• Find a bachelor's degree




    Bachelors Degree Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Those pon­der­ing careers in nutri­tion and well­ness may well won­der how to become a nutri­tion­ist with­out a degree in nutri­tion. It’s a rea­son­able ques­tion, since there is very lit­tle in the way of stan­dards for a career in nutri­tion. While the title “dietit­ian” is high­ly reg­u­lat­ed by law, and cer­ti­fied by a nation­al licens­ing exam, in most states there is no such reg­u­la­tion to work as a nutri­tion­ist. There are many options for nutri­tion­ist careers with­out RD licen­sure; the cen­tral ques­tions are what it takes to get hired as a nutri­tion­ist, and what kinds of stan­dards your state sets to call your­self a nutritionist.

In both cas­es, a bachelor’s degree in nutri­tion may not be nec­es­sary at all. That’s why online nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams are begin­ning to appear all over the US. There are two main routes; under­grad­u­ate nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams require only a high school diplo­ma to apply and pro­vide the basics of a nutri­tion bachelor’s degree, with­out gen­er­al edu­ca­tion or upper-divi­sion nutri­tion cours­es. Grad­u­ate nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams, on the oth­er hand, are designed for peo­ple who already have a bachelor’s in anoth­er field, pro­vid­ing the nutri­tion cours­es they would get in a bachelor’s or mas­ter’s in nutri­tion pro­gram to add to their credentials.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Nutrition Certification Programs

Any prospec­tive stu­dent look­ing at a nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram is like­ly to have one goal — a career as a nutri­tion­ist. With that in mind, the Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter rank­ing of the best online nutri­tion­ist cer­tifi­cate has ranked pro­grams based on fac­tors that are crit­i­cal to the job market:

  • Rep­u­ta­tion (Niche stu­dent reviews)
  • Alum­ni Salary (Col­lege Score­card data)
  • Grad­u­ate Employ­ment (IPEDS data)

Rep­u­ta­tion, return on invest­ment, and employ­ment rate are data that point to job mar­ket suc­cess. With high scores in these areas, prospec­tive stu­dents can feel con­fi­dent that the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams will help them actu­al­ly get jobs, and see real results from their work.

1. Cornell University — eCornell

Cor­nell University’s nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram pro­vides 2 straight­for­ward options. Stu­dents may either earn a Nutri­tion and Healthy Liv­ing cer­tifi­cate or a Nutri­tion Coun­sel­ing cer­tifi­cate. Both pro­grams help stu­dents learn how food impacts the body and mind. This pro­gram does not require a Bachelor’s degree for entry (only high school biol­o­gy cred­its), and it lasts for only 6 months, so start­ing the course means that you’re not far from get­ting your career start­ed. To start a no-non­sense path to one of the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams, check out Cornell.

eCor­nell, a branch of Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty, has sev­er­al award-win­ning cer­tifi­cate pro­grams. eCornell’s flex­i­ble sys­tem lets stu­dents learn while work­ing and com­plet­ing oth­er respon­si­bil­i­ties. These pro­grams are also per­son­al­ized to meet stu­dents’ needs, and they’re reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed with the most rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion. With eCor­nell, stu­dents get exact­ly what they need with­out any unnec­es­sary cours­es (or expense).

Title: Nutri­tion and Healthy Liv­ing Cer­tifi­cate or Nutri­tion Coun­sel­ing Cer­tifi­cate
Time/Credits: 6 months

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

2. University of Southern California

The Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern California’s nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram is a 12-unit course com­ing from the USC School of Phar­ma­cy, so you’ll know that you’re get­ting a qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion. This pro­gram teach­es stu­dents the basics of food safe­ty, giv­ing them the skills they’ll need to over­see food pro­duc­tion. For those who specif­i­cal­ly want a food safe­ty career, USC pro­vides the best online nutri­tion certification.

