15 Most Affordable Nutrition Master’s Degrees

Most Affordable Masters in Nutrition Programs Badge

A master’s degree in nutrition is the benchmark for those who want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Under the rules of the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), as of January 1, 2024, a master’s degree from a dietetics program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is necessary in order to qualify to take the RDN examination.

Even if your nutrition career aspirations do not include becoming an RDN, having a master’s degree in nutrition can lead to all sorts of career opportunities. You might opt to take the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)examination of the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists. You could become a licensed nutritionist, based upon your state’s regulations. You could pursue other nutrition credentials and specialized certifications. The sky is the limit for holders of a master’s degree in nutrition.

But, can you afford to get a graduate nutrition degree? If you choose wisely, the answer to this question is yes. We have hand-selected 15 of the most affordable, best master’s degree in nutrition programs that are available as of 2024. Some of these lead to RDN certification, and some do not. They each, however, offer valuable degrees that can help to propel your nutrition career into the stratosphere.  

How We Ranked the 15 Most Affordable Nutrition Master’s Degrees

The degrees we have selected here have all met our standards for accreditation, flexibility, and affordability, as follows.

Accreditation

Each of the programs listed below are accredited by one of the following regional institutional accreditation agencies:

Institutional Accreditation

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Northwestern Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

Furthermore, some of the programs, particularly those leading to RDN certification, hold the following programmatic accreditation:

Programmatic Accreditation

  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)

Flexibility

The 15 master’s degree in nutrition programs we have chosen here are presented in a variety of formats. These include in-person (on-campus), online, and in a hybrid fashion, mixing some online classes with some in-person settings. This flexibility is perfect for students with varying needs due to other life commitments. 

Affordability

Programs included on this list are relatively affordable master’s degrees in nutrition. When looking at cost, we tried to select master’s degree programs that were under $70,000 for total program cost. Some of the programs listed below fall well below this benchmark.

Our list of the 15 most affordable nutrition master’s degrees starts here. Please note that these schools are not listed in ranking order, but rather, by alphabetical order.


Alabama

Samford University

Samford University, Birmingham, AL: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Accredited by SACSCOC
  • 2024 program cost:
    • $49,184 estimated total program cost
  • Offered online
  • Contact: Keith Pearson, Program Director at (205) 726-4789 or [email protected]

Samford University’s MS in Nutrition and Dietetics is offered completely online. It is not intended for students who want to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and does not provide eligibility to apply to a Dietetic Internship (DI). Graduates may pursue further study or careers in in health care, academia, public health, government, and industry, as well as leadership roles in nutrition services, programs, education, and policies. The program totals 34 credits and may be completed in a full- or part-time manner. Although GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores have been waived for the 2024 application cycle, typically GRE, MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) or DAT (Dental Admission Test) scores are necessary for admission to the program.


Arkansas

University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR: Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition

  • Accredited by SACSCOC, ACEND
  • 2024 total program cost:
    • $16,560 estimated total (tuition only) program cost (not including fees)
  • Offered online
  • Contact: UAMS College of Health Professions at (501) 686-5730 or [email protected]

UAMS’ College of Health Professions offers the MS in Clinical Nutrition in a 100% online format. It is intended for those who wish to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) as well as for other health professionals who want advanced nutrition knowledge. The program totals 36 credit hours and is available in both thesis and non-thesis tracks. It is designed to be completed in two years with full-time study, or five years with part-time study. GRE scores are not required for admission to the program.


District of Columbia

Howard University

Howard University, Washington, DC: Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences

  • Accredited by MSCHE
  • 2024 graduate tuition: 
    • $37,334 graduate tuition per academic year 
    • $69,792 total estimated program cost
  • Offered on-campus
  • Contact: Dr. Oyonumo Ntekim, Director of Graduate Studies, at [email protected]

Howard University’s MS in Nutritional Sciences is a 34-credit-hour, full-time, on-campus program. It is intended for students who wish to pursue careers in nutrition research, food industry, public health, clinical practice, and healthcare consulting. Graduates may also pursue doctoral degrees. Two specializations – community nutrition and experimental nutrition – are available. GRE scores are not required for admission to this program.


