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Nutritional Science Degree Programs

Nutritional science explores the scientific relationship between nutrition and health. Read about undergraduate and graduate degree programs in this field of study, find out what you'd learn as a nutritional science student, and check the availability of online programs in this field.

What Nutritional Science Degree Programs Are Available?

You may choose several levels at which to start or continue your nutritional science education. Associate's degree programs, such as the Associate of Science (A.S.) in Dietetics and Nutrition Science or A.S. in Pre-Nutrition, are designed to prepare you to transfer to a 4-year institution where you can study a full program in nutrition or food sciences.

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through nutritional, natural and health sciences departments can offer you advanced instruction. Since it is the scientific approach to health and nutrition, nutritional science programs may be offered in combination with various disciplines, such as health education or biological sciences.

Some of the specialization options available through these degree programs include:

  • Dietetics
  • Agricultural studies
  • Human nutrition physiology
  • Biochemical nutrition

Program OptionsUndergraduate and graduate levels, specialization options
Common CoursesChemistry, nutritional diseases, biology, food science, nutrition therapy
Online OptionsMost common at master's level, online programs may still require internships or clinical experience
Median Salary (2018)$60,370* (for dietitians and nutritionists)
Job Outlook (2016-26)15%* (for all dietitians and nutritionists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

Depending on the direction you choose to explore within nutritional science, your curriculum options will vary. However, you may encounter courses in biology, chemistry, toxicology, metabolism, nutritional diseases and food science principles at all degree levels and across specializations.

If you choose a dietetic concentration, you may be required to take additional courses to satisfy dietician registration requirements, such as nutrition therapy and pharmacology. Graduate studies may include courses that prepare you for advanced research and career opportunities within your chosen field.

Can I Earn Any of These Degrees Online?

Online nutritional science degree programs are most commonly offered at the master's degree level. Fully online bachelor's degree programs in nutritional science are rare, but some campus-based bachelor's programs will allow you to complete some of the required courses in an online format.

Additionally, you can find online bachelor's degree programs in related areas, such as food and nutrition, health science or dietetics. Undergraduate and graduate online programs may still require you to complete an internship or clinical experience, either on campus or at a location in your area.