AHN Careers

There are many career paths for students in the Applied Human Nutrition (AHN) Program.

Registered Dietitian
Work Right After Your Degree
Community College and Post-Degree Programs
Graduate School/Advanced Training
Graduate Programs at the University of Guelph
Armed Forces and Action Against Hunger

Registered Dietitian

To become a registered dietitian (RD) in Ontario, once you have graduated with the undergraduate degree in AHN with an Area of Emphasis in Dietetics, you will need to complete one of the accredited training opportunities such as a dietetic practicum, or a masters or diploma program with a practicum component. Visit the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP) website, Accredited Programs in Canada section and review the Post Degree Practicum and Combined Masters Practicum Programs to identify the various accredited training programs available in Canada.

Accredited training programs in Ontario are administered by educational institutions and in other provinces by health care organizations and/or universities. The length of these training programs varies from 11 months to 24 months. Please consult the webpages of the training programs you are interested in for specific details on length and application processes. Entry to a dietetic practicum, a masters or diploma program with a practicum  component is competitive.

Finally, you need to pass the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE) in order to become a full member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario. Specific events, dates and processes change each year. When in fourth year, be sure to watch your uoguelph email account for updates and important information.

Examples of positions held by our graduates who have completed training to become a registered dietitian include:

  • Public Health Nutritionist, Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
  • Registered Dietitian, Woolwich Community Health Centre, St. Jacobs
  • Home Care Dietitian, Therapy Partners Inc., Guelph
  • Clinical Dietitian, Cambridge Memorial Hospital
  • Outpatient Cardiology Dietitian, Lipid Research Clinic, Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation
  • Community Dietitian, Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, Sheguiandah, ON
  • Public Health Dietitian, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Health Unit
  • Licensing Nutritionist, Capital Health Region, Victoria, BC
  • Clinical Dietitian, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

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Work Right After Your Degree

Alternatively, if you are not interested in pursuing a career in dietetics as a registered dietitian and prefer instead to work right after your degree, then as a first step, check with the UoG Career Advisors and the hundreds of jobs are currently posted on Experience Guelph. Many graduates find nutrition related employment right out of university, in hospitals, nursing homes, supermarkets, food and supplement companies, public health departments, and restaurants. The “skills profile” you have compiled throughout your AHN program will help you to select which jobs to apply for and to sell yourself to potential employers. Also, check labour market information at the following links:

Examples of first positions obtained by AHN graduates who did not pursue being a registered dietitian:

  • Quality Assurance Analyst, David Roberts Food Corporation
  • Nutrition Science and Regulatory Affairs Intern, PepsiCo Canada
  • Community Food Worker, Canadian Prenatal Nutrition Program
  • Employment Counsellor, Human Resources and Development Canada
  • Research Assistant, School of Physical and Health Education
  • Dietetic Technician, Cambridge Memorial Hospital
  • Food Supervisor, St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • Manager of Health Products, Supermarket
  • Consumer Hotline, Food Safety Network, University of Guelph
  • Manager, Marketing and Communications, Breakfast for Learning, Canadian Living Foundation
  • Food Service Supervisor, Norfolk General Hospital
  • Dietetic Assistant, Hamilton Health Sciences
  • Quality Assurance Technologist, Canada Bread
  • Nutrition Education Specialist, District of Columbia Central Kitchen

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Community College and Post-Degree Programs

Community colleges offer an ever-expanding array of certificate programs and diplomas. These include numerous programs in culinary, hospitality, health care, business, human resource management, health promotion, etc. It has become challenging to navigate all the options – you need to do your homework.

When you find a college program that you are interested in, please check to see if it is at an accredited educational institution and if students who attend are eligible for OSAP. The Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) has a listing of accredited colleges on-line at www.ontariocolleges.ca.

If the college program you are interested in is in another province, it is important to confirm it is based in an accredited educational institution by checking on the provincial government website. It is important to check on the accreditation of an educational institution as only an accredited institution can deliver post-secondary credit courses and is audited for quality by the provincial accrediting body. A non-accredited institution or program is not recognized by the provincial accrediting body and may deliver certificate programs that may or may not be of high quality. Thus, private training colleges are not accredited as credit-granting institutions. Although some may have excellent programs, and may lead to employment, they will not provide credentials that are accredited by MAESD. Make an informed decision regarding these programs. It may be possible to acquire advanced standing in a college program via exemptions for similar courses earned from another accredited institution, so contact the department of the program you are interested in directly, rather than the registrar’s or admissions  department, for academic advice.

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Graduate School/Advanced Training

Graduates from the AHN program are eligible for many graduate programs in Canada, United States and other countries. Graduate degrees are becoming more diverse: some train for research careers (MSc, PhD and require a thesis) and some for advanced practice. All course-based or professional Master programs may have a research project requirement. Make sure you are aware of the pros and cons of different programs. A professional master’s degree may not allow you to go on to a doctoral program if you are really interested in research. If you are interested in graduate school, discuss your options with the Faculty Advisor or other AHN faculty. They will be happy to advise you.

