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Get An Online Nutrition Degree From The Food Science Department

Updated on March 7, 2016
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Carolee is a passionate writer with a love for learning and teaching. She is a published author, poet, blogger, and content creator.

Are you interested in food science?

Did you know that a Nutrition Degree is one of the easiest programs to accomplish via distance learning or online?

A nutrition degree is otherwise known as Food Science. Usually the program will be administered by the Agricultural or Biology department. The food science program may have different options for study such as:

  • Complete Food Science
  • Basic Nutrition Science
  • Human Nutrition
  • Food Safety
  • Dietetics

Not many schools offer this program. Most schools that do offer this program do not offer distance education, so the courses offered through distance education are really popular.

A nutrition degree can be accomplished starting an Associate’s degree level or go as high as a PhD. There are also Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate programs which are supplements to your degree.

To attain your degree you can start building your portfolio by taking small courses or just jump right into the degree program. Whatever you choose it will be a great choice.

What does food science entail?

Food nutrition is the study of nutrients and its relationship with the body, that is, the relationship between the foods we eat and how they affect growth and development. It begins with human biology; how man is structured and what we need to to survive. It also involves diseases and their relationship to food.

Food science involves, to a greater extent, the study of food itself such as the biological nature of the food we eat.

In this program students are taught:

  • The development process
  • The very nature of food and its purpose
  • The consumption
  • Food processing principles
  • The breaking down of foods; in and outside of the body
  • The preparation and improvement of foods for human consumption

Advantages of online education

The great thing about completing your nutrition degree online is that you get to work at your own pace, in most cases. Some schools may have structured programs similar to their campus programs. Check with the school first to make sure their program is suited for you.

Another great advantage of doing your degree online is, you don’t need to worry about boarding costs and all the other costs associated with attending classes on campus.

You can also literally attend class in your pajamas since you don’t need to travel to campus. That’s another savings right there. The only fee you need to worry about is your registration and basic tuition fees which can either be paid by the semester or by the credit, depending on the school.

Another advantage of distance learning is doing more than one courses at a time from different schools. If you are collecting credits to make up your degree, you can choose to do so with short courses. You can do different course from different online schools to make up the required credits.

Most universities will administer a short assessment to determine if online learning is suited for you.


What can you do with a Nutrition/Food Science Degree?

You may be wondering what a nutrition degree can do. Here are some industries which you can apply for with your qualifications. Each industry may have several types of jobs available.

  • Education; from kindergarten to college level depending on your level of education
  • Open your own consulting business. You can open an office or freelance.
  • Work in hospitals as the on-staff food meal planner, same for schools, nursing homes and clinics
  • Work with your local health organization
  • Work with food manufacturing companies as their consultant for the food items
  • Voluntary and charitable organizations such as the Peace Corp

Jobs directly related to your Food Science Degree

  • Animal nutritionist
  • Dietitian
  • Food technologist
  • Product/process development scientist
  • Technical brewer
  • Clinical Dietetics
  • Food and Nutrition Management
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Food Product or Ingredient Development Scientist
  • Sensory Scientist
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Food Safety Expert
  • Food Chemist
  • Food Process and Packaging Design Engineer
  • Quality Control Supervisor
  • Food Plant Production Supervisor or Manager
  • Ingredient, Product, or Equipment Sales Representative/Manager
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist

There is a need for your specialization in almost all industries. There are so many career opportunities that you can't go wrong.

