MPH in Nutrition Degree Programs, Online Included

Completing a Master of Public Health (MPH) Nutrition degree is a great way for existing Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), prospective RDNs, and professionals interested in nutrition to broaden their skill set and learn valuable tools to create tangible impacts within the community. MPH Nutrition programs can be referred to under several names:

  • Master of Public Health Nutrition
  • Master of Public Health with a Nutrition Concentration
  • Master of Public Health in Nutritional Sciences

When choosing a nutrition program, students should pay attention to what is the best fit for them: core and elective coursework options, whether the program includes an internship or practicum component, full vs part-time study expectations, and any prerequisites that may be required.

School Program Admissions
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).
University of Tennessee Online Master of Public Health
CEPH accredited. GRE is not required. Concentration options in Community Health Education, Health Policy and Management, and Veterinary Public Health.
George Washington University Master of Public Health
Earn an MPH in 12 Months With GW’s Online Program. CEPH Accredited. GRE waiver available. Complete in as few as 12 months.
i sponsored

Are there online Master of Public Health (MPH) Nutrition programs?

Yes, there are online MPH in Nutrition programs. These Master of Public Health programs focus on how to promote higher nutritional health among populations. This includes coursework related to the role nutrition plays in public health, such as policy advocacy for nutritional programs, how to increase access to nutritional resources, nutritional epidemiology, nutrition research assessment and methods, community nutrition and disease outbreaks, and more.

Many students interested in a nutrition degree complete an MPH degree to learn how to be leaders in community health, impact meaningful change, perform qualitative and quantitative research, and learn from mentors in the field. There are also online Masters in Nutrition degrees you might consider.

In depth review of top MPH Nutrition degree programs

Here are some top MPH Nutrition options and what sets each program apart.

University of North Carolina (UNC) - MPH Nutrition Concentration

The Online MPH Nutrition concentration is designed for students who are interested in learning about the role nutrition plays in our community, how to effectively provide nutritional counseling, the effects of dietary culture, and how to promote nutritional behavioral change. This program uniquely works with both the public health and medicine departments at UNC to offer specialized courses in areas such as cancer nutrition, cardiovascular disease prevention, nutrition for diabetes, maternal and child nutrition problems, and obesity research. This program is designed for both full and part-time students and involves a 14-credit core, 1 practicum course, 15 nutrition-specific credits, 9 elective credits, 200 hours of practicum work experience, and a 3-credit culminating experience. Students who would like to complete the degree more quickly can enroll in the accelerated option, which can be completed in 16 months.

This program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and does not prepare students to sit for the CRD examination. Applications are considered holistically and students are typically required to provide an online application, CV, transcripts, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation.

University of North Carolina (UNC) - MPH Nutrition and Dietetics Concentration

For students who are interested in sitting for the CDR registration examination, UNC offers a two-year MPH with a Nutrition and Dietetics concentration program. This program is designed for students who are interested in working in a clinical or leadership field as registered dietitians. This Masters program is ACEND accredited, designed under the Future Education Model, and allows students to take the examination to become registered dietitians. In the program, students take 42 credit hours of coursework to complete their MPH in addition to at least 1000 hours of supervised field experience. Students take courses such as nutritional biochemistry, medical nutrition therapy, food service management, community nutrition, and nutritional epidemiology.

To be admitted into this program, students are required to have a bachelor's degree in nutrition (or other program) with 3.0 GPA or higher from an accredited four-year university. Because of the clinical focus of this program, students are also required to have several prerequisite courses such as biochemistry, human anatomy, microbiology with lab, general chemistry with lab, and organic chemistry. Students can enter this program with or without having received a DPD verification statement.

University of Michigan - MPH in Population and Health Sciences, Nutrition Concentration

The University of Michigan School of Public Health Online MPH program is designed to be highly customizable. Students can complete the degree online or in person and choose two concentrations within their program. For students with an interest in nutrition, there is a Maternal and Child nutrition focus area and a Precision Nutrition focus area. The MPH program is designed to be completed over 24 months and includes 42 credits, 19 of which are core courses. The MPH core courses are designed to give students a broad understanding of the work done in public health and potential areas they can specialize in. These courses include classes such as biostatistics, social determinants of health, public health and the environment, nutrition and public health, principles of epidemiology, and leadership skills.

