2018 Top Accredited Online Nutrition Master's Degrees

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Nutrition-Top Online Colleges-2018-Badge

With annual tuitions under $25,000, these 25 schools are the top online colleges and universities offering master's degrees in nutrition. Ranked for their low annual tuitions and high entrance exam scores, each school on the list provides strong academic experiences for students pursuing graduate-level studies in nutrition, dietetics, and food science. Second-ranked University of North Dakota stands out as the most affordable on the list, only $5,761 annually, while the top-ranked University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign stands out with the highest academic strength score, an impressive 84%.

All schools considered for this list offer fully online nutrition degrees at the master's level. Read about our methodology, learn more about SR Education Group, or browse our comprehensive guide to an online nutrition degree.

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Rank School Annual Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign Annual Tuition $10,800 Academic Strength 84%
#2 #2 University of North Dakota Annual Tuition $5,761 Academic Strength 66%
#3 #3 University of Kansas Annual Tuition $9,810 Academic Strength 72%
#4 #4 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Annual Tuition $10,170 Academic Strength 72%
#5 #5 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Annual Tuition $13,530 Academic Strength 76%
#6 #6 Colorado State University-Fort Collins Annual Tuition $10,735 Academic Strength 72%
#7 #7 Arizona State University Annual Tuition $10,380 Academic Strength 69%
#8 #8 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Annual Tuition $9,810 Academic Strength 67%
#9 #9 Auburn University Annual Tuition $13,530 Academic Strength 73%
#10 #10 Andrews University Annual Tuition $10,983 Academic Strength 68%
#11 #11 Central Michigan University Annual Tuition $9,200 Academic Strength 64%
#12 #12 South Dakota State University Annual Tuition $10,170 Academic Strength 64%
#13 #13 Bowling Green State University-Main Campus Annual Tuition $10,692 Academic Strength 64%
#14 #14 Liberty University Annual Tuition $11,865 Academic Strength 66%
#15 #15 Eastern Michigan University Annual Tuition $10,680 Academic Strength 63%
#16 #16 Canisius College Annual Tuition $13,515 Academic Strength 67%
#17 #17 Adelphi University Annual Tuition $16,745 Academic Strength 70%
#18 #18 University of Saint Joseph - CT Annual Tuition $10,485 Academic Strength 58%
#19 #19 SUNY Oneonta Annual Tuition $16,650 Academic Strength 68%
#20 #20 East Carolina University Annual Tuition $14,914 Academic Strength 65%
#21 #21 Texas Woman's University Annual Tuition $12,142 Academic Strength 58%
#22 #22 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Annual Tuition $12,750 Academic Strength 59%
#23 #23 University of North Florida Annual Tuition $22,977 Academic Strength 71%
#24 #24 University of Bridgeport Annual Tuition $16,590 Academic Strength 57%
#25 #25 College of Saint Elizabeth Annual Tuition $15,015 Academic Strength 50%
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2018 Top Online Master's in Nutrition Program Ranking Details

  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • Academic Strength: 84%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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The University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign offers an online Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition program designed for working professionals. This online program has scheduled live video classes in the evenings. This works well for long-distance learners, but not for students needing flexibility in their class hours or pacing. The recommended schedule is 1-2 courses a semester for a total of 11 semesters. In lieu of a thesis, the program has an oral examination that typically takes 2-3 months of advance preparation. This examination is taken after all 32 credits of the program are completed. Tuition for the online master program is a total of $21,600. 

  • Annual Tuition: $5,761
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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The University of North Dakota offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree that takes about two years to complete. The courses are live web-based classes held at set times in a fall to spring semester format, but there are options to review missed class recordings if necessary. This part-time program consists of 32 credit hours and is conducted remotely, except for a required one-week campus visit in the summer of the second year of the program. Regardless of where they are located, all online students pay the in-state tuition rate of $382.89 per credit.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,810
  • Academic Strength: 72%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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The University of Kansas offers a Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition degree through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. There are several collaborating universities associated with Great Plains IDEA but students work online through one home-base university. The program includes 36 credit hours and is designed for registered dietitians or at least registry-eligible students. The University of Kansas allows students to take as few or as many courses in one semester as they'd like, but recommends students take 1-2 classes at a time to earn the degree in 2-4 years. Tuition for this program is $545 per credit for a program total of $19,620.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,170
  • Academic Strength: 72%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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The University of Nebraska in Lincoln offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition & Health Sciences degree. Students pursuing a dietetics concentration will study as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance in a 36 credit hour program designed for registered dietitians. This program doesn't require any on-campus activities or meetings and coursework is accessible for any schedule. There are 9 credits of core courses and 6 credits of research. The tuition rate is $565 per credit for a program total of $20,340.

