Most distance learning nutrition programs at the master's level can be completed entirely online. However, some programs may integrate a field experience component. Certain schools may also require onsite attendance for a comprehensive final exam. Students often need to complete 36-45 credits of graduate-level study to earn their degrees. Applicants must have completed undergraduate courses in nutrition, biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology.
Degree names vary slightly by school. However, the following are examples of programs available online:
- Master of Public Health in Nutrition
- Master of Science in Nutrition
- Master of Science in Human Nutrition
- Master of Science in Applied Nutrition
At the master's level, students typically focus on research in a specialized nutrition topic of their choosing. They may also explore the following topics:
- Metabolic diseases
- Biochemistry of nutrition
- Vitamins and minerals
- Developmental nutrition
- Nutritional therapeutics
- Public health nutrition
- Health program management
- Community-related health issues
- Nutrition and exercise
Schools Offering Programs
Several accredited schools throughout the country offer online degree programs in nutrition. Some examples include the following:
- University of Bridgeport
- Texas Woman's University
- Northeastern University
- University of Massachusetts - Amherst
- Stony Brook University
Who Is An Online Nutrition Program For?
Applicants to an online master's degree program in nutrition should have completed undergraduate courses in nutrition, biology, chemistry and anatomy and physiology. Most online master's degree programs in nutrition are designed for existing healthcare, nutrition, dietetics or biological science professionals looking to advance their skills. Generally, these programs are not designed to lead to Registered Dietitian credentialing. Studies in a nutrition master's degree program could also provide a foundation for those interested in continuing on toward a Ph.D.
Students in online programs interact with one another in teams and critical discussions, and they may work to develop solutions to current nutrition-related issues. For students who are required to complete a practicum, they may present the results of their experience through a PowerPoint presentation and online discussion board.
Throughout the program, communication with peers and professors can be completed through online chat rooms and e-mail. Learning tools include textual materials, discussions and assignments, with interactive online assessment tools to check progress. Ultimately, online degree programs are designed to provide students with scheduling flexibility and convenience.
Online nutrition programs are available at the master's level, and students can often choose a specialization that interests them. These programs offer fully online coursework, though some field experience may be required.