Many programs exist, especially for people already working in the nutrition field, that can get into a Nutrition Masters Program whether you have a Bachelor’s in Nutrition or not. Once you have your Master’s degree, you qualify to become a registered dietitian/nutritionist. The clinical role of the nutritionist is changing in today’s culture and specialists are seen as valuable stakeholders in both institutions and fork-to-farm programs. Certified nutritionists significantly increase stakeholders’ chances of living a fuller and healthier life. Getting an accelerated online nutrition master’s degree could be the best way to a rewarding career in nutrition and dietetics.
One of the biggest advantages of doing an accelerated online master’s of nutrition program is that the field is rapidly changing, evolving, and plenty of positions need to be filled. Many accelerated online masters of nutrition program plans include a 4+1 where you can get your Masters and Bachelor’s in 5 years. Professionals will often consider taking an accelerated Masters within 1 year.
Our Method: Ranking the Best Accelerated Online Master’s of Nutrition Programs
For nutrition professionals who want to advance quickly, an accelerated online Master’s in Nutrition is a smart choice. Speed isn’t everything, though, so Best Health Degrees editors have ranked programs according to tuition, student reviews, and salary potential. To qualify, programs must be accredited and offer students a path to complete their master’s in 18 months or less.
1. Texas Woman’s University
When you are looking for an accelerated online masters of nutrition program, you want to consider the MS in Nutrition from the Texas Women’s University. The degree program allows students to complete their education within 12 months, so it helps students keep up with professional goals without wasting time in a complicated program.
Texas Women’s University offers flexibility to help students accomplish their goals for their education. The online degree program allows students to work at their own pace, so it gives students the opportunity to complete their program at an accelerated pace. It also recognizes that students may need to work on their degree part-time due to obligations at work or at home, so it allows students to develop a strategy that works with their specific needs.
Highlight: Texas Women’s University offers small class sizes to help students keep up with course material and connect with faculty when questions arise.
Degree: MS in Nutrition – 12 months
2. Abilene Christian University
Abilene Christian University offers an online MS in Nutrition that allows students to work at an accelerated pace. The online degree program allows students to work at their own pace, so it gives students the opportunity to finish their degree within 12 months when taking full-time courses. Students can expect to learn about the science behind nutrition as well as the ways that nutrition applies to different areas of health and well-being.
Abilene Christian University emphasizes Christian values as they apply to nutrition and health. Since it takes a Biblical approach to the topic of nutrition, students can expect to learn about the different recommendations for diet as it is described in the Bible. Students will also learn about scientific research into different foods that are described as healthy in Biblical texts. The program takes a holistic approach to nutrition and gives students a well-rounded view of how diet impacts individual well-being.
Highlight: Abilene Christian University provides six credit hours for students who complete a dietetic internship before applying for the master’s program or who complete an internship during the program.
Degree: MS in Nutrition – 12 months
3. Arizona State University
The accelerated online masters of nutrition program from Arizona State University prepares students to develop a strong foundation in nutritional science and studies. The MS in Nutritional Science emphasizes the research behind nutritional sciences as well as the ways that nutrition may impact human health. It also discusses different aspects of science, such as biology and chemistry, and how those areas may impact nutrition.
Arizona State University allows students to take accelerated courses to complete a master’s degree within 12 months. The online program allows students to take classes that are 7.5 weeks long and it emphasizes an evidence-based approach to nutrition. Since the degree program focuses on the science and the evidence behind nutrition, it prepares students for a challenging career in a research or clinical role.
Highlight: Arizona State University is the most innovative college according to U.S. News and World Reports for its online degree programs.
Degree: MS in Nutritional Science 12 months
4. Simmons University
Simmons University offers an accelerated online MS in Nutrition and Health Promotion that allows students to finish their degree within 12 months. The program emphasizes the role of nutrition in wellness, and also teaches students about fitness and overall health outcomes. It gives students a strong foundation in topics related to good health and well-being, so it ensures that students are ready to handle challenges when working in a clinical environment or when developing health promotion programs.
Simmons University emphasizes the value of promoting good health within local communities. It strives to ensure that students are able to take measures to improve the health of their communities through effective programs and measures to improve health outcomes among different groups. The focus on community health ensures that students recognize variations within demographic groups to provide effective advice.
Highlight: Simmons University offers financial aid to students in the graduate program to help with the costs of obtaining a degree.
Degree: MS in Nutrition and Health Promotion – 12 months
5. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers an MS in Health Sciences with a concentration in Nutrition that allows students to complete their degrees at an accelerated pace. The online program allows students to finish a degree within 12 months and emphasizes the role of science in good health and nutrition. The degree program teaches students about nutrition and the sciences involved in nutrition research to prepare students for the challenges of working in a clinical or research environment.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is the only accelerated online nutrition program in the state of Texas and it focuses on building on student knowledge and previous training. It is designed around the needs of adults who may have a complex work situation or may have limited time due to personal obligations. The flexibility of the program combined with the accelerated pace helps students focus on accomplishing their long-term goals.
Highlight: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley offers specialized scholarships for students in the online degree program.
