The Top 10 Online Nutrition Master’s Degree Programs

nutrition_10_badge-01In 2012 dietitians and nutritionists had over 64,000 jobs with a 21 percent increase projected for 2022. With increased foci on nutrition, exercise and over all wellness, comes an increase in demand for professionals equipped to fill this need. Whether a primary care physician looking to incorporate a nutrition component to your practice, an individual who loves nutrition and is ready to take on a roll as a life coach for others, a dietitian looking for the latest research on decreasing risk of disease or child obesity or anyone who is looking to create nutritional programs for schools there is a plethora of opportunity to expand and enhance your career through an online Master’s of Science in Nutrition. If you’re considering continued advanced education in the area of nutrition, take a look at these top recommendations for further consideration. You will find inexpensive, high quality, and flexible programs in nutrition are now just a click away.
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  • Affordability (1/3): The estimated out-of-state tuition per credit hour rate for the program.
  • Flexibility (1/3): the relative number of flexibility-granting components of the program, including emphases, concentrations, prior life and learning credits, competency-based education, and so forth.
  • Support Services (1/3): the extent to which online programs offer the support services of traditional programs as measured by support services measures in other prominent rankings such as Forbes and US News.

1. University of Alabama

The University of Alabama (UA) is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and is the oldest and largest public university in Alabama. The University of Alabama offers 13 academic divisions for bachelors, master’s, education specialists, and doctoral degrees. The USAA also ranked UA as the number one destination for veterans. UA offers degrees in anthropology, art history, computer sciences, food & nutrition and many others. UA also has a law school and several post graduate programs in accounting, nursing, criminal justice journalism, marketing and many others. University of Alabama has been accredited by the South Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition to a rich academic program, UA is know for athletics, particularly their football program which was founded in 1892 and infamously known as the Crimson Tide.

The University of Alabama provides a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences with a focus area on Human Nutrition. This program is highly ranked due to its low tuition cost ($367 per credit hour) and flexibility. The University of Alabama offers three tracks or areas of focus all offered 100% online. The student can choose between the generalist track, the community track, or the clinical track. Each program develops research skills, and prepares the learner for advancement in the field. Those enrolling are required to have a bachelor’s in nutrition though other disciplines are accepted with the caveat that each must meet a set number of prerequisites. The generalist program leaves room for more electives with a core focus on research techniques, and the metabolism of energy nutrients. For the community track, the learner’s programming is much more focused on community issues such as maternal health, child obesity and, severe illness. The clinical track appears to combine the generalist and community track. This program requires a total of 30 credit hours for completion.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $367

2. Central Michigan University


Central Michigan University is a public research university established in 1892. Central Michigan University is one of the largest Universities in Michigan with more than 20,000 students at its Mount Pleasant campus and 7,000 students enrolled through online programs at over 60 locations across the world. Central Michigan University offers 200 programs for bachelor’s, master’s, specialists, and at the doctoral level. Programs of note are in journalism, music, teacher education, psychology, physicians assistant and neuroscience. The Society of Neuroscience ranked their neuroscience program as number one. Central Michigan University recently established the 137th college of medicine. Some outstanding features include their undergraduate meteorology program, vast study abroad opportunities (in over 40 countries), as a MakerBot Innovation Center as well as fantastic programming for future teachers.

Central Michigan University Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics ranks highly due to its low tuition cost and flexibility. The cost per credit hour is $555 and can be completed in 31-37 credit hours depending on the track. The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics offers three tracks including the thesis track, internship, and course work track. The thesis track is the shortest in terms of credit hours for 31 credit hours of completion that concludes with a written or practical display for the thesis. The internship option is the longest at 37 credits but grants the learner either experience in clinical dietetics or food service administration. The course work track is perhaps the most flexible offering 9 elective credit hours and a variety of options for basics in nutrition. Core courses are clinical as well as provide techniques for clinical assessment.

  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $555

3. University of North Dakota


The University of North Dakota (UND) was established in 1883 six years before the state of North Dakota. UND is raked as a high research university by the Carnegie Foundation as well as ranked among the top 100 public universities by the U.S. News & World Report. UND offers the only law and medical school in North Dakota and is well known for the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, which trains pilots and air traffic controllers. UND specializes in research in aerospace, nutrition, and health sciences amongst many others. UND offers over 200 fields of study for bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral as well as medical and law programs. UND also offers highly ranked online programs according to US News. UND is also considered to be the fittest college in America according to Rodale Wellness. UND has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and enrolls over 15,000 students.

