BEST Colleges For Nutrition and Dietetics: A specialist in Nutrition and/or dietetics is a person who is knowledgeable about human digestion, metabolism, and behavior. Nutritionists are responsible for developing diet plans for organizations or individuals.
They assist people suffering from allergies, metabolic, or eating disorders. To become a professional nutritionist, one needs a thorough education that includes courses on human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, knowledge of the effects of different substances and products.
As there is a growing understanding of the role of lifestyle and diet in treating various human conditions, a nutritionist’s job is even more critical than ever. That is why it is necessary to choose the best possible program for getting a degree in Nutrition.
How to become a Registered Dietitian (RDN)?
Many students with a nutrition degree aim to become Registered Dietitian (RDN). To become an RDN, it is necessary to:
- Obtain a B.S. in Nutrition/Complete Didactic Program in Dietetics.
- Complete a Dietetic Internship/Coordinated Dietetics Program.
- Pass the Registered Dietitian Certification Exam From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Please note that according to the new 2024 Graduate Degrees Requirements for RDNs, it is necessary to obtain a Master’s Degree in Nutrition/Dietetics to become eligible for the certification exam.
You can find the list of the best nutrition programs below.
How did we pick the best colleges for Nutrition and dietetics?
In this list, we have chosen schools with high national rankings and are well-reviewed by students.
- The chosen universities also offer Dietetics Programs and Dietetics Internships. They are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education for Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
- We have also explicitly searched for schools that offer quality research programs.
- We have included first-tier and less-famous colleges to present all possible options for future students.
Best Colleges for Nutrition and Dietetics
Here are the top 10 best colleges for Nutrition and Dietetics in the United States:
New York University, New York, NY
New York University is a private school in New York City. The University was founded by a group of private individuals in 1831. It has slowly begun to grow with several professional and graduate degrees from 1935 to 1890.
Currently, the University comprises 18 schools, colleges, and institutes. The Nutrition degree is offered through the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
This school offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees in Human Nutrition and Dietetics:
- B.S. in Nutrition and Food Studies.
- B.S.Combined degree in Global Public Health/Nutrition and Dietetics.
- M. S.in Nutrition and Dietetics with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition.
- M. S.in Nutrition and Dietetics with a concentration in Foods and Nutrition.
- Ph.D. in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Minor in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Dietetic Internship
- Food lab where students can learn to prepare meals, make correct food choices, and also study additional courses such as Culinary Physics.
- Urban Farm lab that combines a laboratory and an outdoor farm where students can grow crops.
- Center of Health and Rehabilitation Research where the scientists conduct research across multiple disciplines, including Nutrition.
- NYU Steinhardt is affiliated with James J. Peters/Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center where the students can be accepted to a dietetic internship.
Why study Nutrition and Dietetics and NYU?
- The University is located directly in New York City.
- New York University is ranked 39 among World Universities.
- The Department of Nutrition of NYU has a particular focus on food studies, especially the American food system.
- NYU Steinhardt specializes in interdisciplinary, innovative education and research.
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Cornell is a private university and a part of the Ivy League. It was founded by Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell in 1865. Its first building was located in Ithaca, NY. The idea behind the University was far ahead of its time – the main aim was to provide education for a broader public without being limited by religious affiliation or gender (it was intended that both men and women could study there).
Cornell University currently partners with New York State University. It has an excellent reputation as a private university devoted to research and quality education in many areas. Cornell has 15 schools and colleges. The University admits around 25 000 students annually.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) was one of its first colleges, founded in 1888 to provide educational support for local farmers, and its primary focus initially was agriculture. Other Life Sciences were added as degree programs later.
Another Cornell college, the College of Human Ecology, has stemmed from a program organized specifically for women at the beginning of the 20thcentury. In 1925, the program led to the establishment of the College of Home Economics. It was renamed the New York State College of Human Ecology in 1969.The programs offered at the college are devoted to various aspects of human experience, from Nutrition and Metabolism research to Public Affairs.
Unique Nutritional Sciences program
Currently, students can study Nutritional Sciences at CALS or College for Human Ecology. The coursework for the Nutritional Sciences major at the College of Human Ecology is focused on the health aspects of Nutrition. It prepares the students for careers in medicine, research, and sports nutrition. The coursework for this major at the CALS is concentrated on food systems, policy, business, and agricultural aspects of food production.
The Department of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell is jointly administered by the College of Human Ecology and CALS and offers the following degrees in Nutrition:
- B.S. in Nutritional Sciences.
- B.S. in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Nutrition.
- Minor in Nutrition and Health.
- Didactic Program in Dietetics (Verification Statement).
- M. S.in Nutrition
- Ph.D. in Nutrition
- Ph. D./RD (Registered Dietician) Dual Degree.
- Dietetic Internship with a research concentration.
- Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures.
- Cornell Institute for Nutritional Genomics.
- Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.
- Cornell Institute for Women in Science.
- Institute on Health Economics, Health Behaviors, and Disparities.
- Cornell Institute for Research on Children.
The Department of Nutritional Sciences also collaborates with Rochester Medical Center to conduct dietetic internships and medical practice.
Why Study Nutrition at Cornell’s University?
- The faculty at the Division of Nutritional Sciences has many award-winning members.
- The students at Cornell can take minors in Global Health, Dietetics, Epidemiology, and Sports Sciences to acquire more competitive credentials.
- The Department of Nutritional Sciences offers off-campus experiences and medical practice.
- The Nutrition majors from Cornell are valued by their employers.
Boston University, Boston, MA
Boston University (BU) is a very large private school in Boston. It was established on the land that belonged to Newbery Biblical Institute. The University Charter was established in 1869.
The first school at the university was the School of Theology. The College of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1873. Boston University was the first Institution to allow women to study medicine.
Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences was founded in 1881 by Dr.Dudley Allen Sargent. It was called the School for Physical training. Later, the school became a part of Boston University in 1929. It was relocated to the Charles River Campus in 1958. Currently, the college offers degree programs in 15 specializations.
- Sargent Choice Nutrition Center.
- Global Health Nutrition Lab.
- Nutritional Epidemiology Lab
The resources at these centers are used to provide for the following degrees in Nutrition:
- B.S. in Nutrition with several tracks:
- Nutrition science
- Nutrition and health
- Dietetics track
- M. S.in Nutrition
- M. S.in Nutrition+Dietetic Internship.
- Didactic Program in Dietetics.
- Didactic Program+M. S.in Nutrition.
Why study Nutrition at BU?
- 100% of all Nutrition program graduates pass the necessary certification exams to practice.
- Students can get clinical education or volunteer at the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center.
- Boston University is affiliated with several teaching/community hospitals where the students can undergo their dietetic Internship.
- Sargent College encourages interprofessional education for the students.
- A novel program for nutritional education was recently developed at Boston University.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Purdue University is a well-known public school with a high ranking and good academics.
The decision to use the Lafayette area for the university’s establishment was issued in 1869, and money for its development was donated by John Purdue. After the first buildings were erected, the first classes at the University took place in 1874.
College of Health and Human Sciences is one of the youngest at Purdue University. It was founded in 2010 and currently has nine academic units, including Nutrition Science.
The latter had evolved from the previous Food and Nutrition degree and was established in 2011 when Nutrition Science was moved to the new college. Nutrition was taught at Purdue for 110 years (initially offered as a part of Home Economics).
Through the years, multiple research initiatives organized at Purdue have significantly contributed to the knowledge and standards of Nutrition.
Purdue University has a modern complex of research facilities called Discovery Park, including the core research organization for the Department of Nutrition – Ingestive Behavior Research Center.
Its Department of Nutrition Science offers the following degrees:
- B.S. in Nutrition Science.
- B.S.Dietetics/Nutrition, Fitness, and Health.
- Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Coordinated Program in Dietetics.
- Nutrition and Masters in Public Health Combined degree.
- M. S./Ph.D. in Nutrition.
Why study Nutrition at Purdue University?
- Purdue University is a leader in several research areas in nutrition science, such as calcium metabolism and ingestive behavior.
- Purdue University has a unique program for talent assessment aimed at helping students.
- Graduates from the Nutrition Programs often obtain awards for their work.
- The school has several Study Abroad programs.
- The students can join learning communities that assist with learning and networking.
The University of Texas-Austin, Austin, TX
University of Texas – Austin is a part of the University of Texas system. It is considered the system’s flagship school and admits a considerable number of students every year.
The first classes at the newly opened University of Texas were conducted in 1883. The school has become quite large and has 18 colleges and schools.
The College of Natural Sciences was founded in 1970.The college is one of the largest science colleges in the nation. 2010 a separate School of Human Ecology was formed.
The latter offers several degree programs, including the program in Nutritional Sciences. The school offers the following Nutrition-related degrees offered:
- Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.
- Bachelor of Science and Arts in Nutrition.
- Didactic Program in Dietetics/Coordinated Dietetics Program.
- Master of Science in Nutrition.
- Online Masters Degree in Nutrition.
- Food and Society Certificate.
- Ph.D. in Nutrition
- UT Nutrition Institute
- Susie Jastrow Teaching Kitchen.
Why study Nutrition at the University of Texas – Austin?
- The school offers the best dietetic program in Texas.
- The school has a Nutrition Graduate Student Association that assists in networking and communication.
- The Department of Nutrition Sciences organizes an annual Nutrition Research Retreat.
- The students are encouraged to participate in outreach initiatives and make cooking videos.
- There are multiple awards-winning faculty members.
University North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill is a well-known public university with adequate research facilities.
The University was established in 1789 and is considered the first public University in the nation. There are 10 schools and colleges at present.
Gillings School of Global Public Health was established in 1936.Its Department of Nutrition was established in 1946 with the help of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. The Department of Nutrition offers the coursework for Nutrition Concentration for the Bachelor of Public Health/Master of Public Health degrees:
- Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a concentration in Nutrition.
- Master of Public Health with a concentration in Nutrition.
- Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian double degree.
- Online Masters of Public Health (Nutrition).
- Master of Science in Nutrition.
- Ph.D. in Nutrition
- UNC Obesity Research Center.
