Accredited Online Business Degrees

Online nutrition degree grads will use food to healFood and health have been intertwined since long before the development of modern medicine. As preventative and integrative care begin to rise in popularity again in the healthcare system, there has been a rise in awareness of nutrition as a valuable component of our health as well. Nutritionists are the health science professionals who study the core contributor to human health and disease—food! 

When you earn an online nutrition degree, you're taking the first step toward becoming a nutritionist or dietitian. In this role, you could work at a nursing facility, hospital, clinic, health spa, or rehabilitation center, creating meal plans, educating clients, and promoting healthy eating. You could also work independently or through a private practice to assess and develop nutritional plans for athletes and other patients. Non-healthcare options include working in food inspection and safety for the government or a private agribusiness developing and testing new foods.

THE CAREER PATH

Nutritionists are the experts who use food to promote health and manage disease. Professionals advise and educate individuals and communities on what to eat in order to lead a certain lifestyle or achieve specific goals.

There are a few different types of nutritionists:

  • Clinical - These professionals provide direct medical nutritional therapy in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and other institutions.
  • Community - These nutritionists work to develop programs and educate the public on topics relate to food, health, and nutrition in settings such as public health clinics, government and nonprofit agencies, and health maintenance organizations.
  • Management - These experienced professionals oversee and coordinate food programs in institutions like cafeterias, hospitals, prisons, and schools. They are often responsible for administrative tasks such as budgeting and overseeing staff.


After you've earned a bachelor's or master's degree in nutrition, you must seek additional certification. Most states in the U.S. require dietitians and nutritionists to be licensed, especially if you'd like to accept insurance. You can either pursue licensing with your state (usually via becoming a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)) or earn registered dietitian (RD) status. In many cases, the requirements are quite similar, but some employers do prefer to hire RDs.

To become an RD, you must have a bachelor’s degree. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) is responsible for awarding RD credentials. The ADA requires you to graduate from a college with a curriculum that has been approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). You must also complete an internship, which can run six months to a full year. The final certification exam is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). 

To become a CNS, you must have a master’s degree from a regionally accredited school, 1,000 hours of supervised work experience, as well as a passing grade on the certification exam. Certification is through the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS).

Regardless of work environment or professional role, nutritionists tend to be responsible for tasks including:

  • Assessing clients’ nutritional and health needs
  • Counseling clients and communities on nutrition issues and healthy eating habits
  • Developing meal plans based on client funding and preferences
  • Writing reports and documenting client progression


Nutrition is not only rewarding to the community, but professionals can also count on job security and fair compensation. As nutrition joins the rising trend of preventative care, the demand for nutritional professionals is expected to increase by 16% in the coming years. On average, nutritionists make around $59,000 each year.

WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?

Nutritionists must be able to actively listen, observe, and have compassion for their clients who may be struggling with any number of ailments. They must also be analytical, and must be able to use problem-solving skills to address the needs of their patients and meet their goals collaboratively. In order to thrive in a career as a nutritionist, you must be able to not just diagnose your clients, but also empower and instruct them to improve their situation.

WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?

Through your nutrition studies, you will learn much about how to fuel your body properly. Your courses will likely contain a heavy dose of science, including anatomy, organic chemistry, and physics. You'll also study food science, metabolism, and current nutrition issues. You'll learn how the right meal plan can help combat various diseases. A practicum—which generally has to be performed locally—will allow you to implement your education.

Programs geared towards aspiring RDs will also focus on medical nutritional counseling and therapy. A master's degree focuses on deeper clinical nutrition therapies. A focus on community nutrition education will focus on intervention strategies and how to organize meal programs for large populations.
 
Coursework will often cover topics such as:

  • Biology
  • Food Science
  • Diet and Disease
  • Community Health and Nutrition

COST

An online bachelor's in nutrition can cost anywhere between $14,000 to $80,000 and advanced degrees can cost an additional $20,000 to $65,000. The cost of an online nutrition degree does not take into account the additional cost of a licensing exam or program materials. Dietetic internships can cost up to $10,000. Click on any program below to find information on accreditation and total degree cost, including fees.

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List of Accredited Online Degrees

1
Penn Foster

Sports Nutrition Certificate

By completing a series of four courses, students have the opportunity to earn a Sports Nutrition Certificate through Penn Foster. The student first receives an introduction to sports nutrition where they learn the demand of sports. Students are taugh...

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2
Penn Foster

Fitness and Nutrition Certificate

The Fitness and Nutrition Certificate consists of seven instruction sets. Students begin the program by studying Managing Personal Health. Students assess their current lifestyle and the effects it may have on their well-being. Students learn the imp...

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3
Gaston College

Certificate in Dietetic Technician / Dietary Manager

The online Certificate in Dietetic Technician in Dietary Manager program provides a full and comprehensive overview of institution food service management, preparing students to work in health care environments under the supervision of registered die...

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4
Simmons College

Certificate In Sports Nutrition

Simmons College offers the online Certificate In Sports Nutrition. This certificate enables health and wellness experts to expand their area of practice. It combines nutrition with exercise knowledge and builds competence in personal training and fit...

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5
Robert Morris University

Certificate in Nutrition

Robert Morris University offers the online Undergraduate Certificate in Nutrition. Students can expect the following courses: Conc & Controversies Nutrition Food Science and Application Biochemistry For Nutrition Nutrition...

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6
University of Southern Mississippi

Certificate in Management of Child Nutrition

USM offers the online Certificate in Management of Child Nutrition. This program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to excel in the management of child nutrition. The program is designed for school nutrition program directors/sup...

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7
Barton County Community College

Certificate in Dietary Manager

The online Certificate in Dietary Manager program is designed so students can take and pass the CDM exam.  The program includes study tips and multiple full-length practice exams.  Courses include sanitation, foodservice management, ...

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8
Brandman University

Certificate in Nutrition & Wellness

The online Certificate in Nutrition & Wellness trains students in nutrition as it relates to the influences of diet, society, exercise, stress and disease.  The curriculum focuses on the needs for changing health behaviors, reducing diet ...

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9
American College of Healthcare Sciences

Undergraduate Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting

The online Undergraduate Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting trains students to create plans for living a healthy lifestyle.  The curriculum covers a wide range of topics including lifestyle modifications and holistic health protocols,...

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