How Much Does Becoming a Nutritionist Cost?

Costs main cover image
$ Associate's Degree: $5,000-$30,000 $ $ Bachelor's Degree: $14,000-$80,000 $ $ $ Master's Degree: $20,000-$65,000

Nutritionists are professionals in the sphere of nutrition and dietetics and hold many functions from food management at hospitals and schools to one-on-one nutritional counselling.

Those nutritionists that have advanced degrees could work for public agencies, educating the public on dietary matters and preparing reports.

The American Dietetic Association find the work of the nutritionists and dietitians different though similar, as it is based on the educations they have and certifications they hold.

Typical Costs

The associate’s degree in nutrition can be received for $5,000-$30,000 and is suitable for preparing entry-level workers for a nutritionist or an assistant dietitian.

This degree, however, does not prepare individuals that are looking for licensure as a nutritionist.

For example, Long Beach City College in Long Beach, CA, provides an associate’s degree in food and nutrition for two years at the price of $5,500, including books, tuition, and fees.

At the same time, Palatine, IL, Harper College provides an associate’s degree in dietetics and nutrition for $4,800-$20,500 depending on resident and non-resident tuition for a program with 47 credit-hours.

Health science and dietetics bachelor’s degree costs $14,000-$80,000 and prepares students for advanced careers in nutrition and is also considered a prerequisite for graduate study in nutrition and licensure.

For example, a bachelor’s degree in dietetics at Eastern Michigan University costs $14,300 for 58 credit hours and can be done online.

At the same time the 4-year undergraduate tuition at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J., comes at the annual price of $7,800 for residents and $16,400 for non-residents.

A master’s degree in nutrition is at the price of $20,000-$65,000.

At the Northeastern University in Boston, there is a 41-credit hour Master of Science in Applied Nutrition degree program for $21,400 focused on disease prevention of disease through better dietary habits.

The program is led by practitioners such as dietitians, a clinical psychologist and an exercise scientist.

For example, the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut offers a master’s degree in nutrition with 31 credit hours for the sum of $21,200.

Nutritionist licensure differs in each state. However, it costs between $100 and $350.

For example, Minnesota’s licensing fees for a nutritionist include $175 to apply, $165 for the initial license and $50 per year to renew, as well as $100 to reinstate the license of the nutritionist’s once it has lapsed.

In Massachusetts, for example, dietitians and nutritionists are licensed under the same name, and it cost of $196 and $130 for renewal every two years.

At the same time Pennsylvania licenses dietitians and nutritionists under the same title known as Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist for an application fee of $45, license of $25, and an annual renewal fee costs $65.

All Pennsylvania dietitian-nutritionist licensees need to complete at least 30 hours of continuing education credits to renew a license.

What Is Included

The associate’s degree in nutrition includes coursework in food science, research and community nutrition, nutrition counselling and education, similar to the accredited degree from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

The bachelor’s degree like the program at Kent State in Kent, OH, includes in the student’s education microbiology and chemistry, physiology, food service systems management.

Master’s degrees in nutrition, like the degree offered at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, include coursework in food policy, research methods, and advanced nutrition science.

Additional Costs

The additional fees, including accommodation, board, and health insurance, can cost $10,000-$20,000.

At the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, for example, the extra fees include $11,700 to $16,000 per year for room and board, plus $800 per year for health insurance.

The extra fees at Montclair State University include $650 for books, $15 each for lab coats, and $50 for American Dietetic Association membership.


There are scholarships from colleges and industry groups for paying education in nutrition.

The American Dietetic Association can grant scholarships of $500-$3,000, while Michigan State University offers nutrition scholarships to undergraduates and graduate students.

Shopping For Becoming A Nutritionist

  • Nutritionists that look for licensure need to contact the Commission on Dietetic Registration for the requirements for nutritionists and dietitians by state.
  • Certain states license nutritionists and dietitians under the same regulations.
  • Some states do not require licensure and 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, such as the Certified Clinical Nutritionist to the Certified Nutritionist.
  • The same organization offers a searchable database of schools offering nutrition degrees.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides detailed career information for nutritionists and dietitians.

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