Degree: MS in Health Sciences – Nutrition – 12 months
6. SUNY Oneonta
The accelerated online masters of nutrition program from SUNY Oneonta allows students to advance in their careers within 12 months of starting the program. The online MS in Nutrition and Dietetics prepares students to take the exams to become a registered dietitian and it requires students to complete the supervised practice hours that further improve student capabilities. The hands-on practice ensures that students are ready to handle the challenges of working in a clinical setting or dealing with challenges as a leader.
SUNY Oneonta stands out by offering a dietetic internship to qualifying students in the online degree program. The internship allows students to develop their skills and gain hands-on experience while they work on their degrees. It is designed around the needs of registered dietitians and working professionals. It also allows students to work on their degree and advance in a career when they have already obtained certification and want to move forward into a leadership role.
Highlight: SUNY Oneonta is ACEND-accredited for the online master’s degree program.
Degree: MS in Nutrition and Dietetics – 12 months
7. University of Rhode Island
The MS in Dietetics from the University of Rhode Island is an accelerated online course that allows students to complete their degree within 14 months. The courses take seven weeks to complete and students are able to work around their personal schedules to keep up with courses when they have obligations or job responsibilities that limit their time during traditional class hours.
The University of Rhode Island offers two concentrations for students in the online accelerated program. Students can complete the dietetic internship track or can focus on the registered dietitian nutritionist track. The nutritionist track offers a generalist track that allows students to gain a broad perspective into nutrition and dietetics, while the internship track gives a more specialized education.
Highlight: An estimated 98 percent of graduates from the online master’s program from the University of Rhode Island recommend it to new students.
Degree: MS in Dietetics – 14 months
8. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania offers an accelerated MS in Food and Nutrition online that allows students to finish their degree within 16 months of starting the program. The online degree program offers two tracks for students: the administration track and the education track. The administration track focuses on leadership and management skills that apply to corporate environments and related industries. The education track emphasizes research and evidence-based practices to work in an educational program, community services, or similar fields.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania focuses on providing a strong foundation in nutrition studies before students develop specialized skills for their career goals. That ability to focus on a specialized area of nutrition studies ensures that students are prepared to handle the challenges they may face in certain careers and opportunities.
Highlight: Indiana University of Pennsylvania is recognized as one of the best online programs for a master’s in nutrition by Best Schools.
Degree: MS in Food and Nutrition – 16 months
9. Sage Colleges
The Sage Colleges offer an online MS in Applied Nutrition that allows students to work at an accelerated pace and finish the master’s program within 18 months. The degree program focuses on the practical application of nutrition in research, community health, and clinical environments. It teaches students the practical skills and critical thinking skills they need to work with doctors and professionals in a variety of different settings.
The Sage Colleges stand out from other programs by emphasizing effective communication skills. It teaches students the proper ways to communicate during presentations, one-on-one discussions, and similar situations. Students learn to communicate through writing as well as oral communication that allows them to take on leadership positions. It gives students a strong foundation in the skills they need to handle a variety of tasks in a clinical, corporate, or public career.
Highlight: The Sage Colleges require students to complete a group thesis project to complete the degree program.
Degree: MS in Applied Nutrition – 18 months
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10. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an MS in Nutrition Sciences online that provides the opportunity to complete the program within 18 months. The accelerated program emphasizes nutritional studies and evidence-based nutrition as it applies to clinical work. The degree program recognizes that students may work in a clinical environment and offers the hands-on training students need to work with patients in a medical facility.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham prepares students to take the licensing exams to become a registered dietitian by offering a dietetic internship program. Students will have the chance to gain experience through the internship and develop useful skills that improve their capabilities when they start working in an advanced position.
Highlight: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is ACEND-accredited for the online nutrition sciences degree program.
Degree: MS in Nutrition Sciences – 18 months
What if I Don’t Need an Accelerated Online Nutrition Master’s Degree?
Certain cases don’t require you to have a graduate certificate nutrition degree; however, ACEND only offers certificates to entry-level academic requirements with graduate degrees. It is possible while you are getting a graduate certificate in nutrition online that you can apply to ACEND and take the test early. If you decide not to go the route of graduate certificate in nutrition, you can still have Bachelor’s in Nutrition or Dietetic credits and apply for your RD or RDN. Most dietitians are expected to at least have a Bachelor’s in something related to nutrition. If you have a full graduate certificate in nutrition, you are not required to have ACEND but many that go to graduate school will meet state requirements for RD and RDN. ACEND also has a lot of different continuing education certificates to explore.
Should I Get a Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Online Instead of an Accelerated Nutrition Master’s?
An online certificate in nutrition is something that is commonly looked for students that have studied courses in nutrition whether at the Associates, Bachelor’s or Master’s level. It is possible to get certificates in nutrition online without a prior degree, but it won’t necessarily be state-approved and may limit some of your career opportunities.
If you already have a Bachelor’s in another area, you can easily apply for a Master’s online certificate course in nutrition and dietetics that would prepare you to take the nationally-recognized ACEND certification and open up the door to a lot of higher paid managerial nutrition and wellness jobs. It’s a good idea to get a graduate certificate nutrition online if you are already working in the field of nutrition. They are usually self-paced or accelerated, depending on what your needs are.