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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty and Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty are two top online bach­e­lor’s in nutri­tion­al sci­ence degree pro­grams.
  • Online Nutri­tion­al Sci­ence Bach­e­lor’s pro­grams offer flex­i­bil­i­ty, mak­ing it eas­i­er for stu­dents to bal­ance stud­ies with per­son­al commitments.
  • Pro­grams typ­i­cal­ly include cours­es in human nutri­tion, food sci­ence, dietet­ics, and pub­lic health, pro­vid­ing a well-round­ed edu­ca­tion in nutrition.
  • Grad­u­ates can pur­sue var­i­ous careers, such as dieti­tians, nutri­tion­ists, well­ness coach­es, and food ser­vice man­agers, with the poten­tial for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in spe­cial­ized areas.

Nutri­tion­ist online pro­grams are not hard to find, but accred­it­ed, rep­utable reg­is­tered dietit­ian pro­grams online – those are worth their weight in gold. The best online nutri­tion degree pro­grams are based on the require­ments of the Accred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil for Edu­ca­tion in Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics (ACEND), giv­ing stu­dents the fun­da­men­tals in nutri­tion­al sci­ence, behav­ior, and every oth­er aspect of food and life. Many of these pro­grams are designed a bachelor’s com­ple­tion pro­grams, help­ing reg­is­tered dietet­ics tech­ni­cians (DTRs) with only an associate’s degree com­plete their BS in Nutri­tion or a relat­ed degree.

It’s impor­tant to rec­og­nize that an online bach­e­lor’s in nutri­tion and dietet­ics may not qual­i­fy grad­u­ates for the Reg­is­tered Dietit­ian exam. To sit for the RD exam, stu­dents must have at least 1200 hours of clin­i­cal prac­tice; at this time, there are only 4 pro­grams in the US offer­ing a coor­di­nat­ed dietet­ics degree online, which allows stu­dents to com­plete their clin­i­cal hours in a loca­tion close to them while com­plet­ing the didac­tic por­tion online. How­ev­er, nutri­tion­ists can still enter reward­ing, lucra­tive careers with­out the Reg­is­tered Dietit­ian title.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Registered Dietitian Programs Online

To rank the best nutri­tion­ist online pro­grams and reg­is­tered dietit­ian pro­grams online, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter start­ed by search­ing out accred­it­ed online nutri­tion, dietet­ics, and food sci­ence pro­grams. Pro­grams are then ranked accord­ing to 5 fac­tors to get the most well-round­ed, com­pre­hen­sive sense of value:

  • Rep­u­ta­tion (Niche stu­dent reviews)
  • Cost (IPEDS data)
  • Alum­ni Salary (Col­lege Score­card data)
  • Grad­u­a­tion Rate (IPEDS data)
  • Job Place­ment (IPEDS data)

With these five fac­tors, BDC points stu­dents to nutri­tion sci­ence degrees online that are most like­ly to have a pos­i­tive impact on a prospec­tive nutritionist’s life.

1. Rutgers University

Rut­gers University’s BS in Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics degree online pro­gram is intend­ed for reg­is­tered dietet­ics tech­ni­cians (DTRs) to com­plete their degree with a flex­i­ble sched­ule. Rut­gers also offers a sec­ond BS in Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics for stu­dents who do not have the DTR spec­i­fi­ca­tion. This pro­gram takes 2–3 years to com­plete and requires 1200 hours of clin­i­cal prac­tice, which must be super­vised but can be com­plet­ed in a loca­tion near the student’s home.

The Rut­gers School of Health Pro­fes­sions is accred­it­ed by the Accred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil for Edu­ca­tion in Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics (ACEND) to pro­vide the best online nutri­tion degree pos­si­ble. Stu­dents at the School of Health Pro­fes­sions are immersed in the process of learn­ing the sci­ence of health­care. The school is the largest of its kind in the coun­try and near­ly 100% of its grad­u­ates have found place­ment in the work­force or in an advanced degree pro­gram with­in three months after graduation.

