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24 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics for 2020

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Great Value Colleges - Most AffordableBy GVC Staff
October 2019

In this ranking of the most affordable Bachelor’s degrees in Nutrition and Dietetics for 2020, some of the degrees we will explore are:

  • BS in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • BS in Dietetics
  • BS in Food Science
  • BS in Nutritional Science
  • Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food Science
  • BS in Human Nutrition and Food

If you are interested in the science behind food and/or desire to help people lead healthier lives, an affordable undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics might be for you! As a nutrition/dietetics graduate, you can easily become a certified nutritionist, registered dietitian, or pursue other interesting careers like a food scientist, food writer, or community health worker. But, if the cost of getting your degree is stressing you out, we’ve got good news for you! You can earn your degree in nutrition and dietetics without breaking the bank. In this ranking, we’ve reviewed the most affordable nutrition and dietetics undergrad degrees that both caught our eye and have low-cost net price tuitions.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

To develop this ranking of the top affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics programs, our editors searched for schools that offered cheap undergraduate programs in Nutrition and Dietetics.  To rate and rank these programs, we applied the methodology below, using information from Google, the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), Payscale.com, the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and each program’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school pulled the higher rank. If the information didn’t fit within the parameters, zero points were awarded for that category.

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $25,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • Less than 20:1: 1 point
  • Less than 15: 1: 2 points
  • Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

  • Top 500: 1 point
  • Top 300: 2 points
  • Top 150: 3 points

Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, writing/technology support, etc.) – 1 point per item

Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item

Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item

Campus Diversity Support Network – 1 point per item

“Wow” Factor – 1 point (anything that would mark a program as unique. Special qualities that make a program “stand out from the crowd”)

#24 University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

BS in Food and Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 33,028
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required, but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 10

The University of Alabama offers an affordable degree in nutrition and dietetics that results in a BS in Food and Nutrition. The ACEND-accredited program will explore the relationship between nutrition and human health. Major coursework includes options like:

  • Intro to Human Nutrition
  • Quantity Food Production & Service
  • Management of Food Service Systems
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Community Nutrition

Students also have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on lab or practicum requirement that can be completed in the location of your choice. In order to become a registered dietitian, you may have to take additional coursework to earn that credential, but UA’s program can help you get there. Graduates of the program can choose from a variety of careers in sectors like medical centers, small hospitals, public health settings, community agencies, private consulting firms, higher education, or business and industry. The University of Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Net-Price Tuition: $20,465

#23 Benedictine University

Lisle, Illinois

BS in Nutrition and Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 2,718
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Minimum ACT 21 & minimum SAT 1060
Points: 11

Benedictine University offers a low-cost BS in Nutrition and Dietetics that will combine theory and hands-on experience through real-life immersion methods. Coursework includes classes like Medical Nutrition, Community Health and Nutrition Programs, Health Risk Assessment Lab, Nutrition Counseling, and Experimental Foods Lab. In addition, the program will explore the interrelationships of food, nutrition, health for disease prevention, and medical nutrition therapy intervention. If you enter this program at BU, you can rest assured it’s got accolades to back up your investment. The nutrition and dietetics major is accredited as a Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. You’ll even benefit from the small class sizes and manageable student/teacher ratio. Benedictine is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $25,508

#22 South Dakota State University

Brookings, South Dakota

BS in Nutrition and Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,544
Standardized Test Score Requirements: ACT 18 or SAT 950
Points: 12

South Dakota State University offers a low-cost BS in Nutrition and Dietetics through the Health and Nutritional Sciences Department. The program is designed for students who desire to become registered dietitians and even offers an ACEND-accredited internship. All admitted students will also get access to a departmental advisor to guide the academic process. In addition to a science-based curriculum, students can expect to take classes like Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutrigenomics and Molecular Nutrition, Foodservice Operations & Purchasing, Assessment Skills in Nutrition, and Foodservice Sanitation. For interested students, graduate-level degrees are available in Nutrition and Exercise Science or Dietetics as well. SDSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $18,253

