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Online Colleges for Nutrition

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Article Sources

Sources :

  1. About Barton, Barton Community College, http://www.bartonccc.edu/aboutbarton
  2. Career Programs & Training: Dietary Manager, Barton Community College, http://www.bartonccc.edu/careerprograms/dietary
  3. Dietetic Technician, A.A.S., Gaston College, http://catalog.gaston.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=15&poid=2129&returnto=527
  4. About UNC, University of Northern Colorado, http://www.unco.edu/about/facts-figures/index.aspx
  5. Dietetics: Bachelor of Science or Didactic Program in Dietetics, University of Northern Colorado, http://extended.unco.edu/programs/dietetics/bachelors-didactic/index.asp
  6. Nutrition Science Bachelor's Degree Program, Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/nutrition-science-bachelor-degree.aspx
  7. Kaplan University Facts, Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/about/annual-report.aspx
  8. Nutrition Science Bachelor's Degree Program, Kaplan University, http://www.kaplanuniversity.edu/health-sciences/nutrition-science-bachelor-degree.aspx
  9. Associate of Science in Applied Nutrition, Huntington College of Health Sciences, Nutrition Programs and Degrees, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, https://www.hchs.edu/course/associate-science-applied-nutrition
  10. Career: Dietitians and Nutritionists, College Board, Big Future, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-diagnosis-treatment-dietitians-nutritionists
  11. Career Programs & Training ? Dietary Manager, Barton Community College, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, https://bartonccc.edu/careerprograms/dietary
  12. Dietitians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17 Edition, 2017, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
  13. Dietetics: Bachelor of Science or DPD-Only (Didactic Program in Dietetics), University of Northern Colorado, Extended Campus, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, http://extended.unco.edu/programs/dietetics/bachelors-didactic/index.asp
  14. Dietetics: MS (With or Without Dietetic Internship), University of Northern Colorado, Extended Campus, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, http://extended.unco.edu/programs/dietetics/masters-internship/index.asp
  15. Major: Nutrition Sciences, College Board, Big Future, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/multi-interdisciplinary-studies-nutrition-sciences
  16. Overview - BS in Food and Nutrition, The University of Alabama, Bama by Distance, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/degrees/bs-in-hes-food-and-nutrition-online/index.php
  17. Overview - MS in Human Nutrition, The University of Alabama, Bama by Distance, accessed Sept. 27, 2017, http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/degrees/ms-in-hes-with-a-specialization-in-nutrition-blended/index.php
  18. History of the College, Gaston College, Accessed October 2018, https://www.gaston.edu/about-us/history-of-the-college/
  19. Global Campus, Kansas State University, Accessed October 2018, https://global.k-state.edu/courses/degrees/
  20. Resources for Purdue Global Students, Purdue Global University, https://www.purdueglobal.edu/academic-support/student-resources/
  21. About UA Online, University of Arizona, https://uaonline.arizona.edu/about-us/about-ua-online
  22. Nutrition and Food Systems (Dietetics Practice) MS, University of Southern Mississippi, https://online.usm.edu/graduate/nutrition-food-systems-dietetics-practice-ms-online-degree/
  23. M.S. in Nutrition, Texas Woman's University, https://twu.edu/nutrition-food-sciences/graduate-programs/ms-in-nutrition/
  24. Nutrition Bachelor's Degree, Purdue University Global, https://www.purdueglobal.edu/degree-programs/health-sciences/nutrition-bachelors-degree-online/
  25. Applied Nutrition Graduate Certificate, University of Arizona, https://uaonline.arizona.edu/programs/graduate-certificate/online-graduate-certificate-applied-nutrition-cert
  26. Applied Nutrition Professional Science Master's, University of Arizona, https://uaonline.arizona.edu/programs/graduate/online-professional-science-masters-applied-nutrition-psm
  27. Nutritional Sciences Bachelor of Science, University of Arizona, https://uaonline.arizona.edu/programs/undergraduate/online-bachelor-science-nutritional-sciences-bs
  28. Master of Science in Dietetics, Eastern Michigan University, https://catalog.emich.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=26&poid=12278
  29. Dietetics B.S., Eastern Michigan University, https://catalog.emich.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=25&poid=11706
  30. Master of Science in Human Nutrition, Eastern Michigan University, https://catalog.emich.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=26&poid=12277
  31. Dietetic Internship Program, The Sage Colleges, https://www.sage.edu/academics/school-of-health-sciences/dietetic-internship-program/
  32. Applied Nutrition: Online M.S., The Sage Colleges, https://www.sage.edu/academics/programs-degrees/health-sciences/nutrition-applied-nutrition/
  33. Dietetic Internships, Samford University, https://www.samford.edu/publichealth/dietetic-internship
  34. Master of Science in Nutrition, Samford University, https://www.samford.edu/publichealth/master-of-science-in-nutrition
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You don't have to be a food critic to appreciate the power of a good meal. From everyday events to holiday celebrations, food is an integral part of our lives. However, it is an unfortunate reality that not all food is good for us. Obesity plagues our communities while chronic, preventable diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes are on the rise. Nutrition professionals are on the front lines in this fight against poor health. Some work directly with individuals, while others may be responsible for creating meal plans and food service programs at health care facilities and schools. Online nutrition programs offer an education that can help to prepare students for a range of career options in this critically important field.