 

  • Annual Tuition: $13,530
  • Academic Strength: 76%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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The University of Massachusetts in Amherst offers an online nutrition degree through the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. The online Master of Public Health with a focus on Nutrition is offered completely online without any required on-campus meetings. The coursework can be accessed any time of day or night and students can take up to three courses per semester. The program consists of 44 credits with required classes such as Nutritional Epidemiology, Nutritional Problems in U.S., and Public Health Nutrition. Online students pay $615 per credit in tuition. 

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,735
  • Academic Strength: 72%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Colorado State University in Fort Collins offers a 100% online Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition program with coursework designed for registered dietitians who are currently in the workforce. The degree is earned through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance as part of a group of 20 collaborating universities. Students have access to materials and faculty from 8 of these schools while earning their online degree and they can take multiple courses per semester. In general, prospective students should be prepared to spend 9-12 hours a week for each course. Six of the 37 semester credits are thesis and non-thesis research credits, the culminating experience of the master's program. The cost of the program is $565 per credit for a total of $20,905.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,380
  • Academic Strength: 69%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Arizona State University offers a non-thesis online Master of Science in Nutrition degree for those with at least one year of work experience as a registered dietitian. While prospective students are required to have a year of work experience, current employment isn't required at the time of admission. The program consists of 10 classes for a total of 30 credit hours. Each class is offered in a 7.5 week structure and students can enroll at the beginning of any semester. There are no required on-campus activities or class meetings. Tuition starts at $692 per credit and additional program fees apply.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,810
  • Academic Strength: 67%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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North Dakota State University offers an online M.S. in Dietetics through Great Plains IDEA. The dietetics degree program consists of 36 credit hours including a 6 credit thesis. Coursework provides students with the opportunity to learn in-depth about nutrition and wellness fundamentals, including today's nutritional concerns, methods for nutritional research, and the complexities of the industrialized food system. The thesis portion of the degree allows students to investigate a nutrition topic of their choosing. Tuition is $545 per credit for a total of $19,620 for the whole program.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,530
  • Academic Strength: 73%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Auburn University offers a non-thesis Master of Science in Nutrition program online. The 33 credit hours includes 5 credit hours of non-thesis research. There are four options for an emphasis: Nutrition Science, Clinical Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, or Community Nutrition. This online program attempts to replicate a traditional classroom by posting recorded class sessions online and giving students the opportunity to interact through online discussion boards. The exams are taken in proctored locations in the students' cities of residence or as take home tests, if necessary. Lectures and materials can be accessed at any time of day or night. Annual tuition is $13,530.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,983
  • Academic Strength: 68%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC and DEAC
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Andrew University is a Seventh-day Adventist Christian school that offers a Master of Public Health with a Nutrition and Wellness emphasis. This two to three year master's degree program includes classes such as Principles of Environmental Health, Vegetarian Nutrition & Disease Prevention, and Fitness and Health Promotion. The courses are delivered 100% online with no required on-campus meetings. Students are required to complete 42 credit hours including 8 credit hours of research. The tuition is $523 per credit and $22,489 for the whole program.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $9,200
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Regionally-accredited, nonprofit Central Michigan University is an inclusive educational community that has been offering distance learning opportunities since 1971. Its global campus offers online classes through its CMU Online portal in eight, 12 and 16-week formats. Degree programs offer financing, online support services and prior learning credit. The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is an open enrollment program requiring 31 to 37 credit hours via synchronous online classes, and can be completed in 2.5 years. ​All faculty are Ph.D.s and registered dietitians.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,170
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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South Dakota State University offers a variety of online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school's fully online Master of Science in Dietetics is offered through the Great Plans Interactive Distance Education Alliance, with nine universities in the consortium participating in the degree program. The MS program is geared toward registered dietitians who want to earn a master's degree in the field. The curriculum consists of 36 credit hours, with coursework that is designed to strengthen student research abilities while imparting cutting-edge knowledge of foods, nutrition and food service/business management to students.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,692
  • Academic Strength: 64%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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With students from all 50 states and over 70 countries in attendance, Bowling Green State University serves a diverse student body through both its campus-based and distance education programs. Its accredited eCampus is military-and veteran-friendly and offers 100% online bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and certificate and degree completion programs. Online classes run eight weeks in length, with six start dates per year. The Master of Science in Food and Nutrition consists of 12 courses and 39 to 40 credit hours. This program is designed for students who wish to become dietitians and nutritionists. It can be completed in two years and must be completed within six.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,865
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC and TRACS
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Founded in 1971, Liberty University offers 550 degree programs to 110,000 students. Distance learners can choose from among hundreds of online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. No standardized testing required for admission and the option to transfer in up to 75% of a degree make the online experience user-friendly. Both the 35-credit-hour MS in Exercise Science and the 42-credit-hour Master of Public Health have specializations in nutrition offered online through the school of health sciences. Students in the MPH program can expect to take classes like Food-borne Illness Prevention, Principles of Nutrition, and Biostatistics.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,680
  • Academic Strength: 63%
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
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Eastern Michigan University makes distance learning accessible by offering in-state tuition to all online students regardless of their physical locations. Online classes are taught by regular faculty and require the same active participation in discussions and assignments as on-campus classes. EMU offers two online nutrition degrees at the master's level. The online Master of Science in Dietetics requires 73 to 76 hours of coursework and has thesis, non-thesis research and research writing options. EMU's fully online Master of Science in Human Nutrition program is 30 to 36 credit hours with thesis, research and research writing options.

  • Annual Tuition: $13,515
  • Academic Strength: 67%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Canisius College is a private, Jesuit institution with a 100% recommendation rate from students and alumni. Canisius offers online master's and certificate programs in 12 subjects. Its fully online Master of Science in Applied Nutrition, offered through the School of Education & Human Services, educates students about both the importance of diet in relation to health and the role of diet in treating and preventing disease. Students pick from one of two areas of concentration – obesity and eating disorders or fitness and sports nutrition. This program has three annual start dates and can be completed in one year.

  • Annual Tuition: $16,745
  • Academic Strength: 70%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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In keeping with its core values of academic excellence and community and collaboration, Adelphi University provides extensive, quality online options to distance students. Utilizing both blended and 100% online formats, a wide variety of classes is offered electronically each semester. The Master of Science in Nutrition is a fully online, asynchronous program requiring 34 credit hours. Students can complete course work on their own schedules, and the option for live video chat in real time allows them to collaborate and form community during the in-depth learning process.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,485
  • Academic Strength: 58%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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University of Saint Joseph offers adult distance learners extensive opportunities to further their education. Its sophisticated online services include access to electronic library databases, an exhaustive FAQ and a sample course that allows potential students to experience and explore the online course environment prior to registering. The M.S. in Nutrition degree program has a 30 credit hour, science-based curriculum. While it is primarily designed to augment the knowledge of nutrition and dietetics professionals already versed in nutrition, it can be customized to assist students with science backgrounds in becoming proficient in the science of nutrition.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Academic Strength: 68%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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SUNY Oneonta boasts small classes, a favorable student/faculty ratio of 17/1, and a strong sense of community that includes a global alumni network. It offers distance students dozens of choices in online graduate and undergraduate degree programs, including an MS in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students will graduate from this 36-credit-hour, fully online program eligible to take the national examination to become a registered dietitian which may support their pursuit of careers as dietitians, nutritionists and dietetic technicians. This is a two year program with a per-credit tuition of $925.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,914
  • Academic Strength: 65%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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East Carolina University offers a variety of online degrees, including bachelor's degree completion programs, master's degrees, and graduate certificates. ECU's online Master of Science in Nutrition, offered through the College of Allied Health Sciences, is a 33-credit-hour master's degree in nutrition with thesis and non-thesis options. The program has some course prerequisites that students must have completed before enrolling, including general biology and general chemistry. More information about prerequisites can be found on the ECU website. The program starts fall semester with an application deadline of June 1st.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,142
  • Academic Strength: 58%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Texas Woman's University offers a number of online courses and degree programs, including a master's of science in nutrition. It offers a number of online courses and degree programs, including a Master of Science in Nutrition. This 36-credit-hour program can be completed in two years and can be tailored to meet the professional goals of the individual students. Classes will cover the study of food at the micro and macro levels, including how individual food components affect the human body and the organization of the food system as a whole. No thesis is required.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $12,750
  • Academic Strength: 59%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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Ninety-nine percent of graduate students at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania participate in some form of distance or online learning, via Mansfield Online. Distance students use Desire2Learn, a sophisticated web-based course management system designed to create a dynamic online learning habitat. D2L features include an electronic dropbox, automated gradebook, discussion boards, and quizzes. MU's fully online Master of Science in Nutrition is a flexible and supportive two-to-four-year program designed for working students with coursework that focuses on both the fundamentals of human nutrition, as well as entrepreneurial and applied skill sets to advance students' careers.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $22,977
  • Academic Strength: 71%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
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Founded in 1972, University of North Florida offers both online and campus-based degree programs to over 16,000 students each year. The online Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics is geared toward individuals with undergraduate degrees and work experience in the field nutrition and dietetics. The program has thesis and non-thesis options, allowing students to culminate their degree program with an individual research project or, for non-thesis students, a combination of fieldwork and independent study. Core coursework includes Nutrition Education/Counseling, Public Health Biostats, and Nutrition and Metabolism, among other classes.

  • Annual Tuition: $16,590
  • Academic Strength: 57%
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
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Private, non-profit University of Bridgeport offers online bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in addition to on-campus courses. The 100% online M.S. in Human Nutrition program has start dates in both the fall and spring semesters. Launched in 1997, this program was the first online M.S. in Nutrition and allows students to earn their degree in as few as 28 months. There are 12 required units of prerequisites and 41 required units of core curriculum. Online students are assigned dedicated academic advisors for the duration of their degree.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $15,015
  • Academic Strength: 50%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
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The College of Saint Elizabeth offers three fully online master's degrees and six online graduate degrees in a simultaneous online and on-campus format. The M.S. in Nutrition is one of the three fully online programs, with concentrations available in Entrepreneurial Nutrition Practice or Community Nutrition and Wellness. The College of Saint Elizabeth also offers three distinct tracks in the M.S. in Nutrition program; with options for the whole range of students from current Registered Dietitians to students with a bachelor's degree in a non-nutrition field. The capstone experience is also flexible. Students can choose between an academic portfolio, action research, or a master's thesis to complete the program.

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Online Master's in Nutrition

Online master's degrees in nutrition can serve as an entryway into the nutrition and dietetics career field or as a higher learning opportunity for practicing nutritionists. Registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) who want to earn the nutrition specialist certification will need a master's or doctoral degree in the field in order to be eligible. Students with no educational background in nutrition who want to become RDNs can also earn a master's in nutrition to make them eligible for certification.

What are the Prerequisites for an Online Master's in Nutrition?

Applicants to an online master's in nutrition program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. While most schools do not require that a student have a bachelor's degree in nutrition specifically, many schools have expectations of previous coursework in biology, chemistry, physiology, and other natural sciences. If students do not have experience with these subjects, they may be required to complete prerequisite courses prior to admittance. Applicants will need to submit their undergraduate transcripts as part of the application process. Some graduate programs also require that applicants have relevant work experience. While a master's degree is not required to work as a nutritionist, a graduate degree can help qualify you for higher-level positions and a higher salary.

What Classes Will I Take in an Online Master's in Nutrition Program?

Nutritionists study every aspect of the food system at the graduate level. In addition to advanced nutrition courses, master's programs may focus on nutrition subcategories such as pediatric nutrition, sports nutrition, eating disorders, and nutrition and aging. Other courses teach students about the production of food, how food is marketed to people, and how people get their information about nutrition and make food choices. Students also study how nutrition affects people's bodies and minds through courses like psychology of nutrition, nutrition for disease prevention, nutrition for weight control, and childhood or developmental nutrition. Many master's degree programs also heavily incorporate clinical practice, research opportunities, and seminars.

Where do Nutritionists Work?

Individuals with an online master's degree in nutrition may find work in a variety of settings. While a bachelor's degree in nutrition is generally the minimum requirement to become a registered dietitian, a master's degree in the field is required for the certified nutrition specialist (CNS) designation. Additionally, a master's can open up career options in public health, public policy, medicine, and education, among other industries. Online master's degrees in nutrition can also provide students who already hold a bachelor's degree in nutrition with a more advanced understanding of the discipline.

Those who earn an online master's in nutrition and want to pursue work as a nutritionist have multiple career options. They may work as clinical dietitians in hospitals or clinics, providing individualized care to patients. They can also work as community dietitians at non-profit organizations, government agencies, or medical clinics, developing large-scale programs to educate community members about nutritional needs.

References

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