#21 Missouri State University

Springfield, Missouri

Bachelor’s in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 20,138
Standardized Test Score Requirements: requirements vary
Points: 12

If you’re looking for an affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics that will give you individualized attention, take a good look at Missouri State University. Plus, your professors are practicing RD’s and LD’s themselves, so you’ll have the experienced guidance you need! Expect to take coursework in areas like Dietetics and Nutrition, Biomedical Science, Chemistry, Statistics, and a Public Affairs Capstone experience. Graduates of the program will complete an ACEND-accredited practicum and will be well on their way to becoming registered dietitians. Through the Biomedical Sciences Department, you’ll be able to choose an advisor in your field to help you become academically successful during your stint at MSU. Missouri State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $15,783

#20 Texas Woman’s University

Denton, Texas

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in Health Sciences (Nutrition Emphasis)

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,388
Standardized Test Score Requirements:
SAT: 1080 (based on Evidenced-Based Reading and Writing, and Math combined)
ACT: 21 (or above) composite
Points: 12

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Dallas, TX

Texas Woman’s University offers a cheap nutrition and dietetics degree that results in a BAAS in Health Sciences with an emphasis in Nutrition. It is important to note that this is a degree completion program, which means students will need an AAS to apply. In the remaining credits, you’ll take classes like:

  • Food and Culture
  • Sports and Nutrition
  • Health Care in Multicultural Settings
  • Nutrition throughout the Life Cycle

An emphasis option in general health sciences is available as well, which will also address subject matter like Human Resource Management. The multidisciplinary curriculum will prepare you for a wide range of nutrition-related careers. Texas Woman’s University strives to develop strong women leaders and even provides the state’s only Center for Women in Business. Texas Woman’s University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees.

Net-Price Tuition: $9,324

#19 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

BS in Nutrition Science

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 20,830
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 13
university-of-nebraska-lincoln

Through the College of Education and Human Sciences, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln offers a low-cost Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics as a BS in Nutrition Science. The program is designed to be a pre-health option, preparing students to continue study in medical, dental, nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, chiropractic and optometry schools. Among the 120 academic credits is a curriculum heavy in the sciences, including Biological Sciences, Nutrition and Health Sciences, and Chemistry. Students will get access to research centers and participate in hands-on research projects with assigned faculty. In addition, an honors program is available for advanced students. Note that students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher in order to be eligible for graduation. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Net Price Tuition: $17,315

#18 University of Southern Indiana

Evansville, Indiana

Bachelor’s in Food and Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,528
Standardized Test Score Requirements: ACT 26 or SAT 1260
Points: 15

The University of Southern Indiana’s cheap Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics comes by way of a Food and Nutrition major. Students will have the opportunity to put theory into practice through the program’s practicum course. In addition, the program will also use an innovative computer program to match graduates with the best didactics internship program for you. For those interested in meeting like-minded peers, two related organizations are available: Food and Nutrition Student Organization and Southern Roots Student Growers. You can also expect an advisor to help guide you from enrollment to graduation! To encourage you, in the last 5 years, graduates of this program have a 100% pass rate on the Registration Examination for Dietitians. The University of Southern Indiana is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $12,587

#17 Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, Michigan

Bachelor of General Studies with an emphasis in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 16,022
Standardized Test Score Requirements: No minimum requirements for admission, but scores are required. Students 21+ may not have to submit scores.
Points: 16

Eastern Michigan University’s low-cost nutrition and dietetics degree takes a different approach than others on this rankings list. It is truly a customizable degree. First, you’ll earn your Bachelor of General Studies. Next, you’ll choose 3 areas of emphasis to design a curriculum that is unique to you. Dietetics is one you can choose, including other related options like Business Foundations, Health and Business, Communication Studies, Social Diversity, or Applied Psychology. Among the 124 credits required, you can expect to take dietetics courses like:

