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Most Affordable Master’s in Nutrition Online

most_affordable_online_colleges_masters_nutrition_1Introduction

Proper nutrition is one of the most important things you can have to be healthy and live a long life. Hunger is a feeling that we deal with daily, and what better way to solve that problem than with food. The concept of food and nourishment has been a cornerstone of civilization since the dawn of time.

While practicing nutrition is an excellent way to improve your mental and physical health, some people prefer to take it one step further and make it a lifelong investment. One thing that might make this investment easier is earning a degree in nutrition or nutritional science. This way, you can pursue a career that will improve your lifestyle and help you connect with others who share the same beliefs and passions. Some of these careers include Dietician, Child or Adolescent Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Exercise Psychologist, and just a straight-up Nutritionist.

The following article contains a ranking of institutions that offer master’s degrees in the nutritional sciences based on affordability. This information can help those who are thinking about pursuing an education and career in nutrition and also help them explore their options.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online master’s in nutrition (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in 2020

2021 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Master’s in Nutrition Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
#1 University of North Florida $10,951
#2 Arizona State University $11,644
#3 Murray State University $12,242
#4 Lamar University $12,967
#5 University of Central Missouri $13,384
#6 Eastern Illinois University $13,851
#7 University of Southern Mississippi $14,126
#8 University of Arizona $14,553
#9 University of Central Arkansas $14,723
#10 Central Michigan University $15,677
#11 University of North Dakota $15,970
#12 North Dakota State University – Main Campus $16,062
#13 University of Maine $16,388
#14 Mississippi State University $16,830
#15 SUNY Oneonta $16,853
#16 University of Alabama at Birmingham $17,005
#17 Texas Tech University $17,033
#18 University of Nebraska-Lincoln $18,086
#19 Kansas State University $18,450
#20 University of Kansas $18,571
#21 Viterbo University $19,974
#22 West Chester University of Pennsylvania $22,101
#23 University of Alabama $22,232
#24 Auburn University $23,696

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Master’s in Nutrition Degrees

1. University of North Florida

Average Net Price: $10,951
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 72%

University of North Florida (UNF) is located in Jacksonville, Florida. Among other honors, this school has been awarded the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification. In addition to UNF’s regional accreditation, both the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in nutrition science are accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

There is one undergraduate degree program in nutrition offered at UNF, with two concentrations for students to choose from. Students who want to work as registered dietitian nutritionists should pursue the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics (B.S.N.D.) in the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) concentration. The school’s other B.S.N.D. Degree, with a concentration in Community Nutrition and Food, is geared towards students interested in other food-related professions, such as recipe development, food sustainability, and nutrition education.

UNF also offers an online graduate-level degree in nutrition. The Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics degree has four concentrations for students to choose from Dietetic Professional Studies, Global Health, Healthcare Informatics, and Nutritional Sciences. To be eligible for this program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field from a program accredited by ACEND or the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education.

2. Arizona State University

Average Net Price: $11,644
School Type: Public, Online Branch For-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 86%

Arizona State University (ASU) has five campuses in Phoenix, Arizona. This exceptional school has been recognized by Niche.com as the state’s best college and as one of the country’s 50 best public universities. ASU has five programs that allow students to earn a nutrition degree online. Three of these are undergraduate courses of study, while the others are graduate programs.

Undergraduate students at ASU planning a career in nutrition can choose from a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) or two Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees. ASU’s B.A.S. and B.S. in Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship are both designed to equip students with the skills they will need to start their own food-related businesses. Students who want to work in the health or education industry should pursue the school’s B.S. in Health Sciences with a focus in Healthy Lifestyles Coaching instead.

Both of ASU’s online master’s programs leading to an online nutrition degree require 30 credit hours to complete. The Master of Science in Nutritional Science (also known as dietetics), is for registered nutritionists who want to improve their skills. ASU’s Master of Science in Medical Nutrition is tailored towards medical professionals who want to learn how nutrition can impact health.

3. Murray State University

Average Net Price: $12,242
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 82%

Murray State University (MSU) is located in Murray, Kentucky, and is one of the top three universities in the state, according to Niche.com. This university’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics has a variety of courses available to students interested in pursuing a career in the field. These include a minor in nutrition, two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s degree, and two internship programs.

Students can earn their B.S. in Nutrition at MSU, with a focus in either Nutrition and Foods or Dietetics. Only the degree focusing on dietetics will lead to an internship and eventual credentialing as a Registered Dietitian. The other degree is intended for students who wish to pursue careers in other fields, such as government service.

To earn their Master of Science in Nutrition degree online at MSU, students will need to complete a program consisting of 38 credit hours. This program is offered in both internship and non-internship pathways, to better meet the needs of working adults.

4. Lamar University

Average Net Price: $12,967
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 84%

Lamar University (Lamar) is located in Beaumont, Texas, and has the lowest average cost of attendance of any institute of higher education in the state. The school itself is separated into five undergraduate departments, an honors department, and a graduate studies department. In addition to on-campus degree programs, Lamar has a robust selection of online degrees for students to choose from.

