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Best Affordable Online Master’s in Food Science and Technology

Best Affordable Online Master's in Food Science and Technology

The food we eat not only has an impact on how we feel but also on social problems like rising healthcare costs and the continual rise of chronic diseases. The time for dietary education has never been more relevant than it is today, and those with a master’s in food science and technology are positioned to make real impacts on individual’s lives and the world. So why is it so difficult for so many to eat healthy food every meal? What is a healthy meal? What societal issues impact the way people eat? All these questions and more will be answered during the course of earning your food science degree. 

Doesn’t it make sense that the food and nutrients we ingest, which help our bodies run optimally, have a prime role in keeping us healthy and happy? The saying, “You are what you eat” doesn’t seem far from the truth when you think about it like that. Getting a master’s in food science and technology can give you the tools to change people’s lives. What better job satisfaction can you have than that?

As of 2018, there were nearly 71,000 dietitians and nutritionists employed in the United States, and the projected growth between then and 2028 is projected to be higher than average at 11%. It’s estimated that there will be around 5,500 job openings in the decade after 2018 for this job, and earning your master’s in food science can position you to take full advantage of this boom. 

What kind of things are you going to learn in a master’s program in food science and technology? Much of these programs focus on teaching students nutrition and health information, but there is also an emphasis on the business aspects of health, as well as the development of management and leadership skills. The learning of these broad skills sets a foundation for future success, no matter the career you end up choosing. 

You may be asking yourself why we chose to pay particular attention to affordability. It’s because education has gotten absurdly expensive in the past few decades leading many master’s graduates drowning in educational loan debt and regretting the decision to go back to school. Education can be reasonably priced and provide a good return on investment, but it takes diligence searching out educational programs that offer a top-notch education at prices that don’t have you mortgaging your house to earn your degree. 

Well, we get it, you’re busy with everything else you have going on in your life, which is why we created this review so that you have the most accurate information to make a well-informed decision regarding your choice to pursue higher education. 

Keep reading to learn about what most of the programs listed expect from applicants to their program, ways to pay for your education, and how much you can earn after completing your degree!

See Also: 10 Best Master’s in Food and Science Technology Online

Common Application and Admission Questions

You’ve finally decided that you want to go back to school and pursue a master’s degree in food science and technology, so now what? It’s time to start thinking about what schools are going to want to see to gauge whether or not you’re a good fit for their program. Stressful right? Luckily many of the schools require similar application materials and ask similar questions, so you don’t have to worry about memorizing a lot of preformulated answers. 

Some programs on this list are geared more toward registered dietitians looking to go back and get their master’s degree, while others are looking for other types of applicants. Programs created specifically for registered dietitians are going to want to see proof that you have passed the licensing exam for this profession or that you are at least in the internship portion of working toward your RD credential. Some of the programs that are aimed at attracting RD’s will allow non-RD’s to apply for their program as long as they have an adequate nutrition background, but explicitly warn applicants that the completion of their program will not make them eligible to sit for the RD licensing exam. 

Non-RD’s applying to programs on this list are going to be expected by prospective schools to have taken at least one nutrition course in their undergraduate studies, with many of the programs requiring students to have taken chemistry and statistics courses as well. Admission teams are looking to see that applicants graduated with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. If you didn’t earn a cumulative undergraduate 3.0 GPA, don’t give up hope. Many schools evaluate an individual’s circumstances and give conditional acceptance into their program for those with at least a 2.75 cumulative GPA. The school you’re applying to will require that you submit official college transcripts from all schools you have attended in your past. 

The application packet that you’ll be asked to complete when applying to the program you wish to pursue will likely ask you to provide two to three references, a purpose statement, submit GRE scores and pay a small application fee. 

Schools often require references as a safeguard to ensure that you’re likely to be successful in their program. Most schools accept recommendations from past professors and work colleagues or supervisors that can testify to your character and your ability to work hard and complete goals. The purpose statement is usually only a few hundred words in length, which outlines why you want to pursue the master’s degree and what you wish to accomplish after graduation. Many schools require Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, which indicate to schools your ability to be successful as a graduate student. Some programs waive this requirement if you have work experience, and others waive the requirement outright. A typical application fee is around $50, which goes to pay for the processing and review of your application. 

What About Financial Aid & Scholarships?

One of the biggest barriers for many looking to go back to school to pursue another degree is finances and the ability to pay for the education they receive. This factor in your decision should not be taken lightly as many individuals get into student loan debt and realize after completing their degree that they could have earned around the same amount of money without the degree. Take the time to think about what you want to do after earning your degree and whether or not the return on investment of time and money is worth it to you. 