Following the core courses, students can pick their concentration tracks and complete a series of electives. In the Nutritional Sciences Maternal and Child Nutrition concentration, students take classes such as Epigenetics and the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Foundations of Maternal and Child Health, and Food Security Policy and Programs. In the Precision Nutrition concentration, students take courses such as Molecular Nutrition, Nutrition and Genetic Epidemiology, and Precision Nutrition within a Lifecourse Epidemiological Framework. The University of Michigan has a strong nutritional research department, and students can expect to connect with faculty working on cutting-edge nutritional research such as epigenetic nutrition, nutrigenomics, and microbiome sciences.

University of Michigan - MPH in Nutritional Sciences, Dietetics Concentration

For students wishing to sit for the CDR examination, University of Michigan offers an ACEND-accredited MPH in Nutritional Sciences with a Dietetics Concentration designed to provide a pathway to becoming an RDN (view Registered Nutrition degree programs). This two-year program must be completed in person and involves an MPH curriculum, a year-long team project, an applied practice experience, and an interprofessional experience. At the end of the program, students will have completed their supervised learning experience and received a DPD verification statement. The program design focuses on student success, targeting an 80% pass rate for students sitting for the CDR exam after graduation.

To enter this program, students must have completed several prerequisite courses in science, including general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, psychology, human physiology, and psychology. In cases where the student is only missing one or two prerequisites, these courses can usually be taken the summer or spring before entering the program.

Northern Arizona University - MPH Nutrition

Northern Arizona University offers an MPH Nutrition program designed for students who want to become RDNs and sit for the CDR examination after graduation. This MPH program requires fewer specialized coursework credits than many other MPH programs, with students only needing to complete 30 nutrition-related credits to qualify for the nutrition concentration. Throughout the two-year program, students will complete supervised experiential learning experiences. This program prioritizes students' exposure to dietetic careers in different areas, and places students in learning sites within one hour of the University. Learning sites will include rotations in clinical nutrition, food service management, and public health nutrition. Through this experience, students have the opportunity to build professional connections and gain a deeper understanding of potential career tracks in their field.

This MPH program is ACEND-accredited under the Future Education Model and issues DPD verification statements upon graduation. Students are required to have completed prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, nutrition, and food safety. For those without a course in food safety and sanitation, completing a ServSafe certification is a valid alternative.

University of South Florida (USF) - MPH with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics Program

USF offers an online MPH program with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics. This program is designed for existing RDNs with at least two years of field experience or students who have a DPD verification statement. The design of this program is meant to enhance students' understanding of medical nutrition therapy, program evaluation, leadership, ethical practices, and theoretical frameworks and models while students are completing their dietetic internships or working as nutritional professionals.

For those who have not yet completed their Dietetic Internship, USF offers a Dietetic Internship program that can be integrated with the MPH program. This integrated program is completed over 20 months and focuses on population health and service. The program's goal is to train students how to be leaders in the community and advocate for improved health access and resources within different populations. Following the completion of the didactic and internship components, students will be able to sit for the CDR exam.

University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst - MPH Nutrition

The UMass Amherst MPH in nutrition is 47 credits of online didactic lecture designed for students entering diverse public health careers such as community nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, nutritional epidemiology, and nutrition education. The online MPH program is made up of six public health core courses, six public health nutrition courses, one elective, one practicum experience, and one independent study program. The goal is for students to build a strong foundation through diverse coursework and then apply their knowledge in their area of interest. Early in the program, students will be given an orientation about their practicum experience and how to find an appropriate mentor. Students will then have a practicum advisor who ensures they are able to make the most of the experience. At the end of the practicum, students give a virtual PowerPoint presentation.

To enter this program, there are two types of admission criteria. The first criteria is having an advanced health degree, such as an MD, MS, PhD, Dr, DMD, and DVM. The second criteria is for students without a health degree. To qualify for admission, these students must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.75 GPA, two years of public health work experience, two nutrition-related courses, and one human physiology course.

University of California (UC) Berkeley - MPH Nutrition

The UC Berkeley Public Health Nutrition Program has three options for students at different points in their professional development. For students entering the undergraduate program, there is a 4+1 MPH program in Public Health Nutrition that allows students to complete their undergraduate degree in Public Health and their Master of Public Health Nutrition degrees in 5 years. For students who have completed their bachelor's degree, there is a standard two-year MPH option that involves 48 coursework units and a 12-week public health practice experience. This internship can be completed at one of many public health organizations or research institutions.

For Registered Dietitians, physicians, and other health professionals with at least two years of work experience, there is a one-year MPH program with a concentration in Public Health Nutrition option. This option is research intensive and is made up of 42 coursework units from July to the following May. This program option aims to train health professionals to perform research in nutritional epidemiology and deepen their understanding of the role nutrition plays in healthcare.

University of Minnesota - MPH Nutrition

The Public Health Nutrition MPH is an in-person MPH program with two track options so students can tailor their curriculum to their professional goals. The first track is the Standard Program, which consists of 42 credits and is designed for students of all backgrounds. The coursework in this program focuses on public health policy and community nutrition, including coursework in food access, health disparities, healthy eating throughout the life course, policy advocacy, and community health. This track is not designed for students who are interested in becoming registered dietitians. For those with nutritional backgrounds who would like to sit for the CDR examination, the University of Minnesota opens 11 spots per year in the Coordinated Master's Program track. This track consists of 55-62 credits and includes both coursework and internship hours. Students who completed the Coordinated Master's Program will have both an MPH and qualifications to sit for the RD examination.

The University of Minnesota emphasizes faculty expertise in its course design. For each course, faculty with strong research backgrounds in class topics will lead the curriculum design and develop coursework tailored for small class sizes. This helps students dive deeper into their coursework and connect with mentors with expertise in areas such as maternal and infant health, public health practice, chronic disease nutrition, and nutritional assessment.

Comprehensive list of Online MPH in Nutrition Programs

Review the list of online MPH programs. It is noted by the program if they are ACEND-accredited MPH programs or CEPH accredited MPH in Nutrition programs.

University Degree Program Accreditation Format

Andrews University

MPH in Nutrition & Wellness CEPH Online

Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

MPH in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

Consortium of Eastern Ohio

MPH in Nutrition CEPH Online

CUNY School of Public Health

MPH in Public Health Nutrition CEPH Online

Indiana University at Bloomington

MPH in Physical Activity CEPH Online

Johns Hopkins University

MPH in Food, Nutrition & Health CEPH Online

Kansas State University

MPH in Public Health Nutrition CEPH Online

Kansas State University

MPH in Public Health Physical Activity CEPH Online

Liberty University

MPH in Nutrition CEPH Online

New York University

MPH in Public Health Nutrition CEPH Online

Northern Arizona University

MPH ACEND Campus

Oklahoma State University

MPH, MS in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

Temple University

MPH ACEND Campus

The University of Memphis

MS in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MPH with Nutrition Concentration Online

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MPH/RD program Online

The University of Tennessee Knoxville

MPH, MS, PhD in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

University of Maryland

MPH in Physical Activity CEPH Online

University of Massachusetts Amherst

MPH in Nutrition CEPH Online

University of Massachusetts Amherst

MPH in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

University of Massachusetts Lowell

MPH in Coordinated Program in Dietetics ACEND Campus

University of Michigan

MPH, MS in Didactic Program in Dietetics ACEND Campus

University of Minnesota

MPH in Coordinated Program in Dietetics ACEND Campus

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)

MPH ACEND Campus

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

MPH in Nutrition CEPH Online

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

MPH in Nutrition & Dietetics CEPH Online

University of South Florida

MPH in Nutrition & Dietetics CEPH Online

University of South Florida

MPH in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

University of Tennessee Chattanooga

MPH ACEND Campus

University of Texas Health Sciences Center-Houston

MPH in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

University of Washington

MPH, MS, PhD in Coordinated Program in Dietetics ACEND Campus

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System

MPH, MS in Dietetic Internship ACEND Campus

Youngstown State University

MPH ACEND Campus

Benefits of an online MPH in nutrition degree

Many MPH degrees have online options, allowing distance learners to complete their MPH without relocating or giving up current professional opportunities. MPH Nutrition programs provide students the opportunity to:

  • Learn how nutrition affects our communities
  • Design effective health interventions
  • Learn how to be effective leaders and grow within their professional roles.

Many programs vary in their target audience, with some programs designed for students who are planning to become RDNs and others designed for nutrition professionals of all types.

Fundamental basics of the public health nutrition degree

While specific program requirements will be unique to the university, all MPH Nutrition programs provide students with fundamental public health knowledge. This includes topics such as the social determinants of public health, biostatistics, epidemiology, population health, and environmental public health.

Students then learn foundational public health nutrition knowledge such as food service, medical nutrition, and community nutrition through their additional credits. The broad focus of this degree allows students to go into several professional disciplines, such as clinical nutrition, nutrition research, nutrition policy advocacy, and public health leadership.

What to know about the ACEND graduate degree requirement if you are considering a MPH

ACEND Accredited MPH Nutrition and Dietetics programsAs of 2024, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) requires a graduate degree for students interested in sitting for the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) credentialing exam. This exam is necessary for students to become RDNs and requires students to have completed a supervised practicum experience and received a Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) verification statement.

Most MPH Nutrition degrees do not inherently prepare students to sit for the CDR exam. For students interested in sitting for this exam, it is important to seek an MPH program that is designed for students who would like to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and is ACEND-accredited. MPH programs are typically focused on deepening students’ knowledge of the role nutrition plays in public health and does not inherently qualify students for the CDR exam. Regardless be sure to speak with any and all admissions representatives at the programs you are considering for the exact specifications.

In most cases, an MPH Nutrition degree is sought after by nutrition and dietetics professionals to enhance their existing knowledge and deepen their capacity to impact communities. For existing RDNs, a Master’s in Dietetics degree can be a great way to learn continuing professional education credits to maintain registration.

Top courses for an Online MPH in Nutrition degree program

An MPH Nutrition degree will typically have two types of required courses: General public health core courses and nutrition core courses. When graduating from a Master of Public Health program, students will be expected to have an understanding of public health topics across disciplines. This includes health and behavior, health administration, epidemiology, community health, and environmental health. The nutrition concentration portion of the MPH program will generally involve tailoring electives to meet requirements. In an MPH Nutrition program, students will see courses similar to the following (though names may change):

Social Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are the conditions, behaviors, and environments that influence the health of people and populations. This course helps students understand the social determinants of health so they can design effective interventions. This course teaches students how to tailor their methods to be most effective in different communities, understand the role sociodemographic factors play in health outcomes, and understand systemic ways in which our social environment influences health outcomes.

Introductory Biostatistics

Biostatistics is the use of statistics on data related to humans and other living organisms. Having a basic understanding of biostatistics allows professionals to interpret the validity of study results and make baseline interpretations of data. In this course, students will learn how to assess common types of data and how to use appropriate data collection and assessment measures in their studies.

Population Health

Population health is the study of health in populations rather than an individual person. This course teaches students how to measure the health of different groups, optimize public health interventions, and improve overall community health outcomes.

Principles of Epidemiology

This course is typically an introductory epidemiology course that will cover fundamentals and epidemiological design and research. Students learn the basics of how to design appropriate studies, measure outcomes, identify associations, and interpret results.

Food Security Policy and Programs

This course explores food security, food policy, and food programs in different communities and how they affect the health of residents. This course also explores how food insecurity affects child development and health outcomes, how food policy is made, and how federal food programs impact our society.

Community Nutrition

Community Nutrition is a course focused on how to promote health food consumption in our communities. This course typically covers how community health is measured, how it varies across populations, how to design interventions, and different approaches to improve community health.

What can you do with a MPH in Nutrition degree?

Professionals with a Master of Public Health Nutrition degree have broad career options. For those with RDN credentials, having an MPH Nutrition degree can lead to professional opportunities in government agencies, nonprofits, and leadership roles in clinical environments. Students without RDN credentials often work in professions such as nutritional policy advocacy, nutrition research, nutrition program implementation, nutrition program leadership, and health education. Nutrition professionals of all kinds often work with government and non-government agencies to help develop nutritional interventions, laws, and services within the community.

For students interested in continuing their studies, an MPH Nutrition is a great pathway into medical school, physician assistant programs, occupational therapy programs, dental school, epidemiology PhD programs, and nutrition PHD programs.

Nutritionist career and salary info

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) earn a median pay of $61,650. However, this will vary widely depending on work location, experience level, industry sector, and more.

Students without an RDN typically go into community health or health service work. These occupations also offer competitive pay, with community health workers typically making around $46,590 annually, and health education specialists making around $60,600 per year. Those with clinical expertise can also expect high salaries. For example, Agriculture and Food Scientists earn $74,160 per year on average, and health service managers typically earn $101,340 annually. As you gain professional experience, you may move into leadership positions with higher pay.