To top it off, enrolled students will work hand-in-hand with a counselor to create an individualized curriculum that works for you and your specific career goals. It is important to note that this program is a degree completion program and requires at least 30 transferrable credits and a 2.0+ higher GPA for admission. EMU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,687

#16 University of North Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

BS in Nutrition and Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 14,583
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 16
Top 10 Online Colleges in Florida: Jacksonville, Florida

Designed as a ‘rigorous science-based program,’ the University of North Florida offers a cheap degree in nutrition and dietetics that results in a Bachelor of Science. Students will also specialize in a Didactic Program in Dietetics, which will prepare them for becoming a registered dietitian. The ACEND-accredited program is 120 credits in length and offers major courses like:

  • Life Span Nutrition
  • Food, Health, and Society
  • Nutrition Counsel and Community
  • Management Of Food/Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Fitness

In addition, seniors will take both a capstone and a field expo course. Graduates will be ready to take on careers in a variety of nutrition settings like hospitals, wellness centers, food companies, and more. The University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Net Price Tuition: $10,809

#15 University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

BS in Nutrition and Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 11,920
Standardized Test Score Requirements: requirements vary
Points: 17

The University of Southern Mississippi’s low-cost undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics is certainly a wise choice. Not only is the tuition extremely affordable, but the program also has a history of producing successful graduates! In fact, 90% of USM’s dietetics graduates get placement in an ACEND-accredited internship, and 90% of graduates also pass the RD exam on the first try. You’ll also get to pick from two areas of concentration: Didactic Program in Dietetics or Community Nutrition. Specific coursework could include: Concepts of Wellness, Communication Techniques in Nutrition, and Current Issues in Nutrition and Food Systems. Students will also take coursework in the Natural, Social, and Behavioral Sciences. Graduates will be ready for careers in a variety of nutrition settings like clinical dietetics, community nutrition, nutrition and food service management, education, and research. The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the baccalaureate, masters, specialists and doctoral levels.

Net Price Tuition: $13,773

#14 University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, Colorado

BS in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,232
Standardized Test Score Requirements: not mentioned
Points: 18

Top 10 Online Colleges in Colorado: Denver, Colorado

The University of Northern Colorado’s low-cost Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is a degree completion program. Sample classes include:

  • Nutrition Assessment and Intervention
  • Nutrition Education and Application Strategies
  • Food Service Systems Management
  • Community Nutrition

The Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework is included in the required 120-credit hours.  Completing that coursework will earn you a Verification Statement, which will qualify you for a dietetic internship. Then, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a Registered Dietician. Because this program includes all the required elements for the RD, if that’s your career goal, UNC would be a wise choice. UNC’s nutrition and dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Dietetics and Nutrition Education (ACEND).

Net-Price Tuition: $14,641

#13 Arizona State University

Scottsdale, Arizona

Bachelor of Science in Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio:  23 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 29,780
Standardized Test Score Requirements: ACT: 22 (24 nonresidents) or SAT: 1120 (1180 nonresidents)

Points: 18

Arizona State University offers an affordable Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. The BS in Nutrition degree’s mission is to help graduates promote a healthy lifestyle and learn to reduce the risk of chronic disease. To complete those missions, the curriculum will dive into health and wellness related research. Among your 40 total classes, you’ll take sample classes like:

  • Development of Healthy Cuisines
  • Eating for Lifelong Health
  • Preprofessional Preparation in Nutrition
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Perspectives on the Western Diet: Food, Health, and Sustainability

For those students interested in entrepreneurship, a unique Food Entrepreneurship track is available as well. Graduates of the program can choose from a wide variety of careers like: Food Writer, Community Health Worker, Food Service Manager, or Food Scientist. The US News and World Report has named ASU a top school for many areas, including #1 for innovation and #2 for online undergraduate degree programs for 2019. Arizona State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net-Price Tuition: $14,166