Here are some schools which offer this program online

Graduation Requirements
Illinois University
32 hrs of course-work and an oral exam
A bachelors degree and background courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, microbiology, physics, and calculus
Washington State University
Certificate of Proficiency in Food Science
5 nine week courses
Check with the school
Washington State University
Master’s in Agriculture: Food Science and Management
Check with the school
G.P.A. of at least 3.0, Bachelor of Science degree
Michigan State University
Master's Degree OR Certificate in Food Safety
Maintain minimum GPA of 3.0
Bachelor's degree or professional degree, at least six college credits, minimum GPA of 3.0
Oregan State University
Undergraduate and Graduate programs
Check with the school
Check with the school
Alabama A&M University
Bachelor of Science
Check with the school
Check with the school
Auburn University
(1)Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition/Dietetics, (2) Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition Science, (3)Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition/Wellness
successfully completed all course work with the required minimum 2.0 grade point averages
Check with the school
Colorado State University
Master of Science (M.S.) in Food Science and Nutrition (other related credit and non-credit courses available)
37 credits
Registered Dietitian (RD), bachelor's degree, 3.0 GPA
North Carolina State University
Food Safety Certification Program
Check with the school
Check with the school
Penn State University
Food Science Certificate Program (three certificate options)
12 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s)
Check with the school
Kansas State University
2 Certificate Programs
20 credit hours of coursework
High school diploma for undergraduate certificate (minimum) and Undergraduate degree for Graduate certificate

For a more comprehensive list please see "accreditation" section below, and follow the hyperlink.

General Background required for entry into any Food Science program

You have a choice of any of the subjects included under the Food Sciences. These include , as mentioned above, Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Safety, etc. To enter any of these areas you need a basic foundation of certain courses. You may cover these courses at your own pace to make up your college portfolio.

  • Chemistry (general and organic)
  • Biology (plant and human)
  • Physics
  • Microbiology
  • You may need general science
  • Calculus

In some cases such as for the Graduate degree or graduate certificate programs you may need to be working in the field. You also need to keep your grade point average above 3.0 for a better chance to enter the program.

If you have no experience working in the field of dietetics or nutrition, you can start with basic biology courses to get you familiar with the subject. If you are entering college as a freshman it would be good to do an associates degree in microbiology or chemistry.

This will be a very good foundation for getting your Bachelor of Science Degree in any of the areas related to food science.

High school students with the basic requirements can also apply to the Bachelor of science programs. If you don't see the program you want in the table provided visit the accredited schools list by clicking the link in the "accreditation" section below.


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The Institute of Food Technology (IFT) accreditation

Many schools are approved or accredited by the IFT in the US. They provide the standard under which the educational institutions offer the food science programs. For a complete list of accredited school under this program please visit website.

Institute of Food Science & Technology

The IFST is the UK's qualifying body for Food Science professionals. For more about this institution and how to become a member, visit their website here.

Stepping Stone Programs

A basic certificate or diploma course could be very helpful to get you started for both your degree and career. In some cases all you need to enroll is a High School diploma or GED. Here are some diploma courses in nutrition to get you started.

School of Natural Health Sciences

This institution specializes in holistic courses including basic holistic nutrition and advanced holistic nutrition. The basic nutrition course is only £135 untutored and you will need to complete 11 lessons. The advanced course is £395 which includes 26 lessons. There are payment plans available.

IOC Diploma in Sports Nutrition

The International Olympic Committee now offers a course in sports nutrition. This is one of the most recognized diplomas in the sporting world. If you hold one of these, you are guaranteed to get into almost any college or work with Olympians and sports teams.

Institute for Optimum Nutrition

One of my favorites institutions. After completing the diploma course you can go straight into their Bachelor program, which you can use to enroll in another university to complete your Masters or PhD.

Penn Foster International

This Distance learning institution is the leader in distance education . Formally known as (ICS) International Correspondence Schools, one one of the first to offer education to people across the globe without them leaving the comfort of their homes. You can choose between their Fitness and Nutrition or their Sports Nutrition Certificates.

Guaranteed Employment

The importance of this program almost guarantees your employment upon completion. As mentioned above, there is a sector in almost every industry you can think of which needs someone with your qualifications.

From being self-employed to Government employment, you name it, you are sure to be employed within six months to one year of graduating.

Every food manufacturing plant requires someone with your qualifications. Every school or school district employs a nutritionist at least. Every hospital has one or more dietitian. The public health department and public clinics also must have someone on staff.

It's a no-brainer that someone with a Bachelors, Master or PhD in Nutrition or Food Science is needed to make sure the foods provided for basic consumption are safe. You are needed to assist pregnant mothers, diabetics, high and low blood pressure patients, heart patients, cancer patients, malnourished children and so many more people.

Take a leap and get your degree. The online program is waiting for you.

© 2014 Carolee Samuda


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