The University of North Dakota offers an online Master’s of Science in Nutrition that is implemented through “live” web classes that are held at set times. This program is perfect for the person who needs some extra flexibility but also learns well in classroom settings. This program is designed for working professionals and begins every August for the fall semester. UND offers an in-state rate no matter where you live! Classes are priced at $360 per credit hour and 32 credit hours are required for completion. The program is well rounded and includes courses on nutrition research, macro and micronutrients, nutritional counseling, health policy, and an opportunity to select electives from any other relevant department.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $360

4. Auburn University


Auburn University (Auburn) is a public research University located in Auburn, Alabama. Auburn is one of the few universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research center. Auburn has been listed as one of the top 50 public schools for over 20 years according to U.S. News & World Report. Auburn is well known for its engineering, interior design, and architectural programs, and offers over 150 degree programs to bachelor’s, master’s, specialty education, and doctoral candidates. Auburn offers degrees in education, business, nursing, forestry and several others. Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Auburn University offers a Master’s in Science with an emphasis in Nutrition. The program at Auburn is well rounded and offers coursework in biochemical, physiological and nutritional science. The nutrition program features an emphasis on social responsibility and teaches students to develop solutions of socially significant health problems including disease prevention. Programming are heavily based in research and participants will learn to critically analyze and assemble data, plan and execute research initiatives to improve public health as well as develop leadership skills. The program cost is $533 per credit hour and can be completed between 30-33 credit hours.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $533

5. Iowa State University


Iowa State University (Iowa State) is a public research university with land-grant and space-grant research. Iowa State is a highly active research university or an RH/VH according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is a member of the American Association of Universities. Iowa State offers programming at eight colleges including over 100 bachelor’s, 112 master’s degree programs, and 82 PhD programs plus a specialist program in veterinary medicine. Iowa State also hails over 800 student clubs. Iowa State began as a state agricultural college and opened a modern farm and was known for agricultural studies, engineering, and veterinary medicine. Iowa State is ranked among the top 50 public universities in the U.S. by Washington Monthly.

Iowa State offers a Master of Family and Consumer Sciences with Dietetics specialization. The program costs $471 per credit hour with a 36 credit hour requirement. Learn to integrate components of biomedical science, human behavior, and management. This program is virtually designed by the learner for the learner, as there are only 9 core component credits and 21 elective credits. Students can choose from a vast range of nutritional applications in several areas including maternal and child nutrition, advanced medical nutrition, obesity across the lifespan, nutrition for the aging, metabolic roles of nutrition, and several others. The program also includes a creative component where the student chooses from the following options: a comprehensive review of literature, education or tool development, or grant application preparation. This program prepares registered dietitians to practice at an advanced level for doctoral study.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $471

6. Bowling Green State University


Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is a public research university located in Bowling-Green, Ohio. BSGU offers over 200 bachelor’s degrees as well as master’s and doctoral degrees. BSGU has full accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. BGSU ranked 97th top public school by U.S. News and World Report. BGSU is known for its psychology, sociology, education and human development, and energy and sustainability, and musical arts. There are many teacher licensure degrees available from early childhood through to young adult. The Ohio Board of Regents named the Health and Wellness Across the Lifespan Center as a Center for Excellent. The Wellness Center focuses on physical health, substance abuse, and mental health amongst others. The student body represents 50 states and 70 countries.

Bowling Green State University offers a Masters of Science in Food and Nutrition. The core programming covers nutrition science, community nutrition, and medical nutrition therapy. The program also combines a cognate or minor. The minor program supports individualized career goals such as public health, biology, or counseling. A research core program is available with an emphasis on statistics, research methods, and a thesis/project. Core programming for the Masters in Food and Nutrition includes Family and Community Nutrition– a look at meeting nutritional needs for family and community and problem-solving. The program also includes micro and macronutrient coursework as well as advanced clinical nutrition. The Master in Food and Nutrition culminates with a Master’s Project or Research in Food and Nutrition. The cost is $435 per credit hour.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $435

7. Northeastern University


Northeastern University (NU) is a private research university located in Boston Massachusetts. NU enrolls 18,000 undergraduate and 7,000 graduate students. Northeastern University offers a cooperative education program that combines classroom education with professional experience on all seven continents. NU also affords the learner a comprehensive study abroad program with over 3,000 students studying abroad. Its main campuses are located in the Fenway-Kenmore, Roxbury, South End, and Back Bay neighborhoods of Boston with satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, and Silicon Valley, California. Programs at Northeastern University often lead student to employment in their field of study. As of 2014 89% of graduates were employed full-time in their field of study.

