Why This Matters

  • NUTRITIONIST JOBS TO INCREASE 7% BY 2031

    Interest in using food and nutrition to improve health and wellness is growing, resulting in a higher demand for nutritionists to help individuals make healthy choices about what they eat.

  • CHOOSE FROM A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT CAREER PATHS

    An online degree in nutrition is very versatile, opening up a variety of career options. You can go on to work in public health, education and research, clinical dietetics, international food organizations, and more.

  • OVER 40% OF AMERICANS ARE OBESE

    Obesity is one of the main health challenges affecting people in the U.S. Nutritionists play a key role in helping people eat healthier and ensuring that people have access to healthy food options wherever they live.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online nutrition degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The programs on our list have been accredited by reputable organizations, such as the Higher Learning Commission and Middle States Commission on Higher Education, that assess the objectives, quality, and overall effectiveness of colleges and universities.

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online nutrition degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 46 Online Nutrition Degree Programs

Best Nutrition Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
Arizona State University
01
Most Flexible Start Dates
Purdue University Global
01
Best Practice-based Program
Texas Tech University
01
Best Dietetic Internship
East Carolina University
01
Best for Community Nutrition
West Chester University
01
Best Graduate Degree Programs
Auburn University
01
Best Live Online Classes
University of North Dakota
01
Best for Experiential Learning
State University of New York at Oneonta
01
Best Future Education Model Program
University of Rhode Island
01
Best Specialty Tracks
Canisius College
01

University of Wisconsin at Madison
01

Adelphi University

What You Should Know About This Degree

Although the terms “nutritionist” and “dietitian” are often used interchangeably when talking about individuals who use food and nutrition to improve patients’ health and prevent and manage diseases, there are some subtle differences between the two professions.

The main distinction is that practitioners can only bill themselves as dietitians if they are registered with the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), the credentialing arm of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The certification process includes education in an ACEND-accredited program, supervised experience, and passing an exam. Currently, you can become certified if you have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, but starting in 2024, a master’s degree will be the minimum education level required for certification. Certification is usually required to work in any kind of clinical setting.

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.

Nutritionists are generally more free of government oversight and work in less-regulated environments like holistic or alternative medicine centers.

Even if all coursework for a program can be completed online, accredited nutrition programs have requirements for supervised experiential learning, usually in the form of an internship. Students should be prepared to complete this in-person component of the program.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Nutrition programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? At the master’s level, programs typically seek candidates who have some 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. Be sure to look at the program’s qualifications before applying to make sure that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements.
  • Does this program have ACEND-accreditation? The CDR has specific educational requirements for professional credentialing. Attending an ACEND-accredited program guarantees that your education will meet the requirements for credentialing and can facilitate the credentialing process post-graduation.

Once you have narrowed down the list of programs that interest you, research their application, scholarship, and financial aid deadlines, processes, and requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s website. You can also contact the program directly if you have any questions.

Financing your graduate education is another important consideration. In addition to applying for scholarships and financial aid, check with your employer to see if they offer any kind of tuition remission or reimbursement for advancing your education.