- Biospecimens Processing Facility
- Carolina Collaborative for Research on Work and Health.
- NORC Diet and Physical Activity Core.
Why study Nutrition at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill?
- The coursework offers a unique combination of Nutrition and global health topics.
- The degree is also considered a quality pre-med degree for students planning to enter medical/dentistry schools.
- Recently the local nutrition department has received additional research funding.
- The local Obesity Research Center provides so-called CHAI Core Behavior Assessment services for students and researchers.
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
The University of Arizona is a highly acclaimed public school actively involved in online and on-campus education in various disciplines and has good research facilities.
The University was established in 1885. Currently, it has 20 Colleges, including two separate medical schools. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Arizona was established at the same time as the University in 1885 and was its first academic unit.
Its Department of Nutritional Sciences offers the following degrees:
- B.S. in Nutritional Sciences.
- B.S. in Nutrition and Food Systems.
- Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (preparation for the RDN exam).
- Professional Science Masters in Applied Nutrition.
- Nutritional Minors
- Nutritional Sciences Graduate Program (M. S./Ph.D. in Nutrition).
- Multicultural Scholars Program in Culinary Medicine.
- Arizona Experiment Station
- Food Product and Safety Laboratory.
Why study Nutrition at the University of Arizona?
- The focus of coursework is the application of nutrition science for health concerns.
- The school offers a study abroad program devoted to the Mediterranean diet in Italy.
- The school participates in various outreach programs related to diabetes and better Nutrition.
- The school offers various study options both at the main campus, the campus at Yuma and also online.
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
The University of Alabama is a large public university and is considered the flagship state institution.
The state school was established in 1831. Currently, the University has 13 colleges. Nutrition degrees are offered at the College of Human Environmental Sciences. The latter was founded in 1987 in place of the School of Home Economics.
There are several degrees in Nutrition available from its Department of Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management:
- B.S. in Food and Nutrition.
- Minor in Food and Nutrition.
- Accelerated Masters Program in Nutrition.
Why study Nutrition at the University of Alabama?
- The coursework covers various aspects from sports nutrition to the food industry.
- All students that complete the nutrition curriculum also graduate with a B.S. in Human Environmental Sciences.
- Many graduates of the University of Alabama work in the food industry.
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Ohio State University is an acclaimed public school with a good ranking.
The Institution was founded in 1870 as the land-grant University. Initially, the school specialized in agriculture and engineering and could expand with time. Currently, the school is quite large, with multiple colleges and schools.
The College of Education and Human Ecology was established in 2006.At its foundation, the college has united two older colleges of Pedagogy and Domestic Economy, founded in 1895 and 1896, respectively.
In 2012 all the college programs were sorted into three central departments:
- Department of Educational Studies.
- Department of Teaching and Learning.
- Department of Human Sciences.
The latter department offers the following degrees in Nutrition:
- B.S. in Human Nutrition – Dietetics.
- B.S. in Human Nutrition – Nutrition in Industry.
- B.S. in Human Nutrition – Nutrition Sciences.
- B.S. in Health Promotion, Nutrition, and Exercise Science.
- Human Nutrition Minor
- Human Nutrition Dietetic Internship Program.
- M. S.in Human Nutrition.
- M. S.in Dietetics and Nutrition.
- Ph.D. in Human Nutrition.
- Body Image Health Task Force.
- Center For Advanced Functional Food Research and Entrepreneurship.
- Family and Consumer Sciences Center.
Why study Nutrition at the University of Ohio?
- Multiple in-the-field opportunities for study, both clinical and in research.
- The coursework combines academic, research, and community outreach.
- Ohio State University’s online educational extension assists students.
Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
Kansas State University is a large public school that provides quality and affordable education.
The school was established in 1863, instead of the previously existing Bluemont Central College. For a considerable period, the University was the single higher education establishment in Kansas. Currently, the school has 11 colleges.
College of Health and Human Sciences is one of the oldest and has been founded 125 years ago. Its Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health offers the following degrees in Nutrition:
- B.S. in Nutritional Sciences.
- B.S. in Nutrition and Health.
- B.S. in Nutrition and Kinesiology (Dual Degree).
- M. S.in Dietetics
- M. S.in Nutrition, Dietetics and Sensory Sciences.
- Ph.D. in Food, Nutrition, and Health.
- The online program in Dietetics.
- Distance Program in Nutrition and Health.
- The Center for Food Safety in Childhood Nutrition Programs.
- Food Science Institute
- Sensory Analysis and Consumer Behavior Center.
Why study Nutrition at Kansas State University?
- The online/distance programs from Kansas University are highly ranked.
- The Dietetics program fulfills both the old and the new 2024 RDN Examination Eligibility Standards.
- The coursework of the offered nutrition degrees is also considered quality pre-med preparation.
- The school has relatively small classes, making communicating with professors easier.
Most of the colleges presented here offer a mix of exemplary academics, hands-on preparation for the chosen career, and good student facilities.
But if one wants the best education possible and increased chances for a promising career, it is best to invest in education at Cornell University because of its high-ranking and world-class academic programs.