Registered dietitians who have a bachelor’s degree and are wanting to return to school and get a master’s degree may find that this step is required to be a competitive applicant to jobs in the future. This is because new guidelines are encouraging that RD’s have at least a minimum of a master’s by 2024. With the majority of RD’s graduating with a master’s degree, employers will start giving preference to those with a master’s over a bachelor’s degree. 

For a few people, paying for their master’s degree without accumulating debt is a possibility. Those that can pay for their education as they progress through the program should avoid taking out loans when possible, as they will end up paying more money for their degree than those that don’t. The reality is that the majority of individuals going back to school for their master’s degree have to be smart about how the tuition is paid. 

One of the first things you should check into if you’re serious about going back for your master’s is whether or not your employer offers tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement programs. This is a great way to decrease the number of loans you may have to take to pay for your education. Employers recognize that it’s good for their business and their employees to gain more skills and knowledge through the pursuit of higher education, which is why many companies have programs that will help pay for your degree. 

Scholarships are another excellent way to decrease the costs of your degree. A few of the schools listed below offer scholarships for their online students. There seems to be more opportunity to take advantage of scholarships and grants for on-ground students than online students, but do your due diligence by searching the program site and asking your school financial advisor about potential scholarship opportunities. 

A common way that many students use to pay for their education is by applying for federal and private loans. These services give you the money to pay for classes so you can reach your dreams, but these are loans, which means that the money has to be paid back with the added interest rates. Most of the schools reviewed, if not all of them, are eligible for students to apply for federal student loans, which generally have a lower interest rate than loans offered by private lenders. Remember that loans are available to aid students in their educational journey, but avoid them when possible. 

How Much Can I Make With an Affordable Online Master’s in Food Science and Technology? 

The question of how much money you can earn with an online master’s in food science and technology is likely one of the most significant factors in deciding to pursue the degree. The most straightforward answer to the question of how much you can earn with this degree is it depends on the career you actually end up pursuing upon graduation. Besides being a dietitian, there are many jobs available to those that choose to earn a master’s in food science and technology. These programs also teach students about general health and well-being. 

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the most obvious job for those that earn this degree, namely becoming dietitians and nutritionists. Dietitians and nutritionists plan and coordinate nutritional programs in varied settings ranging from prisons to school cafeterias. The majority of currently licensed registered dietitians don’t have a bachelor’s degree, with less than a quarter having a master’s or higher degrees. More RD programs are requiring individuals to have a master’s or higher, and proactively earning a master’s may give you a competitive advantage when competing for jobs. Dietitians and nutritionists can expect to earn an average annual salary of $61,270. The top 10% of RD’s will earn a median income of $87,360 per year, while the bottom 10% can expect to bring home $38,890

If the idea of working as an RD or nutritionist doesn’t exactly sound like your cup of tea, you may want to consider a career as a medical and health services manager. Medical and health services managers plan and direct medical and health services in all kinds of organizations. Many of the programs listed below teach students business aspects of health as well as managerial skills, which are essential skills for this profession. If being a leader is more of a fit for you, then this profession may be a perfect fit. Medical and health services managers earn a median salary of just over $100,000 per year, but the top 10% earn, on average, $189,000 or more annually. 

Some people are energized by sitting down to analyze large amounts of data and by the thrill of discovering new information through experimentation. If this sounds like something that you would wake up every morning feeling excited about, then consider a career as a medical scientist. The majority of medical scientists have doctorate degrees, with only 20% reporting that they have a master’s, which means if this is your ultimate dream career, you may want to consider pursuing a Ph.D. after completing your master’s. Medical scientists, on average, earn just under $89,000 per year. The top 10% of medical scientists in the United States are paid just under $160,000 annually, and the bottom 10% around $49,000 per year. 

What Are the Best Affordable Online Master’s in Food Science and Technology Degrees?

We know that you have educational goals that you’re itching to pursue, but you may not know where to start. The editors of Master’s Programs Guide utilize a unique ranking methodology based on the following five aspects:

25% Overall Degree Affordability: Average cost of undergraduate and graduate tuition per school

25% Graduation Rate: Number of students who start at the university and actually finish there

20% Earnings Potential: Average mid-career salary of school alumni

20% Selectivity: The number of students who apply versus the number who actually get accepted

10% Online Graduate Offerings: The number of programs offered online in each department

At Master’s Programs Guide, we strive to do our best to guide you and your family toward a fruitful academic career. The pursuit of knowledge is a noble one, and we want to help you reach your goals.

#1. East Carolina University

Master of Science in Nutrition

East Carolina University is a public research university founded in Greenville, North Carolina, in the early twentieth century, although the city dates back much farther. You may have heard of this town in the late 1990s as the city sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Floyd. Greenville is home to many pro BMX athletes among the over 170,000 residents of this city.

East Carolina University is the fourth-largest university in the state with a student body consisting of over 29,000 students. The Pirates, as students from this university are sometimes called, are fond of purple and gold, the school’s official colors. PeeDee the Pirate is the school’s mascot, which you can see at NCAA Division I sporting events. Make sure if you visit this university in person that you call to get a tour guide as the school is composed of three campuses covering close to 1500 acres.

The Master of Science in nutrition from East Carolina University is designed for dietitians already knowledgeable in food science, as well as for those without this extensive background. This is an entirely online program, which the school doesn’t offer at its on-ground campus. Those living in Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland, and Ohio will have to look for another program as this university doesn’t offer online courses to students residing in these states.

The MS in nutrition consists of 33 semester hours of coursework, and students can choose between a thesis option and a non-thesis option. Keep in mind that the thesis option may require students to travel to the main campus to complete their degree. Those that select the non-thesis option will be required to complete a research project. Both the thesis option and the non-thesis option consist of the same core curriculum, which includes Human Nutrition in Physiology and Metabolism, Biostatistics for Health Professionals I, and Methods in Nutrition Research. The research/professional practice component of the program is where the options diverge with the non-thesis option requiring Management in Dietetics, Review of Current Literature, and Seminar in Nutrition. The thesis option includes two classes consisting of three credit hours each: Biostatistics for Health Professionals and Seminar in Nutrition.

The university does require that students have extensive knowledge of nutrition and science with all incoming students expected to have taken a general biology, survey of human physiology class and lab, general chemistry class and lab,organic chemistry class and lab, nutrition science, advanced vitamins and minerals, nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, and life cycle nutrition. Those without these prereqs will be required to complete the missing courses before being enrolled in the Master of Science in nutrition program.

The deadline for applying to this program is March 1st of each year, and students, once accepted into the program, have six years to complete the degree. Registered dietitians who have at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5 when enrolling in this program are eligible for a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) waiver.

#2.  Texas Tech University

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Lubbock, Texas, is ranked as the 11th most populated city in the state of Texas and is home to over 250,000 people. Lubbock is a city dedicated to the economic and educational growth of its citizens and has been named as one of the best places to start a small business by Lubbock is named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, a Texas Ranger that lived during the Civil War. The city has received national attention surrounding paranormal activities such as the “Lubbock Lights” UFO sightings and the 1988 apparition of Mary.

Until 1969, Texas Tech University was called Texas Technological College, which was founded in 1923. TTU has a student body consisting of almost 40,000 students making it the seventh-largest university in Texas. The school’s mascot, the Masked Rider, was originally called the Ghost Rider, which reminds one of Zorro wearing the school’s scarlet and black colors. Texas Tech University counts among its alumni CEOs of fortune 500 companies, astronauts, and professional athletes.

The Master of Science in nutrition and dietetics from Texas Tech University is designed specifically for practicing dietitians and students finishing their dietetic internships. The program was created due to evolving entry-level requirements of registered dietitians, which will require that these professionals have at least a master’s degree by 2024. Going back to school for this master’s degree will enable you to be more marketable to future employers.

Texas Tech University’s MS in nutrition and dietetics has been ranked the second-best online master’s program in nutritional sciences by This 33-credit hour program will give you more in-depth knowledge of food science and the skills needed to conduct nutritional science research. This is a non-thesis degree that focuses more on applicable clinical knowledge as opposed to conducting extensive research, although you will also learn this skill.

Four courses form the core requirement of this degree, which include Introduction to Nutrition Research; Biostatistics in Nutrition; Clinical Application: Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Lipids; and Clinical Applications: Vitamins and Minerals. After completing the core requirements, students can select between 14 different elective courses ranging from Nutrition Support to Nutrition and Eating Disorders to Pediatric Nutrition.

Students accepted into this program can choose to add a concentration to their degree by taking three courses consisting of nine credit hours of coursework. The three concentrations available for this degree are Nutrition and Healthy Weight, Nutrition and Sports, and Nutrition in the Life Cycle.