Degree: BS in Nutri­tion and Dietetics

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

2. Arizona State University

The Col­lege of Health Solu­tions offers Ari­zona State University’s Bachelor’s in Nutri­tion online that may well be the best online nutri­tion degree avail­able any­where. Stu­dents can choose from three con­cen­tra­tions. The food and nutri­tion man­age­ment con­cen­tra­tion focus­es on the way com­mer­cial and indus­tri­al food sys­tems oper­ate. Nutri­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion teach­es stu­dents how to com­mu­ni­cate nutri­tion infor­ma­tion effec­tive­ly, and food stud­ies teach­es stu­dents about how food is pro­duced and mar­ket­ed. Grad­u­ates of ASU’s nutri­tion­ist online pro­grams will be pre­pared to pur­sue careers in food ser­vice man­age­ment, food pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing, and jour­nal­ism relat­ed to health and well­ness. The pro­gram con­sists of 40 class­es for a total of 120 cred­it hours. Each class is 7.5 weeks in duration.

The ASU Col­lege of Health Solu­tions is ded­i­cat­ed to design­ing and imple­ment­ing research that pro­motes a healthy lifestyle. The school pro­vides high-qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion and was home to 7,100 Bar­rett Hon­ors schol­ars in the fall of 2023. The Col­lege of Health Solu­tions hosts an annu­al con­fer­ence for nutri­tion­ists, dieti­tians, and oth­er health­care pro­fes­sion­als called the Build­ing Healthy Lifestyles con­fer­ence, which fea­tures inter­na­tion­al­ly rec­og­nized nutri­tion and well­ness experts.

Degree: BS in Nutrition

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

3. Purdue Global

Pur­due Global’s Bach­e­lors in Nutri­tion online pro­gram con­sists of a series of 10-week cours­es that require approx­i­mate­ly 15–18 hours of the student’s time each week. Stu­dents study an assort­ment of top­ics and research meth­ods relat­ed to nutri­tion through­out the course of the pro­gram. Stu­dents have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to par­tic­i­pate in an intern­ship oppor­tu­ni­ty to gain on-the-job expe­ri­ence in the nutri­tion field. Com­ple­tion of this pro­gram will help pre­pare stu­dents to take the tests required to gain these cer­ti­fi­ca­tions: Board Cer­ti­fied in Holis­tic Nutri­tion, Cer­ti­fied Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion­ist (CCN), and Cer­ti­fied Dietary Man­ag­er (CDM).

The online bach­e­lor of sci­ence in nutri­tion pro­gram at Pur­due Global’s School of Health Sci­ences is approved by the Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Nutri­tion Pro­fes­sion­als (NANP) and the cur­ricu­lum is reviewed reg­u­lar­ly by well­ness and health­care pro­fes­sion­als to ensure that it meets cur­rent indus­try stan­dards. Grad­u­ates of nutri­tion­ist online pro­grams may choose careers as nutri­tion edu­ca­tors or coun­selors, health coach­es, food pro­duc­tion man­agers, kitchen man­agers, food and nutri­tion writ­ers, or sports nutri­tion specialists.

Degree: BS in Nutrition

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

4. Kansas State University

The Col­lege of Human Ecol­o­gy offers Kansas State University’s dietet­ics bach­e­lor degree online. The KSU didac­tic pro­gram in dietet­ics is an ACEND-accred­it­ed pro­gram, which pro­vides half of the required edu­ca­tion for a Reg­is­tered Dietit­ian license. Enrolling in one of the reg­is­tered dietit­ian pro­grams online is just the first step in becom­ing a reg­is­tered dieti­cian. Stu­dents are also required to com­plete an ACEND-accred­it­ed didac­tic pro­gram in dietet­ics and pass a nation­al exam­i­na­tion to become registered.

KSU’s Col­lege of Human Ecol­o­gy has a 125-year his­to­ry of strong lead­er­ship and excel­lence. Over the years, col­lege lead­ers have con­tributed much sci­en­tif­ic, eco­nom­ic, and social knowl­edge in the field. The school’s fac­ul­ty pro­vides out­stand­ing teach­ing com­bined with inno­v­a­tive research to enrich the lives of stu­dents and improve the qual­i­ty of life in the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty. Offer­ing a dietet­ics degree online is all part of that mission.

Degree: BS in Dietetics

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

5. University of Arizona

If you’re look­ing for the best online nutri­tion degree, be sure to con­sid­er the Uni­ver­si­ty of Arizona’s BS in Nutri­tion­al Sci­ences online pro­gram. The pro­gram is one of only four ACEND-accred­it­ed under­grad­u­ate reg­is­tered dietit­ian pro­grams online. The school’s nutri­tion­al sci­ence pro­gram has two spe­cial­ties avail­able: dietet­ics and nutri­tion. Com­plet­ing the dietet­ics empha­sis pre­pares the stu­dent to be able to apply for intern­ships in dietet­ics and pur­sue cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a reg­is­tered dietit­ian. The nutri­tion con­cen­tra­tion is bet­ter suit­ed to stu­dents who wish to pur­sue careers or advanced degrees in food sci­ence, den­tistry, nutri­tion or nutri­tion­al bio­chem­istry, phys­i­cal ther­a­py, nurs­ing, or vet­eri­nary medicine.

