Online Masters Degrees in Nutrition & Food Science

What do you learn with an online Masters Degrees in Nutrition & Food Science? Food science online graduate programs teach students to apply basic concepts and ...

techniques of multiple aspects of science such as chemistry, microbiology, physics and nutrition to food processing and handling. Food science online master’s programs also teach certain aspects of product development and marketing as it applies to food. Students are prepared for careers as dietician,chef, nutritionist and restaurant managers.

Nutrition graduate programs online  are concerned with the scientific study of human and animal nutrition. Courses tend to focus on the digestion and absorption of micronutrients; nutritionists address the relationship between food and health. Some nutrition graduate programs also explore the environment's impact on food's quality.

Food Science Online Graduate Programs and Curriculum

Food science online graduate programs prepare students to apply scientific principles to the manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing and consumer areas of food. These programs address everything from the production of raw materials to the use of food-related products by consumers.

In order to apply for admission to food science online graduate programs, students must possess a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as physical or biological science. Many programs require a minimum of chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology and calculus. These course requirements may differ based upon the particular online program, and some programs may require additional coursework.

Food science online master’s programs focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of the food chain. Some programs require thesis credits prior to graduation while some require a thesis paper. Certain food science master’s programs also require a minor. Some top food science graduate programs offer teaching assistantships. Common coursework includes:

  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Nutrition
  • Technology of food

Food science Ph.D. programs may take up to five years to complete. Doctoral programs usually require a minor in a related field, additional doctoral thesis credits, coursework approval by committee and participation as a teaching assistant.

Nutrition Online Graduate Programs and Curriculum

Graduate online courses of study could include an emphasis on public health nutrition, clinical work with patients, or laboratory focused research on micronutrients. Online Masters degrees can be earned in 2-3 years (contingent upon successful completion of required supervisory hours); Ph.D. programs may take 5-7 years to complete.

Graduate programs online in nutrition may include the following course work:

  • Biology
  • Physiology
  • Human nutrition
  • Anatomy
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Food management
  • Systems physiology

Many nutrition graduate programs require internships. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics nutritionists are usually required to complete several hundred hours of supervised training. Some programs will include internship hours in their coursework, others will require the student to complete the training hours independently.

The Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists explains certification requirements vary by state, but generally, at least a Master's degree is required for state certification or licensure. If you've completed an online graduate program in nutrition you are eligible to take the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) exam, which is overseen by the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists (CBNS). Those who pass gain the occupational title of Certified Nutrition Specialist

Accreditation for nutrition graduate programs is performed by the American Dietetic Association or ADA, check with staff at your school of interest for accreditation information. ,

Food Science Career Paths

Those with online graduate degrees in food science can embark on careers such as dietician,chef, nutritionist and restaurant managers. Industries populated by graduates of this program include health science, nursing, gerontology, food service and marketing.

Nutrition Career Paths

Graduates with a online master’s degree (MS) or PhD in nutrition may become clinical nutritionists, nutrition counselors, directors of food and nutrition, nutrition and family health coordinators and more. Nutritionists could work in a variety of environments including:

  • Hospitals
  • Long and short-term care facilities
  • Clinics
  • Community support agencies
  • Research institutes
  • Consulting companies
  • Private practice settings

Food Science Salary and Future Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects employment for agricultural and food scientits to grow by 9% between 2012 and 2022. Product development using biotechnology and work involving the environmental impact of agriculture are said to drive this growth. In 2012 the median annual salary for agricultural and food scientists was $58,610.  The graph below provides detailed information on the median salaries of food scientists and technicians in select industries of employment.

Salary of online Masters Degree in Food Scientists

Nutrition Salary and Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median annual wages of dietitians and nutritionists in 2012 was $55,240. Jobs in this industry are projected to grow by 21% between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations.