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Why This Matters


    Around 29% of nutritionists and dietitians have earned their bachelor’s degree, and 33% have gone on to obtain post-baccalaureate certificates.

  • THE U.S. NEEDS 5,900 MORE OF YOU BY 2029

    The onset of obesity cases and the increase in preventative healthcare has contributed to an 8% increase in the need for nutritionists and dietary experts in the United States.


    Data from 2020 shows that the average nutritionist earns a median salary of $63,090 per year. To reach that salary level, candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree.

Our Research

This list focuses on bachelor’s degree programs in nutritional sciences. Because it is a health and science-related field, most nutritional programs award a Bachelor of Science. While we mainly focused on programs that are offered entirely online, we also included schools that provide hybrid learning formats.

The majority of the schools on our list are accredited by The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), a nationally recognized accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ACEND assesses dietary and nutritional education programs to ensure they meet a high standard of quality and integrity. Students hoping to become registered nutritionists should get their degree from an institution that has been accredited by ACEND or a similar organization.

  • 76 hours to write this article
  • 24 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 38 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences Programs

Best Online Bachelor's in Nutritional Sciences Programs Badge
Intelligent Pick
Eastern Michigan University
Best in the South
The University of Alabama
Best in the Southwest
Arizona State University
Best for Dietics
University of Arizona
Best in the Northeast
Rutgers University
Most Affordable
Weber State University

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What You Should Know About This Degree

“Nutrition science” is often used interchangeably with “food science,” despite them being two very different fields of study. Both programs closely examine the biological and chemical makeup of food. However, food science focuses on the manufacturing and storage of food products, while nutrition science looks at the relationship between food and health.

If you hope to be a registered nutritionist or dietitian, it’s important that you attend an institution accredited by an organization such as ACEND.

The increased cases of obesity and diabetes in the United States have led to a greater need for nutritional experts. By 2029, the nutrition field is projected to undergo an 8% increase in employment.

If you wish to become a registered dietitian, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program, complete an internship, and pass a registration examination. There are also several nutritionist certifications you can pursue depending on your career goals.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in nutritional sciences programs:

  • What licensing or certifications are required? Licenses or certifications are typically required for more advanced career roles, such as that of a registered dietician or certified nutritionist. The exact requirements vary amongst different states, but students are generally expected to gain in-field practice and pass a licensing exam. Most licenses require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree, although some may expect a master’s degree.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Most students complete an online bachelor’s in nutritional sciences program in four years. However, those enrolled in accelerated programs can finish in three years, and part-time students may take up to six years to get their degree.

While applying to schools, be sure to consult the institution’s website or admissions department to learn about deadlines and required application materials. You should also research financial aid opportunities and submit applications on time.

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