The MS in nutrition and dietetics has three start dates each year corresponding to the fall, spring, and summer. The school gives preference to students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. You’ll be asked to submit two letters of recommendation, your resume/curriculum vitae, and either DPD verification statement, acceptance into a dietetic internship, or proof of your registered dietitian credentials when applying to this program. The school has waived GRE requirements for the 2020 and 2021 academic years for eligible applicants.

#3.  University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Master of Science in Nutrition and Health Sciences

While Lincoln is the state capital of Nebraska, it’s other claim to fame is that this city houses the University of Nebraska. The city was originally named Lancaster but was later renamed after President Abraham Lincoln in 1856. The city has a population of around 287,000 people, making it the second most populated city in Nebraska. Lincoln is known as a refugee-friendly city, which you can see in their varied culture.

Established in 1869, the University of Nebraska system is composed of nearly 52,000 students spread over three university campuses, one medical school, one agricultural college, and one high school. The University of Nebraska- Lincoln is the flagship institution of the system and composes nearly half of all the students in the system. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is represented by two mascots, namely Herbie Husker and Lil’ Red. The students that attend this school are nicknamed the Cornhuskers, which makes more sense when you learn that the school’s original mascots were Corn Cob and then Husker Man.

The internationally-known Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences of the University of Nebraska offers a Master of Science in nutrition and health science. The university offers programs for all types of students and backgrounds, including an online Master of Science in dietetics for registered dietitians and an on-ground Master of Science in nutrition and health sciences with specializations in either biochemical and molecular nutrition or community nutrition and health promotion. All degrees except the Master of Science in dietetics for RD’s allow students to select a minor along with their major.

The biochemical and molecular nutrition option consists of 30-credit hours of coursework, of which at least 20-credit hours are composed of coursework, while the remaining ten credit hours are thesis research. Examples of courses you may take while pursuing this degree include Molecular Nutrition, Molecular Nutritional Techniques, Integrated Principles of Human Nutrition, and Complications of Maternal Obesity.

The community nutrition and health promotion track is a 36-credit hour degree that allows students to select a specialization in either community nutrition and health promotion or nutrition and exercise. This is a non-thesis degree option in which you will take classes such as Classroom and Outreach Experiences in Food and Nutrition, Nutrition: A focus on Life Stages, and Community Nutrition, among others.

The Master of Science in dietetics for registered dietitians is composed of 36-credit hours of coursework, of which the school allows 15 credit hours to be transferred from another educational institution. Nine credit hours compose the core curriculum in subjects such as statistics, research methods, and current issues. The completion of this program requires that students satisfactorily complete a final examination report and a final oral examination, which is taken during the last semester of coursework.

Those wishing to pursue a doctoral degree someday may want to complete the master’s thesis option. The school offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in biochemical and molecular nutrition composed of 90 semester hours of coursework.

#4.  University of Alabama

Master of Science in Human Nutrition

The University of Alabama is located in Tuskaloosa, Alabama, a city with a long history. The city is named after the leader of a band of native people that were defeated by Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer of the 1540s. Tuskaloosa is located in the center of Alabama and served as the capital of the state for two decades during the early nineteenth century. Tuskaloosa is estimated to have a population of over 100,000 people and has been mentioned as one of the best communities for young people, best college towns, and best places to start a small business by various sources.

The University of Alabama is the oldest public university in the state and was established in 1820. This university was heavily involved in the Civil War, supplying large amounts of Confederate troops. Today, the school is known around the country as having one of the winningest football teams in American history with 17 national championships and 59 bowl appearances. The school’s mascot is Big Al, an elephant that was first conceived by Walt Tart, a university student, and Walt Disney built the school’s first costume.

The Master of Science in human nutrition is for serious students wanting to advance their career as a dietitian or pursue doctoral work in the future. Although the program was designed for registered dietitians, those with a nutrition background and with the prerequisites can enroll in the program. The program has been ranked in the top ten master’s of nutrition programs in the nation by and

You’ll have to complete 30-credit hours of coursework to complete the Master of Science in human nutrition program from the University of Alabama. The program allows students to select a concentration in clinical nutrition, community nutrition, or generalist. The generalist track requires that students take five core classes and five elective classes. Students in the generalist track will be required to take Biostatistics, Research Methods, Metabolism of Energy Nutrients, Advanced Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism, and either Maternal and Infant Nutrition or Nutrition Support for the Critically Ill.

Those that choose the community nutrition track will take eight core courses and two elective courses. The eight-core courses in this track include Community Nutrition I, Community Nutrition II, Maternal and Infant Nutrition, Child and Adolescent Nutrition, Research Methods, Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and either Childhood Obesity or Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease.