#12 Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

BS in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,754
Standardized Test Score Requirements: requirements vary
Points: 19

Western Illinois University’s low-cost Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics offering at the Macomb campus results in a BS degree. When it comes to reasons to choose WIU, the dietetics program will give you plenty. You’ll not only get personalized attention from faculty, but you’ll also get hands-on experience working with multiple populations of people (like children, adults, special needs, etc). Students will also have access to various student organizations that address nutrition-related issues like food and culture, food insecurity, and nutrition education. A related Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Foodservice Management and a minor in Sports Health and Wellness is also available. An honor’s curriculum is an option, too. WIU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $15,808

#11 Brigham Young University

BS in Dietetics or BS in Nutritional Sciences

Provo, Utah

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 31,441
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 19

At Brigham Young University, located in Provo, Utah, you can earn your affordable Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics in various ways. In fact, you can choose one of three degree options, including:

  • BS in Dietetics
  • BS in Food Science
  • BS in Nutritional Science

The BS in Dietetics will feature coursework like Nutritional Bio-organic Chemistry, Management in Dietetics, Essentials of Human Nutrition, and Community Nutrition. The BS in Food Science offers courses like Food Process Engineering, Food Analysis, Food Product Development, Food Chemistry, and Food Regulations and Quality Assurance. In the BS in Nutritional Science, you can take classes like Society, Nutrition, and Chronic Disease, Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics, Human Obesity, and Nutrition Through the Life Cycle. While the degrees are related, there are enough differences between them for you to hone in on your specific interests and take coursework that aligns with your passions and future career goals. Brigham Young University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Net Price Tuition: $13,120

#10 University of Houston

Houston, Texas

BS in Human Nutrition and Food

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 38,348
Standardized Test Score Requirements: requirements vary
Points: 20
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Houston, TX

The cheap nutrition and dietetics degree offering at the University of Houston comes in three different options. Students will earn a BS in Nutrition and Food, with concentration tracks in:

  • ACEND accreditation
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Nutritional Sciences

The ACEND accreditation track is perfect for students desiring to become registered dietitians. It is important to note that after completing the degree, students must apply for a supervised practicum and must also take an examination. The Nutrition and Fitness track will emphasize wellness, science, and kinesiology. The Nutritional Sciences track will emphasize nutrition and applied sciences prepare graduates for health professional programs in medicine, dental, optometry, or pharmacy. Students can get involved with like-minded students through the Student Nutrition Association. Members will not only get to attend meetings, but they will also get to volunteer and work with charitable organizations. The University of Houston is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, professional and doctoral degrees.

Net Price Tuition: $16,002

#9 Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Indiana, Pennsylvania

BS in Nutrition with emphasis in Dietetics

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,373
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Most admitted students have these minimum scores: SAT 1050 or ACT 22.
Points: 21

At the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, students can earn a low-cost degree in nutrition and dietetics that will prepare graduates for various careers in the food and nutrition fields. This ACEND-accredited BS in Nutrition is a great option for those desiring to become registered dietitians. Two areas of concentration are available in Dietetics or Culinary Dietetics. Coursework will include topics like nutrition and disease, careers in food and nutrition, experimental foods, food consumption patterns, nutrition counseling, hospitality purchasing, and principles of management. The benefits of the programs include a peer nutrition counseling service, interdisciplinary simulations, and a nutrition student organization. To help pay for the cost of your education, there are a number of nutrition-specific scholarships available. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Net Price Tuition: $19,646

#8 Texas A & M University

College Station, Texas

BS in Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 53,743
Standardized Test Score Requirements: requirements vary
Points: 21
Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Houston, TX

The affordable nutrition and dietetics degree offering at Texas A & M University results in a BS in Nutrition with three options for specialization. The first is the general nutrition track. The benefit of that? You’ll have a broad education that can direct you towards a multitude of career options or graduate degrees. With additional schooling or credentials, you could also pursue careers in pharmacy, public health, physical therapy, or dentistry. An option to add-on a teacher certification is also available with this track, which sets this program apart. It’s one of the only programs that provide the certification and is perfect for students desiring to enter the field of education! Or if becoming an RD is important to you, you could instead apply to the school’s Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) program. In addition, a graduate degree in Dietetics is also available. Both programs are accredited by the esteemed ACEND accrediting agency. The third area of concentration offers an extremely unique degree in Molecular and Experimental Nutrition. Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional levels.

