidly changing landscape in healthcare, various nutrition and dietetic commissions have increased the level of education required for individuals to practice as credentialed dieticians or nutritionists. For instance, the Commission on Dietetic Registration now requires individuals to have completed a Master's Degree. These changes mean that an advanced degree in the field is becoming essential.
Typically, individuals who pursue a Master's degree in Nutrition Science or a related field become nutritionists or dietitians. Nutritionists and dietitians are closely related, but they are not necessarily the same thing. Dietitians, for example, are highly regulated individuals who have obtained the proper credentials to be recognized and to practice as an expert in human diets. They organize diets, encourage healthy eating habits, interfacing with the public regarding the physiological and psychological benefits of consuming certain foods rather than others. Dietitians can also offer clinical diagnoses for eating disorders and often find jobs teaching in university or college settings.
Nutritionists are not as regulated as dietitians, which is the main difference between the two designations. Though there are national and regional associations for nutritionists who offer or require credentialing, they are not legally bound to obtain proper certification. Nutritionists can offer insight regarding food behavior and typically seek to inform the public of good eating habits.
There are other jobs that individuals who obtain a Master's level degree in nutrition can pursue. For instance, some Registered Nurses will obtain a degree in nutrition to offer additional specialized services and insight to patients that they encounter in clinical settings. Another career option includes those of health educators. These are individuals who typically work in community or school settings, often in elementary and high school settings, and who offer training and instruction for healthy eating habits. Individuals interested in questions of food justice, food security, or other larger policy debates can also benefit from an advanced degree in the field.
The good news in all of these options is that most of the careers in nutrition science or the dietetics field are expected to grow rapidly over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dietitians and nutritionist occupations are expected to grow by 11%, which is considered much faster than the average. These jobs also pay well, with an average salary of $60,370, which is more than the median average for all occupations. Likewise, health educators and community health worker positions are expected to grow at a similar pace, though these positions do not pay as well as dietitians or nutritionists.
Most schools that offer online master's level programs in nutrition or dietetics will require some prerequisites in topics like chemistry, biology, statistics, and nutrition. However, the online delivery format also tends to mean that these are programs that can be completed on a part-time basis and often at the convenience of the student. So if you are considering a degree in the field, then check out our list of the 30 most affordable Master's in Nutrition online for 2020!
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#30 – Canisius College
Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Located in Buffalo, NY, Canisius College is a small private Jesuit school with over 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The School of Education & Human Services at CC offers a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition online. The program is designed to equip individuals who are interested in careers in nutrition and health sciences. There are two tracks available in the program: Obesity & Eating Disorders and Fitness & Sports Nutrition. Both tracks combine practical application with academic research preparation for work in the field. Overall, the degree consists of 11 courses, some of which include Data Analysis and Statistics, Clinical Health Behavior Change, and Medical Nutrition Therapy. Applicants must submit transcripts as well as two letters of recommendation and should have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher. Though the program does not officially require prior work in the field, the program may require courses in Nutrition for non-Registered Dietitians or Dietetic Technicians.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $14,760
#29 – University of Memphis
Master of Science in Nutrition – Environmental Nutrition
Located in the storied city of Memphis, TN, the University of Memphis is a mid-sized public research university. UM offers a Master of Science in Nutrition – Environmental Nutrition degree through their online campus UofM Global. The program is specially designed for individuals who are interested in the interplay between the environment, food, and nutrition and includes an emphasis on topics like food sustainability, food justice, and traditional food practices. The program is fully online and includes a variety of core and concentration courses like Humanitarian Nutrition, Sustainable Food System, and Environmental Nutrition. Students are also required to complete a culminating experience, which consists of an applied project and an internship. The School of Health Studies that administers the program also oversees an endowed scholarship specifically for students in the MSNEN program for which qualified students are encouraged to apply. Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores but must hold either a bachelor's or master's degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,054 in-state; $17,838 out-of-state
#28 – American University
Master of Science in Nutrition Education
