For students interested in entering the growing nutrition and wellness industry, an online nutrition degree at the undergraduate level is a good place to start. These convenient entry-level degree programs provide foundational knowledge in nutrition and dietetics and provide a pathway to various careers as well as further study in a bachelor’s or master’s level nutrition degree program. Jobs for credentialed professionals in the nutrition and dietetics field are growing rapidly right now, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Positions in the occupation are projected to increase by 11% over the coming decade. In this ranking, our editors identify the best online nutrition degree programs at both the associate’s and bachelor’s degree levels.
Rating and Ranking the Best Online Nutrition Degree Programs
After identifying the online nutrition degree programs currently available, our editors applied the appropriate methodology (i.e., the bachelor’s degree methodology or trade school methodology) to rank both the bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics online programs as well as the online nutrition associates degree offerings. We used tuition to break any ties, awarding the higher ranking to the more affordable program. What follows represents our expert picks for the best online nutrition programs at the undergraduate level.
Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics Online Programs
#10—American College of Healthcare Sciences
Online Bachelor’s in Holistic Nutrition
The online nutrition degree from the American College of Healthcare Sciences is a Bachelor in Holistic Nutrition program approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). This 120-credit hour degree plan features major course titles such as:
- Advanced Nutrition Principles
- Nutrition Across the Lifespan
- Nutrition Coaching and Communication Skills
- Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
Elective classes are also available and can be strategically selected to align with an academic or career interest. Options include:
- Introduction to Aromatherapy
- Stress Management and Emotional Health
- Community Health Planning
- Basics of Herbalism
The American College of Healthcare Sciences is institutionally accredited to confer this nutrition degree online by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,640
#9—Purdue University Global
West Lafayette, Indiana
Online BS in Nutrition
Approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP), the online nutrition degree from Purdue University Global is a Bachelor of Science option that emphasizes holistic nutrition. This comprehensive 180-credit hour degree plan features major-specific courses such as:
- Nutrition Planning and Management
- Nutritional Analysis and Assessment
- Nutrition Across the Human Life Cycle
- Nutrition for Special Populations
An original capstone project in nutrition is also required for successful program completion. An accelerated master’s to bachelor’s degree option is also available. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Purdue University to award the bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics online.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,167
#8—Arizona State University
Online BS in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship
The unique online nutrition degree from Arizona State University is a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship. This undergraduate program emphasizes innovation in the industry and is offered through the school’s renowned College of Health Solutions. Required courses for the degree include:
- Introduction to Nutrition Science
- Economics of Resource Allocation: Food and Agriculture
- Applied Food Principles
- Food Service Purchasing
An experiential learning course is also required, and students can fulfill this requirement by choosing a class from options like:
- Experiential Community Health and Research
- Contact Tracing in Population Health
- Preprofessional Preparation in Nutrition
- Student Outbreak Response Team
Arizona State University is institutionally accredited to offer this nutritionist degree online by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338
#7—Eastern Michigan University
Online BS in Dietetics
Eastern Michigan University offers its top online nutrition degree from its College of Health and Human Services and the School of Health Sciences. This coordinated program in dietetics combines the bachelor’s and master’s in dietetics and prepares graduates for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential. Major requirements for the program include:
- Nutrition Assessment and Counseling
- Nutrient Metabolism: Micronutrients
- Fundamentals in Nutrition Therapy
- Nutrition Communications
The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Eastern Michigan University to award the nutrition degree online. The program itself is separately accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Undergraduate Tuition: $13,810
#6—The University of Alabama
Online BS in Food and Nutrition
The University of Alabama offers its online nutrition degree from its College of Continuing Studies. This program is a Bachelor of Science option requiring 120 credit hours of distance learning coursework. This includes classes specific to the major such as:
- Nutrition Education: Theories and Practice
- Nutrition at the Cellular Level
- Introduction to Research in Food and Nutrition
- Nutritional Biochemistry
The program encourages both part-time and full-time enrollment. This nutrition degree online is one of a handful of programs accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The University of Alabama is also institutionally accredited to award the bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,620
#5—University of Northern Colorado
Online Didactic Program in Dietetics
The online nutrition degree from the University of Northern Colorado is an accelerated Bachelor of Science (BS) option that can be completed in just 18 months of study. This 120-credit hour program of study features a prescribed curriculum, including course titles such as:
- Nutrition Education & Application Strategies
- Medical Nutrition Intervention
- Nutrition Applications in Foodservice
- Community Nutrition
An experiential learning component is also required prior to graduation. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Northern Colorado to confer this nutrition degree online. The degree plan itself is also programmatically accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,062
#4—University of Arizona
Online BS in Nutritional Sciences
The University of Arizona offers one of the best online nutrition degree programs in the country through its College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. The program features two available concentrations:
Depending on the area of emphasis they choose, students will take online courses such as:
- Survey of Nutrition Careers
- Nutrition Communication & Scientific Literature
- Lifecycle Nutrition
- Foundations in Medical Nutrition Therapy
A total of 120 credit hours of online coursework is required. This nutritionist degree online program is possible, thanks to the school’s accreditation status with The Higher Learning Commission. The program’s dietetics specialty is also programmatically accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Undergraduate Tuition: $12,716
#3—Kansas State University
Online Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Health
The top online nutrition degree from Kansas State University’s Global Campus is both comprehensive and customizable. Among the 120 credit hours of coursework required for the program are major course titles such as:
- Nutrient Metabolism
- Life Span Nutrition
- Public Health Nutrition
- Nutrition and Exercise
An accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program is also available to students interested in completing both degrees concurrently. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Kansas State University to confer this online nutrition degree at the undergraduate level.