Net Price Tuition: $19,118

#7 Florida State University

Tallahassee, Florida

BS in Dietetics or Food and Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 21 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 32,472
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 21
florida-state-university

Through the College of Human Sciences, students can earn a cheap Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics at Florida State University. You can even choose between options in Dietetics or Food and Nutrition. Those students wanting to become a registered dietician should choose the ACEND accredited BS in Dietetics. In addition, you’ll need to complete an approved internship, pass an examination, and gain licensure. Sample coursework includes Food and Society, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Intermediary Metabolism of Nutrients, and Food Service Management. On the other hand, the Food and Nutrition degree will prepare graduates for a career in university teaching or research, medicine, the food industry, or government. Coursework for this program could include Science of Nutrition, General Psychology, Food Safety and Quality, Functional Anatomy and Physiology, and Food Science. Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Net Price Tuition: $13,318

#6 Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food Science

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 25,962
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 22

The cheap degree in nutrition and dietetics offering at Colorado State University is a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Food Science. This degree will merge both science and human service to create a program that will address all areas of nutrition and food. As one of the most customizable programs on this list, you’ll be able to choose between four different areas of concentration:

  • Dietetics and Nutrition Management
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Nutritional Sciences (Pre-Health)
  • Food Safety and Nutrition

Furthermore, the Dietetics and Nutrition Management option also offers 3 areas: Accredited Didactic Program, Childhood Nutrition, and Gerontology Nutrition. To top it off, students won’t just learn theory. You will also study life/professional skills like techniques of interviewing, counseling, information management, and effective communication. Colorado State is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Net Price Tuition: $17,914

#5 Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

BS in Nutrition

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 25,699
Standardized Test Score Requirements: ACT/SAT scores must be submitted electronically, but no minimum score is discussed.
Points: 23
oregon-state-university

The affordable nutrition and dietetics offerings at Oregon State University are vast. Offered through the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, you can choose between four major options:

  • Pre-Dietetics
  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition and Health Sciences
  • Nutrition and Foodservice Sciences

Whichever program you choose, you’ll be studying food science, nutrition, and the behavioral/social impacts of food through a holistic view. Students who desire to become RD’s should choose the Dietetics option, and are able to take the ACEND-accredited supervised internship through OSU. Graduates will be ready to take on careers in fitness/wellness centers, education, healthcare, food services, restaurants, and pre-health professions. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher, can graduate with honors through OSU’s Honor’s College. Oregon State University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Net Price Tuition: $18,625

#4 University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 34,153
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Test scores optional.
Points: 23

university-of-arizona

The cheap Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics offering at the University of Arizona is a BS in Nutritional Sciences. Two areas of emphasis are available: Nutrition or Dietetics. The specialization in Nutrition will focus on how science relates to food, utilizing subjects like medicine, food chemistry, cell biology, and biochemistry. Coursework will include classes like:

  • Sports Nutrition
  • Diet Genes and Disease
  • Experiential Learning in Nutritional Sciences

While the Dietetics emphasis will also focus on science, it will help prepare you to become a Registered Dietician. Your curriculum will focus on nutrition courses, community health and wellness, disease prevention, food industry, and counseling. Specific courses are:

  • Lifecycle Nutrition
  • Foundations in Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Community Nutrition

A graduate Master’s level degree in Applied Nutrition is also an option for those interested. The University of Arizona’s Dietetics program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Net-Price Tuition: $15,594

