Child Nutrition Degrees and Training Programs

Oct 14, 2019

Individuals interested in studying child nutrition will need to pursue a master's degree in nutrition and dietetics with a pediatric nutrition concentration. A graduate certificate option within a master's degree program in nutrition is also available.

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Essential Information

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.

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Students take departmental and science core classes in 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 11% from 2018-2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The average salary for these professionals was $60,370 as of May 2018, 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.

Degree programs in child nutrition are uncommon. Students who want training in this specialty area will usually need to pursue a pediatric nutrition concentration or graduate certificate offered within a nutrition and dietetics master's degree program. Program coursework in areas like medical nutrition therapy and professional leadership can prepare students for careers within the field.

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