Registration Information and Program Requirements

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Graduate Seminar
Teaching Assistant Requirement
Important Contact Information


Students are required to enroll every semester (fall and spring) from the time of matriculation until degree conferral. Students will be required to seek readmission if they do not register every fall and spring term. After you discuss your course plans with your advisor, you can go online to register at OneStop. This page includes all the information needed to register, including a tutorial for first-time users and course schedules. Sara Cannon in 225 FScN and at, can assist you with permission numbers and if a department course is closed to enrollment. For closed courses offered through other departments, you need to directly contact the instructor or department for registration permission. To avoid late fees, students should register before the start of the semester. Full time status is 6–14 credits. Students should register for courses and use the remaining credits (up to 14) to register for thesis credits.

Directed/Independent Study Credits
The Independent study is intended for individual project work that is arranged with a faculty member, usually the advisor. To register, complete the Directed/Independent Study form with the faculty who will determine the total credits and grading option. The form is on our website.

After completing the form and signatures, give it to Sara Cannon in 225 FScN and at who will issue you a permission number to register. M.S. Plan B students will find further Independent Study registration information below.

Advanced Status: Full Time Status with One Credit Registration)
Advanced Status is for students who need full time status and have completed all their Degree Program coursework and thesis credits. This includes students with a graduate assistantship. There is a deadline to apply.

MS students register for FSCN or NUTR 8333. See form  
PhD students register for FSCN or NUTR 8444. See form  

Grad 999
This is a zero credit, no fee registration option that keeps you in active status, which students need to graduate, without having to pay tuition. This does not meet full time status requirements. Graduate students may register for up to four semesters of GRAD 999 while continuing to work on a thesis or Plan B project. A hold will be placed on the student’s registration after four semesters of GRAD 999. In order to register for each additional semester of GRAD 999 in excess of four, the student will be required to get the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). The DGS will confer with the student’s major adviser to determine whether the student is making progress towards completion. If the student demonstrates that he or she is continuing to work on a thesis or Plan B paper and has a plan to complete the degree, the hold on the student’s registration will be removed and the student will be allowed to register for GRAD 999. The CFANS Scholarly Work Contract must be completed outlining all requirements that must be fulfilled during the semester, and filed in the student’s graduate program file.

For more information on Advanced Status and GRAD 999 visit this website.  

Dietetic Internship Registration
Students participating in the Dietetic Internship must continue to register as an active student during the two semesters of the internship. Options include Grad 999 or Advanced Status (NUTR 8333 or 8444). Please see this link for a comparison of these registration options.

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Graduate Seminar

All Nutrition graduate students are required to attend the weekly Graduate Seminar unless they have a class or teaching conflict. The seminars are usually held each Wednesday during fall semester and Tuesday during spring semester from 3:30-4:30 pm. They are offered jointly with the Food Science seminar. There are no regularly scheduled seminars during summer or intersession. A schedule of seminar speakers and titles is available on the FScN website. Seminars consist of presentations by faculty members, educators, and professionals within and outside the department, and may include students presenting their thesis or Plan B project work.

M.S. students are required to present a seminar as part of their thesis defense. PhD students may choose to present if they would like. For M.S. Plan A and Ph.D. students, the seminar is a report on the thesis research. For M.S. Plan B students, the seminar describes the independent work done as a project, survey, data analysis, etc.

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Teaching Assistant Requirement

Graduate education is more than just taking courses, passing milestones and doing research for a thesis. One significant component of graduate education is for students to participate in the education endeavor by acting as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in undergraduate courses. These experiences are invaluable in learning how to deal with people in meaningful ways and when confronted with difficult situations. Thus, graduate students should consider this experience as a means of improving their teaching and communication skills and as a part of their contribution to the educational experience. In return, the Department of Food Science and Nutrition intends that serving as a TA (with no extra compensation) will provide valuable educational benefits to the students.