#3 University of Texas at Austin

Austin, Texas

BSA in Nutritional Sciences

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,804
Standardized Test Score Requirements: Scores are required, but no minimum is discussed.
Points: 24

If you’re looking for options, the University of Texas at Austin’s cheap Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics might be the one for you. You can choose between two different degree types: a Bachelor of Science and Arts in Nutrition or a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. The latter then offers a vast 6 options for specialization:

  • Dietetics
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Nutrition and Public Health
  • Honors in Advanced Nutritional Sciences
  • Nutrition Honors
  • International Nutrition

Students can apply to the school’s honor’s college as well as for several scholarships. And to make your transition from college to the real world seamless, UT-Austin’s career services can help you get the development you need. The University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, professional, masters, and doctorate degrees.

Net Price Tuition: $14,156

#2 University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

Bachelor’s in Nutritional Sciences

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,133
Standardized Test Score Requirements: No minimum score required.
Points: 26
university-of-connecticut

At the University of Connecticut, you can earn your affordable degree in nutrition and dietetics by way of a degree in Nutritional Sciences. This program is offered through the school’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. To customize your degree, you can choose an area of emphasis in Dietetics or Nutritional Sciences. Though the degrees are related, they are quite different in nature–and you’ll want to really know the differences so you can make the best choice for your future. If you are wanting to become an RD, you’ll want to choose the concentration in dietetics. Students in this program will take a real-world internship course. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). If you want a less intense program instead, try the degree in nutritional sciences. In addition, related minors are offered in Food Science and Nutrition for Exercise and Sport.

Net Price Tuition: $19,650

#1 Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

B.S. in Dietetics or Nutrition and Health

Website
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1
Undergraduate Enrollment: 9,350
Standardized Test Score Requirements: ACT composite score of 21 or SAT score of 1060
Points: 30

kansas-state-university

Kansas State University offers several flexible options for cheap Bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and dietetics:

  • BS in Dietetics
  • BS in Nutrition and Health

The Dietetics path is probably best for students seeking to become RDs (Registered Dietitians), and the Nutrition/Health path is better for pre-professional students who seek to work in public health or gain admission to graduate-level programs. Either path allows for several minor options, including Bakery Science, Human Development and Family Science, Hospitality Management, Food Science and Industry, Business, and more. Affordable Colleges awarded KSU a top 5 spot in the US’s most affordable programs, so you can get the education you need without breaking the bank. While the KSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, this low-cost degree in dietetics is additionally accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Net-Price Tuition: $18,002

What is an affordable Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

If you’re thinking about getting a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, it is important to understand the ins and outs of the discipline before you jump in. First of all, you’ll really need to love science, as the programs will have a strong science-based curriculum as a foundation. You will examine various forms of science like natural, social, and behavioral sciences, but with an emphasis on the food and nutrition field.

Though the terms ‘nutrition and dietetics’ are typically used together, they aren’t mutually exclusive. So, it might be important to learn a little bit more about each. Some degrees will group the studies together for a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, while other programs will separate them into two different degrees.

Nutrition: the study of food as it relates to science and the human body. You will explore the elements of food, how the body absorbs food, and what happens to the body when there is a lack of nutrients.

Dietetics: more of a professional study with the intent to become a healthcare professional that can assess, treat, and diagnose issues in nutrition.

What concentrations are available for a cheap Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

A concentration is considered an area of emphasis within your given degree. It could focus the electives you take, and will help you hone in on skills you will need for your future career.

Although a low-cost degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is already pretty specific, you can still find several areas of concentration. Examples we explore in this ranking include options like:

  • Food Entrepreneurship
  • Molecular and Experimental Nutrition
  • Nutritional Sciences
  • Dietetics and Nutrition Management
  • Nutrition and Fitness
  • Nutritional Sciences (Pre-Health)
  • Food Safety and Nutrition
  • Childhood Nutrition
  • Gerontology Nutrition.
  • Nutrition and Public Health
  • Honors in Advanced Nutritional Sciences
  • Nutrition Honors
  • International Nutrition

Depending on your program, you could take classes that explore the molecular makeup of the elements of food or even the societal or behavioral motivations behind the food choices various populations of people make. Options and career choices are vast–so choose wisely!

