Top 20 Online Master’s in Nutrition Programs 2021

Are you looking to expand your career opportunities with an online nutrition degree? This list of accredited online nutrition degree programs may help get you where you want to go. Whether you’re a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), still working toward that credential, or want to get an advanced nutrition degree to add to your expertise in your field, this list of affordable online nutrition degrees may be the ticket.

By the year 2024, all new Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) will be required to have a master’s degree. Do you currently have your RDN credential? There is no time like the present to get started on an accredited online nutrition degree to keep yourself competitive. 

These accredited online nutrition degrees are all master’s-level programs. Some programs will lead directly to the RDN credential, others will not. Keep reading to find the best accredited online nutritionist degree to help you meet your professional and educational goals, all in an online format. 

  1. East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
  2. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
  3. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  4. Liberty University, Charlottesville, VA
  5. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
  6. University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
  7. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS
  8. University of Georgia, Athens, GA
  9. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
  10. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
  11. West Chester University of Pennsylvania, West Chester, PA
  12. Iowa State University, Ames, IO
  13. The University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS
  14. Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  15. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  16. Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO
  17. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
  18. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
  19. Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
  20. Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI

Methodology for Selecting Best Master’s in Nutrition Online Programs

This list of the 20 best online nutrition master’s degrees was derived from an initial pool of 27 online master’s in nutrition programs. All programs listed are accredited by nationally recognized accreditation boards. Ranking is based on in-state tuition costs. Tuition cost information was acquired from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator website. Profile information was derived from individual school websites. Contact your school program of interest for the most recent tuition and online nutrition program information. 

Ranking the Top 20 Online Master’s in Nutrition Programs

20. Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI

Tuition $14,148

WEBSITE

Johnson & Wales University’s online nutrition degree is a 100 percent online Master of Science in nutrition that can be completed in as little as two years. This accredited online nutrition degree is designed for professionals with a fundamental nutrition education and understanding. This accredited online nutrition degree promises to give students the tools and insight needed to advance in the professional world in a number of industries. Careers in athletics, corporate nutrition, and clinical settings can benefit from your dietetic expertise. This flexible, career-focused program has eight-week courses, with start dates throughout the year.

19. Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

In-state tuition $11,720

Out-of-state $26,160

Master’s of Nutritional Science (Dietetics)

Master of Science in Medical Nutrition

This online master’s in nutrition is a master’s in nutritional science designed for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) looking to advance their career. This online master’s in nutrition can be customized by choosing electives in areas such as sports nutrition, pediatric nutrition, obesity prevention, and nutrition policy. With a focus on the practical application of dietetics, this degree has no thesis requirements. This online master’s in nutrition can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis, giving added flexibility. ASU also offers an online Master of Science in medical nutrition program, in which students gain the skills and knowledge to assess and prescribe nutrition practices to maintain health and prevent disease. This online master’s in nutrition is helpful for those seeking a career in medical, dental, or osteopathic health, among other health professions. This program does not lead to the RDN credential. These programs require 30 credits, comprising 10 courses.

18. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

In-state tuition $11,310

Out-of-state $23,100

WEBSITE

Stony Brook University’s Master of Science (MS) in nutrition is a fully online 36-credit program in advanced nutrition topics. Two concentrations are offered for this online nutrition program: advanced nutrition therapy & critical care, and integrative nutrition therapy. Students wishing to be admitted to the advanced nutrition therapy & critical care concentration are required to submit a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement. Students entering the integrative nutrition therapy concentration may submit a DPD verification or transcript indicating successful completion of a biochemistry course with a B or better grade. SBU also offers an accredited dietetic internship program for those seeking the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential. 

17. University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND

In-state tuition $11,060

Out-of-state $16,590

WEBSITE

This online Master of Science in nutrition from the University of North Dakota (UND) is offered in two tracks that can each be completed part-time: nutrition science and nutrition education & counseling. Both tracks provide students with skills needed to assess nutrition problems, design nutrition interventions, and measure nutritional outcomes. Nutrition science students are required to complete an independent study project. Nutrition education & counseling candidates attend a week-long on-campus session designed to prepare students for 90 hours of field experience. Students in this track may complete a thesis or independent study. Both tracks require a minimum of 30 credits to graduate. 

16. Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

In-state tuition $10,520

Out-of-state $25,791

WEBSITE

Colorado State University’s online master’s program in dietetics is designed for those that are currently Registered Dietitians (RD) or are registration-eligible. This unique dietetics degree from CSU teaches students to design and lead food and nutrition programs that are effective in the community. It helps students to develop research skills and the ability to think independently, while giving them advanced knowledge about food, nutrition, food service, and business management. This accredited online degree program promises to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. If you’re looking to advance your dietetics practice, check out this flexible and robust online master’s program in dietetics from CSU. 

15. Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

In-state tuition $10,212

Out-of-state $23,050

WEBSITE

This online nutrition degree from Kansas State University is a dietetics master’s degree designed for registered dietitians (RD) or those who are eligible for registration. This accredited online nutrition degree boasts a cutting-edge program, with advanced studies in food & nutrition, food service management, and wellness. Graduates have developed critical and independent thinking skills to evaluate nutrition research concepts and theories. they will understand public policy and current health care delivery in relationship to the role of a dietitian. Graduates will be contributors to the profession of dietetics through evidence-based practice in their field. Students may complete a thesis or take an additional six credits and complete a comprehensive paper with an oral examination. KSU is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA). 

14. Auburn University, Auburn, AL

In-state tuition $10,080

Out-of-state $30,050

WEBSITE

This online Master of Science (MS) in nutrition degree is a 33-credit program, which includes five credits of non-thesis research. Auburn University’s online nutrition degree program provides graduates with advanced knowledge, skills, and professional leadership ability to advance their career into a wide range of areas. These may include nutrition & health programs, consulting, and business. This program uses asynchronous scheduling, allowing students to access and view online lectures and presentations at whatever time is best for them. 

13. The University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS

In-state tuition $9,989

Out-of-state $23,951

WEBSITE

The University of Kansas offers this robust, 36-credit, online master’s degree in dietetics & nutrition from the KU Medical Center. This online nutrition degree program is for credentialed registered dietitians (RD) or registry-eligible students. Students in this flexible online program are often working professionals with family and work responsibilities. Students taking two courses each semester can complete this program in around two years. Up to six credits can be transferred into this online nutrition degree program. Students completing a thesis are required to attend campus to defend the thesis in person. 

12. Iowa State University, Ames, IO

In-state tuition $9,758

Out-of-state $24,720

WEBSITE

This master’s of professional practice in dietetics (MPP) online nutrition degree is a 30-credit, full-time program. ISU’s accredited online nutrition degree is a non-thesis master’s degree that combines coursework with supervised experience, leading to the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. Courses are completed online, and supervised practice can be completed anywhere in the United States. This MPP program’s mission is to prepare graduates to be competent in their practice as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), with the ability to promote human health and improve quality of life in diverse settings. 

11. West Chester University, West Chester, PA

In-state tuition $9,288

Out-of-state $13,932

WEBSITE

West Chester University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Science in community nutrition (MSCN) is offered in a 100% online format. It promotes disease prevention and nutritional health, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations. This 33-credit online program includes courses in nutrition science, applied nutrition practice, and research. Students complete a capstone paper as a culmination to this program. WCU also offers the MSCN with a dietetic internship, a 42-credit program that includes the supervised practice requirement to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). The internship portion provides exposure to inpatient and outpatient nutrition, community nutrition, and food service management. 

10. University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

In-state tuition $9,021

Out-of-state $12,672

WEBSITE

This online nutrition degree is a Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on environmental nutrition. This 33-credit online nutrition program can be completely online. This program emphasizes “nutritional issues through an environmental lens”, and it examines the intricate relationships that exist between food, nutrition, and our environment. This program is guided by research and theoretical foundations for best practices. Students take classes in food sustainability, traditional food practices, food justice, and alternative & complementary approaches to health & nutrition. Students can expect to produce an applied project and complete an internship to apply sustainable nutrition practices. 

9. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

In-state tuition $9,095

Out-of-state $26,421

WEBSITE

North Carolina State University’s online master’s in nutrition program requires no thesis and is designed for students interested in a career in human nutrition or animal nutrition.  Graduates can expect to have the skills and knowledge to be successful in their career choice. This 36-credit program includes a six-credit practicum, internship, or independent project. Graduates may qualify for the Professional Science Master’s (PSM) after completing the relevant courses and activities that were developed through discussions with employers in the field. This program is available both online and in-person. 

