Why This Matters

  • NUTRITIONIST JOBS TO INCREASE 15% BY 2026

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

  • CHOOSE FROM OVER 10 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.

  • NEARLY 40% OF AMERICAN ADULTS ARE OBSESE

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

Our Research

We reviewed nutrition degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and post-graduate certificate levels. A bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum education requirement for nutritionist jobs, although some advanced roles require a master’s degree. Your current level of education and your career aspirations will help determine which type of degree you should pursue.

The programs on our list are offered by regionally accredited institutions, which guarantees a high standard of quality. Many programs also have programmatic accreditation through organizations like the Accreditation Council for Nutrition Professional Education (ACNPE) or the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

We only reviewed online programs for this list. We evaluated each program’s reputation, course strength, cost, faculty, and flexibility. Using this information, we calculated the Intelligent Score of each degree on a scale from 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best online nutrition degrees are flexible, affordable, and respected. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 81 hours to write this article
  • 73 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 342 education programs we compared

The Top 44 Online Nutrition Degrees

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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.