Effective January 1, 2024, The Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) action to change the degree requirement for dietitian registration eligibility from a baccalaureate degree to a graduate degree will go into effect. Earning a graduate degree in nutrition will become the new norm for nutrition professionals who want career advancement and increased responsibility. Students who earn their master’s in nutrition from an ACEND accredited institution are eligible to sit for the Registered Dietician examination and earn their credential.

We created a ranking of the top master’s in nutrition and dietetics from ACEND accredited institutions. All programs prepare students to sit for the Registered Dietician exam, are taught by expert level faculty, and include a required 1,200+ hour supervised practice. We applied a ranking methodology to determine the top 20 programs in the United States. Where there are ties, the school with the lowest average graduate tuition in favored.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 3 Points
  • 16:1 to 20:1=2 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $15,000 to $20,000 per year=2 Points
  • More than $20,000 per year= 1 Point

Overall Graduation Rate

  • Less than 30%= 1 Point
  • Between 30% and 50%= 2 Points
  • Greater than 50%= 3 Points

#20 – Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland

Master of Science in Public Health / Registered Dietitian Program

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Average Graduate Tuition: $52,170/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Graduation Rate: 93%
Points: 7
The Master of Science in Public Health/Registered Dietician at Johns Hopkins University is a collaborative program. It’s offered by the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Dietetics Education Program at Bayview Medical Center. This 18 month program is focused on public health nutrition. It includes the didactic coursework and supervised practice required to sit for the Registered Dietician exam. It’s limited to just eight students each year. Students get individualized attention and mentoring by experienced faculty and practitioners at Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

#19 – USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology – Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Nutrition, Healthspan, and Longevity Online

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Average Graduate Tuition: $43,200/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Graduation Rate: 92%
Points: 7
Seeking a flexible ACEND accredited program? The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology features a Master of Science degree in Nutrition, Healthspan and Longevity. It’s a Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. Students can earn their degree in just two years of full-time study or part-time in three years for distance students. Students take courses covering topics like:

  • therapeutic nutrition
  • micronutrients
  • food production.

Graduates are prepared to work in settings like hospitals, health care facilities, long-term care, research, and private practice.

#18 – Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, California

MPH Nutrition with coordinated program in Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $25,440/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 3:1
Graduation Rate: 91%
Points: 7
The Loma Linda University School of Public Health features a innovative MPH in Nutrition with the coordinated program in dietetics. This 57+ credit hour program takes about nine quarters to complete. Courses cover unique content including:

  • phytochemicals
  • nutritional metabolism
  • contemporary aspects of vegetarian nutrition

Students will learn strategies that protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public through dietetic and nutritional guidance. Graduates are prepared to sit for the registration exam to become a Registered Dietician Nutritionist.

#17 – University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $22,290/year in-state and $36,980/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduation Rate: 82%
Points: 7
The University of Pittsburg offers a coordinated Program in Nutrition and Dietetics at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. It’s an accelerated program for qualified undergraduates, post-baccalaureate candidates, and graduates of Didactic Programs in Dietetics (DPD). Students have the opportunity to complete the 1,200 clock hour supervised practice requirement needed to become a Registered Dietician. The two year program is available to graduates of a DPD. It’s a 53 credit hour program with both coursework and supervised experienced offered concurrently. Courses cover areas like:

  • professional trends and issues
  • pathophysiology across the lifespan
  • nutritional research

 

#16 – Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Master of Science in Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $17,088/year in-state and $30,432/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Graduation Rate: 40%
Points: 7
Eastern Michigan University features a top Master’s in Dietetics program. It’s a coordinated program, allowing students to complete the didactic coursework and the supervised practice concurrently. Required coursework covers areas like:

  • nutrition therapy
  • community nutrition
  • integrative medicine
  • food systems management

Students choose between a thesis, non-thesis research option, or a course in biomedical research writing as their culminating experience. The program is available on-campus and online. Students who complete the program are eligible to sit for the Registration Examination for Dieticians.

#15 – University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Public Health Nutrition MPH

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Average Graduate Tuition: $16,728/year in-state and $25,884/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduation Rate: 80%
Points: 7
The career-focused top nutrition Master of Public Health program at the University of Minnesota features a unique perspective. It combines Public Health Nutrition, Maternal and Child Health, Community Health, and Epidemiology into one department. Students benefit from faculty across a variety of disciplines to help tailor the program to meet their professional goals. The program follows a cohort format, allowing students to develop professional relationships that remain long after graduation.

#14 – University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $15,207/year in-state and $27,255/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduation Rate: 84%
Points: 7
The School of Public Health at the University of Washington features a Graduate Coordinated Program in Dietetics. It can be completed simultaneously while students earn their MS or MPH degree. The two year, full-time program includes coursework and a 1,200 hour supervised practice. Students can choose from concentration areas in Medical Nutrition Therapy and Public Health. Coursework is completed during the first five quarters followed by three quarters of internship experience. Program retention is high, with 98% of students completing the program for the past five years.

#13 – Indiana State University – Terre Haute, Indiana

Master of Science-Coordinated Program in Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $7,272/year in-state and $14,274/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduation Rate: 39%
Points: 7
The College of Health and Human Services at Indiana State University features a Coordinated Program in Dietetics. It’s one of only two ACEND accredited programs in the state. Students receive individualized attention and enrollment is kept small, limited to just 16 new admissions each year. Courses are taught by experienced faculty who also serve as preceptors at supervised practice sites. Nearly 100% of alumni find employment after completing their degree.

#12 – Dominican University – River Forest, Illinois

M.S. in Nutrition

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Average Graduate Tuition: $18,573/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Graduation Rate: 62%
Points: 8
Dominican University is well positioned to meet the growing demand for qualified nutrition professionals. It offers a top master’s in nutrition with the option to complete an Individualized Supervised Practice Pathway (ISPP) to prepare for the Registered Dietician exam. The program is rich in collaborative learning. Students spend time engaged with other graduate students in health and wellness. Most students can complete their degree in four semesters of full-time study. Part-time study is also available. Classes are offered during the evenings to allow students to work during the day and several courses are even offered online. Graduates have found success working in hospitals, community programs, business, and government.

#11 – D`Youville College – Buffalo, New York

Dietetics (BS+MS), 5-Year

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Average Graduate Tuition: $16,704/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Graduation Rate: 54%
Points: 8
Where can you earn both a BS and MS in dietetics in just five years? D’Youville College features a five year combined BS+MS program emphasizing practical experience and professional development. Students save money by paying undergraduate tuition rates for the entire program. The innovative interprofessional education lab allows students to work side- by-side with other healthcare majors to practice treating “patients” in a supervised setting. The advanced nutrition practice concentration features coursework in:

  • pediatric nutrition
  • community nutrition
  • research.

Almost 100% of new graduates receive job offers shortly after graduation.

#10 – University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, Illinois

MS in Nutrition

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Average Graduate Tuition: $13,502/year in-state and $23,742/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduation Rate: 57%
Points: 8
The top master’s in nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago is a specialized program for both registered dieticians and those just beginning in the field. Students with an undergraduate in an unrelated field can choose to complete the coordinated program. It combines coursework with the required 1,200 clock hour supervised practice requirement to sit for the exam to become a Registered Dietician. The traditional program is available to those who are already a dietician or are planning to pursue a PhD in nutrition. Students who want to engage in research and special projects can work with faculty to:

  • perform clinical visits
  • conduct dietary counseling
  • participate in feeding trials, and college tissue biopsies.

#9 – Rowan University – Glassboro, New Jersey

M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $13,266/year
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduation Rate: 69%
Points: 8
Rowan University features a five year accelerated master’s in nutrition and dietetics that prepares students to take the Dietician Registration Exam. Students spend the first two years of undergraduate study completing foundational coursework. The junior year begins the professional phase, a three year study in dietetics that includes a 1,240 clock hour supervised practice. Each year, 15 students are accepted into the accelerated path, earning both their BS and MS in just five years. Students can choose between a concentration in Medical Dietetics and Community Nutrition and Health Promotion.

#8 – The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

Graduate Coordinated Medical Dietetics Program

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Average Graduate Tuition: $11,560/year in-state and $33,032/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Graduation Rate: 83%
Points: 8
The Ohio State University features three distinctive master’s programs in nutrition and dietetics for students seeking to advance their career. The Graduate Coordinated Medical Dietetics Program is for students with an undergraduate degree in another area. The Master of Science Combined Dietetic Internship Program is especially for those who graduated from a didactic program in dietetics. For practicing dieticians seeking to further their knowledge, the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition is available. All students benefit from small class size and individualized attention from faculty and staff. Students are engaged through:

  • collaborations in research
  • working in medical facilities
  • providing sports nutrition counseling
  • designing menus for unique populations

 

#7 – The University of Mississippi – University, Mississippi

Coordinated Program in Dietetics (CP)

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Average Graduate Tuition: $8,190/year in-state and $23,454/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduation Rate: 60%
Points: 8
The University of Mississippi features a Coordinated Program in Dietetics. It’s offered through the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management and the School of Applied Sciences. This 36 credit hour program includes 1,325 hours of supervised practice and offers concentrations in:

  • Child and Adolescent Nutrition
  • Food Service Administration
  • Sport Nutrition.

