How do I Choose the Best Nutritionist Programs?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2019
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There are four items to look for when selecting the best nutritionist programs: accreditation, faculty reputations, links to industry and medical school, and graduate programs. A nutritionist program is available from a university and provides the training required to become a nutritionist. The role of nutritionist is to provide advice to clients on dietary matters and to conduct research on the impact of nutrition on health and well-being.

Nutritionist and dietitian are two terms that are often confused. A nutritionist is someone who has studied nutritional sciences and/or has an interest or background in nutrition. A dietitian has a degree in nutritional sciences and has passed a certification examination. The term dietitian can only be used by someone who has passed this examination. Nutritionist can be used by anyone.

The best nutritionist programs are offered by accredited schools. Accreditation is the process of an independent review by an outside agency. During the review, the accreditation institution reviews the academic and administrative policies of the school, as well as the course materials.

These items are evaluated against a minimal standard. Once this standard is met, the institute can be given accreditation. Only courses completed at an accredited school can be transferred to other institutions. In addition, accredited schools are eligible to offer their students access to government student aid programs.


Research the names and academic credentials of the teaching staff or faculty. This information should be available on the website for the nutrition school. Read scientific and nutritionist journals to determine the types of research the faculty are pursuing and how active they are. This information provides insight into overall activity and dedication to the field of nutritional studies.

The best nutritionist programs have close ties to both industry and the medical community. Look at the types of guest speakers, frequency of nutritional seminars, job fairs, and related networking opportunities. All these items indicate the level of connection to the actual industry. These connections are important, as they will result in courses that are relevant, instructors that are in touch with the changing needs of businesses, and students who are able to apply with confidence for positions, knowing they have the latest training.

Graduate programs available at the best nutritionist programs include master's and doctoral degrees, as well as certificate programs in nutrition. These programs may focus on a specific type of client, geographical area, or recent scientific development. Schools with active graduate programs are able to attract the best faculty due to the ability to conduct research and teach the more interesting courses.



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