Northeastern University offers a Masters of Science in Applied Nutrition. The MS in Applied Nutrition online is lead by real-world practitioners including nutritionists, clinical psychologists, and exercise scientists. The program focuses on nutrition and disease prevention as well as fitness. The options are flexible. Focus is on the real world application of nutritional science. Students receiving an MS in Applied nutrition will examine the metabolism, as well as the interrelationships between carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. NU Masters of Science in Applied Nutrition offers four degree specializations: obesity and eating disorders, nutrition education, nutrition and fitness and business and entrepreneurship in nutrition. The program cost is $646 dollars per quarter hour and requires 45 quarter hours for completion.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $646

8. University of Massachusetts Amherst


The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is a public research university with a land-grant located in Amherst, Massachusetts. UMass is the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. UMass is ranked as the 29th best school in the nation according the U.S. News and World Report. UMass offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees; 111 are undergraduate, 75 are masters and, 49 are doctoral programs. UMass is part of the five-college consortium that allows students to take courses, at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges. Umass has ten colleges including the Isenberg School of Management hosting a top-ranking business program. UMass is also known for its sustainability programming and started their UMass Climate Action Plan in 2010. UMass ranked third in research grants from the National Science Foundation following behind Harvard and MIT.

The University of Massachusetts offers a Master of Public Health in Nutrition. UMass offers courses for $605 dollars per credit hour for 44 credits. The Master in Public Health in Nutrition prepares students through core course work involving the U.S. Department of Health, Environmental Health Practices, Application of Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health Interventions, and Principles in Epidemiology. The program culminates with a capstone project in either independent study with an oral presentation or further course work in IS Project Problems. Practicum hours will include foci on biostatistics, epidemiology, Health policy and management, community health education, environmental health sciences, Worcester MPH (data), and nutrition.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $605

9. University of Southern Mississippi


The University of Southern Mississippi informally known as Southern Miss was founded in 1910 and is a public research university located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Southern Miss is located an hour outside of Gulfport, Mississippi and 90 minutes from New Orleans, Louisiana. Southern Miss is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and schools and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The doctoral and research program is extensive offering more than 70 doctoral degrees and nearly 30 specialist and certificate programs. The student body is diverse in that it represents 71 countries and all regions of the United States.

The University of Southern Mississippi offers programs for $446 per credit hour. This program is geared to learners interested in child nutrition and prepares each individual for the field of nutrition in a variety of ways. For this program expect to learn about biostatistics, educational techniques as well as research techniques for nutrition and food systems. In addition to learning to manage child food nutrition programs, learn about the nutritional needs of children and how to use that knowledge as you build relationships in schools, create programming for schools and other communities. This degree touches on public policy as well as consensus decision-making in education.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $446

10. Nova Southeastern University


Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, Florida. NSU offers 175 programs of study including 250 majors. NSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers bachelor’s, master’s, certification, and doctoral degrees. Programs of note include, clinical psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, nursing and conflict analysis resolution among several others. The undergraduate program enrolls more than 1200 international students hailing from 116 different countries. 82 million dollars of external funding enhances the research opportunities for graduates as well as undergraduates. There are more than 200 research programs including marine biology, coral reef preservation, stem cell research, wildlife and DNA-forensics.

Nova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Nutrition. The program is offered in two tracks; one in sports nutrition and the other in community nutrition. Those who select the community nutrition tack will take course work in public healthy, the psychology of eating, health disparities/health literacy, models of health behavior as well as three elective courses. Those students interested in sports nutrition will study nutrition an exercise performance, dietary and sports supplements, nutrition, physical activity and wellness, advances sports nutrition as well as three elective courses. Students enrolled in these programs prepare for careers as a private health consultant, health center nutritionist, among others as well as the necessary course work to become a registered dietitian. Additional course work and clinical hours are required. NSU’s M.S. in Nutrition requires 42 credits for completion and is billed at $560 per credit hour. In addition, a research project is also required.

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  • Tuition per Credit Hour (Out-of-State): $560