EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features

Online PhD Programs in Nutrition & Fitness

If the thought of advancing health through food energizes and excites you, pursuing a PhD in Nutrition online might be an ideal choice for you. Healthy eating as an essential part of overall wellness is no longer a passing fad but a way of life for many Americans today. In addition, food is more commonly being looked upon as a form of medicine insofar as we have learned much about the healing and preventative properties of the foods we eat.

Enrolling in an online PhD in Nutrition program might be an important step toward a bright future, opening doors to pursue a new career or perhaps enhancing your current career. Earning a PhD in Nutrition degree may offer preparation for you to pursue careers in nutrition through coursework as well as research.

Coursework for a PhD in Nutrition & Fitness Programs

The curriculum in an online PhD in Nutrition program generally covers a wide range of science courses designed to give students the information they may need to pursue career paths in nutrition science. Common courses in a program may include these areas: [i]

  • General Biochemistry
  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Statistics
  • Human Physiology
  • Foundations of Public Health
  • Proteins

Students may also take courses on special topics such as cancer research, bone physiology or metabolic disease. The work required during the course of a PhD in Nutrition online program might involve detailed research methodologies and documentations. Written dissertations may be required in the course of completing a program.

What Skills Might You Develop to Pursue a PhD in Nutrition & Fitness?

There are a variety of skills that may benefit a candidate interested in pursuing a PhD in Nutrition. Depending upon the career path that one wishes to seek, following are some characteristics that nutritionists may have: [ii]

  • Analytical Skills—Able to understand detailed scientific research, analyze data and translate data to others.
  • Compassion—Understanding the physical, emotional and educational needs of students, clients and patients.
  • Listening Skills—Able to listen to client goals and develop a cohesive plan, possibly with healthcare that matches the stated goals.
  • Problem Solving—Seek unique solutions to different situations where there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Organization—Able to take client information and turn that into an actionable plan with the ability to effectively map the progress.
  • Communication—Translate complex concepts so that they are understandable by others.

While some career paths may have more reliance on communication skills than others, the process of earning a PhD in Nutrition online might require extensive writing, especially for a dissertation.

What Are Some Possible Career Paths for People Who Earn a PhD in Nutrition & Fitness?

After earning a PhD in Nutrition, people might be ready to pursue any number of career paths. Following are some options that you may be interested in:

  • Dietitian or Nutritionist—$56,950 median annual salary in 2014 with 16% projected employment growth from 2014-2024[iii]. While this job’s entry-level education is a bachelor’s degree, many dieticians and nutritionists hold advanced degrees. A nutritionist or dietician may work in a clinical setting, like a hospital, in government agencies, in non-profit agencies or in health management organizations. They may also work in school, prison, hospital or other cafeterias. [iv]
  • Postsecondary Teacher—$70,790 median annual salary in 2014 with 13% projected employment growth from 2014-2024.[v] These teachers may work in universities, colleges or technical schools. Jobs may be found in a variety of academic areas including nursing, law, culinary arts and more. In addition to teaching, they may engage in research or the publishing of their work.[vi]
  • Postsecondary Health Specialist Teacher—$90,210 median annual salary in 2014 with 14% or higher projected employment growth from 2014-2024[vii]. The exact pay for this job may fluctuate depending upon the type of institution. For example, a four-year university may offer a slightly higher salary than would a two-year community college.

Earning a PhD in Nutrition could open up a wealth of different worlds to you depending upon your knowledge, areas of strength and interests. If you wish to work directly with people in a capacity focused on helping them improve their lives, a job as a dietician or nutritionist might be a good option to pursue. If you love the idea of sharing ideas and helping others learn new things, teaching at the postsecondary level may appeal to you.

No matter which of these career paths appeal to you, they are all projected to offer job growth in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 13% projected job growth for postsecondary teachers and the 16% projected job growth[vi] for dieticians and nutritionists is above average.[iv]

If you would like to know more about what you may be able to pursue after earning a PhD in Nutrition and what program options may be available to you, contact the school of your choice.


[i]health.oregonstate.edu/degrees/graduate/nutrition/phd [ii]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-4 [iii]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-2 [iv]bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-2 [v]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-2 [vi]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-2 [vii]bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm#tab-5

Related Articles

Find Schools