difficulty of earning a master’s in nutrition online degree

How Hard Is It To Earn a Master’s in Nutrition Degree Online?

Nutrition is a complex, multidisciplinary field that combines biological sciences, economics, politics, human behavior, and environmental science. Pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition online involves a science-heavy curriculum as students complete biology, chemistry, pathophysiology, and biochemistry courses.

And that’s all before students begin taking upper-level nutrition courses.

But obtaining an online Nutrition degree and pursuing a career in nutrition takes work. However, students who complete this degree can build a fulfilling and successful career.

What is an Online Nutrition Degree?

Online Master’s in Nutrition programs provide students with a flexible and affordable way to obtain advanced degrees and further a career as a nutritionist.

Like on-campus degrees, online nutrition degrees allow candidates to develop skills and expand their job opportunities and earning potential.

At the same time, they also allow students to fit this training around their schedule and personal responsibilities. Plus, many excellent online programs are available, and employers understand that an online degree is equally valuable as one earned on campus.

Types of Master’s in Nutrition Degrees

Just as Master’s in Nutrition Online programs differ, so do the types of Master’s in Nutrition Degrees students can pursue.

Master of Science in Nutrition

A Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition trains students to promote and support awareness of optimal nutrition by combining biochemical and physiological knowledge with nutritional, evidence-based interventions.

Each college and university program will differ depending on whether their program is in-person or online. Our Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition online program at University of Bridgeport separates itself from other master’s programs through its focus on a functional approach to the prevention and management of diseases.

For example, we implement the concept of bio-individuality through an evidence-based scientific approach in our curriculum so clinicians can provide personalized diet and nutrient recommendations that are effective for clients. Our online Nutrition degree also provides a biochemical and physiological study of nutrition and its role in health and diseases. Our students also gain skills in counseling, nutritional assessment, and developing individualized therapeutic strategies.

Finally, our program explores the role of nutrition as a preventive, complementary, and alternative strategy to generate diet and lifestyle interventions that will promote the optimal health of each individual.

Master of Public Health in Nutrition

The Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutrition prepares students to promote nutritional well-being and prevent nutrition-related illnesses across various communities and populations.

Students in these programs learn to assess the nutritional needs of various groups, plan and implement food and nutrition programs, and manage these programs in both community and institutional settings.

This degree is ideal for students with career goals in public health nutrition, maternal and child nutrition, community intervention, and nutrition epidemiology.

Master of Arts in Nutrition

A Master of Arts (MA) in Nutrition shares many similarities with an online MS in Nutrition. Both degrees offer foundational courses in physiology and biochemistry as well as program-specific courses like biochemistry of nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and developmental nutrition. All of these ensure students explore how nutrition can be used as a preventative, adjunctive, and alternative strategy for preventing and treating various health conditions. The most significant difference in these programs is that the Master of Arts in Nutrition requires students to attend classes on-campus on designated days and times and may not be as flexible as a nutrition degree online.

Dual Degree Programs

Another option candidates may pursue is a dual degree program. Dual degree programs allow students to earn two degrees at once.

For example, students could earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition in five years in a Nutrition and Food (BS) / Nutrition and Dietetics (MS) program. Whereas other dual degree programs, like a Master of Science in Nutrition / Master of Public Health, enable students to earn these graduate-level degrees in two and a half years.


At UB, we offer you the unique opportunity to pursue a dual degree in Nutrition and Chiropractic. Learn more today!


What Should I Know Before Pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition Degree Online?

If you are looking into an online Nutritionist degree and a subsequent career as a nutritionist, you should know that most degrees are specialized. This means you should know what job you want to pursue before applying to a master’s program. This allows you to focus your studies so they benefit you as much as possible.

How to Become a Nutritionist

First, those interested in becoming professional nutritionists should find a nutrition program. Students should consider their career goals, their ability to commit to a degree program, and the flexibility they require when selecting a nutrition program.

As mentioned, many Nutrition degrees are offered online or in flexible formats to accommodate the needs of working graduate students. Ask yourself which type of program will work best for you.

At UB, students pursue a Master’s in Human Nutrition, a designation that focuses on the biochemical and physiological study of nutrition and its role in health and disease. In addition to coursework, prospective clinical nutritionists must complete supervised experience as part of their degree. These hours can qualify students to sit for the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam after graduation.

The last step graduates of Master’s in Nutrition programs should complete is to obtain professional and state-verified certification or licensure. Licensing will ensure you are legally allowed to practice in your chosen states. In contrast, certification shows how advanced you are in your knowledge and experience, which could lead to advanced positions and higher earning potential.

What is a Nutritionist’s Salary?

Once you choose a specialized Nutrition program to complete your education, you can begin to reap the reward of this exciting field. Rest assured that a career in Nutrition offers high levels of versatility, high salary potential, and a bright job outlook in the years ahead. Especially in a time when millions of Americans are hunger-stricken, nutritionists, wellness consultants, and health advocates are needed to facilitate positive change.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nutritionists can expect to earn a median annual salary of $61,650, with the highest ten percent earning more than $93,640. A nutritionist’s salary is the highest median annual wage in outpatient care centers and government at $74,640 and $61,830, respectively.

What Degrees and Careers are Available for an Aspiring Nutritionist?

Most aspiring nutritionists pursue a Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition. This degree enables individuals to become clinical nutritionists and obtain a lucrative career. Some students may complete their studies at the bachelor’s level, such as a Bachelor’s in Health Sciences. However, a master’s degree positions graduate for a range of job opportunities, credentials, and good earning potential in the field. UB also offers students the opportunity to earn an MS in Nutrition online.

Our program supports the acquisition, utilization, and application of nutritional principles in clinical situations, providing medical, chiropractic, and other healthcare providers opportunities to expand their practice.

Our MS in Nutrition program is not designed to lead to the registered dietician (RD) designation. Instead, the UB program provides students with the foundation to further their careers. Most students choose to pursue careers as Certified Nutrition Specialists (CNS). Other positions available with an MS in Nutrition include:

  • Educators
  • Nutritional researchers
  • Industry consultants
  • Media experts in Nutrition and Wellness
  • Community health advocates

After graduation, some students enter a doctoral-level program, like a Ph.D. program or the Doctor of Health Sciences DHSc.

Online vs. On-Campus Master’s in Nutrition Programs

Choosing between an online versus an on-campus Master’s in Nutrition Program will depend on your individual needs and interests. Both degrees are legitimate options with their advantages and disadvantages.

The Pros of Online Nutrition Programs

  • Flexibility: Students can take classes from wherever they’d like and not spend time planning their schedules around getting to class.
  • Accessibility: Students can access study materials online and reach professors virtually.
  • Affordability: Online nutrition degrees can be completed faster than in-person programs resulting in less money. Students also don’t need to pay parking passes, on-campus housing, or other facility fees.

The Cons of Online Nutrition Programs

  • Lack of traditional classroom environment: If you work best with an in-person lecture environment to stay motivated, accountable, and thrive, an online nutrition program may not be the best fit.
  • Professor availability: While you can access professors virtually, you are at the mercy of their timeline and availability. This means that last-minute questions or issues may go unanswered until after the assignment is due.
  • Lack of social and networking opportunities: Students in online programs often must interact face-to-face with their peers or professors. This can not only limit your ability to network but can also cause social isolation and loneliness. At UB, we ensure this doesn’t happen through our student support services center to get you through college and into a great career.

The Pros of On-Campus Nutrition Programs

  • Access to campus facilities and resources: Students taking classes on-campus can take advantage of all the on-campus facilities and resources available, such as libraries, computer labs, and their classmates.
  • Structure: On-campus nutrition programs are designed with a structured timetable of classes, and sometimes, a wider choice of degree programs is available.
  • Multiple learning methods: Students learn in a variety of ways. Some are visual learners, others are detailed note-takers, and some learn best through hands-on experiences. On-campus learning allows students to learn in various ways, including practical classes, lab work, and group sessions.

