Online certificate programs in nutrition are most commonly offered as continuing education programs. Programs may be completed fully online. Proctored exams may be required. In most cases, a certificate in nutrition will not meet state requirements to practice as a licensed nutritionist. A bachelor's degree in nutrition or a related area and supervised experience are typically required for licensure. Certificate programs may be geared more toward students earning a degree in another area or students who plan to later further their education in nutrition. In addition, athletes, coaches, personal trainers and healthcare professionals may earn a certificate in nutrition to supplement their careers.
Certificate in Nutrition
Online nutrition certificate programs can be taken by a wide range of individuals, from personal trainers, registered dietitians and other health professionals. These professionals use this training to incorporate new information into programs for clients wishing to improve their own nutritional habits. Emphasis is often placed on such areas as disease prevention, weight management, food safety and the body's response to vitamins and other nutrients.
Many online nutrition certificate programs also incorporate a great deal of information on fitness, including such topics as cardiovascular exercise, muscular endurance, core strength, flexibility and injury prevention. While more advanced training is typically needed to work as a registered dietitian, an online certificate program may assist individuals seeking employment in community-based programs and health-related industries.
Program Information and Requirements
Online certificates are available for credit or non-credit, with the latter option applying to personal enrichment-based programs. Programs can typically be completed entirely online. Examinations, however, may have to be proctored at a location near the student. Students often access courses, which may require up to 15 hours of study per week, via an online course management system.
Online certificate programs usually use a Blackboard or similar platform to facilitate class discussions and allow students to submit assignments. Technical requirements may include an updated operating system, a compatible Internet browser, speakers and word processing software.
Certificate-level nutrition coursework covers a wide range of topics, from weight loss techniques and fitness goals to nutritional deficiency and eating disorders.
An online course covering the basics of nutrition explores the role nutrition plays during the life cycle, as well as its impact on current health problems in the U.S. Topics covered include metabolic syndrome, carbohydrates, heart disease, daily water intake, food preparation methods and the impact of nutrition trends on the legislative process.
Sports and Fitness Nutrition
A sports and fitness nutrition course emphasizes the role proper nutrition plays in achieving fitness goals. The course covers the digestive process, sports supplements, weight management, muscle recovery and metabolism.
Healthy Eating Habits
This course focuses on what influences the eating habits of both children and adults. The course covers the myths behind fad diets, hereditary issues in weight control, interpreting nutrition labels, obesity treatments, meal preparation and eating disorders.
Continuing Education Information
Nutrition certificate programs are often used as a segue into a more advanced degree program in nutrition or dietetics. Additionally, registered dietitians, personal trainers and other health professionals are often required to hold certification. Online nutrition certificate programs are often approved by the American Dietetic Association for continuing professional education units, which are needed for re-licensure or re-certification.
Online certificate programs in nutrition cover topics such healthy eating habits, weight loss, fitness and the fundamentals of nutrition. Graduates are prepared for further education to become licensed and registered dietitians, personal trainers and other health professionals.