The Nutri­tion­al Sci­ences depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ari­zona Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture & Life Sci­ences is engaged in sig­na­ture research regard­ing the impact of behav­ioral and meta­bol­ic fac­tors on body com­po­si­tion and the rela­tion­ship of lifestyle, nutri­ents and bioac­tive com­pounds on can­cer. The depart­ment is also the lead eval­u­a­tor the SNAP-Ed pro­gram in the state of Ari­zona, which attempts to use edu­ca­tion to reduce obe­si­ty among SNAP recipients.

Degree: BS in Nutri­tion­al Sciences

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

6. University of Alabama

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alabama’s online BS in Food and Nutri­tion from ‘Bama by Dis­tance allows stu­dents to com­bine their love of food and nutri­tion with sci­en­tif­ic study. Enrolling in this ACEND-accred­it­ed degree pro­gram is the first step in becom­ing a reg­is­tered dietit­ian. Stu­dents who com­plete the pro­gram will learn about the rela­tion­ship between health and nutri­tion and will be able to suc­cess­ful­ly apply their knowl­edge to real-life sce­nar­ios through­out their careers.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma is one of the few schools to offer a dietet­ics degree online that meets the require­ments nec­es­sary for stu­dents to take the next step to become reg­is­tered dieti­tians. The Col­lege of Human Envi­ron­men­tal Sci­ences at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma is nation­al­ly rec­og­nized for its qual­i­ty pro­grams and fac­ul­ty. Grad­u­ates of the pro­gram seek employ­ment in hos­pi­tals, med­ical cen­ters, pub­lic health orga­ni­za­tions, and oth­er busi­ness­es and organizations.

Degree: BS in Food and Nutrition

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

7. SUNY Oneonta

The Depart­ment of Human Ecol­o­gy offers SUNY Oneonta’s dietet­ics bach­e­lor degree online for stu­dents who are inter­est­ed in food and nutri­tion. The dis­ci­pline of dietet­ics incor­po­rates a com­bi­na­tion of knowl­edge about food, bio­chem­istry, and human biol­o­gy to pro­vide an under­stand­ing of the ways the body uses the nutri­ents and oth­er sub­stances found in food. SUNY’s BS in Dietet­ics puts stu­dents on the path toward becom­ing reg­is­tered dietitians.

SUNY Oneonta’s Dietet­ics pro­gram is accred­it­ed by ACEND and meets the require­ments nec­es­sary to help stu­dents pre­pare to become reg­is­tered as dieti­tians. The school has an egg-shaped, com­put­er­ized cham­ber called a BOD POD that is used to mea­sure body com­po­si­tion and pro­vides stu­dents with hands-on expe­ri­ences such as work­ing in com­mer­cial kitchens, devel­op­ing eat­ing plans for ath­letes, and pre­sent­ing nutri­tion­al infor­ma­tion to ele­men­tary stu­dents. SUNY Oneon­ta seniors have a spe­cial oppor­tu­ni­ty for ear­ly accep­tance into SUNY Oneonta’s online com­bined MS Nutri­tion and Dietet­ic Intern­ship program.

Degree: BS in Dietetics

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

8. Weber State University

The Depart­ment of Ath­let­ic Train­ing & Nutri­tion at Weber State University’s BS in Nutri­tion Edu­ca­tion with a con­cen­tra­tion in inte­gra­tive nutri­tion or sports nutri­tion is the only online pro­gram of its kind in Amer­i­ca. The inte­gra­tive nutri­tion con­cen­tra­tion can be com­plet­ed 100% online and allows stu­dents to study sub­jects such as sus­tain­able cook­ing, fit­ness, lifes­pan, botany, health, exer­cise, sports sci­ence, micro­bi­ol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, and phys­i­cal education.

The Moyes Col­lege of Edu­ca­tion Depart­ment of Ath­let­ic Train­ing & Nutri­tion pre­pares stu­dents for reward­ing careers in nutri­tion, dietet­ics, phys­i­cal ther­a­py, and ath­let­ic train­ing. The school offers state-of-the-art lab­o­ra­to­ries that enable stu­dents to con­duct research and devel­op their pro­fes­sion­al skills and knowl­edge. The research facil­i­ties avail­able at the school include a bio­me­chan­ics lab, a research lab, and an AT lab­o­ra­to­ry class­room. In addi­tion, stu­dents in the nutri­tion pro­gram have access to a gar­den, green­house, bee­keep­ing equip­ment, and a food lab.

