Your Complete Guide to

Master’s in Nutrition

Online Masters Degree
on February 7, 2024

Why We Love It

  • Healthy Salary
  • Room to Grow
  • Giving Back to the Community
  • Choices, Choices, Choices

* The Why We Love It section is solely based on the opinion of's Editorial Team. Any salary & growth research or estimates should be referenced further at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for your specific desired career.

What is a Master’s in Nutrition?

Nutrition is one of the cornerstones of good health, but it’s also one of the hardest things to keep under control in today’s world.  Even as society becomes more health-conscious, we are surrounded by artificial ingredients, high-fructose corn syrup, and processed junk food.

Fortunately, there are trained professionals who can help people to make more informed and responsible choices when feeding themselves and their loved ones.

A master’s in nutrition can refer to one of several different degrees, all of which are designed to prepare you for a career in the field of nutrition.  This is a rapidly expanding field in which job demand is expected to grow 15% over the next five years!

A master’s in nutrition could teach you how to analyze a diet, determine health status, identify nutritional deficiencies (as well as any food allergies), recommend evidence-based nutritional changes, and provide lifestyle guidance.

This could help you to promote wellness to people in the community, help athletes improve their performance, and even treat certain medical conditions.

Recommended Schools

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Nutrition?

A child nutritionist helps an obese child to begin making healthier choices and develop better eating habits.  A weight loss consultant helps an older person get their type 2 diabetes under control.

A sports nutritionist helps an Olympic hopeful to implement a regimen to improve their performance.  These are all potential futures for someone with a master’s in nutrition, and they could all save lives and improve quality of life.

But, these are only a few examples. The possibilities are endless. You get to choose what you’ll do, and you don’t have to know what that is right now.  A master’s in nutrition could give you the tools you need to do a wide variety of jobs, so you’re not committing to a career before you even finish your degree.

And the field stays unaffected even during times of high economic uncertainty and unemployment, with the need for professional nutritionists keeps growing whether it is the hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities out there.

Best Programs for a Master’s in Nutrition

Now that you’re here, you might be wondering about which master’s program to choose.

Here’s the best part: We’re going to give you the secrets to finding the best programs for adults, programs that could help you get your master’s degree in nutrition faster and with as few headaches as possible.

We know planning for college can be confusing, and is dedicated to helping you find the right path for you so that you can complete your degree and start your new career as soon as possible.

Why We Love a Master’s in Nutrition

  1. Healthy salary:  You could make great money with a master’s in nutrition. Individuals could end up finding jobs that pay high across various industries such as education, research, healthcare, and sports, and that is something that should be considered during high inflation times like the present.
  2. Room to grow:  A more health-minded population means more opportunities. More and more people are becoming health conscious, leading to an increase in demand for professionals with qualifications and expertise in nutrition. This means a higher number of opportunities and plenty of room for career growth.
  3. Giving back to the community:  A master’s in nutrition is a great way to land a job that makes you feel good about yourself. You benefit from the education personally, but you also feel personally rewarded by helping others towards a healthy lifestyle as well.
  4. Choices, choices, choices:  A master’s in nutrition could give you many career options. Professionals with a degree could end up working in many diverse as well as interesting fields such as research, clinical practice, sports, and many more.

Online vs. Traditional Campus

Most people who think about going back to school and getting their master’s in nutrition never even get started.

The various entrance hurdles like exams and application fees are annoying enough without also having to make school work around your schedule.

While going back to school and getting a master’s degree will definitely add value and open up opportunities for you, it can also be a tough decision to make especially if you have got heaps of personal, work, and family-related commitments.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With an increase in online program offerings that come with flexible schedules, it is now far easier to get a master’s degree in nutrition.

With adult-friendly schools, there is really no reason not to go back to school anymore.

But, what makes a school adult-friendly?

Here are a few key attributes:

  • Adult-friendly schools are totally online. Online learning is best for busy adults, who must balance their ongoing education with work, kids, and everything else that comes with being a grownup. Thanks to the pandemic and advancing technology, online and distance education are starting to become a common phenomenon. Online schools offer students convenience by allowing students to work college around their lives, not the other way around.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer accelerated programs, with ongoing enrollment.  What’s better than getting your master’s in two or three years?  Getting it in one.  With ongoing enrollment, you don’t have to wait until fall or spring to start on your new journey; many schools offer monthly enrollment periods, meaning you can start whenever it works for you.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer more support than traditional schools.  This includes but is not limited to, career services, making it easier for you to begin your new career. Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that why you’re going back to school? Having career services support can be very helpful in making the transition from education to professional practice, with guidance on resume building, job search as well as networking.

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Admissions Requirements for a Master’s in Nutrition

So what do you need to go to grad school?  Well, you might think that step one is obviously the GRE or another entrance exam, right?

Well, not anymore.

Many adult-friendly schools do not require GRE or entrance exams.  Online programs generally require only a bachelor’s degree to get started, and there are no application fees to worry about.  You start when you’re ready.

Master’s in Nutrition Curriculum

As mentioned above, a master’s in nutrition program is designed to teach you how to analyze a diet, determine people’s health status, identify nutritional deficiencies and problems, recommend nutritional changes, and provide lifestyle guidance.

A master’s degree can also prepare you for upcoming challenges, and keep you up-to-date with the world of nutrition post-pandemic. These areas of knowledge are essential to promoting wellness to people in the community, helping athletes improve their performance, and treating certain medical conditions.

What Courses Will I Take in My Master’s in Nutrition Program?

Because helping people make healthy choices and live long lives is so important, the core curriculum of a master’s program will include courses that build a foundation of knowledge in key areas related to nutrition, health, and wellness.

Examples include:

  1. Biochemistry in Nutrition: This could cover a wide variety of topics such as metabolism, macro- and micronutrients, and disease prevention.
  2. Promoting Health and Wellness: This would likely teach you how to develop wellness plans, interpret health data, and evaluate success.
  3. Epidemiology: A buzzword in recent years for sure, this is the branch of medicine that deals with studying and analyzing health and disease conditions within a population, as well as the possible control of these factors, including nutrition.
  4. Communication in Health: It is crucial to understand how best to convey health and wellness information to both individuals and communities.
  5. Toxicology: Poisons and other contaminants–whether manmade or natural–are everywhere, and they can have detrimental effects on health.
  6. Food-Related Problems: This could explore foodborne illnesses like salmonella, norovirus, and staphylococcus, as well as food allergies, eating disorders, and diseases like diabetes.

Specializations and Concentrations

Depending on the school and program you choose, your master’s in nutrition could be called any of the following:

  • Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition
  • Master of Science (MS) in Nutritional Science(s)
  • Master of Science (MS) in Human Nutrition

Additionally, your school could offer a closely related degree, such as:

  • Master’s in Dietetics: This could be identical to a master’s in nutrition, or it could focus more heavily on prescribing diets in order to treat specific medical conditions, such as eating disorders, whereas a master’s in nutrition might be more general.
  • Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics: Like the above, this could be another name for a master’s in nutrition, or it could encompass both fields.
  • Master of Public Health (MPH): This degree is focused on the science and art of preventing disease, in which nutrition plays an important role.

Master’s in Nutrition: Program Length

Most master’s degrees in nutrition require between 30 and 36 credits to graduate.  Normally, a master’s in nutrition program takes about two years to complete.

An accelerated plan, however, could take half that time.  This is where adult-friendly schools really shine.  They know their students have jobs, kids, and other obligations that make a traditional school schedule unrealistic.

The best adult-friendly schools make the process as convenient as possible, and they could get you into the workforce as fast as possible because they know that’s what adults want.

So whether it is online courses, the options for flexible learning, or accelerated programs, adult-friendly schools understand their students need to achieve their educational and career goals in time.

Choosing the Right University or College Master’s in Nutrition Program

Choosing the right school for you can be exciting, but it can also be a hassle.  Tuition costs, application fees, accreditation, enrollment windows, and entrance exams are just some of the variables to consider.

That’s why we created the Smartplan.

We want to help people go back to school, to make college more accessible and affordable for everyone.  With our Smartplan, we make it easy for you to start on your path towards your Master of Public Health.

Here are just some of the benefits of your Smartplan:

  • No application fees
  • Accredited colleges and universities
  • No entrance exams or testing
  • Faculty and professors who understand adults
  • Discounts and scholarships available
  • Open enrollment dates

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Best Jobs for Those With a Master’s in Nutrition

You might now be wondering: what can you do with a master’s in nutrition?

What kind of pay can you expect?

Here are some common careers for master’s in nutrition holders, with salary data estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Dietitian or Weight Loss Consultant: Many people need dietary advice to improve their lifestyle and achieve their health-related goals. You could make anywhere from $42,530 to $93,640 per year.
  • Food Marketer: In today’s health-conscious world, effective marketing strategies must take nutrition into account. You could make anywhere from $61,930 to well over $200,000 per year.
  • Child or Adolescent Nutritionist: With the epidemic of childhood obesity in the US, it is more important than ever to help people develop healthy eating habits from a young age. You could make anywhere from $42,530 to $93,640 per year.
  • Biomedical Researcher: Nutrition is an important factor in the development of medicine. You could make anywhere from $49,020 to $159,680 per year.
  • Sports Nutritionist: Athletes sometimes need help optimizing their performance and understanding the effects that different foods can have on their bodies. You could make anywhere from $42,530 to $93,640 per year.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite careers, but this degree does provide you with broad skills to work in a variety of nutrition and health-related jobs, which will likely allow you to draw an excellent salary while helping others to lead healthy lives.

The best careers are those that pay well AND let you feel fulfilled by giving something back.  And again, you don’t need to know right now which job you want. Also, after gaining adequate experience, and establishing a name, you can even practice privately. These are just some of the possibilities you can choose from.

Cost and Tuition

Cost and tuition vary from school to school, and you’ll want to speak with each of your prospective schools directly.  Fortunately, online schools are generally more affordable than their in-person counterparts.

Adult-friendly colleges understand that you want to save, balancing familial commitment with given economic uncertainty and rising inflation, and so they could even help you with financial aid if you’re eligible. These little count a lot and are something worth considering when making a choice. You’ll definitely want to speak to a few schools, and can help you with that.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Do I need to know what job I want before I start a master’s program in nutrition?

A: No!  A master’s in nutrition could prepare you for a wide variety of careers.  You certainly don’t need to know what job you want today.

Q: Will I make more money with a master’s in nutrition?

A: That depends on a variety of factors.  But as you can see above in the “Best Jobs for Those With a Master’s in Nutrition” section, your master’s degree could mean excellent earning potential.

Q: How long will I be in school?

A: That could depend on you, your current job, and any other obligations you might have.  A master’s program could take anywhere from one to three years, but our Smartplan is designed to help you find the right degree for you, so you can finish as quickly as possible!

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Master’s in Nutrition degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

It’s free, and helps you find potential ways to save and tons of information about each school you’re considering

Think of it as your “college blueprint”, to help you instantly craft a path to your degree:

  • Which Colleges Match Your Needs
  • Ways You Could Save Time & Money
  • Free Courses You Could Take for Credit
  • Valuable Data and Insights on Each College
  • Detailed Steps You Should Take!

See what’s possible for you and generate a free plan within just a few minutes

Create My SmartPlan

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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