As one of the world’s top research uni­ver­si­ties, USC pro­vides some of the best online learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. This school has high stan­dards, and a cer­tifi­cate from USC brings a cer­tain weight­i­ness and respect. Its pro­grams will def­i­nite­ly sharp­en your skills. In fact, The Wall Street Jour­nal ranked USC 15th among more than 1,000 universities.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Food Safe­ty
Time/Credits: 12 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

3. Tufts University

For flex­i­bil­i­ty and options in your nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram, Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty’s nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram has 6 dif­fer­ent cer­tifi­cate options, and all 6 are designed for work­ing adults who want to take their careers to a new lev­el. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion stu­dents can take as many or as few class­es as they want to take. When a stu­dent suc­cess­ful­ly com­pletes 3 cours­es, he or she will earn a cer­tifi­cate. Stu­dents can take those cours­es at their own pace, so if you need flex­i­bil­i­ty more than any­thing else, Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty has the best online nutri­tion certification.

Tufts Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides an edu­ca­tion based on cut­ting-edge research and inno­va­tion. Stu­dents here learn about all of the lat­est changes to their fields. With this knowl­edge, stu­dents learn how to adapt to growth. With health sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy chang­ing so often, stu­dents can gain a lot from this kind of evolv­ing education.

Title: 6 options — Devel­op­ing Healthy Com­mu­ni­ties
Glob­al Nutri­tion Pro­gram­ming
Nutri­tion For Indus­try Pro­fes­sion­als and Entre­pre­neurs
Nutri­tion Sci­ence for Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Pro­fes­sion­als
Nutri­tion Sci­ence for Health Pro­fes­sion­als
Sus­tain­able Agri­cul­ture & Food Sys­tems
Time/Credits: Self-Paced

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

4. University of Wisconsin — Madison

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin’s Online Cap­stone Cer­tifi­cate in Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion is a 12-cred­it pro­gram that adds knowl­edge and skills to your cur­rent bachelor’s degree or pro­fes­sion­al work. Teach­ing advanced skills, this online nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram can help stu­dents deep­en their careers. Fur­ther­more, if you decide to go to grad school for nutri­tion, those 12 cred­its count toward your degree. For a nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion that can take you places, U of W Madi­son will get you where you need to go.

U of W Madi­son is the flag­ship of the 13 cam­pus­es that com­prise the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin sys­tem. Long rec­og­nized as one of the nation’s lead­ers in both teach­ing and research, UW has also become a world leader in online edu­ca­tion in recent years, using tech­nol­o­gy to reach Wisconsin’s rur­al pop­u­la­tions and work­ing adults. The Bio­log­i­cal Sci­ences are some of this school’s top pro­grams. Based in Wisconsin’s capi­tol city, U of W Madi­son pro­vides plen­ty of resources for stu­dents to learn and grow.

Title: Online Cap­stone Cer­tifi­cate in Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion
Time/Credits: 12 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

5. University of Michigan

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michigan’s Phys­i­cal Activ­i­ty and Nutri­tion Cer­tifi­cate brings togeth­er fac­ul­ty from both the School of Kine­si­ol­o­gy and the School of Pub­lic Health for an inte­grat­ed approach to learn­ing. Stu­dents learn about how move­ment and nutri­tion com­bine to cre­ate dif­fer­ent health out­comes. Stu­dents who want to par­tic­i­pate in this pro­gram must already be grad stu­dents at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, and they must com­plete at least one semes­ter of course­work before they can add a cer­tifi­cate. Still, for those who want to add nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to their exist­ing degree, this pro­gram works well.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan has one of the top 3 kine­si­ol­o­gy pro­grams in the nation, so health stu­dents here get to work with some of the best fac­ul­ty avail­able. This school has been a leader among Amer­i­can uni­ver­si­ties for decades. Old tra­di­tions com­bine with inno­va­tion to cre­ate some of the best edu­ca­tion­al expe­ri­ences, includ­ing one of the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in the world.

Title: Phys­i­cal Activ­i­ty & Nutri­tion Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate
Time/Credits: 12 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

6. American University (DC)

Amer­i­can University’s grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in Nutri­tion Edu­ca­tion is an 18 cred­it addi­tion to any exist­ing bachelor’s degree that pre­pares stu­dents for work as nutri­tion advi­sors and teach­ers. The Nutri­tion Edu­ca­tion cer­tifi­cate is made up from cours­es in the MS in Health Pro­mo­tion Man­age­ment, so stu­dents who want to go far­ther and earn a full master’s degree lat­er can con­sid­er the cer­tifi­cate a head start. This nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram uses a mix of online and on-cam­pus cours­es. Class sub­jects include weight con­trol and health communication.

Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty attracts stu­dents who want to change the world. Many of its stu­dents go on to work with Teach for Amer­i­ca, the Peace Corps, and sim­i­lar orga­ni­za­tions. With a diverse cam­pus cul­ture and inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized fac­ul­ty mem­bers, Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty pro­vides a great edu­ca­tion from sev­er­al per­spec­tives. If you want to help oth­ers with your nutri­tion­ist career, then Amer­i­can Uni­ver­si­ty could be the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for you.

Title: Nutri­tion Edu­ca­tion (Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate)
Time/Credits: 18 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

7. University of Kansas Medical Center

Want to help peo­ple use nutri­tion to pre­vent dis­ease? The Uni­ver­si­ty of Kansas Med­ical Cen­ter grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in Dietet­ics and Inte­gra­tive Med­i­cine will help you get start­ed. Designed to help stu­dents advise patients, this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will teach stu­dents impor­tant nutri­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. The pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents to advise patients in a vari­ety of set­tings, from tra­di­tion­al health­care set­tings to com­ple­men­tary med­i­cine cen­ters. If you already have a health-relat­ed degree and want to add more skills to your tool­box, then this pro­gram may be the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for you.

The KU Med­ical Cen­ter val­ues research and aca­d­e­mics. It gives stu­dents a prac­ti­cal learn­ing envi­ron­ment so that they can help real-world patients and learn about growth in the med­ical field. Even online stu­dents ben­e­fit from this hands-on approach. Though they don’t meet in a class­room, online stu­dents learn from top researchers how to apply their online skills to real-world sce­nar­ios. This school turns stu­dents into leaders.

Title: Dietet­ics and Inte­gra­tive Med­i­cine Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate Pro­gram
Time/Credits: 12 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

8. Colorado State University Online

Col­orado State’s online Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence helps stu­dents meet their career goals by teach­ing a wide range of health-relat­ed sub­jects with­in the con­text of nutri­tion. Stu­dents get a sol­id back­ground in health top­ics, learn about emerg­ing sci­ence, and study how to respond to nutri­ent defi­cien­cies and dis­ease. As a ful­ly online pro­gram, this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­vides con­ve­nience and flex­i­bil­i­ty. If you want to round out your knowl­edge with­out going back to a col­lege cam­pus, this pro­gram could be your best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram choice.

Col­orado State Online pro­vides the best that CSU has to offer with the flex­i­bil­i­ty of an online sched­ule. Online stu­dents still have access to excel­lent research and com­mit­ted fac­ul­ty mem­bers. CSU has pro­vid­ed dis­tance learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for over 50 years, so they know how to pro­vide a great pro­gram for stu­dents learn­ing off-cam­pus. Nation­al­ly rec­og­nized and afford­able, Col­orado State makes a great edu­ca­tion­al choice.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence
Time/Credits: 9 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

9. Simmons University

Sim­mons University’s Cer­tifi­cate in Sports Nutri­tion pro­gram (CSN) that helps stu­dents expand their health­care exper­tise. With this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, stu­dents can help ath­letes with fit­ness and nutri­tion. Grad­u­ates from this pro­gram help their clients pre­vent injury and make the most of their ath­let­ic careers. Note that this is a grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate, so stu­dents must already have a degree from a region­al­ly accred­it­ed uni­ver­si­ty or an insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing abroad. If you want to expand your knowl­edge, learn online, and pre­pare your­self for the ACSM Health/Fitness Instructor’s Exam, then Sim­mons may pro­vide the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for your needs.

As a small school in a big city, Sim­mons Uni­ver­si­ty has the best of all worlds. They draw from big-city resources, but they have the inti­mate feel of a small school. Even in online class­es, stu­dents ben­e­fit from the resources and inti­ma­cy. For exam­ple, they learn from high­ly skilled fac­ul­ty mem­bers, and those fac­ul­ty mem­bers are avail­able to answer ques­tions. The Prince­ton Review has ranked Sim­mons among the top Uni­ver­si­ties mul­ti­ple times.

