2019 Best Accredited Online Nutrition Master's Degrees

Nutrition-Top Online Colleges-2019-Badge

These 25 schools offer the best online master's degrees in nutrition. Almost half of the entries on this list cost less than $10,000 per year, making them excellent choices for students looking for a low-cost, quality education. At #5 is Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, which offers a Master of Science in Nutrition for $14,250 per year. Graduates of the school reported a median salary of $113,576.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. 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 Median Salary
#1 #1 Annual Tuition $32,452 Median Salary $118,741
#2 #2 Annual Tuition $7,995 Median Salary $114,475
#3 #3 Annual Tuition $9,306 Median Salary $114,483
#4 #4 Annual Tuition $11,020 Median Salary $113,234
#5 #5 Annual Tuition $14,250 Median Salary $113,576
#6 #6 Annual Tuition $11,730 Median Salary $112,943
#7 #7 Annual Tuition $10,800 Median Salary $110,304
#8 #8 Annual Tuition $9,225 Median Salary $108,921
#9 #9 Annual Tuition $11,212 Median Salary $105,589
#10 #10 Annual Tuition $10,530 Median Salary $104,728
#11 #11 Annual Tuition $10,251 Median Salary $101,493
#12 #12 Annual Tuition $12,900 Median Salary $101,400
#13 #13 Annual Tuition $7,644 Median Salary $100,634
#14 #14 Annual Tuition $6,464 Median Salary $99,015
#15 #15 Annual Tuition $10,440 Median Salary $97,049
#16 #16 Annual Tuition $8,940 Median Salary $96,721
#17 #17 Annual Tuition $15,030 Median Salary $97,100
#18 #18 Annual Tuition $18,430 Median Salary $96,410
#19 #19 Annual Tuition $8,218 Median Salary $95,036
#20 #20 Annual Tuition $11,808 Median Salary $94,995
#21 #21 Annual Tuition $9,435 Median Salary $94,517
#22 #22 Annual Tuition $10,642 Median Salary $93,342
#23 #23 Annual Tuition $14,300 Median Salary $87,100
#24 #24 Annual Tuition $8,066 Median Salary $84,600
#25 #25 Annual Tuition $10,170 Median Salary $83,700
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  • Annual Tuition: $32,452
  • Median Salary: $118,741
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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American University is a private, religiously affiliated college located on the northwest side of Washington D.C. It was charted in 1893 by President Benjamin Harrison. Today, it still stands as one of America's foremost universities and offers its expert knowledge to students across the world through its distance learning program. With its highly ranked Master of Science program in Nutrition, American University provides working adults with the tools necessary to continue their career while working toward their degree through its web-based teaching platform. The 30-credit hour program can be completed in as little as 20 months and includes courses like Health Communication and Sports Nutrition. The master's program also provides an opportunity, through additional coursework, for students to attain their Certified Nutrition Specialist certification.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $7,995
  • Median Salary: $114,475
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Auburn University is a public university that is home to a student body that exceeds 30,000, including a number of distance learning students. It offers non-thesis master's options through its College of Human Sciences that integrates human-based values with scientific research to provide nutrition degrees. Designed by its award-winning staff, Auburn University's online plan offers the same educational experience as the face-to-face program. The curriculum for this master’s program consists of 33 credit hours and five additional credit hours of non-thesis related research. Degree-seeking distance learners can specialize in nutrition science, clinical nutrition, community nutrition, or sports nutrition. With a cumulative tuition cost of $17,589 for this master's program, both domestic and international students can benefit from Auburn University's premier education.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,306
  • Median Salary: $114,483
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Founded in 1858, Iowa State University has remained as one the country's oldest land- and space-grant research institutions with an annual endowment of more than $838 million. Through its online and distance learning program, Iowa State offers a 36-credit hour Master of Family and Consumer Sciences program in Dietetics. To offer this fully online option, Iowa State works with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, which pools various universities together to offer 100% virtual programs for working adults and distance learning students with full academic accreditation. The Dietetics master's program requires a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA and a Registered Dietitian certification or equivalent eligibility. It is also preferred that prospective students have two years of nutrition-related work experience.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,020
  • Median Salary: $113,234
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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With an 81 percent acceptance rate, Colorado State University is committed to providing opportunities for degree-seeking students who wish to engage in the rigorous work of higher education, through its 55 academic departments. Their distance learning program offers degree plans to both domestic and international online students. Its master's in Dietetics program provides the opportunity to get an advanced degree in the field of nutrition, complete with proper certification upon completion of the 37-credit hour program. Diving into CSU's regionally accredited program, offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, can help working adults and professional students earn their degree while continuing to balance their other commitments.