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,466
#2—University of Alaska-Anchorage
Online Bachelor of Science in Dietetics
One of the best online nutrition programs in the nation, the BS option in Dietetics from the University of Alaska- Anchorage is offered through the UAA College of Health. The program is offered both online and on campus and emphasizes nutritional counseling. Sample major course titles include:
- The Profession of Dietetics
- Weight Management and Eating Disorders
- Research Methods in Nutrition and Dietetics
- Nutrition Communication and Counseling
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has accredited the University of Alaska at the institutional level to confer this online nutrition degree. The program itself is also separately accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,622
#1—Weber State University
Online Bachelor’s in Nutrition Education
Offered through the university’s Moyes College of Education, the online nutrition degree from Weber State University is a standout Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nutrition Education program. Once enrolled, students have the choice of two concentration options:
- Integrative Nutrition
- Sports Nutrition
Regardless of specialty, all students will take core nutrition education courses such as:
- Food Values, Diet Design and Health
- Multicultural Health & Nutrition
- Nutrition in the Life Cycle
- Current Issues in Nutrition
Depending on the concentration they elect, students will take additional classes like:
- Advanced Human Nutrition
- Nutrition Assessment
- Nutrition and Sustainable Cooking
Weber State holds the institutional accreditation necessary to confer this bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics online credential from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,956
Online Nutrition Associates Degree Programs
#5—Huntington University of Health Sciences
Online Associate’s in Applied Nutrition/Integrative Nutrition
Huntington University of Health Sciences offers two online nutrition degree programs at the associate’s level:
- Online Associate of Science (AS) in Integrative Nutrition
- Online AS in Applied Nutrition
Both programs require 61 credit hours of online coursework. Depending on the major they choose, students will take distance learning classes such as:
- Nutritional Counseling Skills
- Vegetarian Nutrition
- Introduction to Herbal Sciences
- Integrative Nutrition for Women
Students will also have the opportunity to choose from elective offerings like:
- Sports Nutrition
- Current Weight Management Theory & Application
- Community Nutrition
It is important to note that only the AS in Applied Nutrition program is eligible for federal financial aid. Huntington University is fully accredited to award the online nutrition associates degree by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,610
#4—Seminole State College of Florida
Online Associate of Arts in General Studies: Nutrition and Dietetics
Designed for students who desire to transfer to a university for further study in nutritional sciences, the online nutrition degree from Seminole State College of Florida is an Associate of Arts degree in General Studies with a concentration in Nutrition and Dietetics. Courses associated with the nutrition pathway include:
- Organic Chemistry
- Principles of Nutrition
- General Biology
- Speech Communication
A total of 60 credit hours of coursework is required for the degree. Advisors are on hand to help students ensure that courses will transfer to the desired university upon graduation. Seminole State College of Florida is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to confer this nutrition degree online.
Undergraduate Tuition: $3,131
#3—Cosumnes River College
Online Associate in Science in Nutrition
The online nutrition degree from Cosumnes River College features both a transfer and non-transfer track. Offered through the school’s Department of Nutrition and Foods, both programs feature a degree plan that can be completed entirely online. Enrolled students will take courses such as:
- Nutritional Issues Throughout Life
- Plant-Based Food Principles and Preparation
- Food Service Management
- Community Nutrition
Cosumnes River College is part of the Los Rios Community College District. It holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award this online nutrition associates degree from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $1,288
#2—Northland Community & Technical College
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Online Associate of Applied Science: Dietetic Technician
The nutrition degree online program from Northland Community & Technical College is a standout Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program for prospective dietetic technicians. The 67-credit hour degree plan is available entirely online and includes course titles such as:
- Life Cycle Nutrition
- Food Service Management
- Nutritional Care
- Community Nutrition
A supervised practice experience is also required in addition to distance education coursework. Upon graduation from the program, students are eligible to sit for the Dietetic Technician exam administered by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Dietetic Registration. Northland Community & Technical College is fully accredited to award this nutrition degree online by The Higher Learning Commission.
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,793
#1—Long Beach City College
Long Beach, California
Online Associate in Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Long Beach City College is home to three different online nutrition associates degree programs:
- Online Associate in Science for Transfer: Nutrition and Dietetics
- Online Associate in Arts: Dietetic Service Supervisor
- Online Associate in Science: Nutrition Assistant
Depending on which program they choose, online nutrition degree students will take distance learning courses such as:
- Food Selection and Meal Preparation
- Therapeutic Diets
- Nutrition and Life
- Advanced Medical Nutrition Therapy
These programs and courses are offered through the college’s Department of Family and Consumer Studies. Long Beach City College is accredited to confer this nutritionist degree online by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.
Undergraduate Tuition: $1,556
About Undergraduate Nutrition Degree Online Programs
Distance learning options for undergraduates such as the online nutrition associates degree and the bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics are becoming increasingly popular as busy and working adults look for ways to earn a valuable credential in the industry while still maintaining other responsibilities such as full-time employment or parenthood, for example. In many cases, online college for nutritionists-in-the-making represent the only option for students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to study the discipline. The best online nutrition programs are just as academically rigorous and reputable as on-campus offerings, yet they allow students to study at a pace and location that best fits their hectic schedules.
Types of Nutrition Degree Programs Online
If you’re serious about enrolling in an undergraduate online nutrition degree program, then you may be interested in what types of programs are available in this field. The good news is that there’s plenty to choose from when it comes to a nutritionist degree online. In this section, our editors will identify some of the common types of programs you’ll likely encounter in your search for the best online nutrition degree for you.
Hybrid Versus 100% Online Nutrition Degree Programs
An important distinction among nutrition degree online programs is the issue of hybrid versus fully online options. Some colleges and universities will label all distance learning programs as “online” programs when in reality they require a minimal on-campus attendance component. These programs are actually better described as hybrid offerings since they combine online learning with traditional in-person instruction. As you search for programs that fit your scheduling needs, be sure to read the fine print and take note of any required visits to campus.
Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Online College for Nutritionist Programs
A little-known fact about online college for nutritionists is that even fully online options can differ from one another in terms of flexibility. Asynchronous programs are the more flexible options for busy students as they don’t require specific online meeting times. On the other hand, if your schedule is forgiving enough, a synchronous online nutrition degree program may provide much-needed structure and interactivity not typically found in asynchronous degree plans. These offerings feature live instructional elements like lectures and class discussions where students and professors interact in real time.
Part-Time Versus Full-Time/Accelerated Nutrition Degree Online Programs
Another important consideration when looking for the best online nutrition degree program is whether the program allows you to study at a pace that fits your calendar. Some of these distance learning options enable students to set their own pace, whether part-time, full-time, or accelerated. Other programs require a certain number of courses per term and discourage other forms of enrollment.
Nutritionist Degree Online: Admissions
Students committed to enrolling in an online nutrition degree program should be aware of the admissions requirements for such programs. These criteria will vary from school to school and program to program but will generally include the following:
- High School Diploma or Equivalent
- Academic Transcript
- Minimum GPA
- College Entrance Exam Scores (SAT or ACT)
- Personal Essay or Statement
- References or Letters of Recommendation
As you’re considering the application process to a nutrition degree online program, keep in mind that university requirements tend to be more stringent whereas community colleges are more flexible with their admissions criteria.
Online Nutrition Degree Programs: Curriculum
After considering admissions guidelines for nutrition degree programs, the next question you’ll likely have is: “What will I learn?”. Although it may seem like a fairly basic inquiry, it’s actually a very important consideration when searching for the best online nutrition degree for you. That’s because not all of these programs are alike when it comes to curriculum. In fact, the courses you’ll take can vary considerably depending on the college or university you attend. While some programs follow a prescribed curriculum (meaning you’ll be told exactly which courses to take), others allow more flexibility in terms of content customization. These latter types of online college for nutritionists programs may offer concentration or specialization options, or they may allow enrolled students to pick a certain number of elective classes. To give you a rough idea of the breadth and scope of the courses you may encounter in your online nutrition degree program, we’ve listed some sample core course titles and sample elective/concentration classes below.
Sample Core Nutrition Degree Courses
- Introduction to Nutritional Sciences
- Intermediate Nutrition and Metabolism
- Nutritional Physiology
- Nutrition and the Life Cycle
- Communication in Nutrition
- Medical Nutrition Therapy
- Nutrition Research
Sample Elective/Concentration Classes for Nutrition Degrees
- Nutritional Implications for Special Populations
- Interprofessional Models of Nutrition Care
- Clinical Exercise Physiology
- Nutrition, Food, and Policy
- World Hunger and Malnutrition
- Principles of Human Disease and Biotechnology
The extent of your coursework will depend on the type of undergraduate degree you pursue, particularly whether you choose to seek an online nutrition associates degree or bachelors degree. While an associate’s degree in the field generally requires about 60 credit hours of coursework, a bachelor’s degree in nutrition will take twice that amount of study. Though completion times may vary by program, associate’s credentials usually take two years to earn, and a bachelor’s credential typically requires a four-year commitment.
Towards the end of your program, you may also be required to complete a capstone project or other culminating elements such as a research paper or supervised practice experience, for example. This program component enables you to demonstrate what you’ve learned over the course of the program and in some cases, apply it to real-world scenarios.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Online College for Nutritionists
Before you decide to get an online nutrition degree, it’s important to have any and all questions answered beforehand. This isn’t something you want to go into blind, after all. On the contrary, the more you know about online college for nutritionists before applying to a specific program or starting on coursework, the better. To help, our editors present some of the most frequently asked questions about these distance learning options along with some general information. As always, for specific information about a particular school or program, it’s best to speak to an admissions counselor.
Q: Can I earn my nutrition degree online entirely via distance education?
A: Yes. Both hybrid and fully online nutrition degree programs are available. To confirm that your degree can be completed without any required visits to campus, speak to an admissions counselor or other school representative.
Q: How much does it cost to attend online college for nutritionists?
A: Your tuition costs will depend on the specific college or university you attend as well as your enrollment status. For nutrition degrees online, cost of attendance can vary from a few thousand dollars per year to over $10,000 annually.
Q: How long does it take to earn an undergraduate nutrition degree online?
A: Completion times can vary, but generally speaking, you should expect to invest two years of study to an online nutrition associates degree and four years to a bachelor degree in nutrition and dietetics online.
Q: What is the best nutrition degree online?
A: In this ranking, we’ve applied a general methodology to identify some of the best online nutrition programs. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that choosing an online college for nutritionists is a highly personalized process. Each individual should consider priority features such as affordability, flexibility, and curriculum before making a decision about the right online nutrition degree.
Career Questions About Nutrition Degree Programs
Q: Are jobs in nutrition in demand?
A: Yes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for dieticians and nutritionists are currently growing faster than average. As the baby boomer population ages, there will be a heightened demand for nutritional care and services to combat disease and chronic medical conditions. Moreover, individuals of all ages are becoming more aware of the benefits of nutrition for general wellbeing.
Q: What jobs will I qualify for with an online nutrition degree?
A: Some of the positions that you may be eligible for upon graduation include dietician, nutritionist, clinical nutrition manager, health coach, and diabetes educator.
Q: How much will I make with an online nutrition degree?
A: It depends. PayScale reports that individuals with an associates credential in nutrition can expect to make approximately $35,000 per year on average while those with a bachelor’s credential will earn almost $60,000 annually. Still, your exact wages will vary based on a number of different factors, including your employer, job responsibilities, past experience in the field, and geographic location just to name a few.
Q: What professional organizations should I join?
A: Nutrition degree online students and graduates can benefit from joining a professional organization in the field. Some popular examples include:
- American Society for Nutrition
- National Association of Nutrition Professionals
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Nutrition Association
- National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator
- PayScale: Best Value Colleges
- PayScale: Job Salaries
- United States Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook
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