What minors would best accompany an affordable degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

A minor is slightly different from a concentration. Not all schools will offer areas of concentration, but just about all schools will allow you to add-on a minor. The easiest way to make the distinction between the two is that a concentration is typically offered within the same department as your major and works hand in hand with it. However, the minor can come from another department and is intended as a complement to your degree. The minor will help broaden your curriculum and your skillset, giving you a solid multi-disciplinary education!

You’ll have many minor options to choose from, all of which will vary from school to school. Typically, to add on a minor, you will take about 15 extra credit hours (will depend on the program), which is about 5 additional classes. Some schools will even allow these classes to take the place of electives, enabling you to customize your degree to fit your goals. A few minors that could be helpful in the nutrition/dietetics field are: education, health education, food science, exercise science, community health, social diversity, business, or health administration.

What coursework can I expect to take in my low-cost nutrition and dietetics degree?

It’s true that each program’s coursework will vary, but at its core, a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics will explore a similar academic foundation. The science-based education in a Nutrition and Dietetics degree could address key subject matters like:

  • food
  • nutrition
  • various sciences: biochemistry, biology
  • food service systems management
  • cultural aspects of food
  • nutritional counseling

Here are a few of the specific classes that the programs on this list address:

  • Development of Healthy Cuisines
  • Eating for Lifelong Health
  • Preprofessional Preparation in Nutrition
  • Nutrition in the Life Cycle
  • Perspectives on the Western Diet: Food, Health, and Sustainability

Affordable Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics FAQs:

Q: Should my affordable undergraduate nutrition degree program have special accreditation?

The answer to this question will depend on what you plan to do after you graduate. But, it’s important to remember that if you want to become a Registered Dietician, you will need a degree from an ACEND-accredited school. There’s no way around that. So if it’s even possible you will become an RD, it would be wise to enroll in an ACEND-accredited program to save you the hassle later.

According to their website, the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the accrediting agency for “education programs preparing students for careers as registered dietitian nutritionists or nutrition and dietetics technicians, registered.” Some schools on this ranking list with the ACEND accreditation are the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Arizona, Kansas State University, and the University of Alabama.

Q: What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietician?

People seem to use the words ‘Nutritionist’ and ‘Dietician’ interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! Both nutritionists and dietitians are considered health professionals and study how diet can affect overall human health. However, a dietician will typically have more credentials and regulation. A nutritionist is someone who gives general nutrition/food advice, while a registered dietician can diagnosis eating disorders and treat medical conditions on top of giving nutritional advice. Think of a nutritionist more like a consultant–and the dietician as more of a medical professional.

Q: Will I be a Registered Dietician when I graduate with my affordable degree in nutrition and dietetics?

No, you will not. In order to become a registered dietician, you’ll need to do a few things first. After graduating with your Bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to complete an ACEND-approved supervised clinical program, pass the CDR registration exam, and take ongoing professional credits to maintain status. Most Dietetics programs will prepare you for all of these steps and guide you through the process. Remember, if becoming an RD is your goal, you must graduate from a program that is ACEND accredited.

Q: Do I need a Master’s degree to become a Registered Dietician?

Technically, you do not need a graduate-level degree, yet. However, starting on January 1, 2024, the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) will require a Master’s degree in any field for registration eligibility. We know 2024 sounds like a long time away, but it’s not, especially if you’re just starting college. That could mean by the time you graduate, a Master’s degree will be required. A few programs on this list offer graduate-level degrees in the nutrition field as well. Consider a program that offers both degrees, and you’ll be able to seamlessly transfer from one program to another!

Q: Does a Nutritionist need special certification?

This answer will vary based on your location. Some states require licensure, and some do not. It might be wise to get credentials just in case. And even if they aren’t required for your state, it could help you gain credibility with your clients–or set you apart from other nutritionists!

Q: Should I become a Nutritionist or a Dietician?

Hopefully, by now, we’ve made the difference between the two careers clear. The answer to this question will really be up to you and what you want to do with your life. If working with people and their food choices or food plans is interesting to you, consider becoming a nutritionist. It could also be a great background for a food writer or food blogger as well. If you’d rather treat patients, be able to diagnose eating disorders and work with patients medically, you’ll want to pursue the longer path of becoming a registered dietician.

Q: Is getting a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics worth it?

You bet! The US Bureau of Labor and Statistic’s research proves that employment opportunities in nutrition and dietetics are projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026. This kind of imminent growth proves you’re on the right track!

Q: How useful is my affordable degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

Food makes the world go round, and it’s something people will need every day. And with the rise in food-related disease and food allergies, people need more help than ever. Therefore, helping people or organizations manage food and food-related issues will always be a necessity.

Q: How will I pay for my cheap nutrition and dietetics degree?

Paying for college can be scary, but it’s an investment in your future that will be worth it. But we know that it’s still daunting to think about. First, choose a program that has both the degree you want and the tuition rate you can afford. Beyond that, you can always apply for special scholarships (or ones through your state!). If you need to work while in school, consider getting a job on campus. This will not only help cut down on commute times, but you might also get tuition and/or room and board discounts!

Q: How long will it take to get my low-cost Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics?

If you take a full-time load, you can finish your degree in just about 4 years on average. Other factors could lengthen the time, however. For example, if you change majors or decide to take courses on a part-time basis, expect to add time to your education.

Q: Can I work while I get my affordable undergrad degree in nutrition and dietetics?

Technically, yes you could. However, it is important to remember that it could be a lot to juggle. If it’s necessary for you to work and go to school, consider taking your courses part-time or even finding a job on-campus to cut down on travel time.

Q: What kind of on-campus support can I expect?

Academically, you’ll have all kinds of support from tutoring, to career services, to writing centers. Most schools also have multi-cultural support centers, as well as programs to support those with disabilities or who identify in the LGBTQ community. Some schools will even have program-specific student organizations to help you network and learn from peers in the same field.

Nutrition/Dietetics Career FAQs:

Q: What are some careers I can pursue with my low-cost degree in Nutrition and Dietetics?

The thing about a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics is that your career options will be wide. Isn’t that comforting? Choose from settings like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, cafeterias, schools, wellness centers, gyms, and government agencies. You could even pursue an entrepreneurial route and own your own consulting or nutrition-related business! A few career options could include:

  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Food Label Specialist
  • Nutrition Service Manager
  • Health/Food Blogger
  • Clinical Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Writer

Some jobs related to dietetics might require additional certification:

  • Registered Dietician
  • Pediatric Dietician
  • Renal Dietician
  • Oncology Dietician

Q: In short, what do dietitians and nutritionists do on a day-to-day basis?

Dietitians and nutritionists will help improve people’s lives through food. Whether that’s helping people achieve a food or health-related goal or guiding people to the right healthy lifestyle, you will be in the business of making people’s lives better.

Q: What kind of salary can I expect with a degree in nutrition and dietetics degree?

With a nutrition/dietetics degree, you can earn salaries like the following (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics):

  • Dietician/Nutritionist: $60,370 per year
  • Food Scientist: $64,020 per year
  • Writer: $62,170 per year
  • Health Educator and Community Health Worker: $46,080 per year

Q: Are there any professional organizations for people in Nutrition/Dietetics related careers?

Absolutely! If you join a professional organization, you’ll stay up to date on best practices, helpful current information, research, and studies in your given field. You’ll even meet like-minded peers and begin to build a network of colleagues. A few options include the following:

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