PG Nutrition in Canada: Cost, Eligibility, Universities and Opportunities

Are you planning to study nutrition in Canada? Or, looking to immigrate to Canada as a Nutritionist. Well, you’re in luck! Nutritionists are in demand right across Canada. At present, Dietitians and nutritionists are in the Eligible Federal Skilled Worker Occupations List 2021 – 2022. In this article, we will look at the career opportunities and top universities for Masters (MSc/MPH) in nutrition in Canada.

What is Nutrition

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Nutrition as ‘a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to the improved infant, child, and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.’

Healthy dietary practices must start early on in life. Malnutrition on the one hand and obesity on the other are the two major threats that come in the path of nutrition. The main target is to achieve a balance between energy intake and energy expenditure. As long as there is an equilibrium, nutrition is optimum. A healthy diet helps fight against malnutrition, obesity, and other non-communicable diseases.

Career, Scopes and Demand

Nutrition and Dietetics go hand in hand with the medical and fitness sectors. Thus, if you are a nutrition graduate, you might get spoilt for the choice of career options you seek to embark on. Nutritionists, primarily, cater to the needs of their patients and/or clients. Their basic goal is to guide the concerned person into healthy eating and proper fitness habits.

The diverse career options in nutrition:

  • Clinical Dietecian
  • Sports Nutritionist
  • Public Health Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Therapist
  • Pediatric Nutritionist
  • Veterinary Nutritionist
  • Nutrition Educator

Other options include:

  • Health Coach
  • Life Coach
  • Health Educators
  • Community Health Workers
  • Rehabilitation Counselors

Nutrition Job Market in Canada

Over the last decade, the accelerated growth stemmed from the active promotion of healthy living habits towards improving the overall health and the management of illnesses such as diabetes and celiac disease.

Furthermore, the combat against obesity and the stronger desire to improve physical performance and appearance had a positive impact on the demand for nutritionists and dieticians. As a larger share of the population continues being educated into healthy living, this strong growth is expected to continue.

For Dietitians and nutritionists, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 4,900, while 4,900 new job seekers are expected to be available to fill them.

Best Locations for Nutrition Jobs in Canada

The place (in Canada) of work determines the job prospects of any registered dietician. Over the next 3 years, provinces like Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec are presumed to offer fair prospects. Opportunities could remain undetermined in areas like Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon Territory. However, nutrition graduates can land a perfect deal, if they are looking for career options in Saskatchewan.

Over the next 10 years (2019-2028), the job vacancies for dieticians and nutritionists are expected to be around 4900. These vacancies, mainly arise out of expansion demand and replacement demand. New job seekers, which include school leavers, fresh graduates, and new immigrants are expected to fill up these vacancies. Nutritionists and dieticians earn around $23.08 – $49.50  per hour in Canada. However, even here, the place of work determines the daily wage of the professional.

Nutrition Jobs in Canada

Job titles and exact duties vary in this occupation and examples of some job titles are clinical dietitian, nutrition and dietetics researcher, and registered nutritionist.

Nutritionists looking to move to Canada to work under this NOC category 3132, might be employed under work titles including: 

  • administrative Nutritionist
  • administrative nutritionist
  • clinical Nutritionist
  • clinical nutritionist
  • community Nutritionist
  • community nutritionist
  • consultant Nutritionist
  • consultant nutritionist
  • dietetic consultant
  • dietician
  • Nutritionist
  • Nutritionist-nutritionist
  • nutrition and dietetics researcher
  • nutrition consultant
  • nutrition researcher
  • nutrition specialist
  • nutritionist
  • private practice Nutritionist
  • professional Nutritionist (P.Dt.)
  • professional nutritionist
  • public health Nutritionist
  • public health nutritionist
  • registered Nutritionist (RD)
  • registered Nutritionist-nutritionist (RDN)
  • registered nutritionist
  • registered professional Nutritionist
  • registered professional nutritionist
  • research Nutritionist
  • research nutritionist
  • therapeutic Nutritionist
  • therapeutic nutritionist

Nutrition Salaries in Canada

A typical full-time annual salary for a nutritionist in Canada is in the region of CAD $60,000 – $80,000.

