Online programs in nutrition are available at the master's degree level, although these programs typically focus on nutrition in general and not specifically on sports. There are also accredited certificate programs available online.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many states require dieticians and nutritionists to be licensed. To make sure your educational program meets the requirements for licensure, look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Clinical Nutrition
- Dietetic Technician - DTR
- Dietitian Assistant
- Foodservice Systems Administration
- Nutrition Sciences
- Wellness Studies
Master's Degree in Sports Nutrition
Individuals interested in pursuing careers as sports nutritionists can find online master's degree programs in nutrition from a number of schools. Master's degrees in nutrition prepare graduates to work as nutritionists, analyze scientific research, and conduct their own research. Those interested in specializing in sports nutrition can pursue additional certification and training programs.
Information about the Program and Requirements
Coursework for a master's degree program can be completed entirely online. Program length varies depending on the school, but most schools require 33-43 credit hours of study to fulfill graduation requirements.
Students who plan on enrolling in an online master's degree in nutrition will need reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection, and they may also need to meet hardware and browser requirements, such as up-to-date operating systems.
Popular Master's-Level Courses
Coursework in a master's degree program covers core courses in human nutrition, in addition to electives in areas of students' interest, such as preventative nutrition and dietary supplements. Coursework is typically delivered through the school's content management system where students can access lectures, assignments, and exams, in addition to interacting with other students and instructors.
Nutrition and Metabolism
Human nutrition and metabolism examines normal nutrition and metabolic rates at the cellular level. The effect of nutrition on tissues and organ systems is also examined.
Nutrition and Disease
Nutrition and disease covers the impacts of certain diseases on nutrition. Topics cover pathogenesis, along with dietary and therapeutic approaches for treatment.
A course in research methods focuses on the different methods used in nutritional research. Topics cover different study designs, dietary assessment, epidemiology, and biostatistics.
Biostatistics covers the basic methods used in data processing when applied to the field of health. Topics cover research results, statistical analysis, linear regression, and correlation.
Students in a nutritional assessment course learn how to assess both individuals and groups. Topics cover methods for evaluating nutritional intake, using nutritional analysis software, and clinical comparisons.
Job growth for nutritionists and dieticians is expected to grow at an average rate of 16% between 2014 and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations, with the best job opportunities for those who have certification in a specialty or a graduate degree that surpasses state licensing requirements, according to the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Due to increased health consciousness in society, fitness trainers are also expected to see fast growth in career opportunities, at a rate of 8% between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for dieticians and nutritionists was $57,910, while fitness trainers and instructors earned a median of $36,160.
Continuing Education Information
While requirements vary, most states require practicing dieticians and nutritionists to hold a license or certification in the field. Voluntary certification is also offered through the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association, which requires dieticians to complete 75 continuing education credits every five years (www.eatright.org).
Accredited certificate programs and courses are also available online for those who want to specialize in sports and fitness as nutritionists. Additional education provides students with advanced knowledge of the ways nutrition affect physical performance and well-being.
In online master's degree programs in nutrition, students learn about the way that food is processed by the body and how it affects human health. They may also take electives and conduct independent research in a particular area of interest, such as sports.