Title: Cer­tifi­cate in Sports Nutri­tion (CSN)
Time/Credits: 1–2 years

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

10. Appalachian State University

Appalachi­an State University’s Pub­lic Health Nutri­tion Prac­tice grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate draws stu­dents who want to make big changes in the health­care world. Appli­cants must have a Bachelor’s degree to enter this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram. These stu­dents learn how to make nutri­tion a major part of health and patient care. All 15 cred­its from this online pro­gram trans­fer to ASU’s Mas­ter of Nutri­tion pro­gram should you decide to take that route. Oth­er­wise, you can go straight into a career as a food pol­i­cy direc­tor, nutri­tion pro­gram direc­tor, or plen­ty of oth­er jobs. One of the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in the nation com­bines flex­i­bil­i­ty with in-depth learning.

ASU is a top choice for stu­dents who want to invest in the future — not just their own future, but the future of peo­ple around the world. Class­es at ASU show stu­dents how they can use their skills in a broad­er cul­tur­al con­text. If you want to become a part of a diverse col­lege that takes a holis­tic approach to edu­ca­tion, then check out Appalachi­an State.

Title: Pub­lic Health Nutri­tion Prac­tice Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate
Time/Credits: 15 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

11. University of Arizona Online

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona Online Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Applied Nutri­tion is built on evi­dence that good nutri­tion can improve patient out­comes. As an applied nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, the GCAN pro­gram empow­ers stu­dents to use their skills in dif­fer­ent set­tings, apply­ing research and the­o­ry to patient needs. Con­sis­tent­ly updat­ed to reflect cur­rent needs, this pro­gram pro­vides the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for some who want a con­tem­po­rary alter­na­tive to a Master’s degree.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona com­bines excel­lent research and aca­d­e­mics. This school has a small stu­dent-to-teacher ratio, and stu­dents here get a flex­i­ble bal­ance between life and school. Of course, online stu­dents enjoy this flex­i­bil­i­ty the most. A 2017 Gallup study found that “Ari­zona stu­dents are health­i­er, hap­pi­er, and more suc­cess­ful than their peers nation­al­ly.” For one of the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in the nation, UA stu­dents can’t go wrong.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Applied Nutri­tion (GCAN)
Time/Credits: 14-unit

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

12. University of Cincinnati

The Col­lege of Allied Health Sci­ences offers the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cincinnati’s grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in Human Nutri­tion. Entire­ly online, this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram was designed for med­ical stu­dents and work­ing health­care pro­fes­sion­als who want to add cut­ting-edge nutri­tion knowl­edge to their careers. Fac­ul­ty mem­bers pro­vide advanced course­work with enough flex­i­bil­i­ty to help the work­ing adult. With just 12 cred­its, even part-time stu­dents can com­plete one of the nation’s best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in less than a year.

UC val­ues the learn­ing expe­ri­ence and takes a hands-on approach. It bal­ances text­book exam­ples with real-life appli­ca­tions. Online stu­dents get to learn from prac­ti­cal exam­ples and get answers from some of the best teach­ers in the coun­try. This big-city school means big resources for stu­dents and teachers.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Human Nutri­tion
Time/Credits: 12 credits

13. Bowling Green University eCampus

The Bowl­ing Green Uni­ver­si­ty Food and Nutri­tion Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate is per­fect for stu­dents who want to go beyond their bachelor’s degree but don’t need a master’s degree. Do you want to know how food and nutri­tion applies to your cur­rent health career? Do you want to learn an array of top­ics and get a sol­id foun­da­tion of knowl­edge? Stu­dents here learn how to use nutri­tion to improve lives. If that sounds like what you want, then this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion could be the one for you.

BGSU’s eCam­pus has some of the strongest aca­d­e­mics that an online school can pro­vide. Tai­lored to busy adults every­where, this pro­gram helps its stu­dents get the most out of their stud­ies with­out sac­ri­fic­ing their work lives. Busi­ness Insid­er called BGSU Ohio’s best uni­ver­si­ty for qual­i­ty and afford­abil­i­ty. That makes the Food and Nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate, one of the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams in the nation, a real val­ue as well.

