The Department of Nutrition

School of Health and Human Sciences

The Department of Nutrition offers a graduate program of study leading to a Master of Science degree.

This degree offers two options:

  1. a thesis option (37 hours minimum) and
  2. a non-thesis option (40 hours minimum).

Thesis Option

The Master’s degree is offered with specialization in Human Nutrition and emphasis in applied Nutrition Science or Basic Nutrition Science. Specifically, the M.S. (thesis-option) is a research-based degree program designed to prepare students for teaching, research, administrative, and consulting positions or for progression to a Ph.D. degree program.

Non-Thesis Option

The M.S. non-thesis option is designed to prepare students for consulting, administrative, and practitioner positions in nutrition. A comprehensive examination must be passed. The registered dietitian (R.D.) credential must be obtained for a career in dietetics.

Department faculty have a wide range of research interests related to nutrition and health and use of diverse methodological approaches. These interests include the metabolism, function and requirements of specific nutrients throughout the life cycle, nutrients and phytochemicals in health and disease, nutritional assessment and intervention, maternal and infant nutrition, nutrition education, food insecurity, nutrition and physical performance, interaction of nutrients on genes, human milk banking, and regulation of the growth and development of bone and adipose tissue. Faculty and students conduct basic research (work with small laboratory animals and/or cultures of animal and human cells) or applied research (work with human subjects in clinical or community based studies) to achieve research objectives.

Application Process

Applications for admission must be submitted on-line by the following dates:

  • February 1 for assistantship consideration for fall semester admission,
  • May 1 for fall semester admission without assistantship consideration, and
  • November 15 for spring semester admission.

The following are required for evaluation by the Graduate School:

  1. a completed on-line application form and payment of the application fee;
  2. three letters of recommendation;
  3. a letter of intent that includes whether the applicant is applying for the M.S. (thesis-option) or M.S. (non-thesis option), indicates the applicant’s professional goals, and indicates the applicant’s general area of research interest (for M.S. thesis option) (indicate applied research or basic research, or no preference);
  4. official transcripts of all previous college course work;
  5. and the Verbal and Quantitative scores and Analytical Writing Score on the Graduate Record Examination (taken within 5 years of application).

Foreign students

Additionally, foreign students are required to

  1. submit TOEFL scores and
  2. detailed NACES (course-by-course) evaluations of transcripts.

All application materials must be sent to the Graduate School. Once complete, application materials are then forwarded to the Department of Nutrition for review. Questions regarding application status should be directed to the Graduate School.

All students entering the masters and doctoral degree programs must have background-supporting courses in

  • general and organic chemistry,
  • general biology,
  • biochemistry,
  • and human physiology.

At UNCG these course numbers are: CHE 103, CHE 104, CHE 110L, CHE 205, CHE 206, NTR 531, BIO 111, BIO 277. (see Transfer Credits)

Financial Support

Occasionally, full-time graduate master’s students are supported by graduate assistantships. These assistantships require 20 hours of research and teaching work responsibilities per week. Merit-based and minority-presence fellowships and scholarships are available during the academic year. Graduate students awarded tuition waver(s) must be enrolled for 9 credit hours or more per semester. University fees must be paid by all students each semester and are not covered by tuition waivers.

Specific requirements for the MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE (THESIS OPTION) (37 hours minimum)

At least 26 hours must be in 600-level courses. The minimum requirements include:

Required Core (15 hours minimum)

  • NTR 609 Seminar in Nutrition (4)
  • NTR 625 Gene Expression and Protein Metabolism (2)
  • NTR 626 Energy, Carbohydrate, Lipid Metabolism (2)
  • NTR 627 Antioxidants and Bioactive Food Components (2)
  • NTR 628 Vitamins and Minerals (2)
  • AND Statistics (3 credits) e.g. STA 571-Statistical Methods for Research I (3), OR STA 661 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral and Biological Sciences I (3), or other (see University Catalog)

Research Techniques (9 hours minimum)

  • NTR 673 Nutrition Research Methodology (3)
  • AND at least 6 hours in one or more of the following research courses:

NTR 601 Directed Study in Nutrition
NTR 623 Current Trends in Nutrition
NTR 653 Problems in Food and Nutrition
NTR 670 Research Skill Development

Electives (7 hours minimum)

With approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee, a student will select one 3-hour course from other NTR courses at the 500- or 600-level and 3-4 additional hours in either NTR or other science courses at the 500- or 600-level.

Thesis (6 hours)

NTR 699 Thesis (6)

Non-thesis Option (40 hours minimum)

At least 26 hours must be in 600-level courses. The minimum requirements include:

Required Core (14 hours minimum)

  • NTR 609 Seminar in Nutrition (3)
  • NTR 625Gene Expression and Protein Metabolism (2)
  • NTR 626 Energy, Carbohydrate, Lipid Metabolism (2)
  • NTR 627 Antioxidants and Bioactive Food Components (2)
  • NTR 628 Vitamins and Minerals (2)
  • AND Statistics (3 credits) e.g. STA 571-Statistical Methods for Research I (3), OR
    STA 661 Advanced Statistics in the Behavioral and Biological Sciences I (3), or other (see Graduate Bulletin)

Research Techniques (6 hours minimum)

  • NTR 673 Nutrition Research Methodology (3)
  • AND at least 3 hours in one or more of the following research courses:NTR 601 Directed Study in Nutrition
    NTR 623 Current Trends in Nutrition
    NTR 653 Problems in Food and Nutrition
    NTR 670 Research Skill Development

Electives (20 hours minimum)
The student will select at least 20 hours from other 500- or 600-level courses in NTR, other science courses, HEA, or CED, as approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Comprehensive Examination
The written examination is offered once a year. Please consult with the Director of Graduate Study for the dates.

**For those students who are completing the Dietetic Internship requirements as part of their graduate program of study, 15 elective hours will come from the DI course requirements:
NTR 602 Supervised Preparation for Professional and Community Engagement (3)
NTR 693 Supervised Preparation for Practicum in Clinical Dietetics (3)

Nine elective hours will be designated from the Supervised Practice component requirement:
NTR 606a Practicum in Clinical Dietetics: Management (3)
NTR 606b Practicum in Clinical Dietetics: Clinical (3)
NTR 606c Practicum in Clinical Dietetics: Community (3)

Successful completion of all supervised practice hours are required for a student to be issued a Verification Statement of completion of the Dietetic Internship Program and thus, earn eligibility to sit for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Registration Exam for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists.**

Students interested in becoming ELIGIBLE to apply for a supervised practice program including the UNCG post-BS Dietetic Internship Certificate must complete the Didactic Program in Dietetics coursework.  See the UNCG DPD Course List for Grad Students document for further assistance.

Masters Program Handout(PDF)