What Is Required to Complete a Registered Dietician Degree Online?
As a registered dietitian, you can create and implement nutrition plans for individuals, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Find out what is required to complete an online degree program in this field. Learn how courses and clinical experiences work in an online program. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Bachelor's Degree Options for Registered Dietitians
A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for a registered dietitian, although master's degrees are also available. 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 Nutrition or Dietetics, Food and Nutrition. You must complete all core courses, electives and, in some cases, clinical experience to complete an online degree program in this field.
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 relationship between diseases and nutrition. 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. Other courses you can expect to take in a nutrition or dietetics degree program include the following:
- Pediatric nutrition
- Nutrition counseling
- Community nutrition
Clinical requirements will vary depending on the program, but typically, if clinical hours are required, you must work while being supervised by a clinical dietitian. This requirement is usually the only component of such degree programs that you can't complete online. In this case, you might have to seek out facilities where you can complete your clinical experience.
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science in Nutrition, Food Science and Human Nutrition or Dietetics degree programs are also available online to both registered and registration-eligible dietitians, as well as prospective students who have an undergraduate degree in another field. If your undergraduate degree is in a different field, you might have to complete additional courses to meet your program's prerequisites. While some programs are offered entirely online, others may require a certain 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 are also available with either a thesis or non-thesis option that typically requires completion of a research project. Some of the courses you might 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: