In this article, we list the top-ranked and most affordable online master’s in dietetics or nutrition degree programs for 2017.

The benefits of a master’s in dietetics vary. The degree may be a step towards a doctoral program, expand current employment opportunities, or provide advanced skills to move into other careers like education or medicine.

Today, many of the nation’s top-ranked colleges and universities offer online graduate programs, including the online master’s in dietetics. You won’t have to give up your day job to attend classes. All requirements may be fulfilled online as programs are designed with professional and working students in mind.

Methodology

We reviewed approximately 60 accredited institutions that offered online master’s in dietetics degrees, or closely related programs like applied nutrition, nutritional science, or nutrition and wellness. Our initial pool of colleges and universities came from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We selected institutions with rankings from at least one major publication like Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review, or U.S. News and World Report. We then listed our schools in order of affordability based on the most recent graduate tuition/fees presented by College Navigator. We narrowed our list to the top 30 most affordable institutions, with the #1 spot being the most affordable.

Below are the resulting selections for the 25 most affordable online master’s in dietetics degree programs for 2017.

#25 – Eastern Michigan University

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Website

The master’s of science in dietetics online degree from Eastern Michigan University holds full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students must complete 73-76 credits to graduate. EMU offers distance students majoring in dietetics courses such as nutrition therapy, food systems management, and development of the entrepreneurial dietician. Learners also complete one of three culminating experiences: a six-credit thesis, six-credit non-thesis research project, or three-credit research and writing class. Graduates of the program complete the supervised practice and coursework necessary to apply for their registered dietician credential. Prospective students can view an advising session PowerPoint online.

#24 – Canisius College

Online Master’s in Applied Nutrition

Buffalo, New York

Website

The School of Education and Human Services at Canisius College offers an online master’s in applied nutrition. The degree focuses on preventing and treating disease through diet and combines practical training with academic research. Students choose from two specialty tracks: fitness and sports nutrition or obesity and eating disorders. The program takes as little as one year to complete, with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Admissions requirements include a bachelor’s degree, minimum 2.7 GPA, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. Students without registered dietician licenses may need to complete prerequisite courses.

#23 – University of Rhode Island

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Kingston, Rhode Island

Website

The 100% online master’s in dietetics from the University of Rhode Island lets students graduates in just 14 months. The non-thesis program requires learners to complete 11 seven-week courses over seven sessions. All instructors in the program hold graduate degrees and are registered dieticians. Designed for students currently working on ACEND-accredited dietetic internship programs, the 36-credit MS focuses on research, clinical skills, management, and community. Courses available include advanced medical nutrition therapy in dietetics, advanced dietetic research, and clinical nutrition management. Admissions requirements do not include the GRE. The entire curriculum is online, but students who who lack the registered dietician certification need to attend one in-person orientation session on the campus in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, in June.

#22 – Stony Brook University

Online Master’s in Nutrition

Stony Brook, New York

Website

Stony Brook University offers a fully online 36-credit master’s of science in nutrition. Students take courses such as contemporary issues in the global food system, advanced nutrition in clinical practice, and research methods in nutrition. The program offers three concentrations: integrative nutrition therapy; sustainable food systems and health; and advanced nutrition therapy and critical care. Applicants to the program must complete the prerequisite course survey of nutrition concepts prior to enrolling in any other courses. Full-time students can finish the degree in about two years, while part-timers take around four to graduate. Stony Brook also offers a 15-credit advanced certificate in nutrition fully online.

#21 – SUNY College Oneonta

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics

Oneonta, New York

Website

Graduates of SUNY College Oneonta’s online master’s in nutrition and dietetics are eligible to take the exam necessary to become a registered dietician. The 36-credit MS emphasizes community nutrition and does not require a thesis. The program takes three full-time semesters to complete, including 1,220 hours of supervised practice. The curriculum includes a culminating experience in which students participate in a community health intervention project. SUNY College Oneonta also offers a 36-credit MS for individuals who are already registered dieticians. These students receive 12 prior learning credits for successfully passing an ACEND-accredited dietetic internship and complete the additional 24 credits in one to two years.

