Distance learning students may earn a Bachelor of Health Science (BHS) or Bachelor of Science in Nutrition online. Some programs may be available entirely online or in a hybrid format. These programs often prepare graduates for professional membership in the Society for Nutrition Education and the American Society for Nutrition. In order to become registered dietitians, students may need to take a state exam after graduation.
To earn an online bachelor's degree in nutrition, students may need to complete a capstone project demonstrating the knowledge and skills they have developed. Core coursework throughout an undergraduate nutrition program often includes studies in the following:
- Clinical nutrition
- Nutritional counseling
- Eating disorders
- Weight management
In addition to core topics in nutritional science, these programs may also allow students to explore the following topics:
- Complementary or alternative medicine
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Herbal sciences
Many online programs allow students to enroll at any time. Because learning is typically asynchronous, distance education students can complete the program at their own pace. However, there are usually deadlines for assignments and exams.
To participate online, students typically access a virtual learning platform, such as Blackboard, to retrieve and submit assignments and participate in online class discussions. Learning tools may include textbooks, video lectures, and audio files. In addition, students may use e-mail and chat features to communicate with instructors and peers.
Graduates of online bachelor's degree programs in nutrition often go on to pursue careers as nutritionists or dietitians. Some states only require professionals to register their credentials to use these titles, but other states require individuals to take an exam and apply for certification before they can become a registered nutritionist. Other positions available to graduates of undergraduate distance learning programs in nutrition include the following:
- Nutrition consultant
- Nutrition specialist
- Holistic nutrition professional
Continuing Education Information
After earning a bachelor's degree, students may consider pursuing a distance learning graduate certificate in food and nutrition. Although the certificate alone does not qualify students for licensure as a nutritionist, it can augment graduate study in areas such as family and consumer sciences, public health or biology with the flexibility of an online program. Core subjects in an online certificate in food and nutrition program may include:
- Food science
- Nutrient metabolism
- Nutritional principles
- Health and disease
In online bachelor's degree programs in nutrition, students explore the many ways that food relates to health and wellness. Even though these programs are non-traditional in that they offer considerable scheduling flexibility, they still provide comprehensive training in the field, so graduates are prepared to seek the credentials needed to become nutritionists or dietitians.