Child Nutrition Degrees and Training Programs
Programs specifically in child nutrition are uncommon; 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 in child nutrition can also be gained through a graduate certificate option within a master's degree program in nutrition.
Applicants to graduate-level training in nutrition will generally need to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited nutrition program. Specific grade point averages and GRE scores may also be needed. Students may choose a pediatric specialization in order to focus on pre-term or full-term infants, healthy children or children with nutrition-related diseases. Along with coursework, students will participate in internships and clinical experiences. The program may also require a thesis or alternatively, additional coursework.
- Program Levels: Master of Science
- Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, GRE scores and minimum GPA requirements.
- Program Specializations: Pre-term/full term infants; healthy children; diseases related to malnutrition
- Other Requirements: Internship, research or thesis; varies by program.
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics
Students take departmental and science core classes inn advanced nutrition including biological chemistry, nutrigenomics and phytonutrients. Other core courses include diet therapy, research and statistics. Additional research and/or a comprehensive written examination may be required. Coursework in pediatric nutrition includes the following:
- 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.