If you choose the clinical track, you’ll take seven core classes and three elective classes. The core classes in the Clinical track consists of Advanced Vitamin and Mineral Metabolism, Metabolism of Energy Nutrients, Nutrition Support for the Critically Ill, Research Methods, Biostatistics, and either Childhood Obesity or Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease.

To be a competitive applicant to this program, students should have a cumulative 3.0 GPA, although those with a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 hours of coursework will also be considered for admission. Individuals wishing to become registered dietitians should look at another program as this program does not offer the eligibility to sit for the registration examination required to become an RD.

#5.  North Dakota State University

Master of Science in Dietetics

North Dakota State University is located in Fargo, North Dakota, a city located in the eastern edge of the state and is one half of the Fargo-Moorhead twin city area. The Moorhead portion of the twin city duo is actually part of Minnesota. Fargo was founded in 1871 and is named after William Fargo, the founder of Wells Fargo Express Company. The city was once known as the divorce capital of the midwest as the city had lax laws surrounding divorce.

North Dakota Agricultural College was founded in the late 19th century, and that would eventually become North Dakota State University. Today, this university has a student body of over 13,000 students and is a top ten employer of people in North Dakota. The NCAA Division I sports teams of this school are often referred to as the Thundering Herd, and their school mascot is a bison named Thundar. If you decide to attend this school, you’ll start to see a lot more green and yellow as these are the official school colors.

North Dakota State University is another school that has a program that caters to where the student is in life and where they want to go in food science. The school aims to develop leaders in exercise, nutrition, and health who make a real impact on the world. Students can pursue either a Master of Science in health, nutrition, and exercise sciences (HNES) or a Master of Science in dietetics, which is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.

The Master of Science in health, nutrition, and exercise science allows students to concentrate in either exercise/nutrition science or leadership in physical education and sports. The exercise/nutrition science option can be pursued via three pathways. Plan A for this degree consists of 31 credit hours of coursework and requires that students complete a thesis. This plan consists of six core courses, which include Seminar Introduction to HNES, Introduction to Research Design and Methods in HNES, Applied Statistics, Graduate Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Wellness, and Physical Activity Epidemiology. Students pursuing this option will then take nine credit hours of electives and six credit hours of thesis work to be eligible for graduation.

The plan B option involves students writing a paper involving a review of the existing literature of a particular subject. The option consists of the same six core courses, but differs from option A in that students will take 12 credit hours of electives and one to three credit hours to write their review paper. Plan C requires that students complete an internship or capstone experience. Students will take Seminar Introduction to HNES, Graduate Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Wellness, 12 or more credit hours in electives, and complete an internship or independent study.

The Master of Science in dietetics is a 36-credit hour program. Three courses compose the program’s core, which includes courses in current issues and trends, basic statistics, and research methods. Students gain a broad knowledge base of nutrition by taking 21 to 24 credit hours in electives. Students earn their degrees by completing a thesis, comprehensive paper, or comprehensive project.

#6.  Colorado State University

Master of Science in Food Science and Nutrition

Fort Collins, Colorado, started out as a military outpost established by the US Army in 1864. Today, Fort Collins is home to more than 167,000 residents, as well as Colorado State University. Located about an hour’s drive from Denver, Fort Collins experiences around 300 days of sunlight per year but has a moderate temperature of 63.6 degrees. While not directly surrounded by mountains, on clear days, you’ll be able to see mountain peaks in the distance.

Colorado State University was established in 1870, six years before Colorado was officially recognized as a state. CSU counts almost 34,000 students among its student body with over 5,000 online students. The CSU Rams play in NCAA Division I sports and have amassed nine Mountain West tournament championships. The school’s mascot called CAM is a live ram, and the school colors are green, gold, and white.

The Master of Science in food science and nutrition offered by Colorado State University is designed to combine the science of food, the psychology of human behavior, and management aspects of care. This program will hone your research skills while simultaneously developing critical thinking so that you can successfully combine research with the real-world practice of dietetics. The program is only for those who are already licensed as a dietitian, so those without a nutrition background should look at other programs that will provide the education needed to become a dietitian.

The Master of Science in food science and nutrition is a 37-credit hour program that is part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA), which is a program composed of eight other universities that collaborate to provide students with the best knowledge taught by some of the top professors in the nation. Although partner universities will teach some classes, once you’ve completed the degree requirement, you’ll receive a diploma from your home university, in this case, Colorado State University.

