Master's Program

What are the Master’s Degree Requirements?

The master’s degree has a minimum of 30 credits, comprised of 14 graduate level course credits in Nutrition, 6 credits in a minor or supporting field outside the major, and 10 thesis credits (Plan A) or 10 credits of additional graduate-level coursework and/or independent study (Plan B).

14 Graduate Level Course Credits in Nutrition

  • NUTR 8621, Presentation Skills (Fall, 1cr)  Should be taken the first fall semester
    An orientation class taught by the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) 

Graduate Nutrition core series*

  • NUTR 5625 - Nutritional Biochemistry (Fall, 3 cr)
  • NUTR 5626 - Nutritional Physiology (Spring, 3 cr)
  • NUTR 5622 - Vitamin and Mineral Biochemistry (Spring, 3 cr)
  • NUTR 5624 - Nutrition and Genetics (Fall, 2 credits)

*If a student has taken these core course(s) or their equivalents (the equivalence will be evaluated by the Director of Graduate Studies), they must take other courses to achieve the equivalent number of graduate level course credits. These may be from any nutrition course that is 5xxx or 8xxx, or FScN 4622 Nutritional Toxicology, or 6xxx courses if taught through Public Health.

One 8xxx level course (2 cr.) from the following list:

  • NUTR 8620, Advances in Nutrition (2 cr)
  • NUTR 8620/PHSL 8620 Advances in Nutrition: Obesity Prevention from the Molecule to the Bedside (Fall)

6 Graduate Level Course Credits Outside the Major

  • Must include one graduate level statistics course. 
  • Students enrolling Fall semester 2015 and later must include one graduate level research methods course (at least 2 cr.). Students can select from a list of recommended courses already offered across the university in consultation with their adviser.
  • Other courses may be from any field but must be at the 5xxx or 8xxx level. (Exceptions: 6xxx Public Health courses are allowed.)

10 Thesis or Project Credits

  • Plan A/thesis students must register for a minimum of 10 Master’s Thesis Credits (NUTR 8777). Plan A requires an original research project to be completed with the results subsequently reported as a thesis.  Its purpose is for students to learn how to demonstrate familiarity with the tools of research or scholarship in Nutrition, to work independently and present the results of their investigation effectively.  Thesis formatting instructions are available on the Graduate School website.
  • Plan B is similar to the Plan A but involves less research. It includes additional coursework and completion of a special project. Plan B/project students must take a combination of an additional 10 credits of coursework and/or Independent Study (NUTR 8695). The student’s adviser specifies both the nature and extent of the coursework and project work necessary to satisfy this requirement. The Plan B project should involve a combined total of approximately 135 hours (the equivalent of a minimum of three independent study credits) of work. Additional coursework can include up to 7 additional credits. Use the Directed/Independent Study Form to register for NUTR 8695.
  • If a student begins as a Plan A MS student and has taken Master’s Thesis Credits NUTR 8777, these credits do not factor into the total number of credits needed. The student must submit a Registration Exception Request asking to exchange the Thesis Credits for Independent Study Credits in order to reach the minimum of 30 coursework credits. Previous theses and Plan B papers are available for review in the FScN Library, room 220. See Sue Winkelman in the reception office, room 225A, to check out items.

Additional Master’s Degree Requirements (Plan A and Plan B)

  • All required courses, except NUTR 8621, must be taken A/F
  • Maintenance of a 2.8 GPA
  • In addition to the academic requirements, students are expected to obtain teaching experience.  All MS Nutrition graduate students are expected to assist in teaching a course two times.
  • Seminar Presentation (A presentation of your thesis or project work at the Graduate Seminar. Nutrition students do not register for the Seminar.  It is not graded and usually given during the last semester.)
  • Passage of a Master’s Final Oral Exam (see details below and in Appendix C)
  • Completion of a Master’s Thesis or project. The department and Graduate School each require a copy of the master’s thesis upon completion. The Department requires a copy of the Plan B paper. Advisors will not sign the Final Examination Report form after the final oral defense for Plan B MS students until they receive the final, revised copy of the student’s Plan B paper. The Graduate School does not require a copy of the Plan B paper, but it can be archived in the Digital Conservancy if the student requests.