The study of nutrition is based on the relationship between food, nutrients, and human health. There are a number of different types of nutrition degrees available, at every level. We have sources multiple data points, including the premier accrediting body for dietetics and nutrition degrees: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). For more info on ACEND, you can view an in-depth review of some of the best online ACEND accredited programs. There are multiple different types of nutrition degrees such as:
Nutrition degrees by degree level
Similar degrees with different requirements
- Registered Dietitian programs (available online, RDN exam required, additional requirements)
- Dietetic Technician programs
Subsets or sub-fields of nutrition and other areas
- Clinical Nutrition degree programs
- Community Nutrition
- Public Health Nutrition
- Holistic Nutrition degrees
- Integrative Nutrition degrees
- Health Promotion programs
- Nutrition Education degrees
- Medical Nutrition
- Exercise Science degrees
What is the difference between a Nutrition degree and Dietetics degree?
A nutrition degree is similar in some respects to a dietetics degree but differs in that dietetics is more standardized:
- Dietetics degrees: Registered dieticians must be certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). There are multiple options for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist careers. Among the most popular include: graduate programs in Nutrition and Dietetics, coordinated programs in Dietetics (Bachelors and Graduate degrees work as a combined program), Didactic programs in Dietetics.
- Nutrition degrees: Nutritionist requirements vary and less is required to practice as a nutritionist. A degree is still required and oftentimes a Masters in Nutrition degree is recommended.
RDNs must earn a minimum of a Masters degree to sit for the RDN exam starting in 2024
As of 2023, those with a Bachelors degree can sit for the Registered Dietician Nutritionist (RDN) exam.
However it should be noted, if you decide to continue down your career path in dietetics to become a Registered Dietician Nutritionist, or RDN: Beginning January 1, 2024, students must have earned a Master's degree in order to sit for the RDN exam. RDNs must also complete an accredited Dietetic Internship (CDR website).
Consider a sponsored online Nutrition program currently accepting applicants.
|The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|MPH/Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD)
Three CEPH-accredited concentrations: MPH Leadership, MPH Nutrition, MPH Registered Dietitian (MPH/RD).
|Online Master of Science in Human Nutrition
ACEND-Aligned Curriculum. Gain comprehensive knowledge and leading-edge skills needed to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) Certifying Examination. Online students who meet GRE requirements and have a DPD verification statement can apply for our dietetic internship.
|Arizona State University
|Online Master of Science in Nutritional Science – Dietetics
Select from topics including sports nutrition, pediatric nutrition and obesity prevention to tailor your degree to your professional interests.
Are There Online Nutrition Degree Programs?
Yes, there are online nutrition degrees at every level. As you may expect, the graduate programs are more popular to be delivered 100% online. The online Masters in Nutrition degree is the most popular. There are also 100% online Bachelor of Nutrition programs.
Depending on desired add-ons, certifications, and degrees, some level of in-person experience may be necessary for certain fields of work within nutrition. As mentioned, if you want to work as a RD (Registered Dietician), there are multiple more steps you need to go through and consider when looking for the right degree.
Most nutrition programs can be completed fully online without issue. Read on to learn more information on the various degrees, certifications, and qualifications that can bolster a nutrition degree.
Typical online nutrition coursework
Coursework can vary widely in topic areas across master's programs, so it is important to seek out programs that specialize in your area of interest. It is also important to note that Master's in Nutrition programs typically do not prepare students to sit for the qualifying exam to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Master's in Nutrition programs are focused on expanding students' knowledge of nutrition information and research methods and should be an addition to any requirements needed for professional qualifications in the healthcare field.
Top Types of Nutrition Degrees, by Degree Level
Bachelors in Nutrition degrees
One of the most common nutrition degrees available at US universities is the Bachelor of Nutrition degree program. This undergraduate degree is typically a 4 year program, and can be taken on campus in traditional setting. There are quite a few online Bachelors in Nutrition degrees available, as well as related areas such as the Bachelors in Health Science or the Bachelors in Exercise Science.
Masters in Nutrition degrees
The most common graduate level nutrition degree is the Masters in Nutrition degree. While many programs have electives and tracks that allow you to specialize in a certain area, most programs have a core nutrition course load. These courses will teach students ethical considerations when practicing nutrition, basic biochemistry of food nutrients, how nutrition varies throughout the life course, and community-based considerations. Students typically go on from a Master's in Nutrition to take on exciting career paths such as private and public sector work, education leadership, policy advocacy, food science research, and health care.
What Can You Do with a Nutrition Degree?
A degree in nutrition can lead to a variety of different jobs based on personal goals and interests. Though some may require additional degrees, work, or certification.
Here are some things one can do with a nutrition degree:
- Practice privately for nutritional counseling
- Work in a hospital or healthcare setting
- Consult for food or wellness companies
- Help eating disorder patients
- Bring educational awareness in community-based settings
- Work with athletes in sports nutrition
Find Nutrition Degrees in your state
Schools by State
What are Potential Career Paths with a Degree in Nutrition?
Degrees in nutrition can lead to a variety of fulfilling careers dedicated to helping others enjoy the benefits of healthy living. From offices to labs, hospitals, schools, corporations, restaurants, and more, food exists everywhere, and so must nutritionists.
Nutritionists use their knowledge of the human body and nutrition to help patients make recommended changes in dietary needs. This can include aiding weight loss, weight gain, managing disease, or alleviating pain. Some nutritionists own and operate their own practice, or can work for institutions such as schools, treatment centers, or correctional facilities.
Chef or Caterer
Chefs and caterers can use the nutritional knowledge granted by a degree to make delicious food that also enriches the bodies of their customers. Chefs may also have managerial roles in the kitchen and complete administrative work, but most of the job revolves around food: making it, understanding it, serving it, and appreciating it.
Food Service Associate
Those who work in food service can be found in a wide range of business settings such as cafeterias and cafes. They may help with the preparation or serving of meals but can also play a part in meal planning or recipe research. They typically complete food transactions and assist with the preparation and serving of meals or work in recipe development or menu planning. This is becoming popular with sports teams in the professional leagues and in colleges in the power conferences.