What Is Required to Complete a Registered Dietician Degree Online?
As a registered dietitian, the preferred spelling of dietician, you can create and implement nutrition plans for individuals, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even schools. A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum educational requirement to become a registered dietitian although master's degrees in the field are also available. Keep reading to find out what is required of you to complete one of these degree programs online. Schools offering Nutrition degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Bachelor's Degree Options for Registered Dietitians
You can enroll in an online 4-year bachelor's degree or bachelor's degree-completion program that typically results in a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics, Food and Nutrition or Nutrition. You must successfully complete all core courses, electives and in some cases, clinical experience to satisfy all of the requirements of an online degree program.
While you can't earn registration through your degree program directly, by completing a degree program and participating in post-baccalaureate supervised work experience, you can qualify to take the national exam offered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and earn your Registered Dietitian credential.
Core courses will likely include nutrition, nutrition therapy and metabolism, which will teach you about nutrients and how the human body absorbs, uses and stores them. You will also learn about nutritional assessments and the ways in which diseases and nutrition affect each other. Coursework in statistics and research methods in nutrition are also typically required.
Electives in psychology, sociology, mathematics and business might also be offered to you. Some of the other courses you can expect to take in a nutrition or dietetics degree program include:
- Pediatric nutrition
- Nutrition counseling
- Community nutrition
You might also be required to complete a minimum number of clinical experience hours. Requirements vary depending on the program, but typically, you must work under the supervision of a clinical dietitian. This requirement is usually the only component of such degree programs that you can't complete online. In that event, you might have to seek out facilities where you can complete your clinical experience.
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science in Food Science and Human Nutrition, Dietetics or Nutrition degrees are also available online to both registered and registration-eligible dietitians and prospective students who have an undergraduate degree in a field other than nutrition. If you have a bachelor's degree in a different field, you may be required to complete additional courses to meet your program's prerequisites. While some programs are offered entirely online, others may require a limited number of campus visits.
Courses in a graduate degree program cover topics ranging from eating disorders and community nutrition to biotechnology and metabolism. Graduate programs can also be found with either a thesis or non-thesis option that typically requires completion of a research project. Some of the courses you can expect to take include:
- Food chemistry
- Diet and disease
- Food safety
- Research methods in nutrition
- Food service management
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: