Child Nutrition Degrees and Training Programs

Programs targeting child nutrition specifically are not common; to study for this specialization, individuals will need to pursue post-baccalaureate training within a graduate degree program such as a Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with a pediatric nutrition concentration. Training focused on child nutrition could also be gained through a graduate certificate option within a master's degree program in nutrition.

Essential Information

Applicants to graduate-level training in nutrition will generally need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited nutrition program. Specific thresholds for grade point averages and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores may also apply.Students may choose the pediatric specialization in order to focus on pre-term or full-term infants, healthy children or children who have diseases related to nutrition. Along with coursework, students will participate in internships and clinical experiences. The master's degree may be structured to require a thesis or might allow for additional coursework to take the place of a thesis.

  • Program Levels: Master of Science
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, submit GRE scores and meet minimum GPA requirements
  • Program Specializations: Pre-term or full term infants, children or diseases related to malnutrition
  • Other Requirements: Internship, research or thesis, varies by program

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Students take departmental core classes and a science core on advanced nutrition, which may offer biological chemistry, nutrigenomics and phytonutrients. Other core courses include diet therapy, research and statistics. Candidates may be required to do additional research or culminate studies with a comprehensive written examination, followed by an oral defense. Coursework in pediatric nutrition includes the following courses:

  • Specialized nutritional needs of healthy infants through adolescents
  • Pre-term and full term infant nutrition
  • Nutrition for high-risk infants
  • Medical nutrition therapy
  • Leadership in the profession
  • Individual study in pediatric nutrition

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for dietitians and nutritionists should increase 21% from 2012-2022, which is above average compared to other career fields. The average salary for these professionals was $57,440 as of May 2014, reports the BLS.

Demand for dietetics and nutritional counseling, treatment and service continue to grow in public as well as private delivery systems. Dietitians and nutritionists work in such settings as industry and business, hospitals and clinics, government agencies, colleges and universities, international health organizations and agencies and research firms.

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