Masters Degree in Nutrition: Career Options and Salary Info

A master's degree in nutrition educates students on the effects of food choices, diet assessment and other related health principles. Find out about these programs, including prerequisites, length, common topics, and other requirements.

Essential Information

Students enrolled in a master's degree program in nutrition take classes in various types of food, exercise, and counseling. They learn how to plan balanced menus, guide individuals towards healthy choices and assess the nutritional value of foods. The goal of a master's degree in nutrition is for graduates to be eligible for the registered dietitian (RD) credential.

There are a variety of prerequisites for a two year master's degree, including a bachelor's involving chemistry and biology credit, as well as prior coursework in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and basic nutrition. Most degrees will also require a thesis or independent project in order to graduate.

Master's Degree in Nutrition

Courses focus on natural and biochemical healing processes in the human body. Some courses may include study of the following:

  • Metabolic disease
  • Nutritional status
  • Vitamins
  • Botanical medicine
  • Exercise
  • Minerals

Popular Career Options

Although RDs cannot hand out medicine to patients, they can counsel individuals and groups on nutritional practices and menu planning. Some careers may include the following:

  • Community dietitian
  • Management dietitian
  • Clinical dietitian
  • Nutritional educator
  • Philanthropic project officer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, employment growth in the dietitian and nutritionist field is expected to increase by about 16% in the period between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also stated that the median annual salary of dietitians and nutritionists was $57,910 in May 2015.


There are 48 states with laws governing dietitians. Of these, 35 require licensure, 12 require certification and one requires dietitians to register with the state. State requirements vary, and dietitians need to consult their individual state's website to find out more information.

A two year master's degree in nutrition can teach students a wealth of information about the human body and how it functions. The skills learned in these programs will give you what you need to become a successful dietitian or nutritionist and earn your RD credential.

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