  • Annual Tuition: $14,250
  • Median Salary: $113,576
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, better known as Virginia Tech, has been an approved State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) institution since January 2015. SARA establishes national standards for interstate distance education programs across the country. The university's fully online Applied Nutrition and Physical Activity concentration is offered through its accredited Masters in Agricultural and Life Sciences degree program. The courses available in this degree plan seek to help students bridge the gap between evidence-based nutritional information and every day, material application. Virginia Tech's virtual portal offers concentration coordinators that work with distance learning students to help them better assimilate to the online program.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,730
  • Median Salary: $112,943
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Adelphi University is a multi-campus university founded in 1896. Its main campus is in Garden City, with additional centers in Hudson Valley, Suffolk County, and Manhattan. In addition to students on campus at these locations, it also boasts students from across the world through its distance learning program. Through the College of Nursing and Public Health, the university offers a fully online, 36-credit hour master's program in nutrition that consists of instructor-led courses such as Recent Advances in Micronutrients and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Graduates of the online M.S. in Nutrition program benefit from the school's reputation as an academically excellent institution of higher learning, and also from Adelphi University's network of renowned alumni.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $10,800
  • Median Salary: $110,304
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Through its Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, the University of Illinois gives students the opportunity to earn a fully online, non-thesis master's degree. Virtual programs like this are designed for working professionals and other distance learning students who might not have the schedule or ability to travel to the university's campus to receive their education. The nutrition master's degree program consists of 32 credit hours and a capstone oral examination, which requires no less than 2 months of preparation. University officials do not recommend distance learning students take more than two classes per semester, which usually results in a degree plan that takes four years to complete.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,225
  • Median Salary: $108,921
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Through the UMass School of Public Health and Health Sciences, the University of Massachusetts- Amherst offers industry professionals and working adults the option to enhance their skills through self-paced, virtual graduate degree programs. This university offers both an MS and an MPH in Nutrition for prospective distance learning graduate students in two fully online, accredited programs. UMass' MPH program was the first of its kind when it launched in 2008. Both programs have similar prerequisites of a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, but the MPH plan also requires two years of relevant experience and completed bachelor’s courses in physiology and nutrition. The University of Massachusetts is one of the top, versatile options for degree-seeking nutrition graduate students.

Online Master's Degrees (2)

  • Annual Tuition: $11,212
  • Median Salary: $105,589
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Kansas State University, known as K-State or simply Kansas State, has been named one of the top 115 research schools in the country for the rigor and breadth of their research. Through the university's Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health prospective students have the option to earn an MS degree, or an MPH degree which emphasizes public health nutrition and is more suited for professionals who want to work in policy or research. The MS option is 35 total graduate credits, while the MPH option requires 42 credits. For a relatively low tuition fee of $17,000, Kansas State provides graduate hopefuls across the country access to a renowned institution for a nominal cost.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,530
  • Median Salary: $104,728
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Arizona State University is a unique public university that has four campuses in Phoenix and an additional four learning facilities across the state of Arizona. It is one of the largest universities with over 60,000 students across its on-site campuses and distance learning programs. It's top-ranked MS in Nutrition Dietetics program has a fully online option that spans 10 courses for a total of 30-credit hours. To qualify, distance learning applicants must have a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and are required to submit three letters of recommendation, transcripts, and GRE results. Students completing the online Nutrition Dietetics graduate program can gain employment in fields such as independent consultants, dietitians, or osteopathic professionals.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,251
  • Median Salary: $101,493
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The University of Memphis offers a rare degree program for distance learning graduate students: Environmental Nutrition. This MS in Environmental Nutrition degree plan is a fully online, 33-credit hour program that emphasizes nutritional health through the lens of sustainability and environmental philosophy. Degree hopefuls analyze and theorize about the intersectional relationship between food, nutrition and the environment in this academically rigorous program which includes courses on food justice, traditional food practices, and alternative approaches to nutrition. With an acceptance rate of 40 percent, the University of Memphis is a relatively selective public university and admits students who are the best fit for the program and school.

  • Annual Tuition: $12,900
  • Median Salary: $101,400
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The Sage Colleges, a cluster of private educational institutions in New York, is home to 3,000 students. Through Russell Sage Online, distance learning students are provided with the opportunity to earn a completely online, virtual master's degree in Applied Nutrition. This program has three options: a combined program that includes a dietetic internship, an option for students with a bachelor's degree in a related field of study, and an option for graduate students with a bachelor's in a non-related field. The former two offer completely online coursework while the latter requires select courses to be completed on the Russell Sage campus.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,644
  • Median Salary: $100,634
  • Accreditation: HLC and DEAC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Andrews University is a private, religious university founded by Seventh-day Adventists in 1874 as the first institution of higher learning of its kind. It remains the flagship school of the Seventh-day Adventists school system and has opened its doors to more students through its online degree programs. Andrews University's completely online Master of Public Health in Nutrition and Wellness Concentration program was the first fully virtual master's level nutrition plan in public health. This program offers a 50 percent tuition discount and consists of 42-credit hours and a capstone internship requirement, which in total takes between 18 months and two-and-a-half years to complete. A fully accredited university, Andrews University is home to over 5,000 students and continues to offer its programs to students, regardless of faith or location.

  • Annual Tuition: $6,464
  • Median Salary: $99,015
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Set up six years before the establishment of North Dakota, the University of North Dakota is the state's oldest university and prides itself as an institution that meets the needs of not only North Dakotans but also diverse groups of people through its commitment to distance learning opportunities. UND offers a broad range of online programs that span from certificates to doctoral and law degrees. Their online MS in Nutrition program is designed with "live" online classes that allow students to interact in real-time with their instructors and classmates as if they were on the UND campus. Degree completion requires a week-long campus visit and local clinical practicums of 180 hours under the guidance of credentialed professionals in nutrition.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,440
  • Median Salary: $97,049
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The University of Kansas offers an online master’s in nutrition degree through the Great Plains IDEA program. This program is an alliance of eight universities that have joined together to offer the master's degree in dietetics and nutrition to distance learners across their network. To be accepted into the program, students must already be a Registered Dietitian (or have met all of the requirements of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for registration). The curriculum consists of 36-credit hours designed to help degree-seeking students acquire a critical understanding of food trends and how they impact health on a societal and individual level. Students enroll through a chosen institution but program courses are delivered from any of the IDEA participating universities and their respective educators.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,940
  • Median Salary: $96,721
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Central Michigan University has 20,000 on-campus students and more than 7,000 students from over 60 countries enrolled through its distance learning portal, CMU Online. Known as its global campus, CMU Online offers many graduate programs, including an MS in Nutrition and Dietetics that can be completed fully online. This program requires 31 to 37 credit hours, depending on the student's track, and tuition is between $575 and $596 per credit hour. The online program is designed and taught by Ph.D. faculty who are all Registered Dietitians and subject experts, so distance learners receive a rigorous education.

  • Annual Tuition: $15,030
  • Median Salary: $97,100
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is a subsidiary college of the University of Arkansas System for health-based academic programs and is home to the teaching hospital, UAMS Medical Center. Located in Little Rock, UAMS provides a hybrid Master of Science degree in Clinical Nutrition for non-traditional graduate students seeking to further their education in nutrition. With a number of online courses like Nutrition and Metabolism Micronutrients, Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Advanced Clinical Nutrition this program combines the intimacy of on-site learning with the self-paced flexibility of distance learning for an experience that combines the best of both types of education. Requiring a total of 36-credit hours, this degree plan is a great fit for working professionals in or around the Little Rock area.