The table below gives a detailed account

Canadian ProvinceMinimum ($ per hour)Medium ($ per hour)Maximum ($ per hour)
British Columbia23.8533.0042.73
New Brunswick18.3933.3340.15
Newfoundland & LabradorN/AN/AN/A
Northwest TerritoriesN/AN/AN/A
Nova Scotia22.5633.0038.00
Prince Edward IslandN/AN/AN/A
Yukon TerritoryN/AN/AN/A

Typical Curriculum for Graduate Programs in Nutrition in Canada

As discussed earlier, nutrition and dietetics work closely with the medical and fitness sectors. Therefore, any course curriculum, designed for nutrition, will have the following subjects:

  • Nutrition
  • Human Biology
  • General Chemistry
  • Human Anatomy
  • General Microbiology / Biochemistry
  • General Psychology / Social Science
  • Basic Statistics and Probability

Apart from these, nutritionists and dieticians need to have excellent communication skills. This is because they deal with real people and real issues. Convincing a prospective client/patient (by understanding the psyche) and diverting him/her into a healthy lifestyle pattern, calls for utmost patience and communicative skill. A basic understanding of labor relations, facility design, food modification, and quality management of sanitation and safety procedures also come helpful in this branch of study.

Types of Master’s Degrees: MSc vs MPH

Master of Science (MSc) in Nutrition in Canada

The MSc program offers opportunities for advanced study and original investigations in basic and applied human nutrition. The curriculum includes coursework and thesis research through laboratory or fieldwork in a variety of areas relevant to human nutrition including nutrient metabolism, diet, and disease, nutrition through the life cycle, and nutrition behaviors.

Finally, for MSc programs, you need to find a potential supervisor before applying.

Master of Public Health (MPH) in Nutrition in Canada

The MPH program (formerly known as Community Nutrition) offers students opportunities to develop expertise in dietetic practice within the health and food systems, from disease prevention to palliation.

The curriculum provides robust academic and experiential opportunities across the health spectrum to address the health of individuals and populations from prevention to palliation.  prepares students for eligibility for registration with a provincial dietetics regulatory body. Registered Dietitians will play a pivotal role to lead nutrition and dietetic practice within an evolving clinical public health landscape.

Generally, a faculty supervisor is NOT required for this program.

Top Universities & Colleges for Nutrition in Canada

Canada is considered to be one of the most popular study destinations. The country emphasizes attracting international students who van later immigrate. Canada also ensures fair treatment of students, their safety, and the comfort of their stay. The focus on high-quality universities is the reason why is Canada one of the best countries for Education. Enlisted below are some of the top colleges which offer a postgraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics:

Top Universities Offering MSc Nutrition in Canada

  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Guelph

Top Universities Offering MPH Nutrition in Canada

  • University of Toronto
  • Memorial University
  • University of Alberta
  • Victoria University
  • Ryerson University

Eligibility for Pursuing Masters in Nutrition in Canada

The Faculty of Graduate Studies in Canada establishes a few minimum requirements common for all applicants. They look for an average B+ range. However, different branches of study have different specifications.

For a Masters degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, the minimum eligibility criteria is to have a Science degree in the undergraduate course. This apart, the prerequisite courses include human physiology, biochemistry, and advanced nutrition. Biochemistry and physiology require three hours per week for one academic year (3 credits), and nutrition requires 12 credits. These credits must be completed in the 3rd or 4th year.

Students with less than 12 credits in the UG nutrition course, or those who do not have a nutrition background, may as well apply for the course. In that case, they need to take these missing credits in their 3rd / 4th year, along with the usual MSc course requirements. Besides these, English Language Tests like TOEFL (with an overall 90 score) and IELTS (with an overall 6.5 score) are mandatory. GRE and GMAT may not necessarily be required for certain courses.

Cost of Studying Masters in Nutrition in Canada

Masters degree in nutrition in Canada provides a candidate with a combination of varied practical experiences, intriguing research opportunities, and advanced coursework. Universities also have accredited Internship Stream placement opportunities. Once the candidate has successfully completed the full course, s/he can move forward in becoming a registered nutritionist.

Same courses in different colleges have different fee structures. For Canadian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, and diplomats, the tuition fees are ~$5197.59CAD. for international students, it is ~$9131.31CAD

Certain universities also offer financial support to students in the form of need-based and merit-based opportunities.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

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