How to Enter This Career

For most dietitian or nutritionist positions, a bachelor’s degree is generally required. This degree is usually in food and nutrition, dietetics, or another related field. An undergraduate degree typically takes students about four years to complete if they are attending full time, meaning taking 12 to 15 credit hours each semester. There are graduate degree programs available as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of 2008, there were 279 undergraduate degree programs and 18 graduate programs that had been approved by the American Dietetic Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education, so students have many programs to choose from when it comes to this field. Each state has different licensing requirements, so students should check the specific requirements of their state before taking the exam. Programs will vary depending on the concentration and the school, but many courses that are required and suggested include:

Daily Duties of a Nutritionist

Nutritionists are responsible for planning and overseeing healthy food and nutrition plans. The goal is to help form healthy eating habits in order to cater to their patient’s needs. Certain programs might include using less salt for patients with high blood pressure or teaching someone how to cut out fat and sugar in their diet. So for patients with existing illnesses and health problems, nutritionists work to treat them. In other situations, they aim to prevent these illnesses from occurring by helping to implement these healthy habits early on. These positions might include working in clinics, community centers, schools, or even consulting.

Earning Power and Job Outlook

This field is experiencing average employment growth, but for those with more advanced degrees or any additional certifications, more opportunities are available. The BLS shows the median salary for nutritionists as $50,590 in 2008. This may vary state to state, but other median salaries include local government positions at $47,390, hospitals at $51,390, and outpatient centers at $52,120.

Best Online MPH (Master of Public Health) Degrees

Public health is the science of preventing disease and promoting health at the population level. Programs prepare students to become leading public health professionals capable of addressing current global public health problems. By clicking on the logos below, you can receive more information regarding your degree and school of choice.

Walden University Master of Public Health
MPA: Health Policy
Walden University – The Walden University MPH degree teaches the development of healthy individuals, organizations, and communities. The program provides core study in the public health field, using real-world teaching methodology, industry leading professors, and a capstone fieldwork practicum. Those interested in policymaking may find Walden's MPA in health policy to be of interest.
Benedictine University Master of Public Health
MPH: Disaster Mgmt
MPH: Health Education
MPH: Health Policy
MPH/MBA Dual Degree
Benedictine University – Benedictine University's Master's in Public Health program features a curriculum of public health core with a focus on the needs of today's healthcare industry. Courses feature a conceptual, factual, and skill base where students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting. Benedictine offers areas of emphasis within their MPH program: disaster management, health education, and healthcare policy. They also offer an MPH/MBA dual degree.
Kaplan University Master of Public Health
MPH: Health Education
Kaplan University – Graduates of the Kaplan University MPH program are ready to take their careers to the next stage at the government, nonprofit, or private level. The online program provides students with an education on how to analyze and apply scientific research, prepare public health policies, develop health education programs, and review the impact of occupational and environmental factors. Kaplan offers several specializations within their MPH program, including health education.
Capella University Master of Public Health
MPH: Behavioral Science
MPH: Health Policy
Capella University – The MPH program at Capella University prepares students for careers in public health management, social welfare, or research. Key facets of the curriculum include the behavioral, psychological, and social factors that contribute to the health of populations. Specializations include behavioral science and healthcare policy. Courses include International Public Health, Environmental Health Concepts in Public Health, and Principles of Biostatistics.

Looking for a Public Health degree program?

Use the degree finder form below, and we'll match you with degrees that are right for you.