Originally chartered in the late 19th century to promote public service, American University has grown to become a mid-sized private research university located in the nation's capital. AU offers an innovative Master of Science in Nutrition Education online. The degree is designed for working professionals, and individuals applying do not need to hold a prior degree in nutrition. The MSNE combines the study of the science of nutrition with training in the most cutting edge pedagogical techniques so that graduates can serve not only as a resource for their communities or organizations but can also through educational programs help move individuals to take nutrition seriously. Courses in the program include Health in the School Environment, Changing Health Behavior, and Nutrition Program Design. The degree can be completed in as little as 20 months. Students are assigned a faculty mentor mid-way through their educational experience who helps them refine their career goals, work on their resume, and build their network of connections for potential job opportunities.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,744
#27 – University of North Dakota
Master of Science in Nutrition
Grand Forks, ND
A mid-sized research institution of higher learning, the University of North Dakota is located in Grand Forks, ND and hosts the only medical school in the state. UND offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree. The program consists of ten classes and generally takes over two years to complete. The program is broad-based and meant to prepare individuals to work in the field of nutrition and nutrition education both with populations that are at risk as well as in research or educational oriented careers. There are two tracks available: Nutrition Science and Nutrition Education & Counseling. Courses in the program include Nutritional Health Advocacy and Policy, Nutrition in Disease Prevention and Wellness, and Obesity and Eating Disorders. The UND program also offers the bonus of students receiving the in-state tuition regardless of where they reside during the program. The Department of Nutrition & Dietetics also offers scholarships for qualified individuals to further defray the cost of the degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,226 in-state; $21,964 out-of-state
#26 – West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Master of Science in Community Nutrition
Chester County, PA
A mid-sized public university located in Chester County west of Philadelphia, West Chester University of Pennsylvania is part of the state's university system. The Department of Nutrition in the College of Health Sciences offers a 100% online Master of Science in Community Nutrition degree. The program is research-focused and applicants need to possess the requisite undergraduate coursework in anatomy, organic chemistry, statistics, and biochemistry, among other subjects. Applicants who do not possess undergraduate work in these areas will need to complete courses in these areas by the time of matriculation. Overall, the degree consists of 11 courses, among which are included Nutrition & Disease: an Evidence-Based Approach; Nutrition & Health in Aging; and Nutrition in Health, Fitness, and Performance. Once accepted into the program, students are assigned an advisor who helps in a variety of ways. In addition to helping with class registration, advisors at WCUP also help students in understanding professional expectations in the industry, scouting for job opportunities, navigating professional organizations, and networking.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,384 in-state; $18,576 out-of-state
#25 – University of Bridgeport
Master of Science in Nutrition
The University of Bridgeport is a small private coeducational university located in Bridgeport, CT. UB has one of the highest levels of student participation ESL programs and caters to a large international student body. UB offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree through its Nutrition Institute. The program includes an emphasis on bio-individuality and functional medicine so that students are prepared to contribute to the larger conversation and practice of utilizing nutrition education and counseling to help with disease prevention. The program consists of 50 credits and can be completed within 28 months. Some of the classes in the program include Introduction to Biochemistry for the Clinical Nutritionist, Pathopsychologic Basis of Metabolic Disease, and Assessment of Nutritional Status. Students must complete all coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to graduate from the program and must pass an on-campus comprehensive examination within three months of completing their final course.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,330
#24 – Bowling Green State University
Master's of Food and Nutrition
Bowling Green, OH
Bowling Green State University is a mid-sized research institution of higher learning located south of Toledo in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Department of Public & Allied Health at BGSU offers a Master's of Food and Nutrition degree online. The program is designed for students who have an undergraduate degree in nutrition, food, or a related field and who are interested in furthering their career or knowledge of food and nutrition. The degree consists of 39-40 credits, and students can opt for either a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam as their capstone experience. Most online students opt for the comprehensive exam as it can be completed fully online, while the other options require an on-campus presentation. Students take classes in topics like public health, exercise physiology, and clinical nutrition, among many other subjects. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are required to submit GRE scores. Exceptions for submitting GRE scores can be had for individuals holding a completed master's or doctoral degree.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,017 in-state; $14,009 out-of-state
#23 – Kansas State University
Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Sensory Sciences
The first institution of higher learning in the state, Kansas State University is a mid-sized research university located in Manhattan, KS. The College of Health and Human Sciences at KSU offers a Master of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Sensory Sciences online. With a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to fit a student's career goals and background, the degree consists of 30-35 credits depending on whether students choose to do a research report, thesis, or follow the coursework-only option. KSU offers five different concentrations, including Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior, Public Health Nutrition, and Nutrition Education and Communication, among others. Classes in the program include Regression & Analysis of Variance and Fundamental Methods of Biostatistics. Admission requires a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA as well as coursework in nutrition and food science. Students who do not have the required coursework can enroll in undergraduate courses to complete the required prerequisites. KSU is also home to the internationally recognized Center for Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior, which includes research projects in the field of food science and facilitates internships and other opportunities for students.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,061 in-state; $22,709 out-of-state
#22 – Oklahoma State University
Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with a Concentration in Dietetics
Oklahoma State University is a mid-sized public land-grant research university with the main campus located in Stillwater, OK, north of Oklahoma City. OSU offers an online Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences with a concentration in Dietetics in conjunction with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. The program is designed for students who are Registered Dietitians or are eligible for the RD or for individuals who have a Didactic Program in Dietetics verification. Accepted students are taught to integrate insights and skills from human behavior, management, and the biomedical sciences to create nutrition programs for different populations. A large number of classes are offered for the program, including Advanced Nutrition for Exercise and Sport, Global Nutrition and Food Security, and Clinical Aspects of Nutrition Support. Overall, students take 12 courses, including a capstone experience. Students in the online program study with the same faculty who teach in the traditional on-campus program. Interested applicants are not required to submit GRE scores.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,531 in-state; $21,034 out-of-state
#21 – University of Kansas
Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition
Lawrence, KS is the home to the main campus of the University of Kansas, a large public institution of higher learning. UK offers a Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition online. The program is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. The program only admits students who are Registered Dietitians or are eligible to hold the RD. The program is primarily designed for working professionals and can generally be completed within two years. Students who choose to take the thesis option will have to visit campus to defend their thesis, but all other classes are offered online. Classes in the program include Functional Foods for Chronic Disease Prevention, Public Health Nutrition – International Nutrition & World Hunger, and Intervention for the Prevention and Management of Obesity. The School of Health Professions offers scholarship opportunities for enrolled students, which are awarded each spring, including the Dean's Scholarship and the Dean's Diversity Scholarship.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,989 in-state; $23,366 out-of-state
#20 – Texas Woman's University
Master of Science in Nutrition
The nation's largest university primarily geared to serve women, Texas Woman's University is a mid-sized university located in Denton, Texas. TWU has been coeducational since 1994 and offers a Master of Science in Nutrition online. The program is 100% online and can be completed within one year or can be pursued part-time for working professionals. The program is broad based and designed for multiple pathways into careers in the nutrition and food science industries. The online version of the degree at TWU does not have a thesis component, though there is a capstone seminar requirement. There are numerous courses to choose from, including Human Resource Management in Nutritional Care Systems, Nutrition for Collegiate and Professional Sports, and Organization and Management for Foodservice Systems. Courses in the online program are taught by the same faculty who teach in the traditional program. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with a 3.25 cumulative GPA and GRE scores. Applicants must also have sufficient undergraduate coursework in chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and nutrition.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,852 in-state; $12,322 out-of-state
#19 – University of Southern Mississippi
Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems
The University of Southern Mississippi is a highly regarded mid-sized public research university with a main campus located in Hattiesburg, MS. USM offers a fully online Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems. The program emphasizes Dietetic Practice, and students can pursue the degree while enrolled in a Dietetics Internship where they reside. Completing both the MSNFS and a DI will prepare students to take the Registration Examination for Dietitians upon graduation. Classes in the program include Management of Nutritional Services: A Behavioral Approach; Nutrition Education: Theory, Research, and Practice; and Community Health and Nutrition. Because of the DP emphasis, applicants must possess the required bachelor's degree in nutrition with at least a 2.75 GPA and must also submit GRE scores and three letters of recommendation. USM offers the MSNFS degree to all students at the in-state tuition rate, regardless of where the student resides. In 2017 USM was voted the top military-friendly online college in the country, making it an especially attractive option for veterans or active duty personnel.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,514 in-state; $10,514 out-of-state
#18 – Framingham State University
Master of Education in Nutrition Education with a Specialization in Nutrition Education
Framingham State University, MA
Framingham State University has a long history going back in the 19th century when it was founded as a teacher-training school. Today FSU offers dozens of programs including a Master of Education in Nutrition Education with a Specialization in Nutrition Education. The program draws on FSU's long and innovative history of training future educators and combines it with in-depth study of nutrition science and nutrition education. The program requires at least ten courses including classes like Contemporary Nutrition Issues in Schools, Public Health and Nutrition Communication, and Leadership in Excellence in School Nutrition. Students are required to take a comprehensive exam at the end of the program. Admission requires at least one year of professional experience, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a bachelor's degree in a health or science related field such as food and nutrition, education, or nursing. Faculty in the program maintain research agendas and teach in areas like community nutrition, health literacy, and the sociocultural aspects of food, among many others.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $1,675 in-state; $7,050 out-of-state
#17 – Auburn University
Master of Science in Nutrition
Auburn University is a large, well-known public research university located in Auburn, AL, in the easternmost part of the state. The Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, & Hospitality Management at AU offers a Master of Science in Nutrition degree online. This program offers the same content found in the on-campus program, though without a thesis requirement. Classes consist of online videos, which are generally structured in an asynchronous fashion, allowing students to complete assignments on their own timetable. Discussion board activities allow students to interact with their peers and the faculty. Overall, the program requires 12 classes which are divided into core classes and electives, the latter of which are grouped in emphases like Community Nutrition, Nutrition Science, and Clinical Nutrition, among others. Courses offered include Concepts, Programs, and Resources in Adult Education; Nutrition in the Life Cycle; and Nutrition in Disease Prevention. All students pay the same rate for classes, regardless of their location, making it an affordable option for students from across the country.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,630 in-state; $28,890 out-of-state
#16 – University of Massachusetts Amherst
Master of Science in Nutrition
The University of Massachusetts System consists of five public research universities, including the flagship campus located at Amherst, MA. The School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMA offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree. The program is designed for working professionals and is meant to be taken part-time; it can be completed in as few as two years. Courses are delivered in an asynchronous format, and students can take one to three courses per term, depending on their own schedule and needs. The curriculum features core classes in nutrition, classes in public health, electives, and a culminating writing seminar. Classes in the program include Principles in Epidemiology; Nutritional Problems in the Developing World; and Culture, Nutrition, and Health, among others. The program requires a series of science, chemistry, and nutrition prerequisites to be completed before students begin the program. Like some other programs, UMA also charges a single rate for in-state and out-of-state students.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,606 in-state; $28,669 out-of-state
#15 – Eastern Michigan University
Master of Science in Human Nutrition
A mid-sized public research university, Eastern Michigan University is located in Ypsilanti, MI and annually enrolls over 20,000 students. EMU offers a Master of Science in Human Nutrition online. The degree is not designed to lead to the Registered Dietitian credential, however it does enhance opportunities in the health care, education, food science and business sectors and can be used as a continuing education experience for individuals already possessing an RD. The degree requires several prerequisites in chemistry, statistics, and nutrition, which need to be completed before commencing the degree. The program offers a thesis, research, or research writing option for the capstone experience. Classes in the program include Cultural Nutrition and Nutritional Ecology, Methods and Strategies for Community-Based Nutrition Services, and Development of the Entrepreneurial Dietitian. The School of Health Sciences is a participant in the Stronger Scholars Program sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which provides significant scholarship opportunities to students in the undergraduate and graduate programs.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,000 in-state; $32,040 out-of-state
#14 – Central Michigan University
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Mount Pleasant, MI
A public research university located in Mount Pleasant, MI, Central Michigan University offers over 200 academic programs for students to choose from. CMU offers a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics online through their Global Campus. The program is designed for working professionals in the field and emphasizes deepening individuals' quantitative and methodological analytical skills to enable graduates to better engage new research in the field. Students take between 8-11 courses depending on whether they take the thesis, coursework-only, or internship option. Classes in the program include Advanced Nutritional Assessment, Nutritional Epidemiology, and Advanced Clinical Nutrition. Prerequisites for the program include classes in statistics, chemistry, biology, nutrition, and physiology or anatomy. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, and a 2-3 page purpose statement, in addition to a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,354 in-state; $18,964 out-of-state
#13 – University of North Florida
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
The University of North Florida is a relatively young institution of higher learning that currently enrolls over 16,000 students annually at their Jacksonville, FL campus. The Graduate School at UNF offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree. In general, the program is designed for individuals who either have an undergraduate degree in Food Science or Nutrition or are Registered Dietitians. The UNF program offers four different concentrations for individuals to choose from including Dietetics Professional Studies, Healthcare Informatics, and Global Health. There is also a Nutritional Sciences option that requires a thesis. Applicants to the NS, GH, and HI concentrations do not need to have an undergraduate degree in nutrition, however, they are required to have completed several prerequisite courses in the sciences, mathematics, and nutrition. Some courses in the program include Nutrition and Dietetic Research, Socio-Cultural Influences on Nutrition, and Global Health Care & Culture, among others. The application consists of a letter of intent, GRE scores, and a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,570 in-state; $19,585 out-of-state
#12 – University of Alabama
Master of Science in Human Nutrition
The oldest and largest institution of higher learning in the state, the University of Alabama is a large public research university located in Tuscaloosa, AL. Among the many degrees offered by UA is an online Master of Science in Human Nutrition. The program is especially designed to help current nutrition professionals to excel in their careers and work at a higher level. The program also prepares students for doctoral-level work. The program offers three distinct tracks, including a Community, Clinical, and Generalist track. Overall, each track consists of ten classes in total. Among the courses offered are Advanced Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism, Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease, and Basic Concepts of Teaching Diabetes Self- Management Techniques. The College of Continuing Studies that offers the degree has several potential scholarship opportunities that students can apply for to help pay a portion of the tuition costs.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,780 in-state; $29,230 out-of-state
#11 – Northeastern University
Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
Northeastern University is a large research institution of higher learning located in the bustling city of Boston. NU offers an online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree through the College of Professional Studies. The program is designed for health-care professionals who already hold a bachelor's degree in dietetics, health science, or a related field. There are four areas that students can choose to specialize in: Nutrition Education, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity and Nutritional Health, and Business and Entrepreneurship in Nutrition. Faculty who teach in the program have a wealth of real-world experience in areas like psychology, dietetics, and exercise science. The degree can generally be completed in two years. The curriculum includes a core of classes as well as electives in one of the concentration areas. Classes offered include The Financing of Nutrition and Wellness; Healthy Aging: Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Longevity; and the Commercialization of Nutrition and Nutrition Information. In addition to transcripts, applicants must also submit a statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, a resume, proof of completion of prerequisite coursework in chemistry, biology, nutrition, and physiology.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,027
#10 – East Carolina University
Master of Science in Nutrition