The core curriculum consists of five classes: Group Study; Research Methods in Dietetics or Introduction to Research Methods, or Principles Quantitative Data Analysis; Issues in Dietetic Practice; and Micronutrients. Students can study what interests them during the 15 credit hours of elective courses they will have to take to complete the degree. Finally, students are expected to complete a comprehensive research paper to demonstrate their growth and knowledge gained through this program. The research paper courses account for six credit hours of coursework.

Tuition for this program is competitive at $580 per credit hour, which means that you can expect to pay around $21,500 for this degree. Plan on starting this degree in the fall and submitting your completed application by February 1st. The school is looking for prospective students who have at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. The application packet also asks that you submit three letters of recommendation, your resume, and a statement of purpose.

#7.  University of Central Missouri

Master of Science in Nutrition with a Concentration in Clinical Nutrition

Located in the western part of Missouri, Warrensburg is a small city with a population of 18,838 people. The city was founded by and named after settlers John and Martin D. Warren in 1835. Mary Fallin, the 27th Governor of Oklahoma, was born in Warrensburg, Missouri, as was Shawn Pelton, the drummer in the band for Saturday Night Live.

The University of Central Missouri is relatively small compared to other schools reviewed and listed here, but it offers a stellar Master of Science in nutrition program. The school is home to around 14,000 students and traces its history back to 1871 under the name of the Normal School No. 2. The school changed its name from Central Missouri State University to its current version, the University of Central Missouri, in 2006. Mo the Mule is the school’s mascot, which is depicted as a cardinal colored mule on a black background, which corresponds to the school’s official colors.

The goal of the Master of Science in nutrition program from the University of Central Missouri is to prepare students to become lifelong learners. The program is ideal for registered dietitians, nutritionists, and dietetic technicians wanting to gain a more in-depth knowledge of nutritional counseling techniques and become more proficient in applying nutritional principles in clinical settings. This is a recently developed program that was created at least in part to keep up with the new guidelines by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which require RD’s to have at least a master’s degree by 2024.

Those in the Master of Science in nutrition program offered by the University of Central Missouri’s School of Nutrition, Kinesiology, and Psychological Sciences can choose to concentrate their studies in either clinical nutrition or sports nutrition. The sports nutrition option is a hybrid program that requires some on-ground visits, while the clinical nutrition option can be completed 100% online.

There is both a thesis option and a non-thesis option. The thesis option consists of 30-semester hours of coursework, while the non-thesis option consists of 33-semester hours of work. The core curriculum of the clinical nutrition option consists of three courses composed of Nutrition Across the Lifespan, Macronutrients, and Micronutrients. Individuals who decide to pursue the thesis option will be required to take 12 semester hours in research classes composed of Statistics in Kinesiology, Introduction to Research in Kinesiology, and Thesis.

Non-thesis students will take six semester hours in research consisting of Seminars in Nutrition and Statistics in Kinesiology or Introduction to Research in Kinesiology. Finally, students in both the thesis option and the non-thesis option can choose electives with those in the thesis option taking nine semester hours and those in the non-thesis option taking 18 semester hours of electives.

Like many other programs on this list, this school is looking for individuals with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, although students with at least a 2.75 undergraduate GPA may be conditionally admitted into the program. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are required for admission, and UCM gives preference to students who score a 153 Verbal Reasoning, 155 Quantitative reasoning, and 4.0 Analytical writing score.

#8.  Framingham State University

Master of Education with a Concentration in Nutrition Education and a Specialization in Nutrition Education.

Framingham, Massachusetts, was first incorporated as a town in 1700 and sits along the Old Connecticut Path, but was settled by Europeans more than 50 years previously. The region has a rich history ranging from being the place that Tantamous, the famous Native American leader, lived before the King Philip’s War, to being the location of the Framingham Heart Study, one of the most ongoing comprehensive and extensive cardiovascular disease studies ever conducted. The city has an estimated population of over 72,000 residents, ranking it among the 15 most peopled municipalities in Massachusetts.

Framingham State University is a small NCAA Division III school that serves nearly 6,500 students each year, of which 4,500 are undergraduate students. Framingham State University traces its establishment back to 1839 when it first opened as The Normal School of Lexington. This school can count astronauts, politicians, intellectuals, and the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, Ruth Graves Wakefield, among its alumni. The ram is Framingham State University’s mascot, and its colors are gold and black.