Title: Cer­tifi­cate in Food and Nutri­tion
Time/Credits: 15 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

14. University of Texas at San Antonio

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at San Antonio’s health pro­gram has a lot of options, includ­ing grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate pro­grams and bachelor’s degrees. UT San Antonio’s Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Com­mu­ni­ty Nutri­tion pre­pares stu­dents to use nutri­tion to ben­e­fit peo­ple of all ages and all walks of life. The 100% online pro­gram has 12 cred­its. To apply, stu­dents must have a bach­e­lor’s degree in Health Edu­ca­tion, Health Pro­mo­tion, Pub­lic Health, Psy­chol­o­gy, Nutri­tion, or Dietet­ics. If you want a fast and con­ve­nient way to con­tribute to pub­lic health, then this nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will help you find a way.

UTSA val­ues a mix of research, col­lab­o­ra­tion, and diver­si­ty. Stu­dents and fac­ul­ty from all walks of life work togeth­er to pro­duce inno­va­tion and pre­pare for the lat­est job chal­lenges. Grad­u­ates from this school are ready to suc­ceed right out of the gate. UTSA will help you build a foun­da­tion that will serve you for the rest of your life with one of America’s best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion programs.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Com­mu­ni­ty Nutri­tion
Time/Credits: 12 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

15. Liberty University

Lib­er­ty University’s Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Nutri­tion allows stu­dents to earn their nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in as few as 6 months. This helps stu­dents enhance com­mu­ni­ty well­ness with­in their own pro­fes­sions. Stu­dents learn how to make the most of nutri­tion and metab­o­lism. If you want to start mak­ing a dif­fer­ence as quick­ly as pos­si­ble, then Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty may have the best online nutri­tion cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for your needs.

Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty is a Chris­t­ian school. Faith per­me­ates all of its teach­ings, includ­ing those of its online school. Online pro­grams allow stu­dents to set their own learn­ing pace, though stu­dents do have spe­cif­ic assign­ment dead­lines. The school has excel­lent aca­d­e­mics, so those who love learn­ing find their home at Lib­er­ty. If you have a pas­sion for your faith and for study, Lib­er­ty University’s award-win­ning pro­grams may help you find your place.

Title: Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Nutri­tion
Time/Credits: 6 months; 15 credits

Learn more about the nutri­tion cer­tifi­cate here!

Can You Become a Nutritionist Without a Nutrition Degree?

If you’re won­der­ing how to become a nutri­tion­ist with­out a degree in nutri­tion, you’ve come to the right place. Careers in nutri­tion and well­ness are some of the fastest-grow­ing in the nation; nutri­tion is a ris­ing field of work, with career growth expect­ed to increase by much faster than aver­age with­in the next ten years. Pre­ven­ta­tive health­care is an impor­tant part of soci­ety, and part of pre­ven­ta­tive care is the imple­men­ta­tion of diet and nutri­tion. Through these mea­sures, peo­ple can live long and healthy lives while decreas­ing the like­li­hood of dis­ease. That is why cer­ti­fied nutri­tion­ists and dieti­tians are so high in demand today.

While a degree in nutri­tion or dietet­ics will sig­nif­i­cant­ly increase your abil­i­ty to build a career in nutri­tion and dietet­ics, it is still pos­si­ble to become a nutri­tion­ist with­out a degree in nutri­tion. Some form of spe­cial­ized edu­ca­tion is expect­ed for careers in nutri­tion and food sci­ence, how­ev­er. If you’re won­der­ing how to become a nutri­tion­ist with­out a degree, it’s fair­ly straight­for­ward; nutri­tion­ist cer­tifi­cate pro­grams are offered at uni­ver­si­ties, com­mu­ni­ty col­leges, and accred­it­ed schools both online and offline. A cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram should teach stu­dents the basics of the field, like food sci­ence, pub­lic health­care, and how to coun­sel peo­ple when it comes to diet or nutrition.

Nutri­tion pro­fes­sion­als should learn about top­ics like:

  • nutri­tion therapy
  • macronu­tri­ents
  • food choic­es
  • eat­ing habits
  • sup­ple­ments
  • holis­tic nutrition
  • healthy eat­ing fundamentals
  • chron­ic dis­ease relat­ed to nutrition
  • obe­si­ty
  • behav­ior change

An nutri­tion spe­cial­ist has learned about a spe­cial­iza­tion. That may be a spe­cif­ic nutri­tion plan, like Pre­ci­sion Nutri­tion, or it may be a gen­er­al top­ic like plant-based nutri­tion. Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sports Med­i­cine (NASM)-certified per­son­al train­ers and oth­er fit­ness pro­fes­sion­als may also find an advan­tage in becom­ing a cer­ti­fied nutri­tion coach for their clients. After a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course, providers will also need to keep up their edu­ca­tion cred­its to keep their nutri­tion coach cer­ti­fi­ca­tion through class­es or inter­ac­tive mod­ules online.