Located in the coastal region of North Carolina in Greenville, East Carolina is a large public research institution of higher education. The College of Allied Health Sciences and the Department of Nutrition Science offers a Master of Science in Nutrition online. The MSN is designed for professionals working in the field who want to deepen their knowledge of nutrition or who want more training in rigorous research methodologies. The program offers a thesis and a non-thesis option, though the thesis option may require some on-campus activities. The non-thesis option requires a research project that is overseen by a faculty member. Overall, the program consists of 33 credits that include core courses as well as research and professional practice classes. Students can take classes like Human Nutrition in Physiology and Metabolism, Management in Dietetics, and Methods in Nutrition Research. The program requires a series of typical prerequisites in topics like biology, chemistry, and nutrition science.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $4,749 in-state; $17,898 out-of-state
#9 – Texas Tech University
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
The flagship institution in the Texas Tech System, Texas Tech University is located in Lubbock, Texas, and is a large public research university. The Department of Nutritional Sciences at TTU offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. The degree program is designed specifically for individuals who are already Registered Dietitians or Nutritionists, are completing a dietetic internship, or will receive a Didactic Program in Dietetics verification. It is meant to provide an avenue for further study in the field to open up new opportunities in the industry. The program has received recognition as a leader in the field. The curriculum includes core classes as well as electives like Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Diseases, Nutrition and Eating Disorders, and Nutritional Supplements & Ergonomic Aids. TTU offers several graduate student scholarships for qualified individuals which can help with tuition. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,832 in-state; $13,302 out-of-state
#8 – University of Southern California
Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity
Los Angeles, CA
The oldest private institution of higher learning in the state, the University of Southern California is a large research university located in Los Angeles. The Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at USC offers a Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity degree online. The program is considered a Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students who have completed the coursework and 1,200 hours of supervised practice are qualified to sit for the Commission of Dietetics Registration examination. The program can be completed in two to three years and includes a capstone research project. Classes offered include Current Topics in Clinical Nutrition: Healthspan and Longevity; Fundamentals of Clinical Nutrition Screening and Assessment; and Food Production & Food Services Management. The program does include one five-day seminar on professionalization, which is generally held in January during the first year. The application process includes official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, as well as proof of the completion of prerequisites in chemistry, biology, psychology, mathematics, and nutrition.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $44,712
#7 – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition
The flagship campus of the University of Illinois is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign and is a large public research university. The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at UI offers an online Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition. The program is broad-based and offers a generalist orientation to help graduates enhance their career prospects or prepare them for further graduate-level work in the field. The DFSHN offers substantial opportunities to conduct research in a wide range of areas, including nutrition and disease interactions, nutrition across the lifespan, and biochemical and molecular nutrition. Some of the electives in the program include Beverage Science & Technology, Food and Industrial Microbiology, and Fermented and Distilled Beverages. Admission requires completion of coursework in areas like physics, calculus, microbiology, and chemistry. Applicants must also have a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA as well as GRE test scores.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,068 in-state; $28,221 out-of-state
#6 – University of Utah
Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology with an Emphasis in Nutrition
Salt Lake City, UT
The University of Utah is located in Salt Lake City and offers over 92 different graduate degree programs. Among those programs is a Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology with an emphasis in Nutrition, which is offered by the College of Health. The program is crafted for students who either have a bachelor's in the field of nutrition or dietetics or simply want to learn more about nutrition but do not intend to become Registered Dietitians. Overall, the program requires 38 credits that are divided among core and elective courses. Among the courses offered are Body Image and Eating Disorders in Special Populations, Methods in Weight Management, and Eating Disorders Prevention and Treatment. Some courses can be taken outside of the Nutrition Department with special permission from the program director. Though encouraged, students are not required to submit GRE scores, though they do need three letters of recommendation, transcripts, a resume, and a statement of purpose.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,988 in-state; $24,665 out-of-state
#5 – University of Nebraska—Lincoln
Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences
The University of Nebraska—Lincoln is a large public research institution of higher learning that was originally chartered not long after the Civil War. The UNL Office of Graduate Studies and the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences. The program includes a dietetics specialization. The program does not offer a thesis option, but all students are required to complete a comprehensive examination. The program is designed for individuals who are already Registered Dietitians, hold a Didactic Program in Dietetics degree, or are prepared to sit for the national exam to become an RD. Students take 36 credits that include classes like Nutrition and Physical Activity in Aging, International Nutrition and World Hunger, and Nutrition Counseling & Education Methods. In addition to proper credentialing, applicants must also submit GRE scores to be considered for admission and should be able to show completion of prerequisites in topics like biology, chemistry, and nutrition.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,818 in-state; $16,654 out-of-state
#4 – Stony Brook University
Master of Science in Nutrition
Stony Brook, NY
One of four members of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University is a large public research university. The Department of Family, Population & Preventative Medicine at SBU offers a Master of Science in Nutrition online. The program features three different concentrations including Integrative Nutrition Therapy, Sustainable Food Systems & Health, and Advanced Nutrition Therapy & Critical Care. Each concentration offers critical coursework in the field of study and is meant to prepare students for further graduate study or new possibilities for professional advancement. The program can be completed within two years. Some classes offered in the program include The Nuts and Bolts of Planning, Monitoring, Evaluating and Funding Nutrition Policies & Programs; Care-Based Approaches to Integrative Nutrition Therapy; and Food Policy and Health Outcomes in the United States. The program does require prerequisites in areas like statistics, nutrition, and physiology, and applicants must hold a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,090 in-state; $22,650 out-of-state
#3 – University of Wisconsin, Madison
Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
Founded the same year that Wisconsin became a state, the University of Wisconsin is a large public research institution of higher education with the flagship campus located in Madison, WI. The Department of Nutritional Sciences at UW offers a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition online. The program combines core courses with electives, professional skills building, and clinical or applied nutrition principles to offer a robust degree. The course of study at UW can be completed in as few as two years at a full-time pace, or students can opt to take longer, working with their own schedule. Classes in the program include Personalized Nutrition: Genetics, Genomics, and Metagenomics; Advanced Clinical Nutrition: Critical Care and Nutrition Support; and Micronutrients: Human Physiology and Disease. Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 as well as significant coursework in areas like chemistry, nutrition, and statistics, among others.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,728 in-state; $24,054 out-of-state
#2 – University of Georgia
Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition, Community Nutrition
The University of Georgia is a large land-grant research university with its main campus located in the lovely town of Athens, GA. UG offers an online Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition, Community Nutrition degree through the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The program is designed for working professionals and is composed of 30 credits, which can be completed in two years at full-time. Individuals who complete the degree are eligible to obtain certification as Georgia School Nutrition Directors. The program includes classes such as Optimal Nutrition for the Lifespan, Management of Food Service Organizations, and Nutrition Health and Aging. The admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 GPA, GRE test scores, three letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. The program offers three start dates, and accepted applicants can transfer in up to six credits from another accredited institution.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,704 in-state; $24,692 out-of-state
#1 – North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Master of Nutrition – Professional Science Master's
The largest institution of higher learning in the state, North Carolina State University is a public research university located in Raleigh, NC, and forms part of the Research Triangle in the Raleigh-Durham area. NCSU has long been known as an institution that emphasizes applied knowledge. The Master of Nutrition – Professional Science Master's degree that is offered online fits this emphasis perfectly. The program is interdepartmental and includes the Department of Animal Science, the Department of Poultry Science, the Department of Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Individuals can choose between a Human Nutrition emphasis or a Feed Science emphasis. The MN degree consists of 36 credits with at least six devoted to an internship or directed practicum where students gain invaluable experience bringing their knowledge into a working environment. There is no thesis requirement for this degree. Students complete graduate-level coursework and develop their professional skills that qualify them to receive the Professional Science Masters designation, further enhancing the degree to prospective employers.
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,917 in-state; $25,405 out-of-state