Best Master’s Degrees in Nutrition

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Master's Degrees in Nutrition

For students who have an undergraduate education in health, nutrition, and the sciences, a Master’s Degree in Nutrition is a logical next step. This is especially true for students who wish to develop an ability to research modern concepts in the field of human health. From there, students can specialize in different areas as clinical nutritionists and community nutritionists, among others. A background in nutrition can also help students to become registered dietitians, and dietitians can specialize within their field as well.  

When looking at a master’s degrees in nutrition, students should first consider the background that is required by the program itself. Some universities require students to have a foundation in biochemistry or human health. Next, for those looking to become registered dietitians, the program must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.

Finally, if students ultimately want to earn their doctorate in the field, it is pertinent to complete a master’s thesis in the program. Most programs allow for a thesis option.

Difference Between a Dietitian vs Nutritionist

Dietitian

Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in nutrition is a minimum requirement, a master's degree is recommended

Certification Requirements

The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) offers certification to become a Registered Dietitian (RD).

Career Definition

Dieticians work with physicians and clients to  help with meal planning, food prep, and establishing a healthy diet. Dieticians can work in hospitals, care homes, and private clinics

Salary $55,190

Nutritionist

Education Requirements

A bachelor's degree in nutrition is a minimum requirement, a master's degree is recommended

Certification Requirements

Licensure can change by state for nutritionists, while not all states require certification, many states have their own certification requirements.  

Career Definition

Nutritionists work directly with clients to create nutrition plans that fit the needs of their client and educate individuals about health. 

Salary

$48,743

Featured Online Nutrition Schools

Frequently Asked Questions About Nutrition Degrees

What jobs are available for degrees in dietetics and nutrition?

Students with a degree in nutrition can work in healthcare as a nutritionist or dietician. Students who are interested in working outside of the healthcare field can also find work in food processing and consulting. 

What are the different degrees in nutrition?

Earning a master's in nutrition qualifies students to register to become a dietician or nutritionist. Students can also earn an associates, bachelors, or doctorate in nutrition. 

What can a nutrition degree do?

Students who earn a master's degree in nutrition can work in different areas of the field, including as a child nutritionist, as a sports nutritionist. They can also find work as a wellness coach.

What qualifications do you need to be a nutritionist?

Nutritionists need a master's degree and state licensure, if applicable. Many nutritionists seek out an internship to gain job experience, and most certifications require individuals to maintain their certification status. 

What does a nutritionist do?

A nutritionist works with clients to develop eating plans or work towards a specific goal. Nutritionists can work in hospitals, nursing homes, or private care clinics, among others. 

How to Become a Nutritionist

Students interested in becoming a nutritionist need to earn a bachelor's in nutrition. After graduation, students can find internships or start a master's degree in nutrition. An internship can help students gain real world experience and can improve their resume. Licensure is required to work as a nutritionist in many states, while each state has its own requirements, some qualifications may include holding a bachelor's or master's degree in nutrition, filling out an application, and renewing the license every year. Nutritionists make $63,090 a year, on average, and have a projected growth rate of 11%, which is higher than average.

Rankings of The Best Nutrition Masters Programs

#10 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITION
Website
Score: 93.2

Texas A&M’s Master of Science in Nutrition program prepares students to become a registered dietitian. It has been in existence since 1982, and it emphasizes clinical dietetics. Students complete an internship that lasts nine months as part of this program. They also complete a core of courses in nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, and statistics. In total, students must take 32 credit hours of coursework in order to earn their degree.
Net Price: $19,554

#9 RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
Website
Score: 93.4

Students can earn their Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Rutgers University’s School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Students can choose from three options in this program, which are Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology, Community and Applied Nutrition, and Dietetics.