If you are more interested in the art of cooking food rather than the science of eating it, see if our Culinary Arts page might be more along the lines of what you're looking for.

Best Online Colleges for Nutrition in 2018-19

Students who wish to earn jobs in nutrition and human health typically pursue nutrition degrees, since most states require licensure to work in the field. Our list of the best online colleges for nutrition degrees was compiled using data provided by the National Center on Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). We analyzed data points such as in-state tuition costs, graduation rates and admissions rates with our unique methodology (more details at the bottom of the page), considering what might be most important to nontraditional online students to determine the weighting for each point.

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Methodology
1

University of Southern Mississippi

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,218
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
65%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
49
School Type
4-year

The University of Southern Mississippi serves Mississippi students through its flagship campus at Hattiesburg, and students all across the United States through its online portal, Online at Southern Miss. Students who enroll in Online at Southern Miss do not have to pay out-of-state tuition, which can make the university's online Master of Science in nutrition and food systems degree program (with an additional emphasis in dietetics practice) an appealing option for distance learners. A dietetics internship is a core requirement of the program, as is a capstone research project.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
 
2

Texas Women's University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,486
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
58%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
17
School Type
4-year

Texas Women's University was founded in 1901 as Girls Industrial College and changed its name in 1957. The university has admitted male students since 1972, so students of any gender can enroll in the university's Master of Science in nutrition program, which can be taken 100 percent online or in a hybrid format if desired. Students can choose to take this program with a thesis or without; the thesis option requires 30 credits to complete, while the non-thesis option requires 36. Graduate students also have the option of continuing their education by completing a Ph.D. in nutrition at TWU, although this program is only available in an on-campus format at TWU's Denton or Houston campuses.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
 
3

Kaplan University-Omaha Campus

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$15,352
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
96%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
91
School Type
4-year

*NOTE: Kaplan University has merged with Purdue University Global since this list was made. Please contact Purdue Global University-Omaha to learn whether the merged school can still fulfill your needs.

Kaplan University's online Bachelor of Science in nutrition degree program has multiple start dates each year and requires 180 credits to complete. Students in this program can also be approved to complete up to five master's-level courses in related health care tracks. This allows students to start working on a master's degree before finishing their bachelor's, accelerating their overall college career.

The university supports its distance learners through many different resources: career services; online tutoring in science, math and writing; and active social networking communities on social media platforms, to name a few.

4

Gaston College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,704
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
54%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
1
School Type
2-year

Gaston College has been serving students in Gaston and Lincoln counties since 1963. Its first classes were taught out of a First United Methodist Church, as the buildings for its Dallas campus had not yet been completed!

Although Gaston College offers a fully online A.A.S. degree program for students who wish to become dietetic technicians, students who study online must complete the supervised practice part of the program under licensed supervision from a properly credentialed agency. Students can complete the program in two years by following a suggested course outline arranged by the college, with 18 credit hours in the first two semesters, and seven credit hours in summer school.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Commission on Dietetic Registration

Location:

201 Hwy. 321
South Dallas, NC 28034
5

Barton Community College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,456
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
44%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
48
School Type
2-year

As a Kansas community college, Barton County Community College is a member of the EDUKAN initiative, which pools the resources of six Kansas community colleges to offer online courses to students year-round. In addition to these courses, Barton hosts various online programs for its distance learners, among them multiple choices for nutrition and dietetics.

Through BARTonline, students can pursue an online Associate of Science program with an emphasis in dietary management, pre-dietetics or nutrition and health. An articulation agreement between Barton and Kansas State can help graduates of this program transfer to K-State, where they can continue their online dietetics study at the bachelor's level if they so choose. Alternately, there is a 16-credit dietary manager certificate program that allows credit for work experience, as long as it is approved by the college.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Location:

245 NE 30th Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
6

University of Arizona

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,877
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
35%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
75
School Type
4-year

Through UA Online, the University of Arizona engages distance learners worldwide with interactive video discussion boards, cinematic field lectures and take-home lab kits. UA Online has many different programs for many different majors, and the field of nutrition is well represented in these options.

  • The Bachelor of Science in nutritional sciences offers emphasis in either dietetics or nutrition. The dietetics emphasis is geared towards students who want to become registered dietitians, while the nutrition emphasis has a broader approach that can lead to many different career paths.
  • The Professional Science Master's in applied nutrition allows students to tailor six units of study to their professional or developmental goals. The program culminates in a six credit hour graduate-level practicum that serves as a capstone project.
  • The graduate certificate in applied nutrition requires 14 credits to complete. It focuses on clinical nutrition and training in advanced nutritional sciences.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
 
7

Eastern Michigan University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$12,019
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
30%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
14
School Type
4-year

Affordability is a major factor for many students when it comes to choosing a college. Eastern Michigan University understands this, and to lend online students a helping hand, it charges out-of-state distance learners at in-state Michigan resident tuition rates.

Through EMU-Online, distance learners can pursue an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics (124 credits). Transfer students may be able to utilize the university's several articulation agreements to smooth their transition into this program. The university also offers an online Master of Science in human nutrition (30 credits with thesis, 36 credits for non-thesis) and a Coordinated Program (CP) in dietetics.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
 
8

The University of Alabama

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,780
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
30%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
30
School Type
4-year

Through the Blackboard Learn virtual learning management system and the Bama by Distance online portal, the University of Alabama supports online and hybrid degree programs for students who live hundreds of miles away from its Tuscaloosa campus. Undergraduate students can pursue the Bachelor of Science in food and nutrition, while graduate students may instead be tempted by the Master of Science in human nutrition. The online bachelor's program requires 120 credit hours and combines general education requirements with courses on the relationship between nutrition and human health. Meanwhile, the online master's requires 30 credit hours and offers three tracks: clinical nutrition, community nutrition or generalist.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics

Location:

739 University Blvd.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0166
9

The Sage Colleges

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$29,864
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
9
School Type
4-year

The Sage Colleges have campus locations in Troy and Albany, N.Y., as well as an online campus. Russell Sage College in Troy is a women's college founded in 1916, while the coeducational Albany campus was founded in 1957. Via online education, Sage students can pursue a Dietetic Internship (DI) program that consists of three practicum classes and two graduate coursework classes. Alternately, students can enroll in a 30-credit Master of Science in applied nutrition program, which has three distinct tracks:

  1. A fully online M.S./ DI program for students who have already completed the Sage Dietetic Internship Program.
  2. A fully online M.S. track for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in nutrition or a related field.
  3. A hybrid M.S. option for students who do NOT hold a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related field.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
 
10

Samford University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$30,490
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

Samford University is a private university that offers an online Master of Science in Nutrition degree for both part-time and fulltime students through its School of Public Health. Fulltime study pathways include concentrations in clinical nutrition or general nutrition that require 34 credits to complete, or a dietetic internship study plan that requires 40 credits. Part-time students can focus on either general or clinical nutrition. Samford also offers a 25-credit dietetic internship program that culminates in a certificate. Distance learners who need some extra help with these programs may benefit from Samford's academic consulting, counseling services and university library.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
 

Degree Overview: Nutrition

Are fats good or bad? Should we eat carbs or not? Our imperfect knowledge of this subject is always changing, and nutrition professionals must stay current to understand how foods work in the body and how best to feed it. This kind of education is the entire purpose of online programs for nutrition. Here's an overview of what students might be able to expect from these programs.

Online Nutrition Courses

Colleges offering online nutrition degree programs can provide them at the undergraduate and/or graduate level. Associate degrees in nutrition often provide practical foundations, emphasizing the basics of nutrition such as vitamins and minerals, eating disorders and weight management, nutritional counseling, sports nutrition, pregnancy and pediatric nutrition and even herbal or holistic science.