A thesis is optional, but available for those planning to pursue PhD studies.

#6 – Georgia State University – Atlanta, Georgia

Master of Science in Nutrition-Coordinated Program

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Average Graduate Tuition: $7,020/year in-state and $22,518/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduation Rate: 53%
Points: 8
The top accredited master’s degree in nutrition at Georgia State University is a coordinated program open to students with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or another field. Students with an undergraduate degree in an area other than nutrition must complete prerequisite coursework before beginning the coordinated program. Once students begin the coordinated program, they can expect to complete four to six semesters of coursework and supervised practice. The supervised practice component has a unique urban health emphasis. Students can choose their capstone experience from a variety of options including:

  • a thesis
  • master’s project
  • coursework
  • comprehensive exam

 

#5 – Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado

M.S. in Food Science & Human Nutrition- Coordinated Master’s Program in Dietetics (CMPD)

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Average Graduate Tuition: $9,917/year in-state and $24,312/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduation Rate: 69%
Points: 9
Colorado State University features a Coordinated Master’s Program in Dietetics that leads to a master’s in Food Science and Human Nutrition. The program is competitive, with only seven openings each year. Students can typically complete the program in about 30 months if they do not have an undergraduate degree in dietetics. Colorado State University boasts an excellent 90%+ pass rate for graduates on the RD exam during the first year after graduation.

#4 – University of Missouri – Columbia, Missouri

Bachelor of Science (BS)-Nutrition and Food and Master of Science (MS)-Dietetics degrees

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Average Graduate Tuition: $8,640/year in-state and $23,659/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduation Rate: 68%
Points: 9
The BS in Nutrition and Food and MS in Dietetics at the University of Missouri is the only program of it’s kind in the state. This five year program includes two years of pre-dietetics prerequisites followed by three years in the Coordinated Program in Dietetics for students planning to sit for the Registration Examination for Dieticians. There is no thesis requirement. Students transition from undergraduate to graduate work in a seamless manner. Coursework covers areas like:

  • medical pharmacology
  • food chemistry
  • human nutrition

Graduates are well prepared to sit for the RD exam with 100% of test takers passing the exam within one year of their first attempt.

#3 – North Dakota State University – Fargo North Carolina

Accelerated BS/MS for Dietetics and Nutrition

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Average Graduate Tuition: $5,793/year in-state and $15,468/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Graduation Rate: 58%
Points: 9
North Dakota State University features a new Accelerated BS/MS for Dietetics and Nutrition accredited by ACEND. It’s available to on-campus full-time students. Students complete both undergraduate and graduate coursework and over 1,400 clock hours of supervised practice. By combining both degrees into one program, students can graduate in just five years of study. They can be prepared to sit for the Registered Dietician Nutritionist exam in less time than if they completed two degrees separately.

#2 – University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Master of Public Health/Registered Dietitian Program

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Average Graduate Tuition: $9,943/year in-state and $27,154/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduation Rate: 91%
Points: 10
The Master of Public Health/Registered Dietician Program is offered by the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina. It was founded in 1951 with a class of just three students. It  has grown to become one of the top programs in the country. As one of the first in the nation to become an ACEND-accredited Future Education Model program, UNC is pioneering the future of nutrition and dietetics education. The 24 month top master’s in nutrition program emphasizes both clinical nutrition and leadership. Graduates are well prepared to pass the dietetic registration exam.

#1 – University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Coordinated Master of Arts degree in Dietetics

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Average Graduate Tuition: $5,119/year in-state and $19,778/year out-of-state
Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Graduation Rate: 67%
Points: 10
Our top spot for the top master’s in nutrition and dietetics goes to The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center’s Coordinated Master of Arts Degree in Dietetics. This 64 credit hour, non-thesis program prepares students to become Registered Dietician Nutritionists. Students complete both the classroom content and 1,200 hour internship experience at the same time. This enables them to implement their new skills and knowledge immediately. New students are admitted to the fall semester and take coursework covering:

  • nutrition through the life cycle
  • experimental foods
  • medical nutrition therapy
  • food service management

Most students can earn their degree in just two years.