Students who would like to work in the field of nutrition without becoming registered dietitians can earn their Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Degrees at Lamar. This course will prepare students for a career in commercial food service, nutritional counseling, or health science education. Lamar’s Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics Degree is intended for students who will complete an accredited internship after graduation in order to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.

Graduate students can earn an online nutrition degree at Lamar with their Master of Science in Nutrition program. This 36-credit hour course of study can be completed in less than two years, which makes it an appealing option for working adults.

5. University of Central Missouri

Average Net Price: $13,384
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 65%

University of Central Missouri (UCM) is located in Warrensburg, Missouri, and has the highest rate of full-time student degree completion in the state. The university’s School of Nutrition, Kinesiology, and Psychological Science oversees four minors, six undergraduate majors, and five graduate-level courses of study.

Undergraduate programs in the field of nutrition at UCM include a minor in sports nutrition and another in foods, as well as Bachelor of Science degrees in Dietetics and Health Studies. The school also offers two nutrition majors at the graduate level, both of which are Master of Science Degrees. The first has a concentration in Clinical Nutrition, while the second has a focus on Sports Nutrition.

Both of UCM’s master’s degrees in nutrition are available online, although neither currently leads to students becoming Registered Dietitians. However, the school has begun the process of seeking accreditation for a master’s program that will include an internship to better serve students who want to work as dietitians.

6. Eastern Illinois University

Average Net Price: $13,851
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 53%

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is located in Charleston, Illinois, and is among the five best public universities in the state, as ranked by Niche.com. Established in 1895, the school has come a long way since its start as a two-year teacher’s college. EIU currently has nearly 100 degree and certification programs available, including several options that are offered entirely online.

The Health and Human Services Department at EIU offers Nutrition and Dietetics as either a minor, major, or graduate program. Students interested in the 18-credit minor can choose from one of three areas of concentration: food science, community nutrition, or clinical nutrition.

For students interested in pursuing a nutrition-related baccalaureate or graduate degree, EIU offers both a B.S. and M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics. The bachelor’s program requires students to complete 120 credits and an internship before graduation. The 33-credit master’s program has two options. The first is a Dietetic Internship Option and is designed for students who wish to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. The second, a Nutrition Education Option, is available online and does not lead to credentialing.

7. University of Southern Mississippi

Average Net Price: $14,126
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 97%

University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and, according to Niche.com, has one of the 20 best online college programs in the country. USM is also designated as a Carnegie R1 Institution, which means it is one of the most active research universities in the United States.

There are two undergraduate nutrition programs at USM. Students who want to work in the field without becoming Registered Dietitians can add classes for a Nutrition and Dietetics Minor to their other baccalaureate coursework. Those who want to pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian can earn a B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics at USM. This program places more than 90% of its students in an internship after graduation and also gives them the skills they need to pass their credentialing exams to become licensed Registered Dietitians.

USM also offers an online option for graduate students who want to strengthen their professional skills. The university’s Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems is designed to further student knowledge in global and community nutrition, practice-based research, food systems management, and other highly relevant subjects in the field of dietetics.

8. University of Arizona

Average Net Price: $14,553
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 85%

University of Arizona (UA) is located in Tucson, Arizona, and is recognized as the second-best public university in the state. Established before Arizona became a state, this land-grant university has dedicated itself to using cutting-edge educational methods to help its students reach their fullest potential.

The Nutritional Sciences Program at UA is overseen by the school’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Undergraduate programs in this field include a B.S. in Nutritional Sciences, a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Systems, and a five-week study abroad program. The study-abroad program takes place in Italy and gives students real-world experience with food preparation, agriculture, and the diet of the Mediterranean region.

UA also offers three graduate-level programs in nutrition: an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway, a Professional Science Master’s, and a Nutritional Science Graduate Program. Some of the coursework for these programs can be completed online, although supervised internships will need to be completed in person.

9. University of Central Arkansas

Average Net Price: $14,723
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 90%

University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is located in Conway, Arkansas, and is one of the state’s top three public universities, according to Niche.com. Offering more than 150 degree programs and certificates, UCA has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio that provides students with an exceptional education.

The Nutrition and Family Sciences Department at UCA oversees nine comprehensive programs. Four of these are in the fields of family and community services, but the other five are in nutrition. Undergraduate programs offered by this department include a B.S. in Nutrition Sciences, a B.S. in Community Nutrition, and a B.S. in Dietetics.

One of the two post-baccalaureate programs in nutrition at UCA is a 15-month, supervised Dietetic Internship that leads to a master’s degree and eligibility to take the national Registered Dietitian exam. The other is an M.S. in Nutrition degree that can be completed online. Students will choose from one of two tracks to earn this degree: a 36-credit hour course that does not include a thesis and a 30-credit course with a thesis.