The Cons of On-Campus Nutrition Programs

  • Structure: The rigid study structure can be good, but it also means there is less flexibility to fit your studies around your other professional and personal responsibilities.
  • Expensive: On-campus learning is often the most expensive delivery method as you pay for classes, books, facility fees, on-campus meal plans, and room and board.
  • Commuting: Commuting to and from campus can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if the college or university is inaccessible due to travel restrictions or in a heavily trafficked area. Students should consider their daily commute when determining whether to enroll in a nutrition degree online versus an on-campus nutrition degree.

Choosing the Right Online Nutrition Degree Program

Your education is a significant investment, and choosing the right online nutrition degree program will ensure you are set up for success. For this reason, many students elect to enroll in an accredited nutrition program.

Master’s in Nutrition Program Accreditation

Accreditation is a review process that higher education institutions voluntarily undergo to guarantee their programs, faculty, and curriculums are top-quality.
Some factors third-party entities and organizations grant accreditation based on include a program’s support services for students, financial stability, overall curriculum, faculty credibility, and graduation and pass rates.

At University of Bridgeport, we are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and the Connecticut Office of Higher Education, and our Online Master’s in Nutrition Program is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Nutrition Professional Education (ACNPE), a programmatic accrediting agency for clinical programs in advanced nutrition.

Time Commitment and Flexibility

As mentioned, Online Master’s in Nutrition degrees are extremely flexible, allowing students to earn their degree online and as fast or slow as needed.

Students in our online program can complete this degree in as few as twenty-three months, depending on the prerequisites needed and as long as they take two courses per term with three terms per year.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Masters in Nutrition Degree Program?

Your coursework and load in a nutrition degree program will vary depending on the program, university, or college. For example, UB’s online Nutritionist degree program consists of foundational Master’s in Nutrition courses in human physiology and biochemistry which then expand into in-depth learning on:

  • Macro and micronutrients
  • Biochemical individuality
  • Human development
  • Functional assessment
  • Nutritional therapeutics

Students then take a comprehensive exam two months after completing all the coursework. Our core curriculum includes:

  • Pathophysiologic Basis of Metabolic Diseases
  • Evidence-Based Nutrition
  • Biochemistry of Nutrition
  • Assessment of Nutritional Status
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Lifelong Healing with Food
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Developmental Nutrition
  • Nutritional Therapeutics
  • Virtual Clinic

Additionally, we ensure students get the one-on-one attention they deserve in our collaborative educational environment with our expert faculty and classmates from diverse backgrounds worldwide.

How Do I Apply for an Online Nutrition Degree at UB?

We make applying and meeting the Nutrition program requirements for UB’s Online Master’s in Nutrition program as seamless as possible. Interested applicants must have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Depending on their undergraduate background, applicants may need to take up to nine credits of graduate-level prerequisite courses (Anatomy & Physiology, Intro to Biochemistry, and Nutrition Fundamentals). UB offers all of these courses, which can be completed in one term.
  • Application
  • Official transcripts for the last degree earned
  • 250-500 word personal statement describing why you are seeking an online Nutrition degree, how you want to use this degree in your professional career, and why you specifically want to earn your degree from UB

Three Reasons to Pursue a Nutrition Degree Online at UB

  1. UB’s Master’s in Nutrition Program is the most established program in the US, created in 1977.
  2. UB has a robust and unique College of Health Sciences featuring seven schools and 16 programs across many healthcare disciplines. Additionally, dual degree program opportunities for students are available through other UB graduate health sciences programs.
  3. Our online Nutrition degree program features a virtual clinic capstone course that provides students with between 200 and 255 hours of supervised case study and clinical management experience with professional clinicians. These hours can then be put toward the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential awarded by the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists.

Is a Master’s in Nutrition Degree Online Difficult?

While the MS in Nutrition program is challenging, it is not a difficult major as long as you are interested in the science courses and stay committed to your studies. If you are fascinated by nutrition and the body, you will want to understand the mechanism behind food and good nutrition. This attentiveness will keep you engaged throughout your master’s program.

Earning a Nutrition degree online is possible and valuable. At UB, we want you to know that you can do anything you set your mind to. Perhaps you’ll decide to pursue a Master’s in Nutrition degree online at the University of Bridgeport?

Learn more about the MS in Nutrition program online here.