#20 – Central Michigan University

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Website

Designed for both new and experienced dietetic and nutrition professionals, Central Michigan University’s online master’s in nutrition and dietetics offers students three different tracks: thesis, coursework, or internship. The 31-credit thesis option include six thesis credits and an oral exam on the thesis topic. The 37-credit internship track requires learners to complete an oral exam on their coursework and nine credits of internship work. The 33-credit coursework option includes a three-credit independent study course and an oral exam. Fully online since the 1990s, CMU’s MS in nutrition and dietetics program does not require students to complete any in-person requirements. Synchronous course delivery lets learners interact and talk in real-time with instructors and classmates.

#19 – Colorado State University

Online Master’s in Food Science and Nutrition

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

An online master’s in nutrition and dietetics designed for registered dieticians with experience in the field is available at Colorado State University. The MS in food science and nutrition teaches students how to lead nutrition programs that combine management, biomedical sciences, and human behavior. CSU collaborates with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance to offer its master’s in dietetics. Students may take courses from instructors at a variety of different colleges and universities through the program, but they enroll at and graduate from CSU. The curriculum covers topics like micronutrients, research methods, nutrigenetics, nutrition education, pediatric clinical nutrition, and grant writing.

#18 – Arizona State University

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University’s master’s of science in dietetics online program requires students to complete ten courses (30 credits). Distance learners take courses like research methods, statistics in research, and pediatric nutrition. Each class lasts seven-and-a-half weeks, with fall and spring program start dates each year. Highly-experienced faculty members in the College of Health Solutions teach the online dietetics courses. Applicants to the MS in nutrition dietetics program must be registered dieticians with at least one year of professional work experience. They also need a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and to complete a phone interview. The program does not accept transfer credits.

#17 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Online Master’s in Food and Nutrition

Indiana, Pennsylvania

Website

Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s 36-credit MS in food and nutrition online degree takes as little as 16 months to complete, for students who start the program in fall and take courses in summer. The 100% online curriculum concentrates on human and applied nutrition and includes two tracks: administration and education. Students take classes like nutrition research methods, sustainable nutrition, and vitamins. They can undertake a six-credit thesis project or choose the non-thesis option and take two additional three-credit courses. Graduates of the online master’s in dietetics program hold skills in leadership, advanced nutrition knowledge, and an understanding of public health promotion techniques.

#16 – University of North Florida

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics

Jacksonville, Florida

Website

An online master’s in nutrition and dietetics from the University of North Florida includes four possible concentrations: nutritional sciences, professional studies in dietetics, health informatics, and global health. The 35-credit degree delivers all coursework 100% online and does not include a dietetics internship. Courses available include nutritional epidemiology, clinical nutrition, and methods of nutritional assessment. For their culminating experience, students complete an independent research project or a series of project, independent studies, and field experiences up to six credits. Students can enter the program only in fall each year. Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA in their last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.

#15 – Logan University

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Human Performance

Chesterfield, Missouri

Website

Logan University’s online master’s of science in nutrition and human performance includes a mix of clinical applications and research. The curriculum explores topics such as metabolism, allergies, nutritional biochemistry, and research methods for nutrition. Students learn to analyze diet, identify nutritional deficiencies, and make evidence-based diet recommendations. The program offers three concentrations: nutritional wellness; sports and fitness nutrition; and health education and promotion. Learners can complete the entire degree online, with no in-person requirements. Courses available include health policy; program planning and assessment; and nutritional assessment of athletes. Logan’s academic calendar offers three 15-week trimesters each year.

#14 – North Carolina State University

Online Master’s in Nutrition

Raleigh, North Carolina

Website

Distance learners can pursue an online master’s in nutrition and dietetics from North Carolina State University. The 36-credit, non-thesis degree allows students to complete up to six credits of internship, directed practicum, or independent study. The program offers two areas of emphasis: feed science or human nutrition. Courses available include regulation of metabolism, principles of biochemistry, and life cycle nutrition. Students can also take courses towards the degree from three other universities in North Carolina. The admissions office accepts applications for prospective master’s of nutrition students four times each year. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s in a science-related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA and score at or above the 30th percentile on the GRE.

#13 – University of Alabama

Online Master’s in Human Nutrition

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

The University of Alabama’s 30-credit online MS in human nutrition accepts students during three application periods each year: fall, spring, and summer. Students gain research skills, learn to think independently, and understand the practice of dietetics at an advanced level. The program prepares learners to study at the doctoral level or advance in their careers practicing dietetics. Students can choose from three specialized tracks, including community nutrition, clinical nutrition, or generalist. The program is most suitable for registered dieticians or individuals with a bachelor’s degree in the nutrition field. The 100% online degree offers the same tuition rate for all students, regardless of where they live.

#12 – Kansas State University

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Kansas State University’s 27-credit master’s of science in dietetics online program invites registered dieticians and registration-eligible individuals to apply. KSU offers the degree as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Students apply to, enroll in classes through, and graduate from KSU, but may take classes from instructors at a variety of other participating universities. Required courses cover topics like environmental scanning, statistical methods, and research techniques. KSU offers a thesis or non-thesis option. Students who do not complete a thesis must pass comprehensive written and oral exams. Online dietetics students with a minimum 3.0 GPA can apply for KSU’s food, nutrition, dietetics, and health $1,000 scholarship, distributed three times a year.

#11 – University of Kansas

Online Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition

Kansas City, Kansas

Website

The University of Kansas offers a 36-credit online master’s in nutrition and dietetics collaboratively with other member universities in the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Students apply to and graduate from KU, but may take classes from other universities in the alliance. Learners who enroll in two courses each semester can complete the degree in about two years. KU offers the program 100% online for non-thesis students; individuals completing a thesis must defend their thesis on campus. Applicants to the program must be registered dieticians or individuals who qualify for registration. KU accepts up to six graduate transfer credits towards this degree.

#10 – Iowa State University

Online Master of Family and Consumer Sciences – Dietetics

Ames, Iowa

Website

The 36-credit online master’s in dietetics degree from Iowa State University helps registered dieticians advance in their careers or prepare for doctoral study. Students explore health care policy, new advanced in dietetic practice, and the role of the dietician in society. The curriculum includes classes in statistics, research methods, and current issues, as well as a six-credit special project. Applicants must hold a registered dietician credential and a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission to the master’s of family and consumer studies with dietetics specialization program. ISU offers the degree in partnership with other member schools as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.

#9 – Bowling Green State University

Online Master’s in Food and Nutrition

Bowling Green, Ohio

Website

Bowling Green State University’s online master’s of food and nutrition focuses on issues like nutrition science, medical nutrition therapy, and community nutrition. All students must complete 37-39 credits in courses like advanced clinical nutrition, micronutrients through the lifespan, and statistics in education. Students also must complete either a master’s thesis or a master’s project. BGSU also requires learners to complete nine credits in in a minor of their choosing that focuses on their career goals. Some example minors include biology, public health, human development, and counseling, but students can choose any area they want. The program fosters critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

#8 – University of Nebraska

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Health Sciences–Dietetics

Lincoln, Nebraska

Website

Students in the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s MS in nutrition and health sciences with a dietetics specialization program complete 30-36 credits to graduate. UNL gives master’s students the option to earn their degree with or without a thesis. Learners who choose the non-thesis option must complete 36 credits, while thesis students only need 30 credits. All online master’s in dietetics students must pass an oral or written comprehensive exam. Advisors help online dietetics students create a plan of study and complete all necessary steps to graduate. The Department of Nutrition and and Health Sciences offers a wide variety of classes, like molecular nutrition, nutritional anthropology, and grant writing for childhood obesity.

#7 – South Dakota State University

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Brookings, South Dakota

Website

Designed specifically for practicing registered dieticians, the master’s of science in dietetics online program from South Dakota State University gives students an advanced understanding of current issues in the field. SDSU offers the program in partnership with the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, meaning instructors from several universities teach the curriculum. Students take courses like research methods in dietetics, statistical methods, and current trends in dietetics practice. The 36-credit degree gives learners the options to undertake a thesis, a written exam, or a research paper as part of the requirements to graduate. Applicants must be enrolled in an ACEND accredited didactic dietetics program to qualify for admission to SDSU’s MS program.

#6 – Texas Tech University

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics

Lubbock, Texas

Website

Texas Tech University offers a flexibile online master’s in nutrition and dietetics approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The program is designed for students completing a dietetic internship or who will receive a DPD verification statement, as well as registered dieticians looking to advance their careers. Learners can complete the entire degree 100% online. Students take practice-based courses that explore issues such as eating disorders, maternal health, obesity management, diabetes, and geriatric nutrition. Prospective students can apply to the program three times a year, in the fall, spring, and summer. Admissions requirements include preference for a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE scores.

#5 – Oklahoma State University

Online Master’s in Nutritional Sciences – Dietetics

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website

Designed for registered dieticians or individuals eligible to become registered dieticians, the online master’s in nutrition and dietetics from Oklahoma State University takes 36 credits to complete. The program integrates concepts from biomedical sciences, management, and human behavior and teaches students to create, deliver, and evaluate nutrition and food programs in diverse settings. It also gives students skills in independent thinking and research, and an understanding of contemporary issues in the dietetics field. Learners take core courses like statistics for experimenters, research methods in nutritional sciences, and environmental scanning and analysis. To graduate, students must complete a three-credit capstone that includes a comprehensive exam, a research paper, and presentation.

#4 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online Master’s in Nutrition and Food Systems

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

The University of Southern Mississippi’s online master’s in nutrition and dietetics degree lets students complete all coursework online while enrolled in a dietetic internship affiliated with the program. The dietetic internship must hold accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Required classes include special problems in nutrition, introduction to educational statistics, and research problems for nutrition and food systems. Students also must complete a thesis to earn the MS in nutrition and food systems emphasizing dietetics practice. Online learners at Southern Miss pay in-state tuition. Dietetics internships also carry their own fees in addition to tuition that students must pay.

#3 – East Carolina University

Online Master’s in Nutrition

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

The online master’s in nutrition and dietetics from East Carolina University includes a thesis or non-thesis option. Designed for registered dieticians who want to advance in their careers as well as students seeking to become well-versed in the science of nutrition, the MS in nutrition science requires completion of 33 credits. MS students take classes like biostatistics for health professionals; human nutrition in physiology and metabolism; and methods in nutrition research. Applicants must hold an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA and a grade of “C” or better in college algebra. Prospective students also must complete the prerequisite course nutrition foundation, if their undergraduate degree is not in nutrition.

#2 – Texas Woman’s University

Online MS in Nutrition

Denton, Texas

Website

Distance students can complete an online master’s in nutrition and dietetics in as little as 18 months and for $15,000 at Texas Woman’s University. Learners can choose a 100% online curriculum or take a combination of online and on-campus courses in Houston and Denton, Texas. The program focuses on the science of clinical nutrition and evidence-based practice, while incorporating other issues like community, the environment, and overall wellness. The 36-credit degree does not require a thesis. Applicants to the program must complete the following undergraduate prerequisites: chemistry (9-12 credits), human anatomy and physiology (3-4 credits), introduction to nutrition (3 credits), and upper level nutrition (6-9 credits).

#1 – North Dakota State University

Online Master’s in Dietetics

Fargo, North Dakota

Website

North Dakota State University’s College of Human Development and Education offers an online master’s in dietetics degree. NDSU collaborates with 10 other universities to deliver the program as part of the Great Plains – Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Faculty members from several universities may teach courses in the program, but students apply to and graduate from NDSU. The 36-credit MS in dietetics requires students to take courses like applied statistics; recent literature and research; and current issues in dietetics. Students also take 21 credits of electives and complete a six-credit thesis. The fully online degree does not require any on-campus coursework.

This has been a ranking of the top 25 most affordable online master’s in dietetics degree programs for 2017.