Masters Degree in Nutrition: Career Options and Salary Info

A master's degree program in nutrition is meant to educate students on the effects and benefits of food choices, diet assessment and other health principles related to diet. The goal of a master's degree in nutrition is for graduates to be eligible for the registered dietitian (RD) credential.

Essential Information

Students enrolled in a master's degree program in nutrition take classes in various types of food, exercise and counseling. They learn how to plan balanced menus, guide individuals towards healthy choices and assess the nutritional value of foods.

  • Prerequisites: A bachelor's degree with college credits in chemistry and biology; other prerequisite courses may include anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and basic nutrition
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Other Requirements: An independent project or thesis

Master's Degree in Nutrition

Courses focus on natural and biochemical healing processes in the human body. Some courses may include study of the following:

  • Metabolic disease
  • Nutritional status
  • Vitamins
  • Botanical medicine
  • Exercise
  • Minerals

Popular Career Options

Although RDs cannot hand out medicine to patients, they can counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices and menu planning. Some careers may include the following:

  • Community dietitian
  • Management dietitian
  • Clinical dietitian
  • Nutritional educator
  • Philanthropic project officer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, employment growth in the dietitian and nutritionist field is expected to increase by about 21% in the period between 2012 and 2022. The BLS also stated that the median annual salary of dietitians and nutritionists was $56,950 in May 2014.


There are 48 states with laws governing dietitians. Of these, 35 require licensure, 12 require certification and one requires dietitians to register with the state. State requirements vary, and dietitians need to consult their individual state's website to find out more information.

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