Online bachelor's degrees in nutrition or dietetics gives a broader overview of the sciences involved in nutrition and how to apply those toward interventions and counseling. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that dietitians or nutritionists generally need bachelor's degrees, and the reason for this recommendation is the combination of theoretical and practical coursework these programs typically offer, both halves of which are important for a nutritionist career. Coursework in these programs may include topics such as:

  • Food science
  • Lifecycle nutrition
  • Experimental nutrition
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physiology
  • Community nutrition
  • Nutrition education

The information taught in online education for nutrition is often sufficient to prepare students to sit the Registered Dietitian (RD) exam. This is important, as many states require licensure in order to practice.

At the graduate level, programs tend to be designed for registered dietitians. These programs may feature a heavy emphasis on research skills, and may also enable students to specialize in specific career areas — for example, community nutrition or clinical nutrition. Coursework may include methods for nutritional counseling, nutrition communication, nutrition assessment and intervention or research methods.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

On paper, aspiring nutritionists or dietitians need only to earn their degrees and licensure to begin practicing. However, in practice, they will also want to dedicate some time to honing certain skills that are essential to performing this work professionally, such as:

  • Interpersonal skills: Interpersonal skills are essential for success in connecting with clients and helping people to be healthier. Nutritionists may have trouble succeeding if they are not able to listen and build trust with their clients. These professionals must come to understand the nutritional goals and challenges of their clients, and they will need to tailor their approach to each client's personality and needs.
  • Communication and public speaking: Nutrition is a science, and its language can be hard for the layperson to understand. Future nutritionists should strive to explain complicated health information in ways that clients can understand. Plus, they should learn to be comfortable with public speaking, as much of their work involves one-on-one counseling and presenting educational material to groups.
  • Research: So much about nutrition involves following the latest research and then translating nutritional data in order to give advice about diet that the average person can follow. These professionals must be motivated enough to pursue research from all over the globe and follow it to its completion, keeping themselves informed about new developments in the field.
  • Analytical skills: Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all science. Every person's body responds differently to different foods and diets. Nutritionists must learn to evaluate patients' needs and lifestyles in order to develop food recommendations or manage health conditions.

Nutrition Career Outlook

Those seeking a degree in nutrition or a closely related field will be pleased to learn there are many job options out there, including some that they might never have considered. Here's a sampling of those options, including the duties, tasks and responsibilities a graduate might expect to encounter in the course of day-to-day work.

Dietitians
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$61,210
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
5,300
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
14.1
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Bachelor's degree

You may be wondering: just what is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian? In fact, a dietitian is a nutritionist — one who has become registered with Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR). Becoming registered requires earning a bachelor's degree at minimum, then completing an internship and passing a national exam.

Dietitians use food to promote a healthy lifestyle and manage disease. They spend a great deal of time with clients: analyzing their nutritional intake and needs, creating meal plans, offering counseling and evaluating nutritional outcomes. These professionals might choose to work with individual clients, or they might opt for work in the public health arena — teaching nutrition in schools, community centers, hospitals and the like. Some even choose to work as management dietitians, planning out menus for schools, hospitals, prisons, assisted living facilities and more.

Animal Nutritionists
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$67,690
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
700
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
6
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Bachelor's degree

A unique position for those with a nutrition degree, animal nutritionist careers are just what they sound like: planning out and providing ample nutrition for animals of all kinds. They might choose to work with agricultural farm animals, exotic species kept in zoos, or companion animals. They work closely with farmers, veterinarians, zoologists and animal scientists to formulate the best nutritional options for a variety of creatures. Their work might mean they deal with individual animals, or they might choose to ply their expertise in laboratories, research facilities and the like to mass-produce balanced, nutritious food for certain animal groups.

Health Educators
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2017 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$59,660
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
8,700
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
14.5
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017
Bachelor's degree

Health educator careers focus on promoting the key components of a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition. They work with individuals and communities to plan out and implement strategies that enhance and improve nutrition, as well as overall wellness. These professionals might create educational materials, talk to the community about nutrition and health, teach individuals how to manage existing health conditions, provide training for others and/or evaluate how well certain community initiatives are working. They can also serve as strong advocates for those who need better nutrition but are in a position that makes it difficult to find it, such as those who live in food deserts or those dealing with a humanitarian crisis.

 
Article Sources
Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following four criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2016-17
  • Have reported data for all 11 ranking variables listed below

We ranked 1,813 colleges and universities in the United States on 11 criteria, using 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
  3. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  4. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools' tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
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