The graduate faculties in the Department have agreed on a system that requires each graduate student to serve as a Teaching Assistant for about 60 hours a year for each year they are in a graduate program up to a minimum of 2 TA experiences for a M.S. student and a minimum of 3 TA experiences for a Ph.D. student. A student completing both M.S. and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Minnesota would serve a minimum of 4 TA experiences for both degrees combined. A student who begins as a MS student and changes status to the PhD without completing the MS would serve a minimum of 3 TA experiences. A student holding a paying Teaching Assistant position will be automatically credited with 60 hours of service for each semester they serve as a paid TA.

It is generally expected that each TA would attend the lectures for the class they are assigned. Attendance at lectures is considered necessary to provide meaningful help in the class. This time does not count as part of the 60 hours of service. There are some classes or situations where lecture attendance may not be required; however, this decision rests with the course instructor.

All students are expected to meet this TA requirement irrespective of receiving a salary from the Department. In situations where the student is working full time outside the Department or where TA requirements present personal hardship, alternatives will be presented for meeting this requirement. Alternatives might include developing laboratories, giving guest lectures, or developing course materials for Internet delivery. Students must request a TA alternative if desired.

Every effort will be made to avoid scheduling a graduate student in an unpaid TA position during their first semester in Graduate School. All incoming students must take the General TA Workshop offered through the University at the start of their first semester. All international students will also be required to take the SPEAK test upon arrival. If students do not pass this test they will be placed in TA positions that do not require direct student contact.

This TA system assumes that each student will put forth about 4 hours per week for a given class or 60 hours effort per course. A graduate student may request that he/she contribute double this, 8 hrs. per week per class, to get double credit thereby reducing the number of years that a student would have to serve as a TA. This request will be granted when it is consistent with course needs.

The time estimated for a given class may be in error and thus, students should keep an accurate accounting of their time and review this with the course instructor on a regular basis. If the time required from an individual graduate student is over what has been estimated, or the nature of the work is different from that promised, the student should first attempt to resolve the discrepancy as soon as possible with the course instructor. If that fails, the student should bring the issue to the TA Coordinator who will work together with the student, faculty member and department head to correct the situation.

Graduate students may request evaluations of their performance as a TA from the faculty supervisor and from students in the course as a part of the required student course evaluation.

Graduate students may request assisting in a specific course by filling out the TA Request Form found here:

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Important Contact Information

Director of Graduate Studies in Nutrition
Dr. Marla M. Reicks, Professor
168 FScN, St Paul Campus
Ph: 612-624-4735

Food Science and Nutrition Graduate Student Services
Admissions, registration and degree progress procedures
Nancy Toedt
225J FScN, St. Paul campus
Ph: 612-624-6753

Undergraduate Student Services
Permission numbers, Independent Study, Course/classroom scheduling
Sara Cannon
225K FScN, St. Paul campus
Ph: 612-624-4787 

Department of Food Science and Nutrition contact
General department information, keys, meeting room scheduling
Sue Winkelman
225A FScN, St. Paul campus
Ph: 612-624-1290 

Food Science and Nutrition Administrative Director
Human Resources, Graduate Assistantships, Office Assignments
Dorit Hafner
FScN 225C, St. Paul campus
Ph: 612-624-4789 

Accounting Office
Jackie Lee, Principal Accountant
330 Haecker Hall, St. Paul campus
Budgetary matters

Sue Merrin, Accountant
225A FScN St. Paul campus
Ph: 612.624.4289

Graduate School/GSSP website
Graduate School/GSSP email  

International Student and Scholar Services  
190 Hubert H. Humphrey Center, Minneapolis campus
Ph: 612.626.7100

Office of Student Health Benefits  
410 Church Street SE, N-321 BHS, Minneapolis campus

Graduate Assistant Employment Office
Donohowe Bldg, 319 15th Ave SE, Minneapolis Campus
Ph: 612.624.7070

Graduate Assistant Insurance Office  

One Stop (search for everything U of MN)  
Financial Aid  
Parking and Transportation Services  

Opportunities for Student Involvement
Student Representative for Food Science faculty meetings. See DGS if interested.

Mutual Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty and Graduate Students: Guidelines  

Student Conduct Code  

Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity 

Student Conflict Resolution Center  

Managing Nepotism and Personal Relationships 

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