The Master of Education with a concentration in nutrition education from Framingham State University differs from other degrees reviewed thus far in that the degree is designed to teach educators how to develop an effective nutrition education curriculum. The degree is not specific for registered dietitians and may be a good choice for school nutrition directors, health and physical education teachers, nutrition professionals, and health educators.

The Master of Education with a concentration in nutrition education is a 30-credit hour program consisting of ten graduate courses. The core curriculum is divided into education core courses and nutrition core courses. The education core curriculum includes Learning and Human Development, Research Methods in Nutrition, and Nutrition Education Programs and Curricula I: Design. The nutrition core is composed of four classes, which include Contemporary Nutrition Issues for Educators, Technology in Nutrition Education, Public Health Nutrition, and a capstone course. Students will also be asked to select three graduate-level elective courses from a list of nine options.

If you decide to enroll in this program, you’ll be taught by professional dietitians, many of which have doctoral degrees. Classes are held in course rotations with certain classes only available during specific semesters, so you’ll want to make sure that you plan out your degree if there are specific electives you are interested in taking. Unlike on-ground students, online graduate students are able to take their comprehensive examinations virtually. Framingham State University graduates students in May, August, and December of each year. You’ll have to schedule the comprehensive examinations six months before graduation, and you’ll take the examination the same month that you graduate.

The school is looking for applicants that have a bachelor’s degree in a related subject matter, have taken a class in basic nutrition or nutrition science and biostatistics or statistics within the last half-decade. Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher will be more likely to be unconditionally accepted into the program. The application packet also asks applicants to submit two letters of recommendation, a 300-word typed personal statement, and pay a $50 application fee. The final requirement that the school lists is that applicants have at least one year of professional experience.

#9.  University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Online Master of Science in Health Sciences with a Concentration in Nutrition

The Rio Grande Valley is a region where the southernmost tip of Texas meets Mexico. The region is named for its close proximity to the Rio Grande river. The Rio Grande Valley is composed of nearly 5,000 square miles. It wasn’t until the 1830’s that the majority of this region came under the sovereignty of Texas due to the Texas Revolution. This region and the politics that surrounded its control were a primary cause of the Mexican-American War, which took place between 1846 and 1848.

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is one of the newest schools reviewed thus far, but may also be one of the most innovative. The school was formed in 2013 to be a major public university of the 21st century, the first of its kind in Texas. The school is the combination of what was formerly known as the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College and the University of Texas–Pan American. Close to 30,000 students attend this university throughout the school’s six locations. The school’s athletes play in NCAA Division I athletics, and the school’s colors are orange, gray, green, and navy.

The Master of Science in health sciences with a concentration in nutrition is unique in that it prepares students for management positions in the nutrition field. This degree combines aspects of public health, nutrition, and management degrees into one comprehensive program. The school makes a special point to note that the completion of this degree does not qualify graduates to sit for the exam to become a registered dietitian, so if this is your goal, your best bet is to find another program.

The MS in health sciences with a concentration in nutrition is a 36-credit hour program that takes students on average one year to complete. Classes are held in an accelerated seven-week format. The tuition for this program is extremely reasonable at $444.44 per credit hour, which means that you’ll end up spending around $16,000 in total for this degree.

This degree is composed of six core courses, which include Health Computer Information Systems; Introduction to the HealthCare System and Quality Improvement; Health Care Policy, Organization and Financing; Research in Health Sciences; Legal and Ethical Issues in Healthcare; and Professional Proposal Writing. The nutrition specialization portion of this degree is also constructed around the completion of six courses, which include Pathophysiology of Disease, Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle, Prevention and Treatment of Obesity, Integrative Nutrition, Nutrition in Diabetes Patient Care, and Perspectives and Treatment Modalities of Eating Disorders.

New students start classes five times throughout the academic year, which corresponds to spring, summer, and fall. Students looking to cut the cost of earning this degree may want to apply for a scholarship, of which the school offers several. One of the scholarships gives students around $200 for having taken the GRE or GMAT when applying to this program. The program requires that applicants have a bachelor’s in health science, business, or a related field. They also want students to have taken a class in physiology or anatomy and physiology.

#10.  North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Nutrition

You may know Raleigh, North Carolina, as the capital of the state, but this city is also known for its many oak trees that are found throughout the city. Raleigh was established in the late 18th century and was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, most famous for being the sponsor of the infamous Roanoke lost colony. This city has given birth to powerful and influential figures in American history, such as Andrew Johnson, the 17th US President.

North Carolina State University was initially called the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1887. This university can be counted among other prestigious universities that compose the research triangle, which also includes Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The school’s motto is “Think and Do,” which may be a philosophy we should live our lives by daily. NCSU has a student body over 35,000 strong, and its campus is composed of over 2,000 acres.

If you’re looking for a degree that emphasizes real-world practical nutrition skills, then look no farther than the Master of Nutrition from North Carolina State University. This is a 36-credit hour program that allows students to take courses from a variety of departments within the university, allowing students to gain a broad knowledge base from multiple subject areas. Students pursuing this degree can select between a non-thesis option, a professional science Master of Nutrition in human nutrition, or a professional science Master of Nutrition in feed science. The professional science programs are distingished from the non-thesis option by the lack of research related classes in the professional science option.

The professional science options are focused more on practical science topics that you’re most likely to encounter in your current or future job. Of the 36 credit hours that compose this degree, 21 to 24 credit hours are dedicated to science courses, while the remaining 12 to 15 credit hours are allocated to professional skill development. Professional skill development can take many forms, including consulting with current and future employers, presenting and teaching scientific information, and management skills.

Regardless of whether you choose the Master in Nutrition non-thesis option or one of the professional science Master of Nutrition options, students will take Principles of Biochemistry or Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism, Master’s Seminar or Feed Mill Operations and Leadership, and Biochemistry of Gene Expression or Regulations of Metabolism. Students that choose the professional science master option will take courses such as Food Laws and Regulations, Government & Public Administration, and Laboratory Management and Safety in TED, among others offered by this university and other collaborating universities.

If you’re wondering if you’re a competitive applicant to this program, you may want to assess how many of the school’s expectations for prospective students you meet. The school looks for applicants with a Bachelor of Science with courses taken in biology and organic chemistry. Competitive applicants have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and score in the 30th percentile or higher in all GRE categories. New students start classes four times throughout the year, once in the fall and spring, and twice in the summer.


#11. Bowling Green State University, Main Campus

Location: Bowling Green, Ohio

Degree: Master of Food and Nutrition

Net Price: $17,508.00


#12. Lasell University

Location: Newton, Massachusetts

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition

Net Price: $28,988.00


#13. Oklahoma State University

Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma

Degree: Master of Science in Dietetics

Net Price: $15,009.00


#14. The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Location: Brownsville, Texas

Degree: Master of Science in Health Sciences in Nutrition

Net Price: $4,319.00


#15. University of North Florida

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Net Price: $10,809.00


#16. North Carolina Central University

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Degree: M.S. Family & Consumer Science with Nutritional Sciences Concentration

Net Price: $12,470.00


#17. Mansfield University

Location: Mansfield, Pennsylvania

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition

Net Price: $18,792.00


#18. University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Degree: Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences

Net Price: $21,158.00


#19. Ball State University

Location: Muncie, Indiana

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

Net Price: $13,642.00


#20. University of Georgia

Location: Athens, Georgia

Degree: Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition

Net Price: $15,539.00


#21. Arizona State University-Skysong

Location: Tempe, Arizona

Degree: Master of Science in Nutritional Science (Dietetics)

Net Price: $14,166.00


#22. Kansas State University

Location: Manhattan, Kansas

Degree: Nutrition, Dietetics, and Sensory Sciences Master’s Degree

Net Price: $13,459.00


#23. University of Memphis

Location: Memphis, Tennessee

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition: Environmental Nutrition

Net Price: $13,174.00


#24. Auburn University

Location: Auburn, Alabama

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition

Net Price: $23,205.00


#25. University of Kansas

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

Degree: Master of Science in Dietetics and Nutrition

Net Price: $15,781.00


#26. West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Location: West Chester, Pennsylvania

Degree: Master of Science in Community Nutrition

Net Price: $19,091.00


#27. South Dakota State University

Location: Brookings, South Dakota

Degree: Master of Science in Dietetics

Net Price: $18,253.00


#28. University of Utah

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Physiology with an Emphasis in Nutrition

Net Price: $13,460.00


#29. Texas Woman’s University

Location: Denton, Dallas, and Houston, Texas

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition

Net Price: $9,324.00


#30. University of North Dakota

Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition

Net Price: $15,374.00


#31. University of Southern Mississippi

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Degree: Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems

Net Price: $13,773.00


#32. University of Texas at Austin

Location: Austin, TX

Degree: Master of Science in Nutritional Science (MSNS)

Net Price: $14,156.00


#33. University of Wisconsin-Madison

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Degree: Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition

Net Price: $14,169.00



Michael Templeton
Managing Editor

Kacey Reynolds Schedler
Contributing Editor