10. Central Michigan University

Average Net Price: $15,677
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 70%

Central Michigan University (CMU) is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, and was established in 1892. Considered by Niche.com to be one of the 10 best public universities in the state, CMU offers classes on its campus, online, and at more than 30 off-campus learning sites throughout the country.

CMU has a Didactic Program in Dietetics, that will lead to a B.S. upon graduation. Students who complete this program will also be given a Verification Statement that will allow them to apply for an internship. After finishing a closely-supervised internship, a student will be allowed to sit for the national Registration Examination for Dietitians to get credentialed as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

There is also a graduate program in nutrition at CMU. This program awards graduates with an M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics and gives students a chance to earn a nutrition degree online. CMU will accept transfer credits for this degree, with the exception of a research methods class that can only be taken through the university.

Resources for Statistics and Rankings:
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-north-florida/#admissions
https://www.unf.edu/catalog/about/Accreditations/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/arizona-state-university/
https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/starbucks-offers-employees-free-tuition-arizona-state-university-online-msna350556
https://provost.asu.edu/upra
https://www.bloomberg.com/profile/company/0533460D:US
https://www.murraystate.edu/headermenu/administration/Provost/Accreditation/index.aspx
https://www.niche.com/colleges/murray-state-university/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/lamar-university/
https://www.lamar.edu/planning-assessment/accreditation/index.html
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-central-missouri/#admissions
https://www.ucmo.edu/college-of-education/accreditations/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/eastern-illinois-university/
https://www.eiu.edu/about/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-southern-mississippi/
https://www.usm.edu/university/accreditation.php
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-arizona/
https://academicaffairs.arizona.edu/hlc
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-central-arkansas/
https://uca.edu/accreditation/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/central-michigan-university/
https://www.cmich.edu/office_provost/academic_administration/APA/Factbook/General/Pages/Accreditations.aspx

Resources for Program Information
https://www.unf.edu/brooks/nutrition/
https://www.unf.edu/brooks/nutrition/undergrad_program.aspx
https://www.unf.edu/brooks/nutrition/Undergrad_CNF.aspx
https://www.unf.edu/graduateschool/academics/programs/Nutrition_and_Dietetics_-_Online.aspx
https://campus.asu.edu/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/applied-science-nutrition/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/food-and-nutrition-bs/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelor-science-health-sciences-healthy-lifestyles-coaching/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/master-science-nutritional-science-dietetics/
https://asuonline.asu.edu/online-degree-programs/graduate/medical-nutrition-ms/
https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/nursing-and-health-professions/AHS/NutritionDieteticsandFoodManagement/index.aspx
https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/nursing-and-health-professions/AHS/NutritionDieteticsandFoodManagement/DieteticsTrack/index.aspx
https://www.murraystate.edu/academics/CollegesDepartments/nursing-and-health-professions/AHS/NutritionDieteticsandFoodManagement/NutritionAndFoodsTrack/index.aspx
https://www.murraystate.edu/online/pdf/M.S.%20in%20Nutrition%20Recruitment%20Flyer.pdf
https://www.lamar.edu/about-lu/index.html
https://www.lamar.edu/academics/degrees/nutrition-hospitality-human-services/nutrition-bachelors-degree.html
https://www.lamar.edu/academics/degrees/nutrition-hospitality-human-services/nutrition-dietetics-bachelors-degree.html
https://www.lamar.edu/academics/degrees/nutrition-hospitality-human-services/nutrition-masters-degree.html
https://www.ucmo.edu/about/
https://www.ucmo.edu/college-of-health-science-and-technology/school-of-nutrition-kinesiology-psychological-sciences/
https://www.ucmo.edu/academics/programs/masters-degrees/nutrition-ms-53-898-clinical-nutrition-option-0019-/index.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Illinois_University
https://www.eiu.edu/about/glance.php
https://www.eiu.edu/majors/
https://www.usm.edu/
https://www.usm.edu/undergraduate-programs/nutrition-dietetics.php#Nutrition%20and%20Dietetics%20%28Didactic%20Program%20in%20Dietetics%29%20BS
https://www.usm.edu/graduate-programs/nutrition-food-systems.php#Nutrition%20and%20Food%20Systems%20MS
https://www.arizona.edu/about
https://www.arizona.edu/purpose-mission-values
https://nutrition.cals.arizona.edu/
https://nutrition.cals.arizona.edu/undergraduate/mediterranean-diet-and-health
https://nutrition.cals.arizona.edu/applied-nutrition-programs#applied
https://uca.edu/about-uca/
https://uca.edu/nfs/
https://uca.edu/nfs/programs/nutrition/
https://uca.edu/nfs/programs/dietetic-internship/
https://uca.edu/nfs/programs/ms/
https://www.cmich.edu/about/Pages/default.aspx
https://www.cmich.edu/colleges/CHP/hp_academics/srms/nutr/Pages/Dietetics-Major.aspx
https://www.cmich.edu/colleges/CHP/hp_academics/srms/nutr/MSND/Pages/default.aspx