Maintaining a healthy diet is easier said than done—with new nutrition advice appearing daily, it can be difficult to know whether your diet choices are beneficial. Enter nutrition. It is the scientific study of how the nutrients in food and drink affect the human body. With an understanding of food science and organic chemistry, dietitians and nutritions add objectivity and clarity to a world of dubious claims.
Given the complexity of food science and nutrition, many professionals consider obtaining a master’s degree. These programs are designed to provide advanced training in subjects such as obesity regulation, food policy, and biochemistry. Students can also choose to specialize in various fields including agricultural and food science, nutrition, and health education. No matter your choice, the programs prepare students to become voices of authority that the public can turn to for informed advice on maintaining healthy lifestyles.
Professionals with a master’s in nutrition have multiple career opportunities. Common choices include becoming dieticians and nutritionists, agriculture and food scientists, food technologists, analysts, consultants, and educators.
Most programs require applicants to have an undergraduate degree, coursework in sciences with laboratory hours, and letters of recommendation. The exact requirements will vary depending on schools, but most programs post their requirements online.
Like most master’s degrees, students can expect to finish within 2 years of starting their program. That said, students may be able to obtain their degree faster by increasing their course load.
Tuition costs vary depending on the school. US News and World Report states that students should expect to pay between $13,000 and $36,000 in total tuition.
Yes. Many schools and universities now provide online programs for students.
The rise of health problems and uninformed diet advice is not only unfortunate but dangerous. Nutritionists have a responsibility to ensure the public receives accurate information to prevent diet related disease. The need for such skill is well recognized—the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for nutritionists is growing faster than the national average for other jobs. With the advanced training of a master’s program, graduates can improve their abilities and join the forefront of professionals who ensure the continued health of communities.
For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.