What Are the Top Schools for a Master's Degree in Nutrition?

Read about three top schools for studying nutrition at the master's degree level. Check the national rankings for each of these schools, and explore the nutrition programs they offer. Find out what to look for in a good master's degree program in nutrition. Schools offering Fitness & Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top Master's Degree Program in Nutrition?

Master's degree programs in nutrition from top universities tend to take a multidisciplinary approach to diet and nutrition. The faculty, who should have a blend of professional experience and publication credentials, should be able to help you develop your personal interests in the field. Another factor to consider is whether a school's program prepares you for the particular type of nutrition career you want; some programs can provide training to make you eligible for the Registered Dietitian (RD) credential - required to work in many healthcare-related settings, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - while others can prepare you for leadership or research roles.

Which Top Schools Have Master's Degree Programs in Nutrition?

Boston University in Boston, MA

Boston University was ranked #54 in the Times Higher Education's 2011-2012 list of the best universities in the world and #53 among national universities in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report. BU offers a master's program in nutrition with three possible tracks. If you've already completed a bachelor's degree program giving you a background in nutrition, you can enroll in a 2-semester master's degree track or, if you're interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian, a combined master's degree/dietetic internship track. In the latter program, you complete the two semesters of study and then participate in a 29-week clinical practicum at a hospital, gaining experience in various nutrition-related specialties such as oncology, nephrology, food service, and nutrition support. A 5-semester master's degree/dietetic internship track is also available if you want to be an RD and haven't completed undergraduate studies in nutrition.

Additionally offered at BU is a medical nutrition sciences master's program which can prepare you for a research position or further doctoral-level studies. This option requires completion of a thesis. The university confers the following degrees:

  • Master of Science in Nutrition
  • Master of Arts in Medical Nutrition Sciences

Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA

Penn State was listed among The Princeton Review's Best Northeastern Colleges in 2012. Its master's program in nutrition provides you with progressive instruction via faculty who are trained in a wide range of backgrounds, such as nutrition, dietetics, biochemistry, medicine, neuroscience, and more. You need to complete 30 credits to earn the M.S. in Nutritional Sciences, including four credits of practical experience and six credits of research, which go toward creating a thesis on a nutrition-related subject. If you meet specific criteria, you can apply to the Penn State Dietetic Internship Program; ten post-baccalaureate students who meet exceptional criteria are selected to gain a variety of supervised experiences through rotations in the areas of community-based nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, management, research, and enrichment.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in Ann Arbor, MI

In 2012, the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor was ranked #28 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report and #18 in the Times Higher Education's 2011-2012 worldwide university rankings. The faculty conduct numerous research studies that span topics such as the design and assessment of specific diets, diet and cancer prevention, and nutrition of ethnically diverse, low-income populations. As a master's student, you can complete a human nutrition program which prepares you for a leadership position or a nutritional sciences program that can lead you to a research or professional practice role, as well as prepare you to enter a doctoral program. Both programs include the training necessary to be eligible for RD status. The degrees are granted as follows:

  • Master of Public Health in Human Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

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