Why Should I Enroll in an Accredited Nutrition Degree Program?

Why Choose an Accredited Nutrition Program?

As science and research continue to show the connection between good nutrition and overall well-being, more people are trying to find ways to eat better and live healthier lives.

Because of that trend, the study of nutrition has become increasingly relevant. If you are interested in working with individuals to find ways to use food to promote health and well-being, then a career as a nutritionist might be the career path for you.

But, what does a nutritionist do? And what kind of college or university should students attend to get the best nutrition degree possible?

Let’s explore what a nutritionist is and how to become one. Further, we’ll discuss why attending an accredited nutrition degree program can set you apart from the competition, and ensure you are as successful as possible in your career as a nutritionist.

What is a Nutritionist?

Nutritionists evaluate an individual’s current diet and eating habits and then provide clinically effective strategies for treating and managing their health needs. This is done through individualized counseling in alternative and complementary medicine.

With specialized knowledge in physiology, metabolism, food allergies and sensitivities, and the function of the gastrointestinal tract, nutritionists possess a unique perspective that allows them to guide clients on how food and nutrition can help prevent and manage disease.

How Do I Become a Nutritionist?

Though it’s possible to offer nutrition advice professionally with a bachelor’s degree in some states, it is not recommended. Many employers now prefer candidates who have earned a master’s degree in Nutrition. Not to mention, several professional licenses and certifications require a master’s education.

A master’s degree in Nutrition will put you on the pathway toward advanced certification. For those wishing to earn certification as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), for example, a master’s degree is required. Those who earn a master’s degree from an accredited nutrition program that meets the requirements of the Board for Certification of Nutritionists (BNCS) are eligible to sit for the exam for the CNS certification.

Be sure to check your state’s licensure requirements before you choose a master’s program, as

not all states accept a CNS credential for state licensing.

Why is an Accredited Nutrition Program Important?

Your education is an important investment, so consider picking a nutrition program that is accredited.

Accreditation is a review process that higher education institutions will undergo, voluntarily, to guarantee their programs, faculty, and curriculums are top-quality. Accreditation is granted by third-party entities and organizations. There are several accrediting that review nutrition programs. There are also organizations that accredit entire colleges and universities.

An institution, like University of Bridgeport (UB), is deemed accredited when it has met the requirements for quality and credibility, as well as the standards of the accrediting governing agency. The school is judged on its support services for students, financial stability, overall curriculum, faculty credibility, graduation and pass rates, and many other factors.

Along with the resources to work long-term, schools must show that they have a solid foundation and commitment to education to obtain accreditation. It also requires frequent reviews and checks to maintain these high standards.

Graduating from an accredited college is a benefit when applying for jobs, since employers will recognize and appreciate the legitimacy of an accredited school. And, if you ever want to attend or transfer to another school, accreditation will ensure that your previously earned credits will be transferable.

As a whole, University of Bridgeport is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education. Many of our programs are also accredited. For example, the master’s in Human Nutrition program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Nutrition Professional Education (ACNPE), a programmatic accrediting agency for clinical programs in advanced nutrition. UB’s Nutrition Institute was the first to be accredited by this council.

Other Nutrition Accreditations You May Come Across

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ (AND) accrediting agency for undergraduate programs preparing students for careers as dietetic technicians and practitioners.

However, the ACEND is not required for programs that are not dietetics training programs, and that do not include a dietetics internship. In other words, a master’s in Human Nutrition program does not need to be ACEND-accredited. If you are interested in dietetics and becoming a Registered Dietician (RD), you can find a full list of ACEND-accredited programs approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), here.

Does the University of Bridgeport Have an Accredited Nutrition Degree?

As described above, UB is licensed and accredited by the Connecticut Board of Governors Office of Higher Education, while UB is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Additionally, the Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition program is the first to be accredited by the Accreditation Council on Nutrition Professional Education (ACNPE), a programmatic accrediting agency for clinical programs in advanced nutrition.

At UB, we aim to prepare our nutrition program graduates to influence and support specific health challenges and promote overall well-being. Graduates are able to integrate biochemical and physiological science knowledge with evidence-based strategies, and link integrative and preventive nutrition-based interventions.

Our accredited nutrition degree program offers complete flexibility—allowing students to earn their degree entirely online. Students can complete the requirements for the online master’s in Nutrition in as little as 23 months.

As you can see, attending an accredited nutrition program from an accredited university, like UB, ensures you are getting the best possible education and setting yourself up for success in your future career as a nutritionist.

Don’t wait. Start your future today!