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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Nutritionist

Becoming a Nutritionist Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Nutritionist Cost?

 
low costAssociate's Degree: $5,000-$30,000average costBachelor's Degree: $14,000-$80,000high costMaster's Degree: $20,000-$65,000
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Nutritionists work in the field of dietetics and nutrition, and may serve a variety of functions from one-on-one nutritional counseling to overseeing food management at schools and hospitals. Nutritionists with advanced degrees may work for public agencies, preparing reports and educating the public on dietary matters. The American Dietetic Association[1] distinguishes nutritionists from dietitians based on education and certification received, although the nature of the work is similar.

Typical costs:

  • An associate's degree in nutrition costs $5,000-$30,000 and can prepare entry-level workers for a career as a nutritionist or dietitian's assistant, but does not prepare individuals seeking licensure as a nutritionist. Long Beach City College[2] in Long Beach, CA, offers a two-year associate's degree in food and nutrition for $5,500 including only tuition, books, and fees. In Palatine, IL, Harper College[3] offers an associate's degree in dietetics and nutrition for $4,800-$20,500 based on resident and non-resident tuition for a 47 credit-hour program.
  • A bachelor's degree in health science, dietetics or a related field costs $14,000-$80,000. This degree prepares students for more advanced careers in nutrition, and is often a prerequisite for licensure and graduate study in nutrition. A bachelor's degree in dietetics at Eastern Michigan University[4] costs $14,300 for 58 credit hours and can be completed online. Undergraduate tuition at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., costs $7,800 per year for residents and $16,400 per year for non-residents, taking four years to complete.
  • A master's degree in nutrition costs $20,000-$65,000. Northeastern University[5] in Boston offers a 41-credit hour Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree for $21,400. The program focuses on disease prevention through better dietary habits and is led by real-world practitioners, including dietitians, an exercise scientist, and a clinical psychologist. A master's degree in nutrition through the University of Bridgeport[6] in Connecticut costs $21,200 for 31 credit hours.
  • Certification or licensure for a nutritionist differs in each state, but costs $100-$350. For example, Minnesota's licensing fees[7] for a nutritionist include $175 to apply, $165 for the initial license and $50 annually to renew. It costs $100 to reinstate a nutritionist's license once it has lapsed. In Massachusetts[8] , dietitians and nutritionists are licensed under the same name at a cost of $196 and $130 for bi-annual renewal[9] . Pennsylvania[10] also licenses dietitians and nutritionists under the same title, the LDN (Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist). The application fee is $45, the license costs $25, and the annual renewal fee costs $65. All Pennsylvania dietitian-nutritionist licensees must complete at least 30 hours of continuing education credits to renew a license.
Related articles: Becoming a Dietitian, Community College, College

What should be included:
  • An associate's degree in nutrition should cover coursework in food science, nutrition counseling and education, research, and community nutrition, such as this accredited degree from Mansfield University[11] in Pennsylvania. A bachelor's degree, such as the program at Kent State in Kent, OH, will further the student's education to include chemistry, physiology, microbiology and courses related to managing food service systems. Master's degrees in nutrition, such as the degree offered at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development[12] , offer coursework in research methods, food policy and advanced nutrition science.
Additional costs:
  • Additional fees like room, board, and health insurance can cost $10,000-$20,000. At the University of Bridgeport [13] in Connecticut, extra fees include $11,700 to $16,000 per year for room and board, and $800 per year for health insurance. Extra fees at Montclair State University include $650 for books, $15 each for lab coats, and $50 for American Dietetic Association membership.
Discounts:
  • Scholarships from colleges and industry groups may help pay for education in nutrition. The American Dietetic Association[14] grants scholarships of $500-$3,000, for example, and Michigan State University[15] offers nutrition scholarships to undergraduates and graduate students.
Shopping for becoming a nutritionist:
  • Nutritionists seeking licensure should contact the Commission on Dietetic Registration which lists requirements for nutritionists and dietitians by state. Some states license nutritionists and dietitians under the same regulations. In states that do not require licensure, individuals may often practice as a nutritionist, but without using certain credentials.
  • The American Nutrition Association explains four credentials which can be attained by nutritionists[16] , such as the Certified Clinical Nutritionist (requires bachelor's and master's degrees) to the Certified Nutritionist (requires associate's degree). The organization also has a searchable database of schools offering nutrition degrees[17] .
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics gives career information for nutritionists and dietitians[18] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.eatright.org/HealthProfessionals/content.aspx?id=6859
  2.  www.lbcc.edu/financialaid/
  3.  goforward.harpercollege.edu/registration/tuition/fees.php
  4.  www.emich.edu/sbs/tuitionfeesoutline.php
  5.  www.cps.neu.edu/degree-programs/graduate/masters-degrees/masters-applied-nutrition.php
  6.  www.bridgeport.edu/admissions/healthsciences/tuitionandfinaid/tuitionandfees
  7.  www.dieteticsnutritionboard.state.mn.us
  8.  /www.eatrightma.org/professional/licensure.php
  9.  license.reg.state.ma.us/public/dpl_fees/dpl_fees_results.asp?board_code=NU
  10.  www.hava.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_board_of_nursing/12515/licensure_...
  11.  www2.mansfield.edu/nutrition/nutrition-dietetics-degree/
  12.  steinhardt.nyu.edu/nutrition/dietetics/ms/34/curriculum
  13.  www.bridgeport.edu/admissions/healthsciences/tuitionandfinaid/tuitionandfees
  14.  www.eatright.org/BecomeanRDorDTR/content.aspx?id=8133
  15.  /www.msu.edu/~fshn/scholarships/scholarshipwebX-form.html
  16.  americannutritionassociation.org/toolsandresources/descriptiondegreescredentials
  17.  americannutritionassociation.org/schools
  18.  www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm
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