Florida

FSU

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL: Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science

  • Accredited by SACSCOC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition:
    • $479.32 per graduate credit hour for in-state residents 
      • Program total: $15,146.24
    • $1110.72 per graduate credit hour for out-of-state residents
      • Program total: $35,543.04
  • Offered on-campus
  • Contact: CEHHS Office of Academic Services and HNFS Grad Admissions at (850) 644-1117 or [email protected]

FSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences’ MS in Nutrition and Food Science is a 32-credit-hour on-campus program. Students must choose to specialize either in food science, which concentrates on laboratory research; or nutrition science, which explores food safety and processing. If a student wishes to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, they must have already completed a DPD program and must then complete a Dietetic Internship. GRE scores are waived through the 2026 application cycle.


Louisiana

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Logo

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Baton Rouge, LA: Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences

  • Accredited by SACSCOC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition and fees: 
    • $26,267 total program costs (dietetic internship option)
    • $21,439.50 total program cost (thesis option)
  • Offered in a hybrid format
  • Contact: Kathryn Fakier, Program Director, at (225) 526-1984 or [email protected]

Franciscan’s MS in Nutritional Sciences offers a Dietetic Internship option for those intending to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and a Thesis option for those wishing to work in leadership and research roles in nutrition. A Nutrition Skills Lab and Simulation Environment Teaching Hospital is also available to students enrolled in the program. The 36-credit-hour program is offered on-campus with some courses given online, and can be completed in 17 months with full-time study. No GRE score is required for admission.


Maryland

University of Maryland

University of Maryland, College Park, MD: Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Science

  • Accredited by MSCHE, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $828 per graduate credit hour for in-state residents
      • Program total: $24,840
    • $1805 per graduate credit hour for out-of-state residents
      • Program total: $54,150
  • Offered on-campus
  • Contact: Abani K. Pradhan, Ph.D., Director of Graduate Program at [email protected]

University of Maryland’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources presents the MS in Nutrition and Food Science, which offers specializations in Nutrition or Food Science. The Nutrition specialization offers a track in Dietetics, for prospective Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, that is available to students who are in the combined dietetics bachelor’s/master’s program only. A thesis track is required in either specialization. Each program is offered on-campus and totals 30 graduate credits. GRE scores are required for admission to the program.


Michigan

Modanna University

Madonna University, Livonia, MI: Master of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics Coordinated Program

  • Accredited by HLC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $980 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total: $38,220
  • Offered in a hybrid format
  • Contact: Graduate Admissions at (734) 432-5763 or [email protected]

Madonna University’s MS in Nutrition and Dietetics is a Coordinated Program designed for students who wish to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Two pathways are available: one for students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than dietetics, and another for students with a bachelor’s degree from an ACEND-accredited dietetics program. Six hours of supervised practice experiences are included in the program. The program totals 39 credits. Classes are offered on-campus and online for the ultimate flexibility. GRE scores are not required for entrance into the program.


Missouri

Northwwest Missouri State University

Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO: Master of Science in Nutrition

  • Accredited by HLC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $428 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total: $12,840 
  • Offered online
  • Contact: (844) 890-9304

Northwest Missouri’s MS in Nutrition program is offered 100% online and can be completed in 12 months. Two pathways are available: General Nutrition and a Dietetic Internship. Only those who take the DI track may go on to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. Other career options for General Nutrition track graduates exist in nutrition leadership, management, coaching and public health positions. GRE scores are not required for admission to this program.


New Jersey

Montclair State University

Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ: Master of Science in Nutrition & Food Science

  • Accredited by MSCHE, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $840.93 per graduate credit hour for in-state and out-of-state residents
    • Program total: $26,909.76
  • Offered on-campus
  • Contact: Dr. Meena Mahadevan, Program Coordinator, at (973) 655-7574 or [email protected]  

Montclair University’s MS in Nutrition and Food Science is a STEM-designated degree program. Students who wish to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists may complete this MS program and the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) simultaneously. Others not interested in pursuing an RD credential can find work in nutrition and wellness, healthcare, education, research, and food and nutrition administration after graduation. The program is delivered on-campus and consists of 32 semester hours. GRE scores are not required for applicants with a bachelor’s degree GPA of 3.0 or above.


