Are you passionate about the science of nutrition and how it can enhance health and well-being? Do you aspire to become a registered dietitian (RD) or advance your career in dietetics? If so, the online Master of Science (M.S.) in Nutrition and Dietetics program from Arkansas State University (A-State) may be the key to realizing your professional goals.
This comprehensive program offers both an RD and a Transitional Track, allowing you to tailor your education to your unique career path. The RD option is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and 1,000 supervised practice hours. Graduates of this track are eligible to sit for the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s RD exam. The Transitional pathway is ideal for those new to the field or practicing RDs seeking a graduate degree to expand their careers.
What Is the Dietetics Field?
The Encyclopedia of Food Sciences and Nutrition defines dietetics as “the application of the science of nutrition to the human being in health and disease.” Dietetics focuses on the science and art of food and nutrition to improve health and well-being. In fact, dietitians are trained in dietetics. Their primary role is to advise to individuals, families and communities to help them make informed diet decisions and optimize their nutrition.
What Will I Study in A-State’s M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics?
Students can complete A-State’s dual-accredited online M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program in as few as 12 months. Graduates will gain in-demand industry skills and a deeper understanding of:
- Core nutrition concepts, including dietary requirements and nutrition principles — like macronutrients and micronutrients — and their impact on human health
- Therapeutic nutrition for the management and prevention of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease and obesity
- Food service management and the skills needed to manage food service operations in healthcare facilities, schools and other settings
- Nutrition and dietetics research, including how to critically evaluate nutritional science literature and design and conduct research
- Public policies related to food and nutrition and how they impact food distribution, consumption and public health
3 Jobs for Registered Dietitians
Upon completing A-State’s M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics, you will be well prepared for a variety of rewarding careers, regardless of which track you choose. Here are three exciting career opportunities to consider:
1. Registered Dietician
RDs assess individuals’ dietary needs and develop personalized nutrition plans. Their goal is to promote health and lessen the impact and progression of diseases by helping people make informed food choices and manage conditions through nutrition. They may work in many settings, from hospitals and clinics to private practice and community centers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2022), RDs earn a median annual salary of $66,450.
2. Public Health Nutritionist
Public health nutritionists focus on improving community health through nutrition education programs, policy development and advocacy. They may work with all ages or specific groups, such as children or older adults, and are often employed by government agencies, nonprofits or community organizations. According to ZipRecruiter (September 2023), the average annual salary for public health nutritionists is $70,770.
3. Nutrition Researcher or Scientist
A career in nutrition research involves conducting scientific studies and investigations to advance our understanding of the relationship among diet, health and disease. Nutrition researchers may design experiments, analyze data and publish their findings in academic journals. Their research may inform public health policies and dietary and nutrition guidelines. According to ZipRecruiter (September 2023), nutrition scientists earn $77,135 annually.
Nutrition and dietetics offer rewarding career pathways, and the opportunities are only likely to grow as more research points to food’s connection to overall health. Graduates of A-State’s online master’s program can choose from two tracks and gain the nutrition knowledge and skills to shape a healthier future for their communities.
Learn more about A-State’s online M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics program.