  • Annual Tuition: $18,430
  • Median Salary: $96,410
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Open to Registered Dietitians and the RD-eligible, Oklahoma State University provides prospective students with the option to enroll in the fully online MS in Nutritional Sciences: Dietetics degree program through the university's membership in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. This alliance is a consortium that provides academic tools and web-based courses for online students across 20 public colleges. In this program, distance learning graduate students can expect to complete 36-credit hours in a degree plan tailored for credentialed working professionals who want to enhance their knowledge through an academic program. This program is a fast-paced and academically rigorous, non-thesis option for prospective distance learning students with experience in the field.

  • Annual Tuition: $8,218
  • Median Salary: $95,036
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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At the University of Southern Mississippi, academic excellence is highly regarded and through its distance learning programs, students from across the country can flex their intellectual weight at this public research university. They offer an online MS in Nutrition and Food Systems emphasizing Dietetics Practice degree, for students who are also admitted to a dietetic internship accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). Students in this program fulfill half of their degree with supervised practice, and the remainder can be completed fully online. interested students must also have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher, and provide GRE scores and three letters of recommendation to be considered.

  • Annual Tuition: $11,808
  • Median Salary: $94,995
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Home to the UAB Health System, one of the largest academic centers in the country, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is known for its health-related education programs and facilities. The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers two options for students seeking an online graduate degree in nutrition: Lifestyle Management and Disease Prevention and the Clinical Track - Prior Learning Option. The Clinical Track - Prior Learning Option is a unique option that requires students to have an undergraduate degree in nutrition/dietetics and 1200 hours of supervised practice in an ACEND accredited program. The LMDP program is a typical MS degree plan with requirements that include a cumulative GRE score of 30, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.

  • Annual Tuition: $9,435
  • Median Salary: $94,517
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia prides itself on its long history and reputation as a top research university and is committed to student success both in and outside of the classroom. To be admitted to the University of Georgia's distance learning MS in Community Nutrition program, students must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, provide GRE scores and a statement of purpose, submit three letters of recommendation, and have at least a 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA. The MS in Community Nutrition program is completely online and self-paced, allowing some students to complete the program in as little as one year.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,642
  • Median Salary: $93,342
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Texas Woman's University is primarily a women's college but is open to students of all backgrounds. They offer an online MS in Nutrition degree through their well-known health science and nursing program. The 36-credit hour program is self-paced, and full-time students can complete the degree within two years. The education provided to distance learners in this program is the same as is provided to students on campus, and no thesis is required. For students who prefer a more blended approach, there are educational sites in Denton and Houston that complement the hybrid option.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $14,300
  • Median Salary: $87,100
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The University of Bridgeport was founded in 1927, and was the first to offer an online MS in Nutrition program in 1997. Administered through the online learning portal, Canvas, the school's distance-based nutrition graduate program is designed for students who have commitments or economic disadvantages that preclude them from participating in on-site classes. The self-paced curriculum takes an average of 28 months to complete and includes a web-based, digital clinic to help prepare students for certification and licensure in the field.

Online Master's Degrees (1)

  • Annual Tuition: $8,066
  • Median Salary: $84,600
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Mississippi State University provides students with a variety of opportunities centered around future success in their prospective fields. It enrolls both on-campus students and nontraditional, off-campus working adults through its Center for Distance Education. In this program, degree-seeking students can attain an MS in Food Science, Nutrition, & Health Promotions with an emphasis in Health Promotion. Students may enroll at the beginning of any semester and the program requires 30-credit hours and a research thesis complete with a final defense. Graduates work in fields including schools, government, hospitals, and health agencies.

  • Annual Tuition: $10,170
  • Median Salary: $83,700
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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The University of Northern Colorado’s fully online, two-year MS in Dietetics requires 35-credit hours and will help students develop the skills necessary to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. UNC’s participation in SARA, which authorizes interstate distance learning, allows the University of Northern Colorado to offer all students, regardless of location, a flat per-credit tuition rate with no additional student fees. Tuition is $565 per credit hour and the program starts each Fall term. Graduates of the program have opportunities for employment in fields including research, government, schools, and public health departments.

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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