8. University of Georgia, Athens, GA

In-state tuition $8,878

Out-of-state $25,186

WEBSITE

This accredited online nutrition degree program offered by the University of Georgia is a Master of Science (MS) in foods & nutrition with a focus on community nutrition. This challenging program is designed for the working professional. It requires a minimum of 30 credit-hours and includes a capstone course. Graduates of this online nutrition degree program can expect to be able to assume a variety of roles in the field of nutrition in both the public and private sector. Students employed in the field of school nutrition can become eligible for the School Nutrition Director certification. 

7. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS

In-state tuition $8,800

Out-of-state $23,840

WEBSITE

Mississippi State University’s online nutrition degree can be completed in just one year, with the option to complete it over a longer time. This Master of Science (MS) in food science, nutrition, and health promotion with a concentration in health promotion promises to help health practitioners develop the skills and knowledge needed to expand their career opportunities. Graduates can expect to be prepared to assess, design, implement, and evaluate health promotion programs in a wide variety of settings. Graduates of this online nutrition degree program will have the skills and competencies to earn the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential. 

6. The University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

In-state tuition $8,100

Out-of-state $19,188

WEBSITE

The University of Alabama has among the best online nutrition degrees, with multiple options for incoming students. This Master of Science (MS) in nutrition science program is designed to provide a comprehensive educational experience for students that includes both coursework and practical experiences. For those local to Birmingham, UA’s strategic location offers a rich array of possibilities for experience and networking. Students can gain experience at UAB Hospital, Birmingham VA Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Alabama, and UAB’s cancer prevention and control training program. NIH-funded centers on campus include the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, the Diabetes Research Center, and the Comprehensive Cancer Center. UA has five tracks: the clinical track, clinical track/dietetic internship, dietitian education program pathway, lifestyle management and disease prevention track, and research track. Check out their website to see which track will best help you meet your professional goals. 

5. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

In-state tuition $8,017

Out-of-state $14,009

WEBSITE

Bowling Green State University’s master’s of food and nutrition online nutrition degree is a 39- to 40-credit program consisting of 12 seven-week courses. Distance students wishing to complete all requirements online can choose the comprehensive exam option. Thesis or master’s project students are required to complete an on-campus presentation. This program is for students who have a bachelor’s degree in food, nutrition, or a related field and have completed courses in biochemistry, anatomy & physiology, and nutrition. This flexible online nutrition degree has multiple start dates throughout the year. This online nutrition degree promises to enhance professional knowledge, strengthen critical thinking and communication skills, and improve management and leadership skills. 

4. Liberty University, Charlottesville, VA

Tuition $7,935

WEBSITE

This online nutrition degree from Liberty University is a Master of Science (MS) in nutrition that promises to build on previous health experience. Although this program does not lead directly to the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential, established health educators, sports nutrition specialists, and health and nutrition coaches will benefit from the advanced nutrition training, which gives graduates the edge they are looking for. Students can transfer up to 50% of the total degree requirements. Courses are 100% online, and are in an eight-week course format. Students can complete this online MS in nutrition in between one and two years.

3. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

In-state tuition $6,788

Out-of-state $14,968

WEBSITE

Texas Tech University’s accredited online Master of Science in nutrition and dietetics offers the flexibility that many desire. This 33-credit online nutrition degree program allows for career advancement without disturbing family and employment responsibilities. When enrolled at Texas Tech University from outside the state of Texas, students are charged a tuition comparable to in-state tuition. This program is geared toward registered dietitians and nutritionists that already have their RD/RDN credential. This program is also for those that wish to complete their dietetic internship or continue working in their career while working on their advanced degree online. 

2. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

In-state tuition $6,138

Out-of-state $17,928

WEBSITE

The University of Nebraska’s online master’s in dietetics is offered to students who are currently Registered Dietitians (RD), those who are eligible to take the registration examination, or those who have a DPD verification statement. Those with their DPD verification statement will need to complete the 1200 hours of supervised practice through an ACEND-accredited program prior to sitting for the examination. This unique online master’s in dietetics specialization is part of the multi-state Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA), allowing students to take courses from partner schools including: Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, and University of Kansas Medical Center. 

1. East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

In-state tuition $4,749

Out-of-state tuition $17,898

WEBSITE

This 33 credit-hour online nutrition degree is an affordable Master of Science (MS) in nutrition science. This program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, with students having up to six years to complete it. Students may transfer up to nine credits from another institution into this program.  ECU’s online nutrition degree is for students seeking advanced knowledge in nutrition and for registered dietitians wanting to broaden their career advancement opportunities. This online nutrition degree program provides degree seekers with non-thesis and thesis program options for completing this degree. The non-thesis option requires a research project completed under a faculty member in nutrition. ECU also offers a thesis option, requiring an original research project completed under the direction of a thesis committee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why get a master’s in nutrition degree online?