Degree: BS in Nutri­tion Edu­ca­tion — Inte­gra­tive Nutri­tion concentration

9. University of Northern Colorado

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North­ern Colorado’s BS in Dietet­ics online pro­gram comes from the Extend­ed Cam­pus, as well as a Didac­tic Dietet­ics Edu­ca­tion cer­tifi­cate pro­gram. The cer­tifi­cate pro­gram is for stu­dents who already have a bachelor’s degree but need to com­plete the didac­tic dietet­ic require­ments to become reg­is­tered dieti­tians. The BS in Dietet­ics online pro­gram is designed for stu­dents who want to earn a bachelor’s degree in dietet­ics as a first step to becom­ing eli­gi­ble to go through the process of becom­ing reg­is­tered dietitians.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North­ern Colorado’s Didac­tic Pro­gram in Dietet­ics online is ACEND-accred­it­ed and com­plies with the spec­i­fi­ca­tions required by the Acad­e­my of Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics (AND). Fac­ul­ty mem­bers in the Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics pro­gram act as men­tors to their stu­dents, not just teach­ers. Stu­dents and teach­ers work side by side, giv­ing stu­dents the skills and con­fi­dence they need to become out­stand­ing dieti­tians and lead suc­cess­ful lives and careers.

Degree: BS in Dietetics

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

10. Eastern Michigan University

The Coor­di­nat­ed Pro­gram in Dietet­ics at East­ern Michi­gan Uni­ver­si­ty is ACEND-accred­it­ed, and com­ple­tion of the pro­gram leads stu­dents into the process of becom­ing reg­is­tered dieti­tians. Hav­ing this cre­den­tial opens up many oppor­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents in health­care set­tings such as hos­pi­tals and long-term care facil­i­ties, as well as in busi­ness enter­pris­es such as insur­ance com­pa­nies. Reg­is­tered dieti­tians are also in demand with gov­ern­ment pro­grams such as Head Start and WIC. Dieti­tians are often called on to pro­vide their exper­tise to uni­ver­si­ties and gov­ern­men­tal agencies.

Eagle Nutri­tion Ser­vices at the School of Health Sci­ences Col­lege of Health & Human Ser­vices offers a vari­ety of ser­vices that help clients main­tain health and vital­i­ty by fol­low­ing prop­er nutri­tion guide­lines. The cen­ter pro­vides nutri­tion coun­sel­ing, body com­po­si­tion test­ing, and nutri­ent analy­sis and is run by junior and senior year dietet­ic stu­dents work­ing in a learn­ing envi­ron­ment under the super­vi­sion of a qual­i­fied Reg­is­tered Dietit­ian (RD). Eagle Nutri­tion Ser­vices attempts to keep its prices low enough to keep its ser­vices acces­si­ble to everyone.

Degree: BS in Dietetics

Inter­est­ed? Learn more about the nutri­tion­ist pro­gram here!

Will Employers Take an Online Nutrition Degree Seriously?

Stu­dents who pur­sue online nutri­tion degrees will find that they have wide accep­tance by employ­ers under most cir­cum­stances. The major­i­ty of employ­ers under­stand that nutri­tion degree dis­tance learn­ing pro­grams ben­e­fit stu­dents who are cur­rent­ly work­ing and wish to advance their careers. So long as stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in ACEND accred­it­ed online pro­grams from col­leges offer­ing nutri­tion degrees, there should be no prob­lem. The main rea­son is that top schools for nutri­tion and dietet­ics that have accred­i­ta­tion by ACEND oper­ate under the goals where­by a high qual­i­ty of dietet­ics and nutri­tion edu­ca­tion is brought forth.

When employ­ers see that stu­dents attend­ed online col­leges offer­ing ACEND accred­it­ed online pro­grams in nutri­tion, prospec­tive employ­ees have a bet­ter chance of hav­ing their degrees tak­en seri­ous­ly. In past years, employ­ers used to dis­re­gard nutri­tion degree dis­tance learn­ing pro­grams. The main rea­son was that they thought col­leges offer­ing nutri­tion degrees online weren’t pro­vid­ing qual­i­ty pro­grams. How­ev­er, now that they see top schools for nutri­tion and dietet­ics with ACEND accred­it­ed online pro­grams, they’re tak­ing things seriously.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Dietitian?