New York

Russell Sage College

Russell Sage College, Troy, NY: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics

  • Accredited by MSCHE, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $670 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total cost: $30,150
  • Offered in a hybrid format
  • Contact: Sonya Hauser, Associate Professor of Nutrition, at (518) 244-2047 or [email protected]

Russell Sage College’s MS in Nutrition and dietetics consists of 45 credits and can be completed in 18 months in a hybrid fashion if studying full-time. It is especially recommended for those without an undergraduate background in nutrition who wish to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. A Dietetic Internship is included in the DPD program, so that graduates may sit for the RD examination. GRE scores are not required for admission to the program.


Ohio

BGSU

Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH: Master of Science in Food and Nutrition

  • Accredited by HLC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $12,020.80 per academic year for in-state residents
    • $12,284.80 per academic year for out-of-state residents
  • Offered on-campus and online
  • Contact: Online enrolment at [email protected] or (419) 372-3226

Bowling Green’s MS in Food and Nutrition is intended for students who have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Students wishing to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can also pursue the school’s ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship program. Other career options for graduates include clinical nutrition manager, wellness manager, food scientist, and nutrition educator. GRE scores are required for admission unless you have already passed the DTR (Dietetic Technician Registered), CDM (Certified Dietary Manager), CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor), or RDN exams.


Oregon

NUNM

Natural University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR: Master of Science in Nutrition

  • Accredited by NWCCU
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $504 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total: $17,288 for on-campus students; $16,678 for online students
  • Offered online and on-campus
  • Contact:

NUNM’s MS in Nutrition is offered in online and on-campus formats for the ultimate in flexibility. It offers a natural, “kitchen first” approach to the study of nutrition, and is not intended for those seeking to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs). Graduates may, however, take the examination to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) of the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists. Jobs in clinical nutrition, food companies, nutrition education and more are possible for graduates of this program, which totals 64 credits. GRE scores are not required for admission to the program.


Puerto Rico

University of Puerto Rico

University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, PR: Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics with Supervised Experiential Learning

  • Accredited by MSCHE, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $205 per graduate credit hour
    • $4170 estimated per academic year
  • Offered in a hybrid format
  • Contact: Brenda Toro-Enriquez, Chair at [email protected]

UPR’s MS in Nutrition and Dietetics with Supervised Experiential Learning is a Future Education Model of ACEND, intended for those wishing to become Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. It integrates 1000 hours of supervised practice with regular coursework. Students must be proficient in Spanish and English to enroll in the program. All didactic courses are offered online, while supervised experiential courses are taken in-person. GRE scores are not required for entrance to the program.


South Carolina

Winthrop University

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC: Master of Science in Human Nutrition

  • Accredited by SACSCOC, ACEND
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $699 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total: $20,970
  • Offered online
  • Contact: Program Manager at (833) 257-1704

Winthrop’s MS in Human Nutrition 30 credit program can be completed in an online format in 2 years. The program can prepare graduates to sit for the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist exam, or to work in community nutrition, public health, food service management, or nutrition education. GRE scores are not required to be admitted to the program.


Virginia

Liberty University

Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA: Master of Science in Exercise Science and Wellness-Nutrition and Wellness

  • Accredited by SASCSOC
  • 2024 tuition: 
    • $565 per graduate credit hour
    • Program total: $16,950
  • Offered online and on-campus
  • Contact: Admissions at (888) 291-5501

Liberty University’s MS in Exercise Science and Wellness-Nutrition and Wellness prepares graduates to work as nutrition and exercise specialist, health care specialists, and wellness coaches. The 33-credit-hour program is offered online and can be completed in one and a half years. On-campus students can take advantage of the school’s Human Performance Laboratory and Functional Assessment Laboratory. GRE scores are not required for admission to the program.