How­ev­er, you can­not become a reg­is­tered dietit­ian with­out a degree in nutri­tion, dietet­ics, food sci­ence, or some relat­ed area. Dieti­tians tend to face high­er stan­dards than nutri­tion­ists do, and some orga­ni­za­tions will only hire reg­is­tered dieti­tians. Hir­ing stan­dards for careers in nutri­tion with­out a degree also vary state by state. In order to become a reg­is­tered dietit­ian, the stu­dent must earn a bachelor’s degree that is accred­it­ed by the Com­mis­sion of Accred­i­ta­tion for Dietet­ics Edu­ca­tion (CADE). Then the grad­u­ate will need to reg­is­ter with the Com­mis­sion of Dietet­ic Reg­is­tra­tion. Dieti­tians tend to work under stricter gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tion than nutri­tion­ists, since they are essen­tial­ly pre­scrib­ing treat­ment in the form of meal plans.

What Kind of Careers in Nutrition Can I Get Without Being a Registered Dietitian?

A career in nutri­tion and dietet­ics oppor­tu­ni­ties are lim­it­ed with­out a degree. If you sim­ply want to become a health coach of some kind, a nutri­tion­ist cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­gram with­out a col­lege degree may be all you need to set up shop on your own (reg­u­la­tions vary from state to state, but in most areas, as long as you’re pro­vid­ing gen­er­al nutri­tion advice and not pre­scrib­ing treat­ment plans, you’ll be fine). You may also get your­self hired in a gym or non­prof­it, where careers in nutri­tion and health are less reg­u­lat­ed. Accord­ing to the Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics, fit­ness coach­es and health instruc­tors tend to make about $45,380 per year.

How­ev­er, if you are inter­est­ed in high­er salaries or a broad­er array of career options, a bachelor’s degree will help you in that endeav­or. If you’re not inter­est­ed in get­ting a bachelor’s in nutri­tion, adding a grad­u­ate cer­tifi­cate in nutri­tion or dietet­ics can open up careers in nutri­tion and well­ness. Nutri­tion­ists and dieti­tians who receive degrees make around $69,350 annu­al­ly. Those who work in out­pa­tient care facil­i­ties and hos­pi­tals tend to have the high­est wages.

Can I Get a Dietetics Certificate Online?

Some dietet­ic cours­es or pro­grams can be com­plet­ed online. How­ev­er, in order to receive full accred­i­ta­tion as a reg­is­tered dietit­ian, the grad­u­ate needs to com­plete an in-per­son intern­ship pro­gram as well as a bach­e­lors degree. With some schools, it is pos­si­ble to enroll in online cours­es for a dietet­ic degree while also per­form­ing an intern­ship at a near­by loca­tion. While it may be more dif­fi­cult to find, a stu­dent may be able to find a post-bac­calau­re­ate dietet­ics online program.

What the stu­dent learns will depend large­ly on the type of pro­gram he or she signs up for. Post-bac­calau­re­ate dietet­ics online cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams tend to cov­er a broad range of top­ics for stu­dents. Nutri­tion­al or dietet­ic edu­ca­tion usu­al­ly involves learn­ing about nutri­tion­al sci­ence, food sci­ence, pub­lic health­care, biol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, anato­my, phys­i­ol­o­gy, and chem­istry. The stu­dent might learn impor­tant job skills like nutri­tion­al coun­sel­ing, food meal plan­ning, and how to pro­mote health through diet­ing and nutri­tion. Stu­dents who study in bach­e­lor’s or mas­ter’s pro­grams might learn about more spe­cial­ized areas with­in health and nutri­tion, mak­ing a post bac­calau­re­ate dietet­ics online pro­gram con­ve­nient and useful.

Relat­ed Rank­ings:
Best Cam­pus Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence Degrees
Best Online Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence Cer­tifi­cate Pro­grams
Most Afford­able Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence Degrees