Nutrition and Food Sciences M.S.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Master's Degree

Overview

The department mission is to study the relationship between nutrition, food science, health and fitness (preventive nutrition), and between diet and disease (therapeutic nutrition). Faculty research encompasses both basic and applied or community aspects of human nutrition and food science and technology. Research is being conducted on: the impact of attitudes and behaviors toward eating and exercise on body weight and composition; web-based interactive multimedia tools for use in teaching and research; behavior modification programs to improve individual eating behaviors; testing the effectiveness of Internet support on the long term management of obesity; factors affecting the nutritional status of children; milk chemistry and cheese technology (i.e., structure, function, and properties of mozzarella and goat's milk cheese); chemistry and processing of infant formula; and food microbiology.

The Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences offers thesis-based and non-thesis Master of Science degrees.  The thesis-based M.S. degree is a course and research based program, with 15-24 credits in course work, and 6-15 credits of research.  The minimum number of credits required is 30.  A thesis is written and there is a defense.  A non-thesis M.S. degree also requires 30 credits of course work, although a student, at the discretion of their advisor may choose to complete a 3-6 credit internship or project which would replace some of the course work.   The non-thesis M.S. does not require a thesis or a thesis defense. 

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science

An undergraduate major in nutrition, dietetics, food science or a science-related field; an undergraduate course in biochemistry; satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination.  A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is recommended.  Students need to complete the Graduate College Application form that must include three letters of recommendation.   Students must be admitted through the Graduate College before taking any courses that will be applied to the master’s degree requirements. 

Minimum Degree Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

A minimum of 30 credits and successful completion of a written comprehensive exam are required for completion of a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences.  Students enrolled in the thesis-based program must also write, present and successfully defend their research thesis.

Students must meet the UVM Graduate College Requirements for the Master’s Degree.  Required courses for both the thesis and non-thesis M.S. are as follows:

Thesis
STAT 211Statistical Methods I3
NFS 360Rsch Meth Nutr & Food Sciences3
NFS 350Nutrition&Food Science Seminar1
NFS 391Master's Thesis Research6-15
Non-Thesis
STAT 211Statistical Methods I3
NFS 360Rsch Meth Nutr & Food Sciences3
NFS 350Nutrition&Food Science Seminar2

Remaining elective courses for both the thesis and non-thesis courses should be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor and must be approved for graduate credit.  

Comprehensive Examination

Thesis M.S. candidates will present a seminar before the end of the second semester of the degree program. This seminar will focus on the background to the proposed M.S. thesis research and experimental design.  The candidate will be expected to provide an abstract of the seminar and a link to one pertinent online article related to the seminar topic. The abstract (electronic version) and link to a pertinent article must be submitted to the course instructor no later than one week prior to the seminar date. The course instructor will distribute the abstract and link to the NFS faculty and students. Within two weeks following the seminar date, the candidate will meet with his/her thesis defense committee to discuss the student’s performance with the seminar and provide feedback. This seminar and the committee meeting that follows will constitute the student’s M.S. Comprehensive Examination.

Non-Thesis M.S. candidates will present a seminar before the end of the second semester of the degree program. This seminar will focus on a literature review of a topic to be determined by the student and their faculty advisor.  The candidate will be expected to provide an abstract of the seminar and a link to one pertinent online article related to the seminar topic. The abstract (electronic version) and link to a pertinent article must be submitted to the course instructor no later than one week prior to the seminar date. The course instructor will distribute the abstract and link to the NFS faculty and students. Within two weeks following the seminar date, the candidate will meet with his/her advisor and the non-thesis MS graduate committee to discuss the student’s performance with the seminar and provide feedback. This seminar and the committee meeting that follows will constitute the student’s M.S. Comprehensive Examination.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

Advancement to candidacy requires satisfactory completion of the comprehensive exam.