By the year 2024, all new RDN’s will be required to have a master’s degree.  Already a RDN, but no master’s degree? There is no time like the present to get started on your online master’s in nutrition to keep your skills and knowledge current and competitive. Many without the RDN credential enjoy the added bonus that an online master’s in nutrition brings to their profession. 

What can someone do with an online master’s in nutrition degree?

Many with the RDN credential work in a variety of healthcare scenarios, but what if you’re not aspiring to become an RDN? Jobs can be found as community health specialists, public health educators, and health coordinators. Some organizations that might employ people holding this degree include local public health services, schools, healthcare institutions, public policy and lobbying organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

What are the pros and cons of getting a master’s degree in nutrition online?

The online format allows an online nutrition degree to be easily pursued from any location with internet access. If you are getting the online master’s in nutrition while working, classwork can be directly applied while you are still in your current job. Of course, online coursework can be planned around a busy work and family schedule.

However, some may find a lack of in-person communication a challenge. Students in an online nutrition degree program need to be self-disciplined to stay on-task with school while maintaining their work and family obligations.  Some students may miss the in-person opportunities to discuss classes and network with classmates.

I want to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Will this degree help me?

Check out the programs listed and other accredited programs to find an online master’s in nutrition program that leads to the RDN credential. Some programs will include the 1200 supervised hours required in the program at your home location. 

When will RDN’s be required to have a master’s degree?

According to current information, all new RDN’s will be required to have their master’s degree by 2024. Those already possessing their credential will not be required to have their master’s at that time. However, if all new RDN’s have their master’s degree, it may be a good time to consider applying to an online nutrition degree program and begin working towards this valuable degree. 

Does it matter if a school or program is accredited?

Accreditation is initiated voluntarily by the institution and requires rigorous self-evaluation and independent, objective appraisal of the quality of the institution and program. Accreditation assures students of education quality and a commitment to continuously enhancing quality. Schools must comply with standards; undergo annual reviews of its finances, retention rates, and placement rates; and host site visits, among other things. The bottom line is, accreditation gives some assurance of quality to students and to employers who hire graduates of a program. 

I’ve been working in the field of nutrition for a long time. Will this degree actually help me?

An online nutrition degree may be a great choice for those working in the field for an extended time who want to move to the next level in their career. Those in management often have a master’s degree, and performers of other roles do as well. 

How is the employment outlook in this field?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected percent change in employment from 2019 to 2029 is eight percent, which is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations, which is four percent.

Who should pursue this degree?

This online degree in nutrition is ideal for those interested in working with people to help them understand and improve their health. It could also be ideal for those interested in working in organizations that promote health. 

Is it expensive to get an online master’s degree in nutrition?

While getting an online master’s degree in nutrition can be expensive, finding a way to minimize expenses will help to get you to your educational goals. If you are working while taking classes, check out your employer’s education benefits. Contact the financial aid department at your school to see what is available to help you reduce costs. Compare financial aid packages from schools of interest. 

Can I get financial aid when I’m in school online?

Students working on an online master’s degree are not eligible for subsidized loans. Loans for students at the graduate level are unsubsidized, with students beginning to accumulate interest immediately. Students should start by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and they should be sure to re-apply, submitting a new FAFSA form each year they are going to school. 

How long is pursuing an online nutrition degree going to take?

Many online master’s in nutrition degrees take about 30 credits to complete. Many of these programs can be completed either on a full-time or part-time basis, with some programs offering courses that are completed in just eight weeks. Some programs may be completed in just one year of study. Check out programs you are interested in to see what the timeframe for completion is. 

What is the accrediting organization for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)? 

The accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).  ACEND accredits education programs preparing students for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) certification. 

What are some professional organizations for those in the field of nutrition? 

Some professional organizations for the field of nutrition are: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, National Association for Nutrition Professionals, American Nutrition Association, American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and American Council on Science and Health. Check out these nutrition professional organizations to find those that are of interest to you. 

By Carol Dolan BS RN BSN CDCES

May 2021

Carol graduated with her BS in Nutrition from Montclair State University and her BSN in Nursing from Rowan University. She is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) currently working with adults and children living with diabetes in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

Related to Online Nutrition Degrees:

This concludes our ranking of the top online master’s in nutrition degree programs.