Master of Science in Nutrition Education

Master of Science in Nutrition Education

The Critical Need for Nutrition Education

Nutrition-related issues have never been more important to our nation's health than they are right now — five out of 10 chronic illnesses in the U.S. today are nutrition related.

Whether the discussion centers on organic farming, food deserts, nutrition labels, food insecurity, or our nation's obesity epidemic, people crave consumer-friendly, accurate information about nutritional health and the food we eat from a trusted source.

With a master's in nutrition, you can help combat misinformation and empower people in your community and beyond to make healthier food choices and improve their quality of life.


The online Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition Education from American University is a unique graduate program that focuses on the science of nutrition as well as the educational strategies necessary to impact behavior change at the individual, community, and population level. The advanced degree gives you the knowledge and skills to turn your passion into a life-long career, helping better the lives of others while strengthening the community around you.


Delivered through an innovative online platform that allows you to maintain your current career and learn where and when it’s best for you, you'll gain focused theoretical and practical training in the field of nutrition and can prepare for certification to become a nutritionist.

Accepted applicants to the online master’s program in nutrition education may be eligible for scholarship opportunities. Request more information to learn more.


No prior degree in nutrition is necessary to pursue the online MS in Nutrition Education — making it an excellent option for career changers who are passionate about nutrition. As one of only a few nutrition master's programs nationwide that focuses on education, the program is also ideal for those dedicated to using nutrition to better the lives of others.


  • Share their scientific knowledge in nutrition consistent with health recommendations with populations of different ages, genders, and cultures
  • Design and implement nutrition-education programs in corporations, government organizations, schools, and universities
  • Use communication strategies such as social marketing and consumer-friendly health writing to communicate to the public and advocate for nutritional health
  • Design studies and utilize research methods in order to analyze the relationship between nutrition and disease
  • Develop program and intervention skills related to nutrition
  • Understand scientific principles of nutrition with education and program planning for improved health and nutrition behavior

Learn more about the online Master's in Nutrition Education degree at our Virtual Open House from Dr. Anastasia Snelling, Program Director and Chair of the Department of Health Studies.


Our program is taught by an experienced and committed faculty who are:

  • members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • fellows in the American College of Nutrition
  • conducting and publishing research on the impact of nutrition on chronic disease risk factors, length and quality of life, obesity prevention, and other topics
  • published in the Journal of Nutrition and other leading journals
  • recognized experts on nutrition topics and are regularly featured on top news outlets such as CBS News, C-Span, Washington Journal and others
  • experienced leaders in community gardening and nutrition-education programs in their own communities
Carolina Espinel

Carolina Espinel, MS in Nutrition Education, '16

" has been wonderful to count on the instructor and other classmates' expertise."

Being online, it allowed me to pursue the MS all the way from Ecuador! Additionally, I have been able to work while studying. Of course it has been a challenging task, but the structure of the courses and the guidance of the instructors have ensured a rewarding academic experience. I realize work and study complement each other, and it has been wonderful to count on the instructor and other classmates’ expertise.


Faculty, students, and alumni in the online Master’s in Nutrition Education program are dedicated to helping you reach your education and career goals through ongoing mentorship, education, and networking opportunities. Offerings include:

  • Mentorship Program
    Halfway through the online graduate program, you will be matched with a faculty mentor who will be available to work with you on resume development, job search navigation, and making connections based on your location and professional interests. Faculty mentors also serve as a valuable resource for any program or course-related items.
  • Student Webinars
    Webinars are hosted every semester on popular topics and trends such as Health Literacy in the Federal Government Nutrition Policy, Food Access and Nutrition Education Insights, and Creating and Running an Online Business and Food and Nutrition Writing.
  • Networking Events
    Events are available to students who are local or willing to travel to meet peers, faculty and industry experts.
  • Social Media
    Students, alumni and faculty share open dialogue about the program as well as provide information about jobs and industry trends on dedicated Facebook and LinkedIn groups.

Become a Certified Nutrition Specialist ®™

This online degree program provides a stepping stone to the Certified Nutrition Specialist®™ credential. Additional coursework in clinical nutrition, bio/life sciences, and biochemistry, as well as supervised practice experience, are necessary for CNS® eligibility.

95% of American University’s Nutrition Education master's graduates are working in the field, in graduate school or both within six months.


Post-graduation, you can expect to look forward to a successful career in nutrition education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for the field is expected to grow 15 percent from 2016-2026, much faster than average.* Having your master’s degree will give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed and will set you apart from others in the field. In fact, in the field of dietetics, registered dietitians and nutritionists only need a bachelor’s degree to work in their field; however, effective January 1, 2024 the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will require all registered dietitian candidates to have a master’s degree. Further indication that the bar is being raised for nutrition professionals.

"Our graduate census shows that 93 percent of our master's graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) were employed within six months of graduation." - American University


*Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed at

Rankings & Accreditation

#3 College Gets High Marks

Princeton Review
Best Colleges (2018)

#12 Best Online Masters in Nutrition, 2018

#35 Best Colleges for Veterans

U.S. News & World Report
America's Best Colleges (2018)

#69 Best National University

U.S. News & World Report
America's Best Colleges (2018)

#61 Best Value Schools

U.S. News & World Report
America's Best Colleges (2018)

Among 382 Best Colleges

Princeton Review
Best Colleges (2018)


Among the best online graduate education programs by US News & World Report (2018)

Get the Details of the Nutrition Education Program Now

Be a positive, nutrition-education role model within the community. Click here to learn more about the online Master of Science in Nutrition Education or call 855-725-7614 to speak with an admissions adviser today.