It isn’t uncom­mon for stu­dents pur­su­ing their nutri­tion degrees to won­der how long does it take to become a dietit­ian? The length of a nutri­tion sci­ence online degree pro­gram depends on how much prepa­ra­tion the stu­dent has ahead of time and how many nutri­tion sci­ence cours­es they’ve tak­en pre­vi­ous­ly. Under most cir­cum­stances, the pro­gram requires an associate’s degree, which is a 2‑year nutri­tion degree. In those cas­es, the length of the online nutri­tion asso­ciates degree pro­gram will short­en to two years or less. Stu­dents will find that, if they don’t have their associate’s degree, they’ll need to have at least 120 cred­it hours to com­plete their nutri­tion degree. Many nutri­tion­ists and dieti­cians will also go on to get their master’s degree, often doing course­work while practicing.

On aver­age, that takes between three and four years to com­plete to ensure they have all the nutri­tion sci­ence cours­es they need. A vari­ety of fac­tors will impact how long a nutri­tion bach­e­lor’s degree online pro­gram will take, though. For exam­ple, if the pro­gram is self-paced, full-time, part-time, or if the stu­dent doesn’t need as many cred­it hours. Under these cir­cum­stances, stu­dents can opt to pur­sue their online nutri­tion asso­ciates degree, which is few­er cred­it hours and takes less time because it’s a 2‑year nutri­tion degree. There­fore, when ask­ing, “how long does it take to become a dietit­ian,” the answer varies depend­ing on a wide vari­ety of conditions.

What Kinds of Nutrition Science Degree Can I Get Online?

When stu­dents are pur­su­ing their options for a nutri­tion sci­ence degree online, there are some fac­tors they must take into con­sid­er­a­tion. For exam­ple, most nutri­tion major col­leges’ degree pro­grams will not count toward the reg­is­tered dieti­cian exam­i­na­tion they must take. How­ev­er, these cours­es will help them com­plete the required clin­i­cal hours. Typ­i­cal­ly, these are a didac­tic pro­gram in dietet­ics online. How­ev­er, stu­dents can move away from a didac­tic pro­gram in dietet­ics online degree pro­gram and explore nutri­tion major col­leges that focus on online holis­tic nutri­tion degree pro­grams, nutri­tion, con­sult­ing, health coach­ing, or nutri­tion­al therapy.

Your eli­gi­bil­i­ty for an under­grad­u­ate degree pro­gram may depend on your high school GPA, SAT scores, your need for finan­cial aid, and oth­er admis­sion requirements.

By explor­ing nutri­tion major col­leges such as these, stu­dents have oppor­tu­ni­ties to broad­en the scope of their human nutri­tion sci­ence major and earn a holis­tic online nutri­tion bach­e­lor’s degree that will help them earn skills nec­es­sary for many career spe­cial­ties. Those who receive this online holis­tic nutri­tion degree go beyond that of sports nutri­tion and teach­ing indi­vid­u­als about vit­a­mins and min­er­als. Instead, stu­dents can embark upon careers as pub­lic health nutri­tion­ists, dieti­cians, clin­i­cal nutri­tion­ists, nutri­tion­al coun­selors, and nutri­tion edu­ca­tors in well­ness cen­ters, hos­pi­tals, clin­ics, nurs­ing homes, and pri­vate prac­tices. Pro­fes­sion­als with spe­cial­iza­tion may also work in com­mu­ni­ty health, health edu­ca­tion, com­mu­ni­ty nutri­tion, med­ical nutri­tion, food safe­ty and oth­er career paths. Nutri­tion entre­pre­neur­ship is

The main rea­son is that they obtain skills allow­ing them to take a dif­fer­ent approach to nutri­tion in com­par­i­son to a tra­di­tion­al nutri­tion sci­ence degree. Beyond gen­er­al edu­ca­tion, online stu­dents can work toward licen­sure as a reg­is­tered dietit­ian nutri­tion­ist. If you choose to go on to a grad­u­ate degree, grad­u­ate pro­grams can offer more oppor­tu­ni­ty for spe­cial­iza­tion in nutri­tion and health, pub­lic health nutri­tion, and sim­i­lar edu­ca­tion pro­grams beyond an online bachelor’s degree.

The Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics sees good things ahead for nutri­tion­ists and dieti­cians, with the field grow­ing by 7%.

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