Home Schooling for Professionals


Registered nurse Angie Cook lives near Dallas, but she is attending The University of Texas at Austin – from a desk at home.

Cook is one of the students accepted to the Department of Nutritional Sciences’ new online master’s program, the first accredited online degree from the College of Natural Sciences. 

“I work full time and would not be able to attend graduate school if I could not participate during my evening and weekend time,” says Cook, a graduate of Baylor University who has been a professional for 22 years. “I searched for this opportunity for about a year, and I fell in love with UT’s concentration in biochemical and functional nutrition that perfectly aligns with what I am most passionate to learn.”

The new program has not only the track that fascinates Cook but also a concentration in health promotion and disease prevention. 

“Flexibility in graduate learning is especially important now because the medical system is realizing how nutrition is critical to patient health. And all registered dietitians will need a graduate degree to maintain certification by 2024,” says Sara Sweitzer, director of the program. “Health professionals need a degree plan with intense, brief classes like we designed.”

Cook plans to soak up the information over the next year and teach others about the importance of nutrition to prevent or manage chronic illness. “My hope is that combining a nutrition degree with my nursing background will provide me with the knowledge needed to help others learn about nutrition and what being healthy means for them.”