The Nutritional Biochemistry and Physiology option, in particular, is helpful for students wishing to go on to a doctoral program. The dietetics option is attractive to those wishing to receive a registered dietitian nutrition credential. The Applied Nutrition option gives advanced training to those who work in nutrition. All three options require 30 credits of coursework for completion.
Net Price: $16,016

#8 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITION
Website
Score: 94.9

The University of Minnesota provides a Master’s in Nutrition that requires 30 credit hours of coursework. Students take four courses as part of their core curriculum in this program. These are Nutritional Biochemistry, Nutritional Physiology, Vitamin and Mineral Biochemistry, and Nutrition and Genetics. There is also the choice between a thesis a non-thesis option. While it does not require substantial original research, a research project is still part of the non-thesis option. There is a dietetic internship program at UM, and this has two areas of concentration, which are Eating Disorders and Medical Nutrition Therapy. 
Net Price: $16,808

#7 CORNELL UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE
Website
Score: 95.0

Cornell University has taken a multidisciplinary approach as part of its Master of Science in Nutritional Science. Students can specialize in degree tracks like Dietetics, Human Nutrition Evidence for Policy Making, and Global Food Systems for Health. Approximately 60 credits are required for students to graduate from the program, which also includes a research-based thesis.

The Dietetics track is an effective credential for those who wish to become or who already are dietetic practitioners to grow their experience. The Global Food Systems track can help those interested in food systems policy, and it allows for students to draw from the expertise of faculty members who contribute to the field regularly. Lastly, the Human Nutrition Evidence for Policy Making track utilizes an evidence-based approach for those in public health and medicine.
Net Price: $31,449

#6 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCES
Website
Score: 95.1

The University of Washington has a 75-credit Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences gives students a strong foundation in nutrition, public health, and food systems research through its interdisciplinary approach. It is also helpful for those who wish to go on to earn their doctorate. Students can also take part in fieldwork and practicum experiences. 
Net Price: $9,443

Featured Online Nutrition Schools

#5 TUFTS UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITION AND DIDACTIC PROGRAM IN DIETETICS
Website
Score: 95.3

Tufts University offers a Master of Science in Nutrition with a certificate in the Didactic Program in Dietetics. Students in this program draw from the expertise of their faculty members, all of whom have dietetic expertise that they regularly use in their affiliations with the Joslin Diabetes Center and the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Additionally, Tuft's MSND also focuses in particular on clinical nutrition and typically takes about 20 months to complete and requires 33 credit hours.
Net Price: $29,449

#4 NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY AT RALEIGH

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITION
Website
Score: 95.3

Bringing together experts in the fields of food, bioprocessing, nutrition, animal science, youth, family, and community science, North Carolina State University’s Master of Science in Nutrition provides a thesis or non-thesis option requiring 30-42 credit hours for graduation. NCSU’s MSN offers coursework in metabolism, nutrition, and biochemistry. Students can also choose from emphases in Human Nutrition, Food and Bioprocessing, and Feed Science. Students are also prepared for a Ph.D. program after completing this course of study. They should also have a background in science to apply for this program.
Net Price: $13,442

#3 PURDUE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITION SCIENCE
Website
Score: 97.0

Purdue University works to prepare students to conduct research on nutrition and health by bringing in experts in biochemistry, physiology, psychology, food science, genetics, and cell biology with its Master of Science in Nutrition Science. In this program, students choose from four emphasis groups, which include 30-credits worth of Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition; Human and Clinical Nutrition; and Growth and Development. Students also complete laboratory rotations in this program, giving them hands-on experience.
Net Price: $12,117

#2 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HUMAN NUTRITION
Website
Score: 97.8

Ohio State University has a research-focused Master of Science in Human Nutrition program. It explores the relationship between diet, health, and disease, as well as how this research can affect public policy. At a minimum, students must take 30 credit hours of coursework as part of this program. The curriculum includes five core courses, three research methods classes, ten hours of electives, and a  thesis. OSU also strives to help its students to become researchers. As such, research topics in the program include family nutrition, food security, and behavioral nutrition, among others. Additionally, students have opportunities to take part in the Russell Klein Nutritional Research Symposium and to work with the Food Innovation Center.
Net Price: $18,042

#1 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA - CHAMPAIGN

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE
Website
Score: 100.0

At the top of our ranking is the 32-credit Master of Science in Nutritional Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Students at UIUC choose between a thesis and a non-thesis option and are provided courses including a Seminar in Foods and Nutrition, Advanced Clinical Nutrition, and Topics in Nutrition Research.  Students can also take classes in the fields of statistics, sociology, agricultural economics, and biochemistry. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report have ranked the university as No. 13 in Top Public Schools and No. 20 on Best Colleges for Veterans.
Net Price: $16,638

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