Why This Matters

  • NEW EDUCATION STANDARDS EFFECTIVE IN 2024

    Starting in 2024, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is requiring a master’s degree as part of the eligibility requirements to become a registered dietitian nutritionist.

  • NEARLY 40% OF AMERICAN ADULTS ARE OBSESE

    Obesity continues to be a major public health concern for adults and children in the U.S. Nutritionists are integral to helping individuals maintain a healthy weight.

  • NUTRITIONIST JOBS TO INCREASE 11% BY 2028

    Besides treating obesity and other diet-related illnesses, more nutritionists are needed to work with the elderly population in the United States.

Our Research

We focused our research on master’s-level programs in nutrition. Because of the science and health-related nature of this field, these programs typically award a Master of Science degree.

We included both regionally and nationally accredited schools on this list. Degrees from regionally accredited schools are typically more widely recognized than those from nationally accredited schools. Many programs are also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional Education (ACNPE) or the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Our third criteria was that programs be offered completely or primarily online. In instances where schools offer classes both on-campus and online, students may be able to complete the program with a combination of in-person and distance learning.

We reviewed each program’s reputation, cost, flexibility, faculty, and outcomes. Then, we calculated an Intelligent Score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 56 hours to write this article
  • 138 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 293 education programs we compared

The Top 49 Online Master’s in Nutrition Programs

Best Online Master's in Nutrition Degree Programs
01
Intelligent Pick
NC State University
01
Best Human Performance Focus
Logan University
01
Best in the South
University of North Florida
01
Best Specialization Options
Texas Tech University
01
Best Cohort-Based Program
The University of Texas at Austin
01
Best Self-Paced Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison
01
Best Chronic Illness Focus
Adelphi University
01
Best Herbal Medicine Focus
Maryland University of Integrative Health
01
Most Customizable Scheduling
University of Western States
01
Best Hybrid Program
Tufts University
01
Best Scholarships
California Polytechnic State University
01
Best for Veterans
Eastern Michigan University
01
Best for Out-of-State Students
University of North Dakota
01
Best for International Students
Texas Woman's University
01
Best Private Research University
New York Institute of Technology
01
Best Public Research University
The University of Alabama
01
Best for Registered Dietitians
South Dakota State University
01
Best Faculty
North Dakota State University
01
Best Plant-Based Emphasis
Andrews University
01
Best Holistic Nutrition Focus
American College of Healthcare Sciences
01
Best Thesis Options
University of Massachusetts Amherst
01
Best in the Northeast
Stony Brook University
01
Best Health Promotion Focus
Mississippi State University
01
Best Community Nutrition Focus
University of Georgia
01
Best Non-Thesis Program
Auburn University
01
Most Affordable
Bowling Green State University
01
Best in the Midwest
University of Kansas Medical Center
01
Best Thesis Program
East Carolina University
01
Most Customizable
Kansas State University
01
Best Food Science Focus
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
01
Best in the West
Colorado State University
01
Best in the Southwest
Arizona State University
01
Industry-Leading Faculty
University of Alabama at Birmingham
01
Best Integrative Physiology Focus
University of Utah - College of Health
01
Most Military Friendly
University of Southern Mississippi
01
Best Dual Masters Option
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
01
Best Concentration Options
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
01
Alumni Recommended
Russell Sage College
01
Best Catholic University
University of Saint Joseph
01
Longest-Running Program
Central Michigan University
01
Best Eating Disorders Focus
Canisius College
01
Flexibile Completion Time
Rosalind Franklin University
01
Most Experienced Faculty
OSU Online
01
Best Practicum Experience
Northeastern University
01
Best Bio-Individuality Emphasis
University of Bridgeport
01
Best Wellness Focus
Benedictine University
01
Best for Career Change Students
American University
01
Best Longevity Focus
University of Southern California
01
Best Minor Options
Saybrook University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Eligibility requirements for master’s in nutrition programs vary. Some programs are designed for individuals who have an educational background in nutrition and dietetics and have their professional credentials from the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Others are open to students of all educational and professional backgrounds, although certain prerequisite classes may be mandated.

If you are not currently a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) but intend to become one, you will want to select a program that prepares you for the certification process. Not all programs lead to certification, so research programs carefully and talk to a program representative before enrolling to confirm that you’re choosing the program that’s right for you and your career goals.

Many states also mandate licensure for dietitians and nutritionists. Please note that licensure and certification are two separate types of credentials, and the requirements for each may vary.

Students who do not plan on becoming RDNs will typically pursue a career as nutritionists, a less-regulated profession that does not require professional credentials. Nutritionists often work in alternative or holistic health settings.

Accredited nutrition programs require supervised learning experiences, typically in the form of an internship. This is something to keep in mind if you are seeking an online program, because you will have to plan for in-person attendance at your internship.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Nutrition programs:

  • Is this program ACEND-accredited? Being accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics confirms that your degree program will meet the education standards for professional credentialing post-graduation. If you need to obtain your certification, make sure you select a program that is recognized by the CDR.
  • Am I eligible for this program? At the master’s level, programs typically seek candidates who have prior knowledge of areas related to nutrition, including anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. They may even require that you have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field. Confirm that you meet the program’s qualifications for admissions before applying.

Other steps that you can take at this point include gathering application materials, researching application deadlines, and understanding your options for funding your graduate degree. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers tuition assistance benefits. Other funding options include student loans, scholarships, and assistantships.