Besides being eligible for all types of graduate programs in food and nutrition, AHN graduates may be eligible for programs in public health, medicine, education, business administration or epidemiology. Finding relevant Canadian or international graduate programs in applied nutrition can be challenging as nutrition is often not listed as a subject area on world ranking websites.

To find US programs and some Canadian programs, please see the Graduate Program Directory on the American Society for Nutrition website. To find Canadian doctoral programs, consult the Canadian Nutrition Society website. Other approaches include checking the institutional affiliations of authors of research articles in your interest areas and talking to AHN faculty.

Once you identify the relevant universities, all will have websites where you can find out about their graduate programs and their admission requirements. Some graduate programs qualify graduates to apply to become a Registered Dietitian. They may be either MSc research-based or course-based programs. For example, the Guelph Master of Applied Nutrition (MAN) was among the first such professional programs. It is a one-year intensive graduate program with internship (see below). The MHSc program in Community Nutrition at University of Toronto, the MSc in Food and Nutrition at Brescia (Western University) and the MHSc in Nutrition Communication at Ryerson University in Toronto all have an internship component. Other Canadian universities offering combined masters/dietetic internship/practicum programs are Mount Saint Vincent University, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and McGill University. Check their websites for more details.

A listing of Master programs in Public Health available in Canada may be found at the Educational Programs in Public Health on the Government of Canada website . Some master’s programs in the United States also have been accredited by the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dietitians of Canada has a reciprocal agreement to recognize the comparable training programs in the two countries. Graduates of these programs could apply to write the Canadian Registration Examination through the provincial regulatory body. In Ontario, the provincial regulatory body is the College of Dietitians of Ontario.

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AHN Graduate Programs at the University of Guelph

Our department offers the only PhD in Applied Human Nutrition in Ontario, in addition to the Masters (M.Sc. and MAN) programs. Information on applying is found on the Graduate Programs at FRAN website. Admission is competitive. The MSc program is two full years (six semesters) during which students conduct a research study and write a thesis. Graduates from the MSc program may find employment in applied research or health promotion positions that do not require being a registered dietitian or may choose to apply for a dietetic practicum. Some graduates go on to the doctoral (PhD) program. Each fall, the Department holds an information session for fourth year students interested in graduate school. Please see the FRAN Graduate Information Events page for further information.

The Master of Applied Nutrition program at the University of Guelph is a professional master's program which provides a one-year, competency-based coursework/ professional experiential option in the AHN graduate program. The program is accredited to meet the Integrated Competencies for Dietetic Education and Practice (ICDEP, www.pdep.ca). Graduates are eligible to write the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination. Students complete three practical and specified graduate courses. They also curate a dossier of applied research experiences, in lieu of doing a thesis. This program is well suited to students who intend to be practicing dietitians, rather than research dietitians or academics, as the MAN program does not include courses in research methods or statistics.

If you are interested in an AHN graduate program, discuss your options with the Faculty Advisor, other AHN faculty, or with the department’s graduate coordinator. Graduates of the doctoral program may pursue academic positions, but opportunities in business, health system implementation research, and policy analysis are increasing. Examples of jobs our past graduates have obtained are listed below.

(MSc) Master of Science Graduates employment examples:

  • Health Promoter, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Clinical Dietitian with Sodexho Marriott in Florida
  • Nutrition Program Manager, Canadian Egg Marketing Agency
  • Nutritionist, Micronutrient and Health Program, World Vision
  • Research Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Health Care Systems Research Network
  • Public Health Nutritionist, City of Hamilton Social and Public Health Services Dept.
  • Public Health Nutritionist, Regional Municipality of Waterloo Community Health Dept.
  • Research analyst, Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Health Canada
  • Nutrition educator, Alberta Pork

(MAN) Master of Applied Nutrition Graduates employment examples:

  • Senior Director of Wellness, Loblaw
  • Public Health Nutritionist, Alberta Health Services
  • Clinical Dietitian, St. Joseph’s Hospital Hamilton
  • Registered Dietitian, North York Family Health Team
  • Public Health Nutritionist, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
  • Registered Dietitian, Cleveland Clinic Canada
  • Nutrition Program Team Lead/Staff Dietitian, Pace Consulting Group
  • Public Health Dietitian, Perth District Health Unit
  • Special Programs Coordinator, Ryerson University
  • Registered Dietitian, Surgical Weight Loss Centre

(PhD) Doctor of Philosophy Graduates employment examples:

  • Post-doctoral fellow, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • Professor, Bunda College, University of Malawi
  • Associate Professor, School of Nutrition, Ryerson Polytechnic University
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Brescia University College
  • Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Senior Nutritionist, Micronutrient and Health Program, World Vision

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Armed Forces and Action Against Hunger

The Canadian Armed Forces and Action Against Hunger have expressed interest in the skills and knowledge of AHN students and graduates. For more information about the training and work opportunities in these organizations please see Action Against Hunger 

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In you are interested in a career in medicine; see the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada website.

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There are Nursing programs available in Ontario community colleges, see Nursing on ontariocolleges.ca. Information regarding Accredited Canadian Nursing Education program and accelerated programs may be found at the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing website. For example, the University